I dreamed last night that my teeth were falling out.
It's actually a fairly frequently recurring dream I have - I'm not exactly sure why - but mostly seems to come when I'm feeling a little more stressed about something. I'll dream that my teeth are loose, and rotting with several cavities, and then they start to fall out. It's so realistic I can feel, in my mind, the soft spot left on the gum from having a missing tooth. I am always heartbroken and embarrassed in this dream and worried about how we are going to pay to have them fixed. When I awake, I'm constantly checking my teeth for any signs of actual decay. In reality, I have pretty good teeth - and thanks to two sets of braces - fairly straight ones.
I'm not sure why I wanted to write about it except to admit what's bothering me so much I have my teeth-falling-out dream.
Yesterday, Jeff appeared before our presbytery to try and be licensed to preach. This has been a a long time coming - we had some troubles when he first went before a committee, but then those were sort of dealt with and finally we were hopeful and excited that maybe he was finally going to be licensed, the first step towards ordination.
It was not to be. They voted against passing him - even though he did a great job, all because of an exception (or disagreement) he has with the Westminster Confession. There is one small part of it he doesn't agree with and unfortunately that one small issue happens to be a very big issue in the part of the country we live in.
We are feeling heartbroken - let down by the denomination we both have come to love and uncertain about our future and what to do from here. Jeff won't be able to continue preaching here. We are sad about what it means for our dear, sweet church we have come to love.
I was so proud of Jeff this morning. He preached (another) amazing sermon in spite of his own discouragement, and was still continuing to remind me and those around us with truth from the gospel - that God's plan is perfect, that he knows what is best both for us as a family and for our church. That to me is what makes him such a great pastor - that he can be such an encouragement even when he is sad and walking through such a dark time.
But he is good at remembering the reality. Even though it might feel like all hope is lost, like surely a mistake has been made, it's like the bad dream I had last night. The reality is that God is good. That nothing can happen to us except what passes through his hand. That his plans are to prosper us and not to harm us. And that He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not, also along with him, graciously give us all things?
We just have to keep reminding ourselves to be awake to that reality.