I grew up in a home where domestic violence was the norm. Being the youngest, my life was poisoned daily by various types of abuse, inflicted on me by family members, except my mother who loved me dearly (at least until I became a real nuisance to her).
This chaos was caused by my father’s mental and psychological issues, which I believe were the result of his time as a soldier in the Vietnam war. My father’s issues compelled him to behave violently towards my mother and my three siblings, especially the boys.
My brothers grew, in time, to be almost as violent. One of the two managed to turn my life into a nightmare. He was a lot older than me and so, I was threatened by him. As a result, I submitted to the evil he subjected me to, for years, before I rebelled.
When I was about 14 years of age, I was, as usual, shutting myself in my room, trying to stay out of the way. In that particular evening, the Spirit within me (though I didn’t know what it was at the time), was moved by all that was happening. I remember laying on my bed thinking; “when was this going to be over? ” I couldn’t see a way out. I felt really terrible.
By the time I laid down on my bed with my feet still on the floor, I found myself completely immersed in a vision.
I saw myself two-years into university, sitting in a library with four students, joking and laughing. Then I saw a man in a suit calling my name. I knew what he was going to say. In this vision, I saw the man taking me out of the library and shutting the door carefully behind him. My eyes focused on the handle. Then he spoke. He had some bad news to tell me. He broke the news gently. I didn’t cry. Still laying on my bed, I saw that I wasn’t moved by the sudden death of my father or by not being by his death-bed when he died. I didn’t feel sorry for my dad. I was only feeling numb.
When the vision was over, I felt better. I relived that vision so many times during my secondary school years.
Four years later, after I finished my “Baccalaureat”, I got married and left my small southern island to live in the city. My marriage soon proved to be a big mistake. Two years into the marriage, I found myself having to kickstart my career. With the help of my parents, I went back to university, studying literature and linguistics, in an attempt to find a descent job and become able to support myself .
During my second year at university, me and other four class mates were given a project about the use of mythology in modern poetry. We met in the library to conduct some research about the project.
Half an hour later, while giggling at some silly poetic images, the main door opened. A man who looked like an administrator of some sort, came in and called my name out load. Without thinking, I answered him and the man asked to talk to me outside of the room.
At this point, my mind started wandering what was going on, because this had never happened before. My mind worked faster than the speed of light, trying to check all the possibilities while I was crossing the small room to the exit.
However, as soon as I stood in the corridor and saw him closing the library door behind him neatly, his action looked familiar, and caused me to remember. It all came back to me at once! The visions that I was seeing during my secondary education, and which I forgot all about as soon as I left home, were now materialising. Then I knew what he was going to say.
My mind worked harder, not only at assimilating the reality that was unfolding before my eyes, but also at matching it with my teenage fantasies years earlier. I was outraged. “This can’t be and shouldn’t be happening! How come these fantasies are being realised? Did I make this happen because I fantasised about it before? Did I cause my father to die?” I frankly didn’t have a better explanation, and so, felt extremely guilty. Although my father died due to a throat tumour, I felt it was my old fantasies that killed him. My old dream was materialised somehow. My mind was ready to dive in, once more, trying to solve the mystery; to figure out how does reality work. Do we really make reality happen through dreams and wishes?!!! “I had better watch out in the future so that I don’t cause more havoc!” I said to myself
Everything I saw in the ‘fantasy’ was accurate to the tiniest detail, except I no longer wished my father dead because I no longer lived with him. I was now a married woman with a child and my father had already demonstrated a readiness to support me in whatever decision I took. This of course couldn’t bridge the gap that was between us since childhood, especially that he was still abusive towards my mother, though it made my feelings for him become more moderate.
So, when I heard the news, I wasn’t relieved, but I wasn’t heart broken either. This made me upset. I thought I should be feeling sad, but I wasn’t. I felt I needed to cry, but couldn’t. I was so frustrated with my emotions. I remembered, enviously, my childhood friend, who grieved for years over her father, because she loved him so much when he was alive. He was her rock and when he died, her world came tumbling down.
I was so ashamed of the way I felt, but I was also feeling cheated at the same time. Life had cheated me once more and took him away before our relationship could be healed. My only opportunity to repair what was broken and to come out with a good father-daughter relationship, was taken from me. From then on, I began a whole new phase based on a new perception of my previous relationship with my father. What happened to me that day at university, generated a whole new way of seeing things. My grief over my lost opportunity to love him and to build a close relationship with him led me to refocus and re-adjust my ‘memory-settings’. I no longer wanted to remember the bad I thought he had caused, but instead I rejoiced in remembering every little good thing he has done. This enabled me as a Christian, 25 years later, not only to forgive him unconditionally, but also to love him deeply and pray for him passionately. I was also able to cry my eyes out when my spirit was called to reach out to Heaven, praying that he would be forgiven for his compulsive anger and violent temper.
So, was my fantasy just a dream, a wish, or was it a revelation from God?
As a Christian, I also became familiar with the concept of prophesying, something that was not part of my culture when I was growing up. According to my religious background, the last prophet that God sent and would ever send, came about 1500 years ago. Prophecy had since came to a halt. Since I grew up as an atheist, I believed neither in this prophet nor in me having any extra powers. But I didn’t know how to explain those few random occasions, when I was ‘tipped off’ about what was going to happen in the future whether in a dream, vision or just an outside thought in my own mind.
For example, my prediction about the death of my friend’s father, who was bedridden for more than a decade, came a few weeks before his actual death, in a dream. I saw the old, sick man restored to a healthier and stronger self. Bizarrely, he was getting married to a very young woman, around his daughter’s age! Although he wasn’t a widow and polygamy is forbidden, my dream saw the wedding celebration running very smoothly and I saw myself helping out in the mist of his own children. Laughingly, I retold the dream as it was to my mother who thought it symbolised something serious. She interpreted the old man’s marriage to be his death, and warned me against telling anyone else about this. Less than two weeks later, everything I saw in the dream came true, according to the interpretation of the dream; the wedding I saw was in fact his funeral. His young new bride was death or perhaps an after life. Everything that took place during the funeral reflected exactly what had been said and done around me, in the dream. It was like re-living a play! I explained this to myself in simple terms, by the fact that our awareness could, somehow, predict the future, but in a mirror-like reflective way; where weddings mean death and baby boys mean troubles, etc. I didn’t need to be religious or an adult to accept that reality was very mysterious in its workings and that everything was possible. It was some sort of an inherit stoicism, I suppose.
Nevertheless, the revelation about my father’s death was not given to me in a dream, but in a “vision”. Visions were culturally an unfamiliar ground. No body knew what they were and therefore, nobody spoke about them. My visions felt like fantasies I thought I initiated, by being desperately in pain. So, when they materialised, I could only explain them by the fact that humans may be able to influence events by wishing them, somehow. It was stupid, but that was the only explanation I could find at the time.
My father died in his allocated time according to his destiny, and his death had nothing to do with what I saw in my bedroom during my teenage years. But I believe that God gave me that revelation to relieve my pain. Though, He didn’t want me to know that what I thought to be my own ‘fantasies’, turned out to be a window that opened up on the real future. When I thought I was fantasising, I was in fact seeing a revelation.
In reality, I never wished to loose him without being able to say goodbye. In reality, I never wanted my dad to die. It was all a prophecy.
So what I conclude here is, we can prophesize about ourselves or someone else, even when we don’t know that what we are experiencing, is a prophecy. We can only interpret the content of what we’ve seen as being so, when we actually see it materialising, and when we have the right knowledge to understand that it was as such.