A Perfectionist, Unprepared Bride
I just woke up from the most convicting dream.
It started with an explosion of a mountainous building where some beasts of some sort had been living. Somehow they wreaked havoc, although they had been living dormant in that space for a while. These alligator-like creatures had names, and I knew them.
But the main part of the dream consisted of getting ready for a wedding — my wedding. First of all, I was decorating the hall. I was going to use my art, and I began to frantically paint more paintings, as the ones I had weren’t good enough. I soon realized that with the wedding only an hour or so away, I wasn’t going to have time to paint all new paintings, so I had to use the ones I had, which I realized were perfectly adequate.
A porter at the hotel the wedding was at warned me that I should go to my room and get ready, as otherwise I would be late.
With less than an hour left before the wedding, I decided that I needed to wash my hair. I then took my time agonizing over which undergarments to wear. I worried about my weight and got out the scale. The porter came to my door and instructed me to leave immediately, as the reservation at the hall where the banquet was to be held was about to run out.
I put on my wedding dress, which looked like something Cinderella would wear in Disney’s “Parade of Lights.” While the dress fit perfectly, it felt uncomfortable and awkward. Nevertheless, I left the hotel room and walked to the banquet hall where the wedding was to be held.
Other hotel guests were already beginning to sit down and eat, as the reservation had pretty much expired. My guests were able to eat, but they had nowhere to sit. There was also not a space to have the ceremony, since the place was now filled with people who were not invited to the wedding.
I walked up some stairs where there was a space on the landing that overlooked the people at the banquet. There was only a thin, low railing protecting me from the empty space behind me, and that made me nervous. I backed away a couple of steps from the abyss.
I don’t remember the bridegroom from my dream, but he was there, and we got married.
After the wedding, a man came up to me and asked if I knew the names of the beasts who had caused destruction in the city earlier that evening. I told him, and he gave me a large amount of money — more than enough to pay off my credit card debt and live life to the fullest.
After I woke up, I thought about it for a while. This dream makes sense to me on so many levels.
I am a perfectionist. I never feel good enough. A classic example of this has to do with my art. I always feel that I should learn another technique, use a different medium, or something, so that it is “good enough.” I have some sweet friends who tell me that my art is already “good enough,” but I have a difficult time believing them.
This way of thinking also carries over to my knowledge of Christ. I tend to believe that I don’t know enough to really do anything. That I might mislead people. That I don’t know enough of the Bible. That I’m not sacrificial or committed enough to count myself as an effective follower of Jesus.
The irony is that it is this very way of thinking that makes me ineffective, both at art and as a Jesus-follower. The dream clearly showed me that I need to show my light now, not after I’ve learned enough theology, for example. To continue to agonize over not knowing enough is to cause people to miss out on the banquet, and in my case, ironically miss being prepared for the bridegroom.
I do know what’s up. I know the names of the beasts of destruction, and that’s good, but isn’t enough. I’ve got to let my light shine no matter how uncomfortable it feels. That dress was made for me. I need to learn how to wear it with grace and confidence. And the only way to do that is to put it on.