God spoke to me in dreams
by Norma Blacksmith as told to Jim Uttley
When I'd wake up, I'd tell my dad, "I had a nightmare," and he'd reply, "What nightmare?" I'd share my dream with him and he'd say "God was speaking to you."
Born and raised in Oglala, South Dakota, my roots are Lakota and Cheyenne. My mother was from the Eagle Butte Reservation. My dad was Oglala Lakota.
There were eleven of us in the family; I had seven brothers and three sisters.
My father was into witchcraft and my mother was a Christian. I grew up in an Episcopal church, got married and joined a Presbyterian church. But I was not born again.
I didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I knew Him as a story in the Bible but I did not have an intimate relationship with Him.
I was married for ten years and I had seven sons. I was on alcohol and drugs for most of that time. When my husband and I divorced, he got custody of my 6 boys (one had passed away).
I lived a corrupt life. I was an alcoholic and drug addict and during that time I had turned my back on God because I blamed Him for all that happened. I didn't want anything to do with Christian people and preachers but yet whenever I got into trouble or almost got killed, I'd call on God to help me. I'd pray and He would answer my prayer.
One day I got tired of my rotten life. I thought I could just quit the drugs and the way I was living on my own. But I realized I just couldn't. I had no willpower to quit what I was doing.
My little boys were going to a Christian school—the Brainerd Indian School—in Hot Springs, South Dakota, and they spent summers with me. Now I was high on drugs all the time and when they would come, they'd pray for me. I'd laugh at them and say "these kids don't even know that God has nothing to do with me. I'm so evil, that God doesn't even see me."
When they left, I began to have dreams. In these dreams, I was preaching, which I never did do in my life. I was dressed with long sleeves, long dress and long hair, which wasn't the way I dressed. I'd be preaching from Isaiah chapter 61, verses 1 to 3. And I'd make altar calls. In my dream, all these people would come and kneel.
When I'd wake up, I'd tell my dad, "I had a nightmare," and he'd reply, "what nightmare?" I'd share my dream with him and he'd say "God was speaking to you."
My father had become a Christian and given up his ways and so when I told him my dreams, he told me that I needed to listen because God was speaking to me.
"God's not going to hear my prayer," I replied.
"Yes, He will."
I went up on a hill and I prayed and God did answer my prayer and things began to happen.
My dad said, "What did you pray about?"
"I prayed about this and this and this....and it all happened."
"See, He heard your prayer," my dad said.
"Yeah, He did, huh?"
I kept having these dreams. So one day, I contacted a friend of mine from way back, who was now an evangelist and told her that I was going to quit drinking but that I needed help. She told me that if I was going to come to see her, I'd need to change my ways.
I prayed and then I hitchhiked to Rapid City where I met some people. I told them I wanted to go to Lame Deer, Montana, where this evangelist lived. They told me they'd take me, so we drove all night.
We arrived in the morning to find the evangelist packing her car.
"Where are you going?" I asked her.
"I'm going after you," she replied.
She locked me in this room and for three days I fought withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. On the fourth day, I felt OK. She asked me what I was going to do now that you are clean. I told her that if I could get a job, I'd stay.
She said "OK, let's pray!"
So we prayed. We had breakfast and a woman walks in that I used to bootleg with when I was up there doing drugs. She said, "You'd better stay away from her. I don't know what you're doing here."
I told her I just got there and I needed a job. She told me there was a job and took me there and I was hired. I went to work that same day.
I didn't get saved at that time; I just got free from alcohol and drugs.
She told me, "You need to get saved."
"Don't tell me what to do!" I replied. But in the end I did go to church with her and gave my life to the Lord.
The preacher told me "The Lord is going to give you what you want. What is it you want?"
"I want the power of the Holy Spirit in my life to keep me free from alcohol and drugs."
He began to pray for me and I was filled with the Holy Spirit. From that day until now, I've been free from alcohol and drugs. It's been 36 years. I've never gone back to my days of addition.
From there I went to Bible school in Denver and I got ordained as an evangelist. God has led me to places I'd never dreamed I'd be but over the years He has made my dreams reality.
Norma Blacksmith is a graduate of Houghton College (NY) and has travelled extensively sharing her faith, wisdom, and her heart. She's a member of ASKnetwork, a fellowship of prayer intercessors.
Through Norma's knowledge of the culture, history, language, and social issues of the Oglala, Lakota she is a Lakota studies Instructor at the Oglala Lakota College and also knows Cheyenne history through the oral history from the Elders. Norma learned how to make star quilts at the age of 12 and she is one of the few who created the design for the Oglala Lakota Tribal flag.