Last night I had a dream, which is unusual for me as I very rarely remember dreams but this dream was vivid and clear. I was driving along in my car-and this was not one of those dream moments when your friend was there but it wasn’t your friend because they didnt look like your friend…..but it was still your friend-you know what I mean?! This was the ACTUAL car that I own and which is sitting on my driveway right now. I am stressing this detail because the sheer fact that it was my very own car and not some random one created by the depths of my psyche meant that the outcome of the dream had a much deeper impact on me, as if this dream could really be my life.
Anyway! I was driving along (in my actual car) a very bumpy winding country lane and it was really difficult driving conditions and I was finding it hard to get the car over these bumps and dips and so I put my foot down as hard as I could and went careering over a big bump and rolled my car over onto its side, which happened to be the drivers side. I had to climb onto the passenger seat and crawl out of the window to get to safety and I remember being really perplexed and surprised by the fact that my big sturdy Discovery had rolled over.
When I woke up it took a while to get it out of my mind because it had been so vivid but by the time I had showered and got dressed I was in full “we-are-going-to-be-late-for school-if-you-don’t-hurry-up” mummy mode! Yet when we got in the car, as I put my seat belt on, something inside of me said “take it slow, remember the dream”.
So we took it nice and slow and I returned home not long later having dropped the kids off successfully-no problems and even on time! A little while later, after walking the dogs, I headed out once more to go to a friends house for coffee. As the roads have been icy and wet I was driving along pretty modestly but nevertheless part way there an alarm bell went off in my head-“take it easy!” The dream suddenly came back to me and even though I wasn’t driving too fast I slowed down. As I neared her house I turned off the main road to go up a private lane, going slowly and cautiously as I knew it could get icy there. When I came to the bend you can see in the picture, another car came round the corner. Under normal circumstances we would both have slowed down, given each other some passing space and gone on our ways. Yet when I put my foot on the break I didnt slow, instead I skidded sideways and if anything actually sped up as the car skated across what I presume must have been black ice. I slammed my foot down as hard I could but the car just kept going. It was completely out of control and as you can see from the photo I went full tilt towards this electricity pole. Now whilst my car is sturdy and trustworthy and I normally feel very safe in it, the sheer weight of the car (all 4 tonnes of it) was in fact what was dragging me at such a scary rate towards this pole. I took this photo afterwards so you can’t see it now but the other car wasn’t far from the grass verge and so the gap between it and the pole was literally just as wide as my own car. Somehow, literally by the grace of God, I managed to steer myself into this gap and came to a stop further up the road but as you can see from the tyre marks I only missed the pole by an inch or two! And I can tell you now if I hadn’t had that dream I would have been going at least two or three miles an hour faster and there is now way I would have missed that electricity pole.
Within a second of stopping my whole body started shaking uncontrollably and I could feel hot tears pricking my eyes. I felt tight chested and breathless and just sat there doing nothing for a moment. Thankfully I got myself together and managed to continue on my journey up the hill to my friends house where I was greeted with a hug and much sympathy. After the initial shock and tears I calmed down and in fact felt so safe and warm at her house that it was really hard to leave and it wasn’t until almost three hours later that I re-emerged to go home. After having felt calm and distracted for so long I was really surprised when I felt myself start to shake again as I got in the car. Starting the engine up and driving off was much harder than I had thought-I felt so nervous and worried. What if I hit more black ice and skidded again? I instantly phoned my husband and told him what had happened and explained that I felt so scared I needed to chat to him as I drove (for clarity, this was on bluetooth speaker phone!). The whole way home my body trembled and I felt tearful all over again. My husband thought that this was delayed shock and completely normal and I just needed to take it easy, however I don’t think it was shock. I think it was fear. Very simply I was scared it was going to happen again and I was having a response to that fear.
When faced with fear how do we react? Shaking and tearful like me? Full of anger and resentment? Timid and scared? Whatever it is, we all have responses to fear and often in a very physical way. This has had a deep impact on me today because what I was scared of was the fact that I might get hurt. I wasn’t selflessly worrying about other drivers on the road and what would happen to them if I crashed, I was scared for my own well being. As I drove towards that electricity pole all I could think was how hurt I would be if I hit it and thats what I was worried about as I drove home as well. Yet I hadn’t even been hurt! It was just the near miss of being hurt that instigated this fear and it turned my mind to those 9 Filipino children that I wrote about yesterday, who were rescued by IJM from cybersex trafficking.
Having glimpsed fear today and felt the impact it had on me physically I just cannot imagine what they have gone through. Can you imagine the fear you would live with day in and day out if your mother or aunt was forcing you each day into sexually abusive live pornography for people all around the world to watch? Each day their life must have been filled with physical fear like I just can’t imagine and their pain and suffering is just unbearable to even think about, let alone endure.
For me, in my minor-will-be-forgotten-about-tomorrow moment, I had a friend with a warm hug at the end of the road to take me in and comfort me. They had no one; no friend, no hug, no comfort. When I needed someone to talk to I phoned the person who loves me the most in the world and he was there for me. The person who should have loved them the most in the world, who should have been there for them, was the one subjecting them to this unimaginable fear and violence into their little innocent lives each day.
What also gave me pause for thought was that as I left the safety of my friends house, after three hours of blissful warmth and comfort, my fear came back. These children are now in safety and a place where they are warm and looked after but what will happen when they leave that place? How will they feel? IJM is well trained in the rehabilitation of children and adults recovering from slavery and abuse and they take this stage of survival and recovery very seriously. However, we all carry burdens from past hurts and however much we move on they can raise their ugly heads from time to time and I worry for how these children’s lives will continue to be affected by the atrocities they have suffered. As if it isn’t bad enough that they suffered them in the first place, now their beautiful lives could be effected forever.
Please be praying with me for these children, that they will reach full and complete healing and that they will not be haunted by the fear they have faced. Please be praying for life long safety for, for a home that is always safe and warm and for friends who will support and love them always. Please also pray for IJM’s continued work.