I was still finding it difficult to take the leadership role in our marriage and Sylvia was finding it difficult to be submissive. We both wanted to be what God wants us to be, but it wasn't easy to change roles practiced over 40 years together.
One day as I thought about how Sylvia naturally went about being the "leader" and how I tended to be so submissive and eager to please her and get her approval on everything, I said, "Lord, why couldn't I have been born the female and Sylvia have been born the male?"
God asked, "Bob, would you have liked birthing those babies?"
I quickly said, "Never mind Lord! I'm satisfied that you made me a male. Go ahead and make me a man!"
At the time I did not understand that would involve confrontation and battle with evil spirits that had been in our family for generations.
Interpretation of the Lost Keys
In Chapter 11 I mentioned two dreams I had the night of August 3, 1994. I sent them to Shanna Haygood. God gave her the interpretations and I received her letter on October 13, 1994.
In the first dream my car was in the repair shop. Art Thompson came by for a short visit. While he was there, Art looked up and stretched upward to kiss someone above him. It must have been God. They were going on a trip together. I wanted to go too, but my car wasn't ready.
This is the interpretation Shanna received from God: "The car is symbolic of the Holy Spirit in your life. He is getting you ready for your own trip with God. Although Art's trip appears promising to you (and is to him), God has a different way for you in mind. It takes different preparation."
In the other dream a woman was a guest in our home. She looked familiar, but I could not remember her name. She was one of Sylvia's friends. She was standing on the front porch of our house. As I passed by, she said, "I'm sorry I lost the keys Sylvia loaned me."
In the dream I wondered why Sylvia would do that. Then I became concerned that someone could use those keys to steal from us. Later in the dream I was inside the house and Sylvia walked by. I asked her if she had lost her keys.
Without answering, she went through a swinging door.
I said, "Don't you walk away from me when I am talking to you!!!"
She came back into the room looking hurt -- except it wasn't Sylvia! It was Sylvia's best friend, Nellie Tricoli.
I began to apologize, saying I thought she was Sylvia. She began to cry. I realized that she was crying because she felt I should not be talking to Sylvia that way.
I gave Nellie a little hug and apologized. Suddenly several women appeared and began to give Nellie comfort and encouragement. As I watched them, I felt out of place, worthless, and ashamed.
When I woke up and shared this dream with Sylvia, she laughed and said, "Good for Nellie! Nellie is my friend!"
This is the interpretation:
"The keys represent a loosing the Lord desires to give Sylvia. The woman who lost them looked familiar because she is a familiar spirit. The spirit is holding back the keys to a security not just for Sylvia, but also affecting you. That was the reason you were upset with Sylvia. You must understand, however, that Sylvia cannot control the keys. Be careful not to hurt her, for it can only hurt those who love and care for her (our heavenly Father and Jesus, her friends). Pray for the keys to be given into your hands. (What the devil steals he must return 10-fold.)"
Looking back on this, now 18 years later, the meaning seems so clear and understandable, but at the time, even with the interpretation above, it was still a mystery to be solved. I did not clearly understand. I didn't know how to respond!
Also included in Shanna's letter was God's response to my two dreams that had caused me great concern about my new grandson Jonathan.
I received one of the dreams on August 19, 1994. In that dream Jonathan was a small child, perhaps a couple of years old. He was walking with me in the woods. I looked away for a moment. When I looked back, Jonathan was gone! In his place was a gigantic Gila monster that looked like he had just finished eating something. David and Vickie (Jonathan's parents) and I looked everywhere, but we could not find Jonathan.
When I woke up I had the impression that the gigantic Gila monster represented Satan.
Then another dream that I had about Jonathan about 18 months earlier came to mind. I had forgotten about it. In that dream Jonathan was a baby barely able to sit up. I had sat Jonathan on the dining room table and I was sitting in a chair facing him. I took my eyes (and hands) off him just for a moment. When I looked back, Jonathan was falling from the table head first toward the brick floor below! And I wasn't able to catch him!!!
In both dreams we lost Jonathan! I wasn't paying close attention! I failed to keep Jonathan safe. This made me concerned not only for Jonathan, but for David and Vickie as well, and also for my ability to be alert to the leading of the Lord.
The following was God's response when Shanna asked for the interpretation.
"The dreams about Jonathan were not from the Lord. The Lord, as I'm sure you are aware, is not the only one who can send dreams. Satan desires to make you fearful over what will happen to your grandson. It is not true. Although Satan may desire to take him, Satan can do nothing that God does not first allow. Just as the sins of the father are passed 'to the third and fourth generations' (Exodus 34:7), so are the blessings. 'The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective' (James 5:16). Jonathan will not be able to be 'snatched out of the Father's hand' (John 10:29). Rest in the Lord, but of course continue to pray for Jonathan."
The Journey Home
During the night of October 29, 1994, I had another dream. I am in a big city. I am trying to get home. My plane leaves at 3 p.m. I have trouble getting my things together. It is a long way to the airport. I am in the southwest part of town. The airport is northeast of the city. I'm not sure how to get there, but I know the general direction. I start out walking, but then decide I'd better try to get a ride. A man and his son in a passing car picked me up and took me to a taxi stand. The son asked the dispatcher if they have a taxi going to the airline terminal. He says that they do. Then when I tell the taxi driver that is where I want to go, he tells me that he is not allowed to drive there, but he can take me to the place where I can change to another cab that is permitted by contract to go to the airline terminal. I only have four dollars and some credit cards. I think this is going to be expensive, and I don't have much cash. I wonder if the taxi driver will accept payment from a credit card. He takes me to a different taxi stand which is further away from the airport and closer to where I started from. It is now 2:15 pm. Time is slipping away. I am at the taxi stand and nothing is happening. I don't see the driver that will take me to the airline terminal, but for some reason I am not searching for him. I am sitting and waiting. There are people around me, but no one that looks like a taxi driver. Someone is cleaning the building. Some others are passing the time by playing some kind of trivia game where one person asks the one next to him a queston. I'm sitting apart from them. I notice that my feet are bare. I forgot to bring my shoes. I will have to get some new ones later. It is now 2:30. It doesn't look like there is any way for me to get to the airport in time to check in and be ready for the flight. Where is that taxi driver? Then I look back at the group playing this trivia game. Someone asks me a question. Why are they asking me? I'm not playing. I need to get to the airport. Then I realize that the woman who asked me the question looks very familiar, but I can't think of her name. As I look at her, she says, "I'm playing now."
That's all I remembered about the dream. At breakfast, Sylvia and I talked about what it might mean. The bare feet (no shoes) and my sitting (not aggressively doing something to see that I continue on my journey) seemed to be significant. A thought entered my mind about the instruction to put on the whole armor of God. I seemed to be missing the shoes of that armor. I looked up the verse: "Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God" (Ephesians 6:15). The woman who looks familiar also seemed significant. She could be a familiar spirit (family spirit / generational spirit) that is delaying my spiritual growth, even getting me side-tracked and causing a set-back. (I am further from the airport and closer to where I started from.) The dream seemed to be very significant and I didn't trust my efforts to interpret it. I decided to send it to Shanna so that she could ask God for the interpretation.
December 4, 1994. In the mail that had accumulated while we were away on a trip was an envelope from Shanna Haygood, which meant there would be a dream interpretation inside. This was exciting in itself, but when I read Shanna's letter my spirit jumped with encouragement and tears of joy streamed down my face.
I thought I had figured out the meaning of my dream, but it was evident that interpreting dreams was not yet one of my gifts. My "interpretations" were frustrating and discouraging. I had thought that my bare feet in the dream indicated that I didn't have all of my spiritual armor on and that I was not aggressive enough in doing God's will, and that the woman represented an evil spirit which had an open door in my life. I was frustrated as I tried to figure out what I was lacking and what I was doing wrong. Now Shanna shared what God said when she asked Him about my dream:
"You are in a stormy, confusing area (the big city) of your life. You are trying to get home (Heaven). You have a long path with many obstacles. (I believe He is saying He wants you here on earth for a while.) Things will hinder you from the path. Keep seeking and trust. (In the dream you were not anxious about where the taxi driver was). You will not need shoes for your feet are beautiful to the Lord." (Happy face drawn here.) "You will not need money, for He has provided. The woman represents something in your past that will come into 'play' at a future time. Be prayerful now, that it will be dealt with appropriately then.
"I think that's it. I did get the strong impression that you will have no trouble making it to the plane on time. My favorite part after He gave me the 'Keep seeking and trust', there was a pause and the bare feet came to my mind. I thought to myself, 'I wonder what that means!' No sooner than I'd thought it, Romans 10:15 was dropped in my mind. It just really blessed my spirit to think of how the Lord has and continues to use you to bring his children closer to Him. So thank you for edifying me!"
That was the end of Shanna's letter. I looked up Romans 10:15 and read "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" And I was encouraged!
God said the woman in this dream represents something in my past that will come into "play" at a future time. It did not occur to me when I received this dream 18 years ago that it was a prophecy about what would be happening to me right now as a widower who is waiting for the "taxi driver" to take me to the "airport" and Home (heaven). I believe I know what the woman in this dream represents, but I will save that for later.
Now back to the dream about the "familiar spirit" who was affecting Sylvia and me in 1994 . . .
And the lost keys!!!
I understood that a generational spirit was involved and that it was my responsibility to change that. But this was a new experience for me and I wasn't sure what to do.
Unlimited permission to copy text without alteration or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.