I had a really inspiring dream this week where I was in a lighthouse at the ocean in wintertime.
The image of a lighthouse amazed me because it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought to. Michigan has a lot of beautiful lighthouses, many of which I’ve visited and taken pictures of, but they didn’t hold any special meaning for me.
Now they do.
Some of the people in my dream, who were in the lighthouse with me, were friends in real life. Each of them I believe represent parts of myself. One of them represents adventure, the second one a controlling person, and the third one a stable person. Before entering the lighthouse, I had been given something that represented the “key” to turning on the light, but once I was inside the lighthouse, I was too focused on who to align myself with that I never got around to using my key to turn on the light. There were many tables to sit at, and I couldn’t decide who to sit with. Then two strange, wanderer-type men appeared. (They represent decisive and assertive parts of myself.) Calmly and confidently, they came into the lighthouse and turned on the light. I stopped what I was consumed with, looked out the window, and saw the beautiful ocean with chunks of ice floating. I was amazed and realized, that is what I really wanted. I wanted to see and be seen. These men also somehow knew that the lighthouse could move and began to move it. I was further amazed because I didn’t know it could move. That was something I had never even considered. I also realized, I wanted to move.
After I woke and began to reflect on my dream, I realized how much I get caught up with self-doubt, trying so hard to keep myself anchored to tangible things, the past, or some future dream. In the process, I miss out on the purpose of living.
What is my purpose anyway, and how can stay focused on it?
Not only is the purpose of a lighthouse to provide navigational guidance, but it also serves to warn sailors about dangerous places. When I allow myself to get caught up in self-doubt and inner-conflict, I can’t even “turn on the light” for others. I’m ineffective. I can’t use my God-given gifts to serve and protect others if I put all of my resources and energy into trying to protect myself, which inevitably fails to work anyway.
Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
God has called me to be light, and I have to get better at remembering that in addition to being a light in the world, he has also promised to provide me with EVERYTHING I need. I need to stop worrying about “how to be” instead of just being who He created me to be. I need to stop trying to anchor myself to things of this world, instead of anchoring myself to my identity in Christ.
In my dream, everything was beautiful when the light was turned on. I didn’t worry about the danger outside.
I saw purpose. I saw beauty. I felt content and joyful even in the cold, stormy ocean. I felt strong, competent, and wanted to be seen.
When the wandering, confident men turned on the light, they also left the shore. The lighthouse was no longer anchored to the ground. It was freely moving through the deep, icy, and rough water to fulfill it’s purpose of helping others navigate on their journey calmly and safely and to be a place of refuge during the wintery storms.
I can be seen as a lighthouse when I have faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to provide me with the tools I need to minister to others.
I can move physically because I’m anchored in Christ, and I can move spiritually because I’m being sanctified.
I can see the light shining on God’s beauty in a broken world, AND
I can see the ultimate purpose of my life, to glorify my Father in heaven.
This past sunny Tuesday afternoon, after having this lighthouse dream, I took a trip to Lake Michigan to capture some real-life images hoping to further cement this idea in my mind. I have seen amazing pictures of lighthouses in the winter and have wanted to see one in person, so I made it happen.
Unless you’re in the minority, instead of wishing the winter away, try and look for the glorious beauty in it all.
Here are some of the stunning photos: