Friday, August 5, 2011

T is for Tiger, U is for Underwear down in the dryer

Bedtime For Francis. Image courtesy of Amazon

Does it ever strike you as uncanny the way Satan knows our exact fears? I'm thinking about it this morning because I was up until 1:30 last night afraid of the dark.

Quite seriously.

John was gone on business and the dishwasher was making a ton of noise and what if someone broke in and I couldn't hear them and they hurt Abigail?
I never heard any noises, but I was afraid of the possibility. I know that God works all for our good, that all  He allows is for a purpose... but I don't want that purpose to include someone breaking into my house. So I fear.
I also know that the devil likes to high-jack our thoughts, that every idea which goes through my head does not need to be taken out an analyzed because my flesh and the devil try to throw a lot of unhealthy thoughts my way.
But at 1 o'clock in the night, when John's gone, it's difficult to calm my fast heartbeat and take hold of that truth; even quoting scripture out loud (my method of corralling wild thoughts) doesn't always help.

In the light of this morning I was recalling how the dark has always been hard for me. As a kid I used to sleep very still in the very middle of the bed, feet curled up Indian-style so no monsters could chop off my legs or arms by reaching over the side of the bed.

 I would even set up all my stuffed animals around me as a barrier....or sleep with a bear on top of myself so if a robber stabbed me in the middle of the night the stuffed bear would slow him down.....and I was not super young, at least 10. I knew it was all in my head. But the head is such a powerful place. It took lots of practice to learn how to claim the promises of the Scripture to calm my heart.

When I was an adult, living in an apartment by myself for the first time I had to learn that lesson all over again. Noises are A LOT scarier when there's no one else in the house. Since being married I thought I was 'over' the fear that keeps one awake. But last night made me realize I'm going to have to learn this lesson in a deeper way.
Now, when I'm alone in the dark, I wonder:
"why did we put our child in a room with windows, someone could jimmy them open?!" and
"why we don't have a guard dog or at least a guard cockatoo?" or
"why didn't I leave all the lights in the house on?"  

I'm going to have to trust the Lord to hold not only me, but my children in His hands. That feels hard in the middle of the night: I've read Reader's Digest survivor stories, I know people's houses get broken into when they're could (albeit ever so unlikely, that doesn't really matter at 2am) happen to us. And I have to, as strange as this may sound, be okay with that possibility. Do I really believe Psalms 27 when David says "Though an army besiege me my heart will not fear"? That's a tall order. No fear. That's what God calls me to. "Fear not, for I am with you." If He says "Fear not" that has to be possible through the Holy Spirit. He doesn't ask us for things He won't, through Christ, provide for.
And I want that; especially at 2 am.

 "There is a tiger in my room,' said Frances.
'Did he bite you?' said Father.
'No,' said Frances.
'Did he scratch you?' said Mother.
'No,' said Frances.
'Then he is a friendly tiger,' said Father. 'He will not hurt you. Go back to sleep."


  1. Katie, this is SO true! Your description of how you slept as a child is priceless and I can so identify. What in the world made us sheltered home schoolers afraid of the dark so much? We are simply capable of dreaming up fears all by ourselves without watching any super scary movie...utterly depraved from birth, right? I used to lay in bed with my back against the wall and would have trouble drifting off because I kept looking at all of the entrances. If you have any ideas how to communicate with your kids on their level to help them understand they can rest secure at night trusting the Lord, please do make a post about it :)

  2. @ evansfamily
    Funny, isn't it? I felt especially glad as a child that I had a basement bedroom with no extra windows around :o)

  3. I always taught my first graders Psalm 4:8 with motions: "I will both lie down in peace and sleep, for You alone, Oh Lord, make me dwell in safety" (followed by) "honk-shoo, honk-shoo Psalm 4:8" :)

    I, too, have to be reminded of this truth at times. I also have to remember that God's version of "safe" might not always be the same as mine. My safety and security only truly lie in heaven, which means that even if the worst earthly thing I could think of happens to me, the ultimate outcome is my eternal security...which means that there really is nothing so horrible on earth that could happen in which I wouldn't be eternally "safe." (much easier to say than trust when in the midst of those potential situations, though!)