Several months ago I was going through a season where certain areas of my life and ministry were being pruned and cut away. I was asking the Lord what needs to go, and what needs to stay (as if I can truly control the season 🙂 ). Then one night, I had a dream. In the dream I heard people driving into my back yard. When I walked outside I noticed that they had cut down one of my trees and were about to start on my other two (favorite) trees near the house.( In reality there are only the two trees in my back yard, and my parking garage was missing (this was how I determined that this was a spiritual dream versus a literal dream). I began to yell at these workers to stop, and they simply said, “Your husband told us to cut them all down.” I immediately get my cell phone and dial his number. When he answered I said, “Why are you cutting down my favorite trees?? I love those trees. They make the perfect shade. I thought you loved them too.” He replied, “I didn’t realize they meant that much to you. Okay, tell them to stop cutting. The trees can stay.”
I immediately woke up and wrote down the dream. I already knew that this was spiritual. It completely correlated with what was happening in my life, and as I mentioned above there were things out of the ordinary (such as the number of trees and the surrounding area was different), which often signifies spiritual over literal. You see, trees stand in for leadership. They represent a person, leadership, strong shelter, areas of your life that feel ‘established’, an immovable or unchangeable problem or situation, confidence, faith or reliance on something.
In my dream, what I saw was three trees. Two exist in real life, and they are huge oak trees. The third tree does not exist, and it was much smaller and not as close to my house. The back yard is something from the past, so.ething already dealt with, etc. The workers came and chopped down the smaller tree. A chopped tree often represents a loss of some established or secure position. Aha! Now we are getting somewhere. Something had definitely been removed from my life in the natural. I saw the tree being cut down, but it was small and not as relevant as the larger trees that I loved dearly. I was upset about the smaller tree, but my main focus was on the larger two that I loved. I saw my situation in the natural, and yes, something had been removed in the natural, cut away, sifted out, but I realized that it didn’t affect me in a tremendous way. I was sad to see that “tree” cut away, but I was fine – as long as my other trees remained intact. The idea of losing them all shook me up. I needed those trees, and they needed me.
It took that one, small, thing to wake me up to the realization that there are many more areas where I am needed. I had to ask myself, and the LORD, why did you allow that one area to be removed? Why am I not as upset about it’s removal in the dream? Instead of being angry or hurt about it, I needed to take it to the Father in prayer to discern what it is that HE wants to accomplish through the pruning and plucking. Why? Because He has a plan for my life. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.” He is always good and faithful. The dream was one of revelation and healing in my life. If one thing is removed it is because something better is in store. It is all in the perspective, which I have learned through this experience makes all the difference in the world.
When our perspective shifts, and we realize that the LORD is on our side. He is for us and not against us.
I began to look at the dream a little more carefully. If my position, my strength, is set by the standard of the tree then I can assess my position more clearly. Yes, something small was cut away; however, there are still great strengths standing in me and around me. I saw myself standing strong like the oak and not allowing my strength, ability, confidence, or faith to be cut down. Notice how I immediately counteracted the plans of the workers. I contacted my authority figure – my husband. A phone represents a prophetic communication, a message from God, a prayer. A husband in a dream often represents an authority figure or our eternal bridegroom, Jesus. I contacted the LORD, and I cried out for deliverance from those who were sent to cut “me” down. His reply is priceless, and one that made me sincerely rethink my attitude and actions. “I didn’t realize they meant that much to you.” Wow! I was making a case for my own spirituality to remain intact, and I had to cry out for mercy because I wouldn’t allow the enemy to strip away everything that I had worked so hard to maintain. It took me crying out, showing that this is important to me, that my spirituality, my service to HIM was sincerely significant. Then, and only then, was I was given the authority to stop the “cutting away” by the Authority Figure that matters the most – Jesus! Sidenote: Do I believe the LORD sent the enemy to destroy me? NO. However, I do believe that the LORD was allowing me to see the plans of the enemy in order that I might rise up like a warrior in intercession to fight for what I loved.
How perfect this dream fit my life and situation! I believe the LORD wanted to see where I stood with Him. He was showing me His great love surpasses even my own understanding. Perhaps, HE was reminding me that I have so much to fight for, and that just giving it all up because of a few hurts or wounds from sources around me was not worth it. You see, I had contemplated just laying it all down because I was tired – weary is a better word – of the struggle that comes along with ministry and walking in leadership. I’m sure anyone that has ever held a position has felt this a time or two. A part of me wanted to say, “Forget this. It would be more peaceful to just go my own way.” How many of you know that going “your own way” rarely ever works? I feel like the LORD wanted to shake me out of my complacent and apathetic mood, and cause me to realize how much more there is still left for me to do. My roots are strong and secure just like the real oak trees in my back yard. They have reached deep within the soil to tap into the main source of water – JESUS – and I am standing strong with Him. He is my shade and shelter. He is the reason I wake up every morning, and HIS word tells me that His mercies are new every morning. That means that no matter what has happened in the past, each day is a new beginning. It’s a new day to walk in His light. It’s a new day to do what is right in His sight and forget the old. I pray that no matter what you are going through today, right at this very minute, or even what you have struggled with in your yesterdays – don’t give up. Don’t allow anyone to come in and cut down your “trees”. You have gifts and strengths that you may not even realize yet. The LORD is calling you out of apathy and into His great and mighty Work. Don’t allow hurts or wounds keep you from doing and being all that He has planned for you to be. Maybe you say today that you don’t feel like He has a plan for you anymore. Maybe you feel like you screwed up, and that everything that you had promised to you is gone? I am here to tell you that GOD is a GOD of second chances. HE loves you right where you are. He can heal, deliver, set free, and put you right back on track. All you have to do is pick up the “phone” (prayer, intercession, send out a cry to the LORD), and He will answer! He is waiting on you to fight the good fight. Be that warrior that never gives up when things get hard. I know. I’ve been there, and it isn’t always easy to move forward when you feel like giving up, but the reward is so much greater than the anything you could have imagined. Be blessed!! Keep dreaming!