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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

“The Whisper in My Dreams” – an excerpt from “When God Spoke to Me”


The following short story entitled, “The Whisper in My Dreams,” is an excerpt from DavidPaul Doyle’s book, When God Spoke to Me: The Inspiring Stories Of Ordinary People Who Have Received Divine Guidance and Wisdom. When the book was released in 2010, it immediately became the #1 best-selling spiritual book on Amazon.com, the #12 best-selling book overall. This story is one of seventy inspiring stories in the book, which chronicles the true life stories of ordinary men and women from around the world who have experienced hearing God’s Voice in their lives. Read the excerpt below:

“The Whisper in My Dreams”

The doctor’s voice was a wooden bell. Her words had no resonance, no import. “I’ll meet you there,” she said. “Don’t let Bill drive.”

By the time I put the phone down I was empty-headed. I had lost my memory, even of the dream that had been with me every day all those months. The dream had poked and nudged at me to dance every dance with him, to put the top down on the car and play “Mustang Sally” as loudly as possible. The dream had insisted I stand with him on the cliffs just those few extra moments that allowed us to see pelicans fly in formation against the curl of a wave.

The dream: His vivid whispering—“I hate to put you through this.” My assurances—“It’s okay. I’m supposed to be with you when you die.” All the ominous symbols were present—black clouds, sinister wind, shimmering clear light on the horizon. And in the midst of all that, a sense of privilege; a significant and inexplicable sense of the gift of being there in that moment.

There was nothing so significant that day in December as my empty head and I rode up and down in the hospital elevator. I wanted to be somewhere without molded plastic chairs and practiced earnest voices. I wanted to be somewhere I wasn’t.

When I got back to his room, Bill was sitting on the edge of the bed in that silly gown, his bare legs dangling in space. Without his red tie or his camel’s hair sports coat, he was unrecognizable. Maybe someone else’s husband. A stranger with something growing in his head.

He told me he had been trying to write letters to the kids. Telling them what they already knew: how much he loved them; how proud he was, how he forgave them for losing every piece of camping equipment we ever owned, for the marijuana farm on the garage roof.

“But,” he said, “I can’t do it. I can’t figure out how to say goodbye.” Then he looked up at me and whispered, “I hate to put you through this.”

And I remembered the dream. The memory came like a sudden rain that leaves the air so clear everything seems freshly drawn, the edges almost too sharp. I prayed for the courage not to look away, the courage to be fully present. I understood the terror. What I wanted to understand was the gift.

“It’s okay,” I said, “I’m supposed to be with you when you die.” Those were the very words in my dream, and there I was standing in that harsh florescent light saying them again. That’s when I knew. I had been lovingly prepared so that I might understand the tumor wasn’t just some random horror. It was simply part of a picture too big to see. A purpose too great. What I’d thought was a nightmare had been the voice of God.

Doctors imaged Bill’s brain while he silently read words flashing on the ceiling of the MRI. They were making a map of his language centers for the surgery.

He asked if I might consider having the same test. “I’d just like to get a look at those language centers of yours. I’ve been wondering about them for thirty years.”

I cautioned him that being a smart ass wasn’t recommended during high tech procedures. Keeping up the banter was something I knew how to do. I was just the right person to be with him. I was chosen, and I was honored. I was fully present. I knew him.

I knew his goodness. In those long last days, even when I wasn’t sure if he could hear me, I relived for him the stories of our life. I reminded him how often he had sat beside me and pointed out the flowers that were growing right at my feet. I remembered an afternoon in crosshatched sunlight on the patio when, with the tips of his square fingers, he had broken pieces from soft toast and fed them to the baby. He never took his eyes off her while she chewed with those four new teeth. I told him how I had fallen in love with his eyelashes in that moment, something about them in that specific light, a dark fringe for his amber eyes.

I was conscious of them again. His eyes were closed. They’d been closed for days. His thick lashes quiet on his cheeks. It is what I will always see when I think of him.

My peaceful memory of him is a gift. But my greater gift is the knowledge that I will always be where I am supposed to be, and that God’s Voice doesn’t have to ride a bolt of lightning out of a cloud. It can whisper in my dreams. It can take on the song of a seabird to make sure I notice the ocean slapping against the shore and that I don’t look away and miss the miracle when the water retreats and reveals the life of those thousands of tiny creatures that burrow in the sand.


Janice Uebersetzig recently retired from a busy law practice. To make sure she hadn’t left her brain in one of those storage boxes under her desk, she’s been writing, mostly on a reading curriculum project with her daughter.