"...No earthly bars can ever imprison the soul. No walls however high, or bolts however strong, can imprison an eagle so long as there is an open way upward; and earth's power can never hold the soul in prison while the upward way is kept open and free. Our enemies may build walls around us as high as they please, but they cannot build any barrier between us and God; and if we "mount up with wings" we can fly higher than any of their walls can ever reach. If we find ourselves imprisoned, then, we may be sure of this, that it is not our earthly environment that constitutes our prison-house, for the soul's wings scorn all paltry bars and walls of earth's making. The only thing that can really imprison the soul is something that hinders its upward flight."
The aforementioned words came from the book 'The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life,' by Hannah Whitall Smith. Mis Smith's passage surprisingly evoked a kinship with her words, since I am drawn to the majestic eagle. Here's why:
The editing phase of my memoir, A Vision Beyond Abuse, was approaching the finish, but while I remained focused, it continued to be a grueling process. I felt like I was back on the battlefield, the one I thought I’d left behind. As I read and reread my account from the past, I was forced to expose the hidden skeletons and re-experience my past abuse, causing me tremendous emotional pain. But somehow, I sensed the involvement might be of help to leave the shadowy nightmares and broken past behind.
One morning I woke from a dream that was particularly realistic. The vivid colors popped with intensity exclaiming, ‘what a glorious day to be alive!’ The blue sky was flawless, apart from a few billowy clouds. I sensed I was near a mountainous region with dense forestation reaching off into the distance abd branches stretching towards the sun and praising the Creator.
The odd thing was that I was not gazing from the ground, but rather from the air! I peered around to see how this could be and discovered myself on the back of an enormous eagle in flight, recognizable by its golden-brown hue, prominent head, and massive wings. Remaining calm, I peered past my dangling legs and caught the shape of what looked like a small slithering snake from my vantage point, but knew it for a river. My pleasure continued when the breeze kissed my face and I knew I was on a grand adventure. I had the distinct sensation of feeling carefree from all that was weighing me down!
When I awoke, I was baffled by the strange vision, but much like fizz rising, an answer was drawing near. I could tell something important was happening, because the heavy weight was gone and the shadowy dreams were no more. On the fringe of actually understanding, I began to sense I was being wrapped in comforting arms and endless love. It was then that my ‘aha’ moment came. It was as if a film had slid from my eyes and I comprehended that my Heavenly Father had lifted me from my valley of shadowy nightmares and like stepping out of a steamy bath, I felt fresh and restored!
Not knowing how or why, I instinctively understood I would never again have to face the shadowy valley alone, nor did have to stay imprisoned by the nightmares. My eagle dream represented my subconscious casting away the invisible chains which were keeping me held down and immobile. It felt good to be alive!
Alleluia! My Redeemer lives! My Lord and Savior loves me unconditionally and beyond measure (John 3:16). The Lord's mercy and grace surround and enfold us all, and He will be forever near! He loves us, oh how he loves us, God loves us forevermore…
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
Blessings, Kathy Goodhew
I sense a need for something greater than self. So, I am led by Christ's love to be an encourager as I share about His faithfulness and grace.