I’ve been attacked in my dreams for the last two nights. I wake up but can’t move, I see the room and there are dark shadowy figures moving around me. There are flashes of lights swirling around the room. Last night, I kept feeling a hand on my shoulder and I realized it was not my husband’s, the first thought that jumped in my head was that it was my father’s. He had a very strange suicide almost two years ago which has affected me in ways unimaginable. But I’ve grown and felt like I was letting it go. I recently sent off a package to the Department of Homeland Security to work with ICE and had asked God to bless the package and job opportunity. That was Sat morning and these dreams started right after. I woke up this morning fearful of everything. My children, my mother, my husband. The last thing I need to do right now is lose my mind. What does it mean? and what can I do?
This sounds like an episode of a sleep disorder the doctors call sleep paralysis. When we dream, we’re supposed to be paralyzed (when we’re not we call this sleepwalking). According to webmd, when you’re still conscious as you enter REM, or regain consciousness before it ends, hallucinations and terror are the frequent result. Mind you, such physical explanations don’t eliminate the spiritual angle. It’s altogether possible, in some people, the state opens a window providing a glimpse a into the spiritual realm. Given your situation, the trigger could have been stress, the enemy, or both.
A simple test is to rebuke the scary presence in the name of Jesus. If the enemy is involved, at a strong rebuke from a child of God, the enemy will flee and you should awake properly. If it doesn’t work, and the scary visions aren’t reacting like demons, then it’s from just the natural causes.
Regardless, scripture is good medicine. Reciting scripture meditatively has gotten me through anxiety attacks. For when you’re falling asleep, “I will lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou, Lord, only make me dwell in safety” (Psalms 4:8) Otherwise, assuming you know the Lord, inform the enemy, “greater is He who is in me than He who is in the World.” Psalm 91 is also a balm to the soul in such times.
Was the hand comforting and protective or malevolent? It could have been the Comforter (in other words, your Heavenly Father) if you didn’t sense malevolence in the touch. One can encounter the Lord in such states as well as the enemy of our souls.
Of course, if the devil is fighting you, that usually means you’re on the right track–but sometimes we fight ourselves, too, so keep alert.
In Christ’s Peace,
P.S. If you are curious, Sleep Paralysis is just one of at least Twenty Fascinating Sleep Disorders. The link is to a Pillow Picker article with a good summary of them. Not necessarily a product endorsement.