I’m lying on a couch, and I can’t get up. I can’t move a muscle. I strain against myself to make my head move. Nothing. My arms and hands. Nothing. I can’t get my mouth to work as I attempt to call out for help. The only thing that escapes my barely parted lips is a guttural “uugggggggghhhhhh”.
Then the feeling hits me. It’s cold, and very unfriendly. I feel as though I want to run away from it, but again, I’m immobilized. Fear begins to creep in, seeping through me like molasses on a cold winter’s day. My voice has a frantic tone to it now as I continue to try to call out to someone, anyone, for help. “Honey,” I hear from a distance. “Are you okay?” Lena finally heard my cry.
It wasn’t until my wife woke me up that I realized I was dreaming. I was calling out in that dream, but I was also calling out in real life. She asked me again if I was okay. I told her that I was, and she went back to sleep. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was another presence in my dream. An ominous one. One that wanted to render me helpless.
I immediately began to pray silently for peace. It was, after all, 5:00 AM, and I still had some sleep left in me. Though I’ve never done this before, I instinctively prayed these words as well…”Get thee gone from here, Satan. You have no power in this house. We belong to the Lord.” The next thing I know, I’m waking up to the alarm to get ready for church.
This was yesterday, Sunday. As Lena and I were in the bathroom getting ready, I told her about the dream and the feeling I had. I also told her about my prayer and the restlessness leading up to that. When we first laid down to put Emma to sleep, I did take a cat nap for about two hours. However, I woke up again around 1:30 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. We had another SIDS family come over for dinner prior to that, so we didn’t go to bed until late anyway.
When I woke up the first time, I kept going to the computer to bed…to the computer to bed…to pacing around the house. I simply could NOT make myself rest. I had no idea why, and I even asked God for peace and sleep then. I finally was able to drift off around 4:00 AM. That was when the dream hit me and lasted only an hour.
Lena told me that was really strange because she couldn’t get to sleep either. She usually takes an Ambien to help her shut her mind down at night, and it usually knocks her out within 30 minutes of taking it. This time, however, she laid awake for almost two hours. She told me that she had a feeling of dread come over her, like something was wrong or was going to happen. She said she prayed herself to sleep. It was then that I told her I think we were attacked. And here’s why…
A week ago, while we were visiting Mia, we had a conversation. I’ve mentioned before that we feel as though we’re being led to start a foundation to reach out to other SIDS families and share God’s strength, peace and mercy with them. We asked ourselves if this was really a feeling from our Lord or if this was something we wanted to do for our own peace of mind and to help us cope with Mia’s passing. We asked Him to show us.
Two days later, I was at the gym and got two text messages on my phone. The first was a friend request from Facebook. The second was a Facebook message from a woman. She said in her message that she had just lost her daughter to SIDS last Monday (two weeks ago) and buried her on Friday. She left her phone number and asked if I would “please, please” call her.
I immediately left the gym and dialed the number. It turns out, she was in the next county over from where I live. She said that she got my name from some SIDS hotline that she called. They told her I might be able to help her out since I was in her area. Here’s the thing…I never registered on any SIDS hotline.
We shared our stories, and I shared some of the strength and peace that God has given us through this ordeal. While I was driving over to pick Lena up for lunch, we continued to talk. I sat in my wife’s parking lot for almost 30 minutes ministering to the woman. I finally told her that this phone call wasn’t chance. God was hitting me over the head with His spiritual 2×4. Even though, as I mentioned in Just Believe, we felt like we were connecting with His plan, we still had doubts…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” -Proverbs 3:5,6
Lena was in agreement with me that her phone call wasn’t chance. We really don’t believe in chance anyway. Chance is God’s way of saying, “See? I told you so.” We shared our contact information with the family and told them that we would love to meet them. Which we did two days ago…the day before the dream.
Here’s my thought on what happened or is happening. Satan is scared. He didn’t want us to minister to that other SIDS family on Saturday. He does NOT want Lena and I to start this foundation. He does NOT want us to reach out to between 150 and 250 families in Georgia alone every year that are affected by SIDS (there hasn’t been any SIDS outreach in our state for almost four years now…the program fell victim to budget cuts). He does NOT want us to share God’s strength and peace with them. He does NOT want us to be an example of how my LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST can work in your life through ANYTHING that you might go through…how He promises to NEVER leave your side and will carry you when you can’t take another step. He does NOT want me to put on the whole armor of my God to stand against him. So that’s exactly what I AM going to do…
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” -Ephesians 6:10-17
Here’s my counter-stroke: I am announcing the formation of The Baby Butterfly Foundation for SIDS Outreach. We are in the process of enacting our bylaws, filling out the paperwork for our Articles of Incorporation and 501c3 non-profit status with the IRS. We have six of seven board members and 16 volunteers…and we haven’t even become official yet! Praise God and for His honor and glory.
If anyone feels led to help out with our cause, please drop me a line. We need assistance with our web presence, with fundraising efforts, with outreach and ministry opportunities, etc. If nothing else, pass this post and link (and Like) our foundation Facebook page to anyone who may have suffered the loss of a child to SIDS. Lastly, pray for us. We’re going to need every ounce of strength He has to give.
May He grant you the strength, peace and mercy He shows me and my family every day…
Here’s our Facebook link:
Though I’ve linked it before, here’s our foundation theme song…the one played at Mia’s service. It’s amazing “How He Loves”.