It was only late last year that we were able to get them both out of our bed, into their own. The oldest never even got a chance to actually sleep in her bed. The youngest slept in her crib for a few years, until her intellect kicked in, and she realized that “Sissy” never slept in the room with her, and disappeared with momma at night. So out of all fairness, I had to keep both of them in the bed with me. This often resulted in “Dadduh” taking up residence on the couch……much to his amusement. Like most mother’s, I could go on and on with the excuses for why my kids were in the bed with me for so long. But at the end of the day, it was harder for me to let go than it was for them. That’s the truth.
So now, with them sleeping in their own beds, in a shared bedroom, it’s been a great change, but has its occasional moments of reverting. The 2-year old often makes her way, complete with her ‘blanky’, and her thumb in her mouth, into our bedroom around 2 or 3a.m. some nights. She crawls up into our bed, nestles herself right in between us, and scoots back, just enough to get in a fetal position next to me for some serious spooning. Shortly thereafter, if “Sissy” wakes up, and finds “Sissy” missing, she too makes her way into the room to squeeze into the bed.
After 3 years of sleeping on the couch on and off, my husband is having none of it. He wakes up out of his sleep like: “Oh no……uhh uh. Both of you, come on. Back to your room.” This man is all about his sleep. He’s one of those people that wakes up at 9, but isn’t really awake until around 10. Sometimes he’s incoherent, sleeping with his mouth wide open, sleep walking, sleep talking, and can have full blown conversations with you while sleeping, and not remember ANY of it in the morning. So being awaken out of his sleep by these two little gremlins was not going to fly. They immediately started crying and whining: “I’m scared! I want momma!” Knowing that these two know how to work the system, he completely ignored their protests, and scooped both of them up to take them back to their rooms. But the youngest was screaming this time. As a parent, you get to know your kids reactions to everything. You know what their feeling without them having to verbally express it. She sounded terrified. I could see his expression soften. He said: “Why are you scared?” They both spoke of being scared of “the monster”. He began asking questions about the monster. But at this point, it was pointless. The point remained that they were scared of the monster, real or not, his babies were terrified. So with that, “Dadduh” picked up his pillow, and grabbed a blanket out of the linen closet, and said: “Its okay guys. C’mon. Dadduh is going to sleep in her with you.” I woke up the next morning, and found myself in an empty bed. I walked past the girl’s room, and right there on the floor, with pillow and blanket, was Dadduh. He’d slept there all night with them.
I thought about all the other times that the girls had barged in the room complaining of a monster. I’d always replied: “Guys…..there is no monster.” But it never worked. It never convinced them, or removed their fear. So they’d always end up in our bed, and that would settle them. But this time, Dadduh didn’t try convincing them. He simply took them back to their environment, the place that they belonged for their growth and development, and shared it with them. He did not waste time disproving the validity of their fears, or keeping them in a place that they did not belong. He simply let them know, that because he was there, he was their protection.
It spoke volumes to me. It’s just like God. Sometimes fear is the loudest thing in our ears. And often, we are afraid of illusions, and things that hold no power over us. Monsters, and zombies steal our sleep, causing us to run and hide for safety in a place where we don’t belong. But because it has found a resting place in our hearts, it is very real to us. Other times, we have very real, and legitimate things that cause our fears to surface. God doesn’t step in and say: “Hey! That’s nothing to be afraid of! Why are you scared?” Instead, he steps in and says: “Fear not. Not because it’s not real, but because I’m here with you.” He deals with our fears through love, and through his presence. He doesn’t waste time trying to convince us of the nature of our fears. He convinces us of the nature of who he is…..LOVE. God is love. And no fear, even with its circumstances still present, can live, and thrive in the presence of love.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 So instead of convincing us about the monsters, God simply packs up, and comes to lay where we are. He gets right there in the middle of our illusions, challenges, calamities, and circumstances, and says: “Hey. I’m right here.” He also doesn’t allow us to revert back to a place that was sufficient for an immature stage in an effort to give us comfort. He keeps us in the place that we belong, and when the fears and challenges of our “new place” arise, he arises too. He shares the space with us, teaching us that anything new in our lives is still a place that he can access; different place, same comforter. It’s amazing what the presence of a protector does. Every thought that has held us captive to paralysis, somehow disappears. We are arrested by a peace that can only be produced through a belief and a trust that caused you to run to him in the first place. It doesn’t matter what you’re experiencing today. Go ahead, lay down, go back to sleep, and rest peacefully. God is right there with you, guarding your peace. New seasons, new experiences, new life……they all have new fears. But you have the same God with you. You are never forsaken, not even for a moment.