It was a rare Saturday night. Our dinner plans fell through so we were chillin’ on the homefront, barbecuing in the cold, and enjoying pj’s at dinnertime. The computers were off. The tv was silent. The little three of us sat down with cloth napkins and wine and enjoyed our charred chicken. It was sweet. “Fancy” as Maya would call it. :)
After a nice bath, we decided to watch a movie. It was almost Maya’s bedtime, so we started it thinking she’d go to bed in 15 minutes. We got it all ready on Netflix and nestled into the couch.
Within the first 5 minutes, someone on screen had a bloody nose and Maya was screaming. “I don’t like this movie! Turn it off! I’m scared! I don’t like this movie!”
Little did I realize that the bloody nose would affect the rest of my entire evening.
I scooped Maya up and brought her into her bedroom. We read her favorites, “Are You My Mother?”, “Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet”, “Count Yourself to Sleep” and “Winnie the Pooh Tells Time.” We snuggled and said our prayers. I laid her down and rejoined the hubs in the other room.
About an hour into the movie, I heard her. She doesn’t usually wake up at night, but tonight, she was crying. I went into her room, took her out and held her. She said she was scared, she wanted me to stay and snuggle her, that she was SCARED. I knew it was what she’d seen on the television. I snuggled her on the big bed next to her crib (yes, my 2 year old is still in her crib!) and prayed with her, sang her songs and spoke scripture to her, praying God would cover her heart and mind and give her peace.
We finished the movie and went to bed. At 3 a.m. I heard crying again. The same thing, she was scared, she wanted me to stay, to snuggle, to hold her just a little longer. Psalm 23 came to my mind and I began saying it over to her in her ear, praying God’s love and peace and ownership of her heart and mind. She finally fell asleep in my arms, and I gently laid her back down in the crib where she slept peacefully the rest of the night.
I awoke the next morning and couldn’t stop thinking about the fear that had gripped my little girl’s heart the night before. All over a bloody nose, no less! But rather than belittle or toss it aside to her innocence, I felt the weight of my own anxiety and fear that has held on to me before convict my heart. Because, just like her, I have also faced fear and just wanted to be snuggled, for someone to stay, to tell me it will be okay. Haven’t we all been there? When the fear seems so real, so intense, so threatening? When we can’t even seem to squelch the irrational thoughts, they penetrate even a little bit further, threatening to steal our very joy?
Yet the same thing that calmed my sweet two year old back to sleep is the same confidence we can put our hope and our confidence in. God’s word– His unchanging, ever faithful, forever true, timeless truths are what we need to hold onto when fear grips us. The war between our fear and the One who has already conquered it before it sprouts has already been won.
You are safe, sweet girl. It’s okay. I’m here, I’ll stay, you’re okay.
We are safe, friends. It’s okay. He’s here, to stay– we are okay!
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord