I had a dream. In my dream young girls came and got me from my home. They took me to an old Little Theater where they did my hair, nails, and my makeup. They made me look younger. I liked it & looked forward to every Friday night when they would steal me away. One night they put me on the stage. In front of me was a wall with windows that were higher than me. I could hear my husband’s voice saying, “You are beautiful the way you are” over and over. I got on my tip toes and looked through the window. He had a Groucho Marx mask on and they had him by the arms & were taking him out as he kept saying the words again and again. I began to run down the stairs to get him, but a friend was there. She grabbed me by the hand and pulled me up a different set of stairs. She said, “You have something on your nose and you’re getting something on your mouth”. When I woke up I inquired of the Lord. He reminded me that I was created by Him and FOR Him. I don’t need the approval of others, I don’t need to listen to others or please others. HE is the lover of my soul. He encouraged me to grab an old journal that a friend had given me. In the front she had written many words of encouragement including scripture, quotes and old sayings. One was Hosea 2:14-16. “And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the Lord. “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. 15 I will give her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband, And no longer call Me ‘My Master. (My Friend’s) Amplified Version - Because I desire intimacy with you, even if you are afraid of such divine closeness and run after other things to fill the void and even though you have forgotten that only I can fill it, I will do this: “I will draw you gently out of the place you are in and I will lead you into a dry place, a deserted and lonely place and there I will speak precious and tender truths to you. In that dry, heated place of seeming death and wilderness, I will begin to give you back your fruitfulness. Not just a cluster of fruitfulness but an entire field of vines that will regenerate and continue to bear fruit through the seasons. And I will make the low places of trouble, the place of mistakes made and old sins help onto, the place of failure and death, I will make that place a door of hope for you. The Valley of Trouble will be the very entryway into your destiny and you will cross the threshold from despair to hope and destruction to salvation. There you will have your heart renewed and remade. It will swell with joy and peace. It will be filled with songs as it did when you were young, when you first were set free from your bondages and held victory over the enemies of your past. In that day, I will restore the intimacy that has been lost between you and me and you will call me, “My true partner”, “My soul mate” and you will no longer feel that I am your master but that I am your lover and you are mine. As I read that 1st line God brought to my attention that in always seeking the next ‘thing to do’, whether it was personal, ministry, household or otherwise important or good thing, I was running from His calling of divine intimacy. I had spent much time in His presence pre-hurt. Once I broke through the pain and became healthy again, I kept busy. I may have been afraid of getting too lost … but I filled the ‘void’ with busy work. I would hear Him calling. I could feel His presence hovering over me. I even desired the time on my face with Him. I need it like I need the air I breathe. And yet…I ran. I couldn’t hide forever because as David says in Psalm 139, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” Today’s gentle reminder is that He loves me just the way I am. I need no mask, no fancy words. I don’t need to prove anything. I can lay it all down just where I am at, fall to my knees and allow Him wash over me. Now is a good time. As a good friend always tells me, we were designed to be human ‘be’ings, not human ‘do’ings. Be unto the Lord.