Christian Dream Interpretation? Does God Use Dreams to Speak To Us?

by Jack Wellman on July 27, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

Do Christians have dreams that have meaning? Is there a way for believers to interpret these dreams? Does God communicate to Christians by dreams or does God speak to us in our dreams?

Joseph, Interpreter of Dreams

The Bible describes situations where dreams are interpreted and one of the best examples of this is when Joseph interpreted the dream of the Egyptian Pharaoh (Genesis 41). Joseph had been thrown into prison unfairly and when he was able to interpret the dreams of the baker and the cup bearer and when the cup bearer heard that Pharaoh had a dream he remembered Josephs God-given ability to interpret dreams (Genesis 40). Pharaoh freed Joseph from prison and Joseph interpreted the dream by Pharaoh and by doing so, many nations were saved, including the nation-to-be, Israel. Joseph warned the Pharaoh of a soon-coming drought that would lay waste the entire region for 7 years. But does God still send dreams to those in the church and even those outside of the church?

God, Giver of Dreams

God gives us all, believers and non-believers, the ability to dream. These dreams can sometimes have meaning and I do believe God does use dreams to send Christians messages but He also sends dreams to those who do not yet know Christ. I have communicated with some Muslims who had abandoned their love for the Islamic religion and they have informed many that they had dreams about Jesus. One former Muslim told me that he had a dream of Jesus on a boat in a river. Jesus was waving to him and asking him to come to Him. In this dream, the former Muslim said that he jumped into the river where there was danger and swam to Jesus and when he got on the boat with Jesus, the former Muslim asked Jesus many questions. God has and still does use dreams to reach lost people who have no access to a Bible or to Christian missionaries. This man woke from the dream and sought out a Christian and wanted to read the Bible. He later put his trust in the Savior. This squares with what is written in the Word that the Father draws men and women to Christ (John 6:44). The point is that there are literally hundreds of former Muslims who have become disillusioned with the Islamic faith and converted to Christianity because the love of Christ attracted them. What stands out most to these former Muslims is that God spoke to them in dreams, and some say, visions. There is little doubt that God has, can, and will in the future use dreams to speak not only to Christians but those still outside of the faith.

God Speaks to Us

If God speaks to us in a dream it will never be contrary to the Bible.

If God speaks to us in a dream it will never be contrary to the Bible.

We know that the Bible is God’s very Word and that His Word, contained in the Bible, speaks to non-believers as well as believers today. We cannot limit God or put Him in a box and so I cannot say that every dream we have is from God but at the same time, it is very possible that God will speak to us in dreams. John had a vision from God and that is recorded in much of the Book of Revelation. Even Paul was caught up into the heavenly realm where he saw many things, some of which he was forbidden to even speak about. In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 Paul wrote about this, “Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows — was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”

God does speaks to us today through His Word but He also reserves the right to speak to us in our dreams and to those who are at present, lost. Then the question arises, how do we know whether a dream is from God or just by random chance and has no meaning?

Discerning Whether Dreams Are From God or Not

Since we know that God does use dreams to communicate to non-believers who are being called to faith in Christ and also sometimes uses dreams to speak to Christians, how can we know whether the dream or vision is from God? The main determining factor as to whether a dream or vision is from God or not and to whether we are to act on this vision or dream is if it agrees with what is written in the Bible. God will never contradict Himself. That is, He will never send a dream or vision that is contrary to what is recorded in His Holy Word, the Bible. Whatever a person dreams can be placed against what is recorded and revealed in the Bible to see whether it is His message or His will for us or someone else. We cannot just have a dream and claim that God spoke to us and use that dream as concrete evidence to do something or that it was a message from God…particularly if it goes against what is taught in the Bible. God is not the Author of confusion. The Holy Spirit always agrees with what is in the written Word. No dream or vision that goes directly against what is written in the Bible is from God. Who knows, this dream or vision may well be from the Enemy or one of his fallen angels, demons. We must use discernment to determine if God wants us to do something or not.

Joel, Peter and Visions

The prophet Joel spoke about dreams and visions when he wrote in Joel 2:28-29 saying that, “it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” This prophecy came true on the day of Pentecost with the birth of the church and the coming of God the Holy Spirit to men and women.

The Apostle Peter had a vision from God in Acts 10:9-16, “The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. God sent this vision to Peter to tell him that the gospel of grace would now go out to the Gentiles. God was establishing the fact that the legalism of clean and unclean foods was now done away with and the analogy of the Jews thinking that the Gentiles were unclean was wrong. God wanted to take the gospel to the whole world and not just to the children of Abraham.

Conclusion

We have seen that God can and has used dreams to speak to believers and to non-believers. He sometimes uses these dreams to reveal His will to Christians and sometimes to draw non-believers to saving faith in Christ. We also understand that not every dream is from God and that dreams must be placed against the Word of God to see if they are from God or not…and if God is speaking to us or someone else to show them His will. Dreams sent from God never contradict Scripture but always agree with the Word. Dreams are a way that God is still using to communicate to believers and to call those outside of the faith to Jesus. If someone tries to interpret your dream and tells you something contrary to the Bible, then don’t believe it. God never uses extra-biblical evidence like dreams to go against that which is revealed in His Word. Does God use dreams to speak to believers? Does God use dreams to communicate to non-believers? Yes, in both cases. The only way we can know for sure is whether it is in alignment with the Bible. If it is, then it could well be that God is speaking to you or someone else in dreams. If it is contrary to Scriptures, then don’t believe it, for even the Enemy can be disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Take a look at this article which also talks about how God speaks to us:

How to Find God’s Will in Your Life

Resources – New International Version Bible (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan July 27, 2013 at 9:05 am

In much of the “Nativity” we find God using dreams and angels. Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: Notice it says on all flesh. God is revealing Himself to mankind. By His Grace! Good article! Appreciate your sight and refer many to it. PD

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

Great observation Dan. I had not thought of that one. Thank you for contributing to this article. I like your conclusion that God is revealing Himself to mankind and He can use dreams any way He purposes for His will.

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Jerry July 27, 2013 at 9:38 am

I agree 100% I had dreams before I got saved letting me know I was in sin and needed Jesus and dreams after I got saved preaching and telling people about Jesus .

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thank you Jerry. Some of the most surprising dreams that I have heard about directly or from stories I have read, God has used dreams to draw Muslims to faith in Christ for they are not finding peace or satisfaction in the Islamic faith and have become disenfranchised but there is true joy only in Jesus.

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Erik July 27, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Excellent article Pastor Wellman and I am in agreement with you 100% as well on dreams.

The LORD spoke to me powerfully one night several years ago through a dream. Sadly, I did was not obedient and it nearly cost me everything. Fortunately, God is merciful.

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Jack Wellman July 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Thank you Eric. One of the most powerful lessons that I learned was from a former Muslim who abandoned the Islamic faith by a dream of Jesus who was calling him to come to him and believer it or not, this man searched out the website and read “Who is Jesus?” and came to repentance, confession, and put His trust in Christ. Isn’t our God an awesome God. He is not limited by borders, religion, time or space!

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Erik July 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Yes, God is GREAT! What an incredible story and the best part is it is true. Only with God!

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Jimmy July 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hello All,
I truly thank God for this site. I can give my true feelings and get true feedback. I once had a dream that I was walking in a dreadful dark place. Someone was holding my hand, all I could see of that person was a white cuff. It looked as if he was wearing a robe. I remember a black woman about 20 years old walk over to me and said, “I wish I could have received Jesus as Savior when I had the chance”.
I felt so sick and sad for this young girl. I woke up yelling for Jesus. I went right into prayer making sure that I received Jesus and that the dream was not telling me that I was not saved. This dream was about 10 years ago and since that night I have a sincere interest in telling everyone about Jesus.

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Joel July 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Thanks you ptr Jack for this great article.

I was once a dreaming of about 10 more beasts with horns and tridents trying to capture me while I am in a room. Wherever I go running there’s always have a beast waiting there in the windows waiting to capture me. I am so afraid that my whole body is chilling. But before they captured me, it came to my mind the name Jesus. I don’t really know what to do, but I only shout “ JESUS!”, right after, all these creatures has gone and then I wake up with my whole body still shaking for fears.

This dream happens during my 3rd year in college and that is about a month after I receive JESUS as my personal Savior. I don’t really know the meaning of this dream. But one thing I’m really sure that there’s no other name that could help and save us even in the very troubled time in our life. That is the name of “JESUS!” Acts 4: 12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

After that dream my faith increased. I really thank God for the gift of Salvation. Even there are ups and downs in my Christian life, He always there to keep reminding me to continue to walk in the light of God. And I thank God for our Pastors who faithfully do their given calling. Now, I am was given tasked to lead the worship team for the Sunday Worship in our Church. Well done Ptr. Jack. God bless you more. In Christ, Joel…

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Jack Wellman July 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Wow…Joel, I thank you for such a great testimony to the use of God by dreams in our lives. It is interesting that your name is Joel and Joel prophesied the use of dreams in the latter years and during the times of the birth of the church in Jerusalem. Thank you sir for your encouragement.

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Perry July 31, 2013 at 12:33 am

I had a dream one night that I was hiking in the mountains and saw a bear hanging from a cliff. So I immediately lied down and reached down and grabbed it and rescued it. The only thing in the bible I could think of or find is the story of the Good Samaritan. Of course I may not of looked hard enough or the Devil may not of wanted me to look hard enough. I was wondering if you could possibly give me some verses to look up to see if anything can help. It was one of the most vivid I have had in a very long time.

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Jack Wellman July 31, 2013 at 9:03 am

I can not interpret dreams like Joseph or Daniel did…I am sorry. Perhaps God is telling you by this dream that we are to rescue those who are perishing without Christ and that at any moment, they could die and be eternally separated from Him. I have no Bible verse to look up to tell you what this means though. I am sorry.

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Jimmy July 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Jack,
Thank you again. I believe you are correct. After searching my heart I came up with the same conclusion as you did. I have always told people about salvation, but all of a sudden after I lost my daughter it has been the only thing I think about. It has be come an obsession to tell everyone I meet about Christ. I cannot control it. Jesus is on my mind all the time and I talk to Him all day about everything.
Everywhere I go I tell people about Christ, I feel that if I don’t say anything I may be leading them to hell. I am a minority in my profession, I am a professional actor I have been on some the top televisions shows and an Academy Award winning film. I have been given a great opportunity to witness to actors. I often ask God why am I in this sinful profession I guess the answer is clear.
If any one gets the chance Youtube Penn Gillete’s interview about a man who witnessed to him. Penn believes there is no God but goes on to say “If you believe there is a God and the unsaved are going to hell and you do nothing to stop them how much more can you hate someone”. Very moving interview with someone who says there is no God.
I am not looking to collect my reward before men I just want to say how my dream has affected me years later. I am so grateful for this fourm, Brother Jack, and all my brothers and sisters who read and contribute. This blog has done so much for me in this past week.

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Jack Wellman July 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Thank you Jimmy….yes, I have heard about this interview with the unbeliever and he is completely right. If we know for sure there is a God (you and I do) and don’t warn others of the coming wrath, then that is sin to us for him or her who knows to do good and does it not, to them it is sin but this may be exactly why God put this in your dreams…to be more bold in your witness and realize that any persecution grants you a blessing. Thank you sir.

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Ronda August 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm

When my daughter was around 3 God gave me a dream about her. In my dream we were at a playground having a picnic with my sister and her family. There was a tower like structure that the kids climb to the top of. In my dream my daughter went up and fell down the middle part onto the concrete as was lying still.

My sister came to me not long after and told me about the dream she had, and it was the same one!! In her dream though, my daughter died. It was some time later when we were at a park and the kids were running around playing and one or two of them came up and told us they would be a little further away. My sister and I turned and looked where they were pointing to a tower like structure and we realized at the same instant that the dream had been prophetic, and we both shouted “no” to the startled children. We distracted them and had them play elsewhere that day.

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Jack Wellman August 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Wow Rhonda…isn’t that just like God…who is our Protector and our Shield and indeed, He loves us enough to warn us of such a tragedy. This is pretty amazing but isn’t our God amazing too! Thank you for this inspiring real-life story of how God warned you for the children’s sake.

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violet August 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

In the dream I was walking to a fence with animals inside. Then a big grey lamb went out from the fence and walk toward me. At first I hesitated to touch him but he was so gentle and I stroke his face until I woke up. What is that, Lord? I asked and I was still thinking about it until I rode to the office. Instantly this verse came,”Behold the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.” So the lamb was grey because he took away our sins.

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Nancy August 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I truly believe God sends us messages in dreams. I had for many years had dreams about being “left behind”. I would wake up sweating and nervous, they weren’t good at all. I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior 14 years ago and never again have I had one of those dreams. Thank God for those nightmares! Great Article!

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Jack Wellman August 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Thank you so much Nancy. The very week that this was written, I have had such vivid dreams that it made me realize that God does still speak to us in ways in our dreams that He might not be able to reach us through other people and recently this has increased. Ironic? Probably not.

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chris November 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Hi about 16 months ago I had a dream and I think its was from God.
I was standing on a rugged coastline looking out towards the sea. The colours were very strong. It seamed like a summers day very warm and dry. I suddenly found myself in a room. As the dream went along there was another room joined on separated by a doorway. The room had a window which faced the ocean. It seamed to be quite high above the sea level. In the other room I sensed there was someone else but I never turned to look at this person in fact I never turned to look in the room. As I was standing looking at the window from the opposite end of the room, The sky went really dark an as I looked a huge wave approached the window. I went in the other room but sort of went in walking in backwards or side stepping in as I never saw the person in there. I looked towards the window looking from around the doorway, the water hit the glass but it didn’t break. Again the water came again but it smashed the window.
Suddenly I found above the water looking down at the ripples. I found myself being carried towards dry land. I was place at the edge of some woodland. I looked back to where the sea was again the sky was very stormy. As I looked in the direction where I came from, I saw the person who was in the other room drop from the sky someway behind. Then I heard a voice telling me to get to higher ground before the wave came again, and I awoke. Strangely I found this dream very comforting rather than discomforting.

I used to have dreams as a child very disturbing ones. I know now that one of my dreams I had when I was really young was warning me of a demonic spirit that probably was a generational spirit in my family. Which was with my grandmother, then my mum then me. In this dream my mum sat on the floor sat at the side of the TV, she had this very disturbing almost evil grin on her face. I quickly awoke from this dream.
Then from my late teens to my mid to late 30’s I suffered from a dark depression contemplating suicide.
I got saved 2010 and now I have hope from no hope.
GOD BLESS. theres no hope without Jesus

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angela March 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Hello Jack. I have a question, I hope it won’t be too confusing. Well, I wanted to know do God show us dreams where the dream doesn’t come true, but whether is just a message from God speaking to us in the dream? For example, I asked God for an answer to a mystery that I wanted to know about, and God gives me the answer in a dream. The dream doesn’t come to pass, but he just gave me an answer and spoke to me in a dream, is that possible that God shows us dreams that don’t come true, but just speaks to us in dreams? I hope this is not confusing to answer. Thanks Jack.

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Jack Wellman March 30, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Angela….great question my friend. God does use dreams to speak to us but it always agrees with what is already in the Bible. The primary way, 99% of the time that God speaks to us is through His written Word the Bible. Dreams are too unreliable and they may give us the wrong signals. We can always find the will of God in the Bible but dreams are just random chemical processes that God does not use and when He does decide to use a dream it always comes true but you can’t make plans or decide or make decisions based upon dreams for the human mind is too unreliable but the Word of God is without error. Make sense? It was not too confusing to me. Does this help? I pray it does and thank you so much Angela for your question and please do come back again soon.

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Daisy April 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Jack, I’d like to ask you for advice.

My brother is agnostic, and resists God so much. He told me about a dream he had once, in the dream he was in a room with Jesus. They were having a conversation but he couldn’t remember about what. He only remembers that Jesus told him, “this is hell” and he was immediately no longer in the peaceful room, he was surrounded by fire as far as the eye could see, and he felt the extreme heat.

I really would like to ask you for some advice about how to help my brother acknowledge God and Jesus. I believe Jesus gave my brother this dream for him to repent, but still he resists.

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Jack Wellman April 17, 2014 at 10:59 am

Hello Daisy and thank you so much for your comment and question. The truth is that it takes the Holy Spirit to reveal who Christ is and to show them their sinfulness and the need for the Savior but certainly God does use Christians do share the gospel. Let me say that if you have brought up the gospel of Christ then you cannot keep on doing this over and over again because sometimes it makes them even more resistant and they dig in their heals. Instead, try this approach and this same approach works with Jehovah Witnesses, Mormon’s, Muslims, Jews, agnostics and atheists…of none of these right at this moment, not even one of them, are in heaven for those who have passed away and not one of them will ever be in the Kingdom unless the repent, confess their sins, and trust in the Savior. Check out this way to witness to everyone there is using the same biblical method at this link: http://www.everydaychristian.com/blogs/post/8601/ Otherwise, just pray and pray some more and print out the article of the link if necessary and then wait upon God and since you’ve done all you can, trust in God.

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Kellen May 12, 2014 at 5:41 am

Hello Jack, i had a dream recently that my mother was dead. i woke up in the middle of the night my heart pumping and with much grief. i again fell a sleep and had the same dream that very night and i was crying a lot, the pain of losing my mother was too much to the extent that i could not be comforted.

What does that mean?? am a christian and my mother is a live

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Jack Wellman May 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

Hello Kellen and thank you so very much for your question my friend. I am so sorry for your great loss of your beloved mother. If you or your mother has ever repented and if your mother repented and confessed her sins and had her trust in Christ then she is presently with the Lord. If you have ever known a time in your life when you have repented as well, then confessed your sins, and then trusted in Christ, they you are a Christian. You can be certain to be with your mother someday if you want to. Sometimes God uses dreams to draw us to Himself and that may be the very reason that God has placed this dream in your mind. To know for certain as to whether you are saved or not, please read this small article on this link to know for certain at:http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/come-to-jesus/ and please, please let me know if this helped you in knowing that you are saved or just today came to saving faith in Christ and may God richly bless you Kellen.

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Kellen May 13, 2014 at 8:10 am

Thank you so much Jack, i think i stated my question wrongly and somehow confusing. my mother is still a live and i am a christian. i just wanted to know the meaning of my dream. i had a dream about my mother and in that dream my mother died. what does that dream mean?

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Jack Wellman May 13, 2014 at 8:19 am

Sorry Kellen. I would not be able to interpret this dream and really, dreams are just so random that it is impossible to know if they are from God or not. Most of the time I would say that they are not so please don’t put too much concern or stock into this dream that it means anything but if you and your mother do not know Christ yet, maybe this is a wake up call for a time such as not to believe. If you both are already believers, then I wouldn’t take this dream seriously. You’re mother dying is not determined by dreams nor is this a warning. God does not use dreams in this way and there is no such example in all the Bible about this.

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Kellen May 14, 2014 at 7:48 am

Thank you so much Jack

Lydia Nakandi July 22, 2014 at 4:53 am

i heard a dream where I walked on water that was in a room and there after i saw Jesus whom i went to and touched me to heal my pain in my abdomen and felt a sense of great joy and happiness and even danced. How can I know that it was Jesus Himself who prayed for me and what does walking on water mean?

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Jack Wellman July 22, 2014 at 8:49 am

Hello Mrs. Nakandi. Dreams are just so random that we cannot make statements for certain about them or make decisions based upon them. By the way, if you read John 15-17 I think it is, Jesus does pray for us already. Jesus says that He will be intercessory for us and walking on water? Again, dreams are too random to make something out of them. Are you in pain now? You mentioned your abdomen. Are you okay?

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