The year of mystery.
Sept of 2015 we were guided to “ditch the bus” and buy one way tickets to Australasia. We were looking forward to a folk music tour booked in Australia Sept-Nov and then had a loose routing through SE Asia for Nov-Jan. However, after that we had no vision or clarity. That wasn’t really to worrisome for us as we typically can only see about three to six months out. And, we knew we had an upcoming dream talk for 2016 on the books. So, we were hopeful to receive some clarity for the new year.
For those that are new to our dream talk, it’s sort of like a family business meeting with a supernatural element. It’s usually at the beginning of the year and takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few days to hash out. The talks involve us sharing the desires of our hearts, insights from the year prior, putting our requests before our Creator and a receiving a tangible vision and routing forward and then sharing that vision with you all. Ultimately, it’s a time where we sit down as a family and wait on the God of all gods to bring things into focus and then build a plan around that vision.
However, this year, our dream talk was unusually different. This time when we sat down, there was no focus, no tangible vision forward. Our ideas wavered all over the map, from settling in one place, going to back to school, learning new languages, writing books, to traveling more of SE Asia and Europe, and making a new musical album. We were unable to see clearly and our sense of unity seemed unsteady. When we moved all of our personal desires to the side and got to the core, we all agreed that until we heard differently, that we all still felt a steadfastness about our over all calling to be and go into all the world, shining the light of love and offering encouragement. However, the lack of clarity and unrest really threw us off as we could not seem to find the tangibility in any of it, at least, what we could grasp of it with our limited mindsets. Were we meant to continue on in Australia or make our way back to the states? If we stayed we wanted it to be because we had an invitation. Likewise, if we made our way back, we wanted it to be because there was an invitation back. At the same time, after months of living out of backpacks, we also longed for the comfort of our home on wheels and that seemed to be tainting our dream talk as well. Then an actual sleeping dream was thrown into the mix. This would be a first.
I woke the morning of our scheduled Dream talk, aware of every detail.
We were standing at the front of large room with our instruments in hand. Lines of children came flooding in. Then lines of soldiers followed and they stood next to the children creating a stripped pattern. (So a line of soldiers, then a line of children, and so on.) A gruff looking Sargent followed and stood near the door. We knew we were suppose to play music but we didn't know what or why. Was this a sacred or secular thing? Was this a school workshop or was it a concert performance?
Time stood still and in a flash we all saw the scene, set in full... We saw the Sargent blowing his whistle and the soldiers turning to their individual child, berating them verbally, saying horrible things about their worth, identity, cursing their future and telling the child terribly graphic things about what the soldier would like to do to the child. Then time sped up and we all flashed to the present. The Sargent was just about to blow his whistle but before he could Graciana began to bellow out the old hymn 'Be Thou My vision.' Then Craig and Banjo kicked in on guitar and drums. As I looked at the children, singing along with Graciana, I stepped off of the stage and began to walk around the room praying in the Spirit. The soldiers began to spew their words of shame, condemnation and death. I walked up to a soldier in the front of the first line, reached out and tapped his forehead with my pointer finger. He was absolutely stunned and fell backwards, knocking the rest of the soldiers down like dominoes. I looked back to Craig in dismay and he nodded for me to keep going. I continued to walk around the room tapping the front soldier in each line, praying and singing. We didn't get all of the words right on the song but kept on and the soldiers fell one by one.
The Sargent was last to stand. With fear and rage in his eyes he turned around and ran out, disappearing into the horizon. All during this time the children were taking great delight singing and dancing, oblivious to what was going on with the soldiers. Then I woke.
What did it all mean?
We all sat, trying to find some way of making the dream work with our framework of reality. We began to look back over 2015 to see if there was a pattern building up to this dream. We saw that many of our dreams and desires for that year were fulfilled. Moments sharing in deep community, stepping into the thick of it with kinfolk, fighting for our brothers and sisters bound by lies, sharing woes and joys and being used in the ministry of reconciliation. Then there were the many bus riders who joined us along the line, who we were able to share in life, learning, and faith. We experienced a new-found freedom to share music wherever, to whomever, without worry of commerce, traveling to far off places and seeing the beauty of the saints around the world, all of which were and are dreams come true. We were open to continue to walk in that, however, we also noted that it was a season of great transition, new cultures, loss of friendships, physical aliments and such a fast pace that we almost broke as a family.
And so, the dream, although it evoked a deep desire to be used in the fight, was a bit overwhelming. We sat on it and began to pray for words of insight, knowledge and wisdom. Over the next few weeks we were each given a word. Craig received the word, ‘Praise’ and I received the word, ‘Healing.’ Banjo received the word, ‘Learning’ but Graciana received the most profound word, ‘Wife.’ Her word signified separation from us as a family unit, which we had obviously sensed was coming but the how, when, where, was unknown. And, how did that fit into the dream? So, we cast it aside for a time, just focusing on trying to get our feet on the ground in a new country.
When we landed back in Australia from SE Asia, we met with our kinfolk in Glenrowan, VIC. We were weary and weathered from the road. We shared our lack of uncertainty and vision for the year. Then our friend, Di, prayed for us and for our future. As she prayed, she saw a picture of us all.
This was her picture: 'There was a family; a mother, father, sister and brother, bound to one another in blood and a vision to spread a deep and unequivocal love throughout the lands. They found many along the way who were hiding in the shadows. They offered light and love to all they met. They ran and ran as fast as they could to as many places as the fingers on their hands.
Then, one day, they stumbled upon a cave. They wandered in, They followed the path deeper into the cave and finally into a large open cavern. They halted to observe the many openings.
They knew this place for this place had been foretold to them and they knew that it was time for each to take a different path. They were told that this was an important part of their journey. That the individual journeys would strengthen them and they were assured that these paths would one day all wind back together.
They meandered around the opening for quite some time contemplating, praying, putting fears aside and saying goodbye. And then, one day they got up, bid farewell and each entered into their path."
My heart panicked at the thought of all of us going in different directions. However, she could see the other side of the cave system and assured us that the paths would all lead back together. The picture didn’t really give us a grand plan but it did offer comfort when a few weeks later we all literally separated, Graciana moving in to her first new home in Bendigo, Craig and Banjo tooling around Victoria staying with family and friends and me flying over to the USA to help my parents through a time of healing. That took us to April. When I flew back, the fella’s picked me up from the airport and the three of us made our way to Adelaide to refresh and regroup, then drove north to Byron Bay. However, it definitely felt like we were all still in our own tunnels, with Craig starting an online University program in International Studies, Banjo beating to his own drum with schooling and the things a typical fifteen year old enjoys, and a bout of spiritual and physical issues for me.
As we made our way up to the Byron Shire however, things started to shift. Our first stay was with a small community of believers who welcomed us with open arms but also warned that they were in a season of disarray. We were grateful for their welcome and for a place to call home for a moment. We were also grateful for the openness they showed us in allowing us to come alongside them in their difficult season. We found that through the working out of our gifts of wisdom and counsel that a sense of purpose and renewal in our energies emerged. Our time with them was fruitful as we saw the mystery and ministry of reconciliation take hold. We found a deep sense of friendship and community with them and are so thankful for the ways that God knits us together with the body.
As I write, it’s late August and were in Sydney for a few more weeks. We’re house sitting for our dear friends, The Perini’s and the opportunity to stay in this home as offered us a bit of a reprieve from our backpacks and well as a hub to host gatherings, which we love. We’re just starting to feel comfortable with the way this year is rolling out, just now feeling ok with the lack of control over our future. We can see that this year has been less about us neatly packaging our year so that it is palatable to both us and you and more about us taking an even deeper launch into this life of faith, one step at a time, praising, learning, healing and exploring all it means to rely totally on Him as His bride.
In the meantime, we’ve done some really cool things and visited with some really amazing Saints throughout Australia. We’ve released this need to control the dream talk and we’re excited to get back to sharing those stories. We’ll continue to walk day by day as the Spirit moves and trust that the sleeping dream is a sign of things now and to come. We’ll keep singing and know that when we do that the powers of darkness will be overcome. Oh! that we might be used to set captives free and to make way for celebration. That’s the ultimate dream right?!
For our logistical friends. We can see far enough out to know we’ll be in Australia through the New Year. Our routing looking something like this…
Currently we are in Sydney
Mid-Sept, Melbourne area then west to Adelaide by first of Oct.
Mid-Oct, Alice Springs back to Bendigo
Nov- Dec, we are hoping to make our way down to Tasmania and possibly to New Zealand. Back to Melbourne to be with family for Christmas
Our desire is to do what we do, making merry, story telling, encouraging, and offering a helping hand. If you’ve got kinfolk in these areas, please let them know we’re coming.
Peace and Love, The Hollands!
If you feel led to lend us a helping hand, we have partnered with Modern Day Missions and hope that you find the giving process safe and efficient.
Our friend Jeff Skeens, wrote: “Jesus, move us. His Spirit changes us. He gives us beautiful dance moves. He give us courage to act in the face of oppressive pressure, as well as, to remain silent. He grants us grace to rest and listen. He offers his presence to us in fresh new ways. He shapes our thoughts, directs our passions, creates new life, and moves us to continue reforming. And when he does, his people listen, follow, and give him all the glory and fame!”
May you be encouraged to step deep and wide! May you be encouraged to dance and trust His unfailing love.