Her screams woke me from a deep sleep. Alertness came over me as my feet found the cold wood floor and padded quickly to her room.
“I need Jesus! You forgot Jesus!” she bellowed as tears saturated her scrunched up face. I enfolded my toddler’s warm body against mine and kissed her salty face. She clung to me as her heaving breaths slowed to a quiet rhythmic tempo.
As she gave back in to sleep, I disentangled myself from her grasp and tiptoed to the window where her nightlight was plugged into the wall. My fingers fumbled until I found the switch to turn it on. A mural of Jesus in a white robe, surrounded by sheep, glowed golden in the light bulb’s illumination. I glanced once more at the peaceful curves of her face in the soft light and returned to my warm bed.
As a small child, I was afraid of the dark too. The shapes in my bedroom took on unsettling forms in the darkness. I would lay wide eyed and panicked in my bed for hours until exhaustion overtook me.
When I was first married, I went through a period of night terrors where I would bolt upright several times a night in the grips of a panic attack. Before bed each night, I would switch on the light in the closet to serve as my nightlight, and pray that the dark hours would pass quickly.
After three months of suffering, my husband talked to a fellow pastor friend who had experience with spiritual warfare. As instructed by the pastor, we prayed over every room of our house asking that God’s light would shine in every corner, and that the any dark presence would flee.
That night as I skeptically gave in to sleep, anticipating a long night ahead, I awoke to diffused sun light and the sounds of a lawn mower. Relief flooded me as I soaked in warmth and restfulness and said a silent prayer of thanks. I have never had a night terror since.
In Ephesians Paul reminds us that “our battle is not against flesh and blood but against mighty powers in this dark world” (Ephesians 6:12). But despite my faith, more often than not, I forget that this battle exists. It sounds good in the Bible, but how does that stuff really fit into the life of a stay-at-home mom, busy with groceries and bills, scrambled eggs, and pull-up diapers?
When my daughter began fearing the dark, I was reminded of the paralyzing fear and anxiety that had once gripped me. As her screams rang out in the night, I would run to her room and hold her tightly as I soothed her with whispered prayers of protection.
Then one day as I rifled through a box of discarded memories, I came across an old nightlight with a picture of Jesus tending to a flock of sheep. My daughter’s tiny fingers traced the smooth glass drawing as I told her that Jesus was her light in the darkness.
That night, we turned on the nightlight and cuddled together in her princess bed as we gazed at the glow of our Good Shepherd.
Between toddler tantrums, laundry, and utter exhaustion, it’s easy to let each day melt into another. All too easily I go from one activity to another and then pass out in an unmade bed and fall into a dreamless sleep. I don’t look to Jesus’ light until I stumble into dark places like fear and anxiousness and loneliness. It’s then that I look for Jesus’ glowing light for hope among a confusing world with unknown shapes and dark corners.
But my daughter reminds me that too often I “forget Jesus,” and I desperately need Him.
I’m grateful for a God that never leaves me in total darkness — for a God who’s love and light can banish the very trace of darkness– and for a mighty God who is so tender, He brings comfort to a little girl afraid of the dark.
Related: Dispel the darkness while creating a warm and welcoming space in your home with this beautiful candle holder! Its powerful message is a wonderful reminder that the Lord is our everlasting Light!Leave a Comment
Thank you for the reminder of the power of Gods love how strong, wide and all encompassing it is for us, Jesus not to be forgotten or of our desperate need for Him and His love.
Lindsay Hausch says
Thank you Jas for reading and sharing your thoughts. I am so grateful that I have God’s light to point my daughters to.
Keri Siegel says
It is easy to forget that we’re dealing with spiritual warfare until we’re right in the thick of the battle. That’s why His glory surrounds us like a shield. He knows that our memories and our attention spans are not what they ought to be. So, He has mercy and compassion on us. He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is there even when we can’t see the evidence of Him working in our lives, even when we can’t feel His Presence. This truth drives out all fear. When we find ourselves trapped in an unexpected battle, we can know and be secure in the midst of it that He’s covered us like a shield and put a hedge around everything that concerns us. He is there for us. The enemy can’t destroy us because Jesus defeated the enemy on the Cross. He gave us the victory before the battle ever started. Be blessed.
Lindsay Hausch says
Amen! The battle is won and now we are free to live in what He has already done. Thank you Keri for that reminder!
Sweet story, Lindsay. 🙂 I struggle with anxiety, and have to “remember Jesus” often, myself. Thanks for sharing. ((blessings))
Lindsay Hausch says
Thank you Brenda! I’m grateful for a God that whispers words of peace and love into my anxious heart. I’m humbled and amazed that God can use my greatest weakness to connect to others and proclaim His truth! God bless you Brenda
Trudy Den Hoed says
I love this story, Lindsay. Such a beautiful message not to forget Jesus and remember He always lights up the darkness. 🙂 I’m so glad your night terrors are gone, and I pray your little daughter will rest peacefully, too.
Beth Williams says
We are indeed in a battle against good and evil–powers of darkness working hard as his time is nearing an end! One way to fight in this battle is to create a “War Room”. A quiet place where one goes and posts/journals ALL their prayer requests and prays over them fervently-using scripture!! That is the one way we can defeat the evil darkness of this world!! Tell the evil one to flee your house and He is not welcome there anymore!!
Ref(See movie War Room).
Lindsay Hausch says
Hi Beth- I’m very excited to see the movie. My husband and I battled a lot of spiritual warfare when we served in Sedona where it was very overt, but I agree that we need to remember every day that it is an ongoing struggle. But thankful that I have the armor of God and that through Jesus the battle is already won!
I don’t know when it started, or why, but I remember always being really afraid at night. I used to beg my younger sister to stay awake until I fell asleep. I even offered to pay her a quarter, if she would. It wasn’t until after I was married, that I recognized this for what it was: spiritual warfare. After I married, I wasn’t afraid at night…unless my husband was out-of-town. At one point, his job entailed quite a bit of travel, and I was home with all 4 kids. At bedtime, on the nights he was gone, I would bring allllll the kids into our room, and lock our bedroom door. I would barely get any sleep because I was “standing guard” over my family. One night, it just hit me that I might pass on this fear to my children. So, the next night, I put my children in their own beds…and, after they were asleep, I prayed over every room in our home. And then I went to sleep. I’m no longer afraid at night if my husband is gone, and it’s all God. HE is powerful. HE is conqueror. HE is the One who sees. HE alone can save.
Lindsay Hausch says
Such a touching story Marty- thank you for sharing.