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Night Fears

July 10th 2015 No comments yet  

sleepingchildMy children are getting bigger each day, and each day I can see the reflection of God’s love for me through parenthood. They rely on me to be a source of strength and comfort for them—providing for their basic needs and soothing their emotions. Oftentimes I don’t have a clue about what I am doing, but I have come to realize that as I learn to become a better parent, I become a better person and a better child to God.

Sleep training, strangely enough, has a huge parallel with my relationship with God. Teaching the kids they can feel peaceful and safe in their rooms before bedtime has been quite a chore. They worry about what might be around the corner—and fear the things they cannot see. Shadows are checked, doors are closed, little lights are turned on for comfort, and favorite toys are embraced. Even then the fears creep in. With the words, “good night,” loneliness settles in the darkness, becoming something just as palpable as Mom or Dad, but much less welcome.

I often stay nearby, whispering, “Shh, I am here.” I make my presence known when they try to make a run for it, soothe them, and we begin again. Sometimes I lie next to them, slowing my breath so they can relax in cadence and drift to sleep. They become vulnerable, trusting that someone will be there to protect them, letting go with the knowledge that I am near.

Yet, as soon as I start tip-toeing out of their rooms, I find my own worries creeping back, if they ever left in the first place. It makes me pause when I start to worry about the unknown, the shadows I cannot control, when I realize that just like my children, I am not alone. In Isaiah God tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you.” And in this world where we are surrounded by so many people but are more isolated than ever, God is always there, whispering, “Shh, I am right here.”

Every time I start meandering off in life to seek my own devices, He brings me back, reminding me where I am supposed to be. He gives me the light of His promise of salvation. And in my vulnerability, He helps me find rest. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but because of His love for me, the shadows aren’t as scary anymore.


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