Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm Scared

It was a dark night while our van rumbled north on I-135.  From the middle seat Phoenix said, “Mommy, I’m scared.”

“Sweetie,” I replied in a gentle voice, “I’m sorry you’re scared.  You’re not alone.  I know you can’t see me, but you can hear my voice.” 

“I’m still scared.”

I reached behind my back and held her ankle with my hand.  It was awkward, but I was willing to endure the discomfort to calm her.  “See Phoenix, I’m right here.  Feel my hand on your leg.” 

“I’m still scared.  There could be monsters out there.” 

No one can argue with the logic of a three year old, so instead I prayed.  I asked God to show me how to parent her at this moment.  The memory of a terrible storm flooded my mind.  My best friend and I were walking home from middle school.  It began to rain.  When we got home, I discovered I had left my key inside the house.  Bummer!  Now we were stuck outside in the rain.  We walked around to the covered back patio just in time for the tornado sirens to begin their keel.  Rachael and I huddled between the back door and the screen door.  We were scared.  We prayed, asking God to protect us.  Then we sang to distract us from the storm.  It eventually passed and we were no worse for the wear.  Perhaps a prayer and a song would help Phoenix too.  So I said, “I like the night.  The darkness helps me to rest.  I can only see the twinkling stars at night.  Do you see any stars?  Let’s pray: God, thank you for making the stars to light up the night.  Please fill Phoenix’s heart with the peace of your presence.”

Then we sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.  All seemed right with the world.  A few mornings later, Phoenix told me she awoke in the night.  She felt scared, so she turned on her ladybug night light.  It cascaded blue stars all over her room.  She didn’t feel afraid any more.  I reminded her of a familiar nursery rhyme: 
 I see the moon and the moon sees me.
 God bless the moon and God bless me. 

I'm sure we will have more conversations about fear in the future, but God granted me the wisdom I needed for this incident.  That same God who made you also made the moon and stars to light up the darkest night.  He made the eye in the middle of a hurricane.  May you seek and find His hope in your darkest night.  May you seek and find His peace in every storm that life blows your way. 

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

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