The Locked Door

Writer Author  Shirley
Christian Article : Personal Testimony  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer The road was narrow with many twists and turns. In the stillness the crunch
of the gravel beneath my feet sounded unnaturally loud. Towering trees lined each side of the road, overhanging branches making the dusky twilight seem more like the darkness of night.

Suddenly I stopped short; ahead of me loomed a large rock building. This building was structured more like a castle than a house. Turrets adorned the left side, and the heavy wooden door appeared massive. Swaying trees encompassed the house itself, branches sinisterly reflected in the over-abundance of windows. The huge branches had the aspect of tentacles, reaching out to ensnare the unwary, while conversely appearing stilted. Reluctantly I began to walk slowly toward the house, drawn yet repelled.

I awoke with a start, heart pounding, pulse racing. I was drenched, yet the room was cool. My feet could almost feel the roughness of the gravel, and my room felt unfamiliar. I lay back down, knowing I would be unable to sleep again. I wondered what the dream meant, and why the house frightened me so.

So began disturbing dreams that would occur for many years. Foreboding dreams of an unknown house with one room mysteriously locked. Invariably upon awakening from these dreams I was aware of heaviness I could not dispel.

Growing up in a small rural town on a farm, my childhood was anything but normal and happy. Deprived of love, affection and discipline, I often felt lonely, insecure and unwanted. It was difficult for me to make friends because I was very shy and insecure; thus I had no real friends I could turn to.

Unfortunately, I carried these attitudes and insecurities into adulthood. I was constantly searching for love and acceptance, driven by an inner void to seek; yet not knowing what it was I was seeking. I often accepted a poor substitute for love, for I felt it was all I deserved. My own parents could not love and accept me, or so I thought, so how could anyone?

When I was almost 16, I married a man who I thought loved me. It did not take me long to discover he didn't. A few weeks after we married he began to have affairs, and he did not stop all the time we were married. Of course, not having known love, I did not know how to love. Existence during those years was a series of seemingly hopeless days, followed by nights of escaping into fantasies of a life that was uncomplicated, happy and full of love.

I was not a good mother to my children; I was still a child myself emotionally. I did not know how to be a mother. I know my children suffered because of this.

Eventually I was divorced, and I became a single mother. I was still searching hungrily for love and acceptance; not realizing that I had the purest kind of love in my children!

I fell in love, was hurt when it did not last. I promised myself that I would never let anyone hurt me again. In a relationship, I always ended it. To be sure no one would ever leave me again I would always leave first. I erected a barrier I allowed no one to penetrate. I lost touch with my real emotions, crediting myself with good feelings I wanted to have, but could not. I felt lost, lonely and so unhappy.

This was the pattern of my life when the disturbing dreams began to happen. Always the same dream, the same house, beginning with the walk on the gravel road. Actual entry into the house did not occur until I had experienced the dream for many years. I became very 'familiar' with the large house through my 'night visions.' Each visitation of the dream would reveal more of the house and its surroundings. I was fearful of this house, seemingly without reason.

Meanwhile I sensed a different longing; a yearning for something different, and inscrutable desire for 'meaning' to my life. I was compelled to search, although I did not understand what it was I was searching for.

After trying several different things, I decided to go back to school. I had quit school in the middle of the tenth grade, unable to cope with the teasing and being unlike the other kids. I did get my high school diploma later. Having a diploma was good, but it failed to make the change I had envisioned. I was unsettled in both mind and emotions, and needed healing on the inside.

I enrolled in college, but had to drop out because of a situation with my oldest son. Unhappy, searching for love and meaning, I lived life with a hopeless attitude, thinking nothing would ever be better, for my children or me.

The dreams kept many nights in confusion. I would advance closer and closer to the house. Eventually I felt drawn to venture inside the house. I was terrified of what I might find within, yet driven to "know."

Finally, I explored all the rooms except one. This room was always locked, with the key inside the lock. This room filled me with dread as I tried to hurry past it. On the surface, this was unexplainable, for the house was beautiful and tastefully furnished not one to invoke fear. Be that as it may, I felt totally frightened and completely alone!

The dream progressed until I was standing in front of the door, I would stare at the door handle, part of me wanting to reach out and turn the key, while dread held my arms immobile.

One night my dream reached its culmination. I stood before the door as usual, held in an icy grip of fear. A wave of weakness enveloped me as I slowly reached for the key. Some power almost beyond my control bade me enter. Darkness surrounded me as I tried to resist. What mystery lay beyond that locked door that had dominated so many of my nights? What changes would affect my future and the future of my children if I opened that door?

Finally I gathered the remnants of my diminishing courage, turned the key and stepped into the unknown.

Utterly surprised, I was astonished at what met my unbelieving eyes. I turned slowly around the room, almost in a daze. Windows covered the entire room, the largest one in front. A gigantic telescope pointed towards the heavens. The windows were all opened, and a myriad of stars twinkled and danced in the clear night sky. The moon was full and luminous, and shone with a brilliant radiance. I was enveloped with the purest love in invisible arms of acceptance! I was heady with the sheer joy of this new experience, and I never wanted to wake up! HERE was the peace and love I had sought for so long. How could I have been so frightened by the very thing I had so desperately searched for and so desperately needed?

I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior soon after. The dreams ended, but they are still a part of my life; I do not ever want to forget them. God has shown me that the 'locked door' was a symbol of the 'door' of salvation I had felt was locked to me. I had felt that God could not possibly want me, I was too bad, and did not deserve salvation. Satan kept me bound with that lie for many years; I blindly believed him.

However, God helped me realize that although none of us 'deserve' salvation, He has given it as His free gift. Genuine love and acceptance is ours when we accept the Source, Jesus! His is the unconditional love we all seek. I now can say that I have accepted His free gift of salvation, and I have never been sorry. I have failed Him many times, but He has never failed me nor will He ever.

My relationship with Jesus is the center of my life, from which all other things revolve. Christ has opened many doors for me, enabling me to become a web designer one of them. I have three web sites, and I create and manage web sites, as well as offer linkware graphics. He has also worked in the lives of my children who are all serving Him. My three daughters and one of my grandchildren also have web sites. Jesus has truly turned "ashes into beauty!"

If you are reading this and you feel the things you have done in your life are too 'bad' for God to forgive, do not believe that lie from Satan! God loves you and He wants to make you His own, give you a new life, and abundant life lived for Him. Your part is to believe that He is and that He died so that your sins could be forgiven. To accept His gift of salvation, invite Him into your heart and live for Him. He is the only thing that truly satisfies! You can search and search as I did, but you will never find what you are looking for until you meet Jesus!

Let Jesus unlock that door for you, He is waiting inside to give you love. He will give you the peace that passes all understanding, the joy that is boundless and full of glory, and in addition, everlasting life with Him!

Editor's Comment: To comment on Shirley's personal testimony email her. She'd love to hear from you.

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