It seems unbelievable. A nighttime dream followed by a mysterious coincidence.
The story reads likes a page from Guideposts magazine's "Mysterious Ways" — first-person narratives of unexplainable events that demonstrate God’s grace, mercy and love.
And though this account will have some in awe, and others shaking their head in doubt, for one young woman it is unforgettable.
Jen (not her real name) had awakened with a start. She’d overslept after falling asleep in her daughter’s bed -- a midnight plea for comfort had brought her there. Now, with faint morning sounds reaching her, images from her dream swept over her.
Reaching for notebook paper nearby, she quickly scribbled her vivid memories. So powerful was the experience, Jen feared losing them in the rush of the day. Already the hour was late and her daughter’s school bell soon would ring.
Without her usual bedside alarm, the lateness was one more unexpected challenge in a life that seemed to be unraveling. Jen’s picture book marriage had become dysfunctional with each passing day.
“It was like the unspoken D-word hung between us,” Jen remembers, “and it was a path I didn’t want to take.”
Her traditional values frowned on divorce -- the very idea bringing guilt. Still, she hoped to save the relationship as the intruding darkness eclipsed her peace.
Little did she know, it was Jen’s dream that would bring her peace in the heartbreaking days that lay ahead.
“I saw a ‘badass’ knight in full armor on horseback, ready for battle” Jen remembers about the no-nonsense vision and the immediate awareness that this strong, commanding warrior was God, “and I felt an overwhelming, penetrating love directed at me.”
And though no physical words were said, clear thoughts were understood -- an assurance from him that she didn’t have to earn his love -- that it was unconditional no matter the past or what the future held.
“It could have been intimidating,” Jen reflects about the harsh warfare-type armor and how she stood looking up at him in the dream, “but what I felt was a father’s love for his child. And not just me,” she adds, “I understood I was one of his billions of ‘kids’ and he loves us all in the same way.”
But as moving as the dream was, Jen confesses she would have dismissed it if it hadn’t been for an early hour text on her cell phone.
"Read Ephesians 6:10-17," the message said from an acquaintance in the Bible study group she’d recently started attending.
Curious, Jen turned to the Scriptures.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground" the verses read.
Stunned, Jen called the woman who had texted shortly before Jen awoke.
"She told me she had suddenly felt impressed -- compelled -- that morning to send the Bible verses," Jen says, reflecting on the timing and impact. "I’d never even thought about God’s armor or read the verses before."
But she does now.
Each morning as she readies for the day, she turns to her Bible, rereading the now-familiar verses that protect her heart in an on-going dark battle. She also hums the lyrics from the song "Whom Shall I Fear" by Chris Tomlin: “I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side.”
A reassuring reminder of the God she met in a mysterious way.