The Nightmares

Lauren’s been struggling with fear. Fear of bad guys. It overwhelms her at bedtime. She’s afraid that they will come in during the night and take her from us. It plagues her nightly. She begs me to lock all the doors and windows and questions me repeatedly if I’ve followed through.

It breaks my heart. What brings this on? We’ve never given her reason to worry. Our house is in a quiet safe neighborhood in the country. Her Daddy is a proficient marksman, her 250lb 6’1″ brother lives here, we have a security system and this.

Sure, she looks harmless NOW, and she is recovering from being hit by a car but I guarantee you, she would get all kinds of ugly on someone that tried to get in this house uninvited.

But how could she feel unsafe in this house? Why doesn’t she trust us to protect her?

Night after night she simmers and stirs on the irrational notion that someone could burst into our home and snatch her from her warm bed. I sink exhausted into my chair when she falls to sleep but it’s a temporary pause until she wakes shouting at strangers that she imagines in her time between sleep and wake.

She mumbles and cries, thrashing in bed, “Momma!! Mommy! No no no!” and my heart aches as I try to quiet the anxiety pouring out of her cleft scarred lips. She’s not fully conscious and eventually she quiets and falls back to sleep. Often I’m summoned back during the night to lie next to her after the bad guys come back in her dreams.

As I wrestle with how to convince her that she’s safe, I think of how God must feel that same way about me. He’s given me no reason not to trust Him, no clue that He would abandon me. In fact I’ve learned that even when it looks like He’s walked away and left me with my fears, I find that He was there all the time. He was just quiet for he moment, watching to see who I’d run to. Like mine, His arms ache to comfort His children.

Just like I long for Lauren to rest in the security of her home, I know the Lord wants the same for us.

Psalms 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

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