Nov. 6 ‘2009

Last night I found myself awake piddling around doing all sorts of household chores.  I was unable to find it within to lie down.  I finally closed my eyes just two hours and 49 minutes ago.  The sleep that did come was not sound nor pleasant.  I was trapped once again in a dream full of death.

In my dream, I was frantically shopping from store to store, in search of the perfect outfit to wear to my aunt’s funeral.  She was extremely ill.  Both my aunt and I knew time was short and this outfit was important to her.  It had to be perfect.  When I finally found a suitable dress and took it to the register to pay, the sales lady announced it and all the accessories would cost $10,000.

Extremely frustrated and full of tears, I explained to the lady the purpose of the outfit and that I did not have that kind of money.  I then asked how much all the accessories were.  She told me that the dress alone would cost over $2000.  I stood at the register and cried not knowing what I was to do.  All I could think of was the shortness of time and how much I would disappoint my aunt.

After the scene in the store, I found myself alone in a room full of sadness.  I’d been there for a while when my aunt walked in wearing the same dress I was hoping to purchase.  It was a beautiful ivory that lay soft against the body and flowed to the floor.  There was a gentleness about the dress.  She told me it did not matter that I was unable to buy the outfit, she’s was still dying either way.  I wanted so much to take her pain.  At the same time I did not want to walk the road of death with a loved one again.  My aunt and I talked for quite awhile; the weight of sadness never left, but peace did fill the room.  The scene then shifted to many people coming in the room, they were trying to figure out where everyone was going to sleep while in town.

There were a couple things that puzzled me as I awoke from this dream.  For one thing, my aunt is not dying, my uncle is.  Just three weeks ago, after being rushed to the emergency room, my uncle was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.  Since the diagnosis he has rapidly gone downhill in his fight.  The word most recently received from the doctors is that the cancer is aggressing fast.  The battle I’ve been dealing with in my head is when to make the nine hour drive north.  Should I go now, after he passes, or both?  I’m not feeling a tug either way at this moment.  I know that sounds like little faith in God’s healing power, and I do admit I struggle in this area.  Maybe you will understand why as you read on.  With this being said, I also know it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain.  I believe it takes mustard seed faith to cry out to God at all, and this I have done for all my family.  I trust God in His sovereignty and thank Him for seeing my heart’s faith and not the battle in my head.

One memory that hit me when I woke up this morning was a feeling I had several times before my husband Warren was killed.  On several occasions, while walking through a clothing store, I would get the feeling that I would soon need a black dress for a funeral.  I would glance at dresses but quickly turn away because this was around the same time another horrible thought had crossed my mind.  I was running around town completing a few errands, and as I drove past a local funeral home the question came to mind, “If anything were to happen to either Warren or myself, where would we bury each other?”  I was quick to dismiss it, thinking it was somewhat normal to consider since he and I both lived so far from either one of our families.  We had just moved to Tennessee not long before thoughts like this started.  Other thoughts that hit me during this same time period were things like, every time I heard the song by Mercy Me, “Homesick”, I would feel this deep sorrow in my heart over losing someone close to me.  Yet again, I dismissed the feelings.  To acknowledge the warning was more than I could bear.  I was able to set these thoughts and feelings aside by pulling from one of those old generational quotes like, “90% of the things we worry about never happen.”  We played that song around Warren’s grave site just about three months after I started hearing it on the radio.  In God’s amazing grace, I never heard it played again until just three months ago.  After hearing of my uncle’s illness, there’s a part of me that’s learning to dislike that song, it’s bittersweet.  Now all these warnings have become a strange comfort to me.

Getting back to my dream, there was a great significance on the wearing of a particular outfit.  It had to be one specific dress and the color of ivory, but the cost of the dress was far too high for anyone to pay.  So how was it my aunt was wearing it?  Where did the peace come from as we talked?  I believe the dress represents Christ’s atonement, covering the stench of death.  When a soul belongs to God, the body will perish, but the spirit will live forever in peace because God sees His son, not our sin.  I’m not sure what the significance is, if any, for the color of ivory, but the value of the dress could only be purchased by One, Jesus, God’s only son.

Maybe this was not a bad dream at all?  Maybe it was a sweet gift from God to tell me He holds my family?

I guess one lesson I’m learning through this is to listen and pay attention to the way God speaks warning to me.  I am fully aware, from experience, that every fearful thought is not a warning.  As a matter of fact, never once did I feel fear at these subtle tugs at my heart; sadness yes, but never fear.  The times I am overwhelmed with fear, it is a different voice speaking to me.  It is the voice of the enemy.  I thank God that I’m becoming more aware of His voice over the voice of the deceiver.  This I have prayed for.  Not too long ago, I was praying over and questioning how to handle a certain situation.  God said to me, “You know My voice.”  With these words, many events from my childhood up to the present now flood my mind, making me aware that He’s walked with me through all the joys and sorrows and He walks with me today.

“No matter the storms that come my way,
No matter the trials I may face,
You’ve promised that You would see me through,
So I will trust in You.”

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~2 Tim. 1:7

Shannan Parker
Nov. 6 ‘2009

*Song reference, “I Will Sing Praise”, WRITTEN BY:
Michael Popham and Regi Stone
Russell Mauldin

Poopy Blog Coming Soon!


  1. Cynthia said,

    12/02/2009 at 11:50

    “I believe the dress represents Christ’s atonement, covering the stench of death. When a soul belongs to God, the body will perish, but the spirit will live forever in peace because God sees His son, not our sin”
    Shannan all at the same time I got goose pimples, peace and joy when I read this. Gripped to each line I followed that led my eyes to your assessment of ‘the dress’. Your words are simply sweet perfume. What teaching, understanding and drawing you give in your writings; causing eternal impact and thirst for more of Him in our walk. Keep them coming beautiful Sister!

    • shannanparker said,

      12/02/2009 at 11:50

      I am humbled. I prayed and prayed, asking God not to allow me to mislead anyone. I cannot say for a fact this dream was to have any meaning, I simply wrote my opinion. Cynthia, Thank you again for being a strength in my life. God uses you in mighty ways.

  2. 01/02/2010 at 11:50

    Every time I hear or read of one of your dreams in my mind I call you “the dreamer”. It is not mean in any way to be belittling, it is indeed what I’ve come to know you as, the one that dreams – the has the gift of dreams. I’m sure in situations as these it doesn’t feel like much of a gift but I look at all those that had dreams and visions in the scriptures… they weren’t always good to them I’m sure either but it’s a way God communicates to certain people. Did you know that there are four different types of dreams in the Bible: Warnings – found in Genesis, Judges, and Matthew; Blessings – found in Genesis and in 1Kings; Commands – found in Matthew; Visions – found in Daniel and Revelations. I’m sure at times you feel burdened by them but you my friend, to me, are “The Dreamer”.

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