nightmares and a place to run
When I was a little girl I had a season of recurring nightmares. It all stemmed from a bad movie experience. Somehow, someone thought I should be taken (at the ripe old age of five) to see a movie called Spartacus. What in the world were they thinking?
Spartacus is a technicolor “gladiator” movie rife with bloody whips, swords and crucifixions. As a young child, I could not distinguish between reality and fantasy. To my five year old mind, the images in that dark theater were real and indelibly imprinted in my memory.
Recurring nightmares haunted me for years. It always started the same way…I would be in a theater, the lights dim, the curtain would part, and I would see one terrifying scene after another. Each night a new horror I couldn’t escape!
For that awful season I would wake frozen in fear, afraid to move under the thin bedsheet, my nightgown damp with sweat. Terrified and unable to go back to sleep, I’d say to myself, if I can only make it to my parents’ room, all will be well. I would sprint on tiptoes from my room at the end of the hallway, rushing into the sweet, peaceful stillness of my parents’ bedroom.
Some nights, it was all I could do to call out for Dad and he would come scoop me up and carry me to safety. It was in that space between Mom and Dad, where nothing and no one could harm me, that I would fall into a deep and peaceful sleep.
Then, I was young and afraid of the dark. Now, I am old and sometimes still afraid—just afraid of other things. But the lessons I have learned, how God has always come through for me, speak to me.
I know where to run.
I know the promises of God are true.
I know His good plan will never be thwarted.
I know that—from eons before my birth and even to my old age—there will never be a single moment when God fails to rescue His children.
He has carried me before. I’ve stood at the abyss of love lost to death…and seen that loss lead to life. Salvation came in the darkest night.
Life can be much wilder than we are comfortable with, way farther out. When I think of terrifying things in life that can happen like cancer, car crashes, earthquakes, I still need a place to run for safety. No, it’s not my parents’ bedroom.
Hope is found in the arms of my Savior.
His grace has never failed to meet me exactly where I am, at my most fearful and trembling. He gathers me gently to His side, assuring me all will be well.
Each day’s challenge will be met with promised grace. He will carry me.
Outside my window, the star jasmine blooms and Allie is scrambling up the olive tree to hang a cup of seeds for the neighborhood squirrels. All is well. All will be well.
“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by Me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
Isaiah 46:3-4 (ESV)