Monday, April 20, 2009

Stairway to Heaven

A few years ago I was facing an extremely challenging time. I had been diagnosed with a serious health condition (lupus). The same week I received that lovely news, several people from our valley left this mortal realm compliments of a car accident. Among those who died instantly was one of my Mia Maids (I was serving as the 1st counselor in the YW presidency of our ward at that time.) I knew everyone who had lost loved ones in that accident---my heart felt shredded.

My plate was extremely full. So full, I wondered how in the world I was going to survive. I was overwhelmed by the news that I was dealing with a chronic illness on top of the Type 1 diabetes that I was already enduring. And I was heartbroken over those who had been taken in that accident.

The only One who understood what I was feeling was my Father in heaven. I spent countless hours hitting my knees, begging for guidance. That may be why I was given the following dream:

I was struggling up a steep staircase and every step was painful and slow. I knew I needed to keep going, but it was so difficult, I was tempted to remain where I was. Then my eyes were opened and I could see the battle that was actually taking place around me. A dark force had wrapped itself around my feet and legs, trying to keep me in place, attempting to discourage me from continuing forward. The staircase I was trying to climb was golden and above me hovered an angelic force for good. They couldn't help me climb the staircase---that was up to me, but they could stifle the negative influence at my feet, giving me the freedom to continue forward if I chose to do so.

In the dream, I shrugged off the negative force with the help of heaven, and continued on my way.

Now I know most dreams are silly nonsense, but I also believe once in a while you can receive dreams that contain a message when the need is great. The message of that dream has stayed with me through the years and during challenging moments, I strive hard to live up to what I learned from that experience.

In an interesting "coincidence," the morning after I experienced the dream I just shared, I went into town to pick up a prescription at the local drugstore. As I waited for the pharmacist to fill that prescription, I walked around the store, gazing at the books that were available. I rounded a corner and spotted a picture that was identical to what I had seen in the dream. It showed someone climbing a golden staircase toward heaven and it contained an inspiring quote. I bought that picture, purchased a frame to hold it, and hung it above my computer at home. It still hangs in that place of honor, a reminder of what is possible when we push past the dark thoughts that haunt us all on occasion.

We live in a challenging time. I can't think of anyone who isn't experiencing a difficult trial. And yet, there are good things happening all around us. The world still possesses beauty and wonder, and all things are still possible, if we'll only continue forward, trusting in God's help to see us through.


Cindy Beck said...

What a lovely picture! It feels like an invitation to step up to heaven.

Thanks for your insight; what you said is a comfort to all who struggle.

(Thanks, too, for stopping by my blog and commenting! And I'm with you ... I'll take riding bikes over playing with Barbies--headless or not--any day! :)

Dannyel Crane said...

I loved this post! It really helps to put things into perspective. We all are struggling with our own trials but we just need to remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually we will make it to the top of the staircase. Thanks for sharing such a vivid picture and personal experience.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Thanks for your kind words, Cindy and Dannyel. =)Together, we will climb those staircases. ;)


It was so nice to have such supportive leaders during that trying time for all of us girls. I remember putting together that pageant where we were able to honor her parents. I think it helped everyone feel a little bit better.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Amanda---that really was a tough time for all of us. I'm so glad the pageant helped. ;) It seemed to give everyone a little bit of closure. And serving with you girls was an honored privilege. You were all wonderful young women.