I guess it was my first pregnancy-induced nightmare. I woke up at 4:15 this morning wiping tears from my eyes, willing the tension to ease from my muscles. It was not a dream where anyone was in danger, but it was filled with conflict unlike I’ve personally experienced, and I could not go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried.
I got close around 5:30, but then I heard my son crying out for me with panic in his tone as well. I jumped out of bed and snuggled him in the rocking chair. As I wrapped his favorite blanket around him and sang some of his favorite songs and prayed over him, I could sympathize with the irrational fears he seemed to be working to overcome since I’d just been there an hour before.
He kept pointing to a shadow on the wall, so I carried him over and showed him it was nothing to be afraid of. He mostly believed me, but it was after I turned on the light to reveal that it was nothing abnormal that I felt his body relax completely against mine as he requested we sing another song.
He snuggled back in his bed a few minutes later, and I tip-toed back to mine in hopes that we could both find rest now. I knew by the time staring at me from the clock that my husband’s alarm would go off in just a few minutes and my chances of finding rest were slim at this point, but I tried anyway.
My attempts were futile, and thirty minutes later, I succumbed to the fact that it was in my best interest to just get up for the day. I moved slowly, envisioning a very cranky version of myself in 12 hours. I dwelt in that shadow for several minutes before diving into my Bible study. As I read today’s assignment, I was not moved to peace. In fact, I found myself staring another shadow in the face – one from a past relationship that left me deeply wounded.
Finally, I asked God to shed some light on this issue that was burdening my heart and leaving me feeling more exhausted on an already tiring start to the morning. I felt Him prompt me to talk it out with Him, so I did. I laid it all out as if I were sitting across the table from a friend, and this crazy thing happened after I rambled on for 10 minutes or so.
I felt my body relax. God shined the light on the shadows of my doubt and insecurities, and He helped me see that I really could move on. I could accept that sometimes you just have to look away from shadows of the past and focus on the peace that the light brings.
I’ve been feeling a lot of shadows trying to overtake the parts of my life that should be filled with light lately. Doubt, worry, the past, the future, exhaustion – they’re not welcome in the corners of my heart that Jesus has already paid for. I’m finding peace in that light this morning as my sleepy head continues to process God’s profound way of speaking to me through bad dreams and shadows.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” ~1 John 4:18
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~Psalm 119:105
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