A few weekends ago, I had a dream.
I don’t often have dreams—not that I remember anyway. Sometimes I can recall fleeting images, and occasionally I wake up with my heart pounding after being chased or because I forgot to do something important.
This time, though, I actually remember the story line.
I was in a house. It may have been the house I grew up in—a turn-of-the-20th-century farmhouse on three acres. It was Sunday morning and I had to be at church by 9. There was a storm under way.
All of a sudden, the storm escalated. Flood waters rose and the house—which is nowhere near a lake or river—was surrounded by water that climbed almost as high as the first-floor kitchen window.
I remember thinking, I have to get to church, and then, as the flood waters rose, I can’t go, it’s too dangerous.
I remember wondering, Will the house stand—is it solid enough to withstand the power of the water?
I continued sleeping, but that’s where my recollection ends.
When morning came and I actually was getting ready for church, a song came on the radio that mentioned floods. Just hearing the words brought my dream back in a rush, along with thoughts of a very real, very current situation that was causing me to feel weighed down, anxious and ill-equipped for the road ahead.
As I listened, though, I remembered something else. My mind wandered back to another time in my life when I felt much the same way—inadequate, unprepared and unsure of myself. During this particular season of parenting, my feelings mostly stemmed from what was going on inside me rather than what was happening with the energetic child involved.
There were times when I felt like I was drowning in a desert—simultaneously flooded and completely dried out. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
But here’s the thing about all that. I now look back at that season and see how God sustained me and brought me through it. I see what I learned from my girl as she operated in the delightful way God made her, and how my life is better so much better for it.
It was all for a purpose—I can see that now. Not through a glass darkly, as the scriptures say, but clearly.
She needed me; I needed her. God knew that when He put our family together. He gave me what I needed—what I still need—to be her mom.
This calmed my heart as I pondered my current circumstances.
Later that morning, when our church’s worship team led the congregation in singing “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” I just stood there, silently absorbing the lyrics. Phrases about finding God in unknown ocean depths, being guided by His sovereign hand and trusting in His unfailing faithfulness—words I’ve heard and sung countless times—brought peace like never before.
They reminded me of what I believe—the theology I cling to when circumstances overwhelm my mind and emotions constrict my heart.
Our sovereign God goes before us, every step of the way. He will never leave us or forsake us. He gently guides us, equips us and builds our faith for whatever lurks on the road in front of us.
He gives us what we need—wisdom, patience, comfort, love—sometimes even before we think to ask.
We might be weak, but He is strength personified.
We may feel as if we are drowning—we may actually be sinking in the waves—but He is always there to pull us to safety.
We don’t need to fear what lies ahead—even if we have every reason to think it might be difficult and perhaps even heartbreaking—because He is with us.
These are not clichés, cobbled together with a haunting melody by some guitar-strumming, scruffy bearded guy on a worship video. They are foundational truths of the Christian faith—truths that stand firm when we are being battered about by wind and waves, floods and fires, disease and daily life.
They hold up.
Because of that, we are held up—and carried through to the other side.