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The Heartache

Like the previous day, Charlie woke up out of his sleep remembering his dream. But this day, Charlie felt a strangeness in his soul. It was like a mixture of sorrow and excitement. Charlie had never felt like this before.
At breakfast Charlie asked his parents, “Have you ever had a dream that stuck with you, but you didn’t know why?”

Charlie’s dad responded, “Yes, Charlie, every once in a while, I have a dream that seems like normal life, but there are things in it that seem to be unlike what I would expect. I had a dream that I was stopped by a police officer. I asked him what I did wrong.”

Charlie’s dad continued, “In the dream, the police officer said, ‘I stopped you to tell you that you are a good driver. Keep it up.’ Then, the officer got into his car and drove away.”

Charlie asked, “What happened next?”

Charlie’s dad answered, “That was the end of the dream.”

Charlie’s mom said, “I wish someone would tell me that I am doing a good job. It seems that most people are telling me what I need to do differently.”

Charlie’s dad asked, “Charlie, are you feeling the same. Is that why you have been sad and quiet recently?”

Charlie responded, “Well, maybe. I just had another one of my disturbing dreams. I don’t think that I am the way I see myself in my dreams. I am worrying that other people will see me that way. Am I becoming a jerk?”

Charlie’s mom responded, “Charlie, it is good to get input from family and friends, but we cannot allow those criticisms to overwhelm us. But for some reason, I think there is more to what you are going through. You have dealt with criticisms before. Could the way you are feeling also be connected to the loss of Grandmother?”

Charlie put his head down and started to cry.

Charlie’s dad said, “It’s ok, Charlie. You need to share how you are feeling. We are not going to judge you for mourning the loss of your grandmother. She was very dear to us all.”

Charlie responded, “But in my dreams, all my friends make fun of me when I start to cry. They say I am a sissy. Then, I respond to them in a nasty way, which makes them like me even less.”

Charlie’s dad responded, “You don’t usually respond in a mean way. You may feel like responding that way, but responding with kindness is what Jesus asks us to do. Your mom and I have noticed that you are kind even when people criticize you.”

Charlie asked, “Then, why do I seem so different in my dreams? I don’t want to be like that.”

Charlie’s dad responded, “I don’t know, but Jesus does. Ask Him to give you joy in your heart even though you are still sad when you remember your grandmother, and all the wonderful times we had with her.”

Charlie said, “Thanks, Mom and Dad. I feel much better now that we talked. I had a good conversation with Grandpa a few days ago. He is still going through grief from the loss of his wife even after ten years. Is it going to take that long for me to get back to normal?”

Charlie’s mom responded, “I know this is hard for you. It is hard for Dad and me, too. Jesus gives us comfort when those we love have gone to Heaven, but our lives will never return to the way things were. We can’t deny that Grandmother was with us. It is just part of life to lose people we love. As Grandpa probably told you, one of the benefits of being in God’s family is that Jesus will give hidden joy to those who cry to Him. You can cry with us as well.”

Charlie and his family continued to comfort each other.

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