I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed – or something like that

Sometimes, when I was a little girl, I’d sit straight up in bed, breathing heavy, completely afraid. My nightmares weren’t especially dark, but in those petrifying seconds, I felt like the blackness of my room would swallow me up whole.

I knew though, that if I groped my way down the hallway, if I stumbled along in my blindness and didn’t impale myself on stray Legos, my Daddy – my strong, safe, bigger than nightmares Daddy – would be in his room. And my heart gravitated towards his sleeping figure because that little girl knew his eyes would open the moment she whispered his name. Every time, he swung his legs out from under the covers, held my hands or gave me a hug, and said he was with me – it’d be okay. He’d walk me back past those looming shadows, not quite as scary anymore and he’d tuck me in. He’d pray for me and my sweet dreams, and my anxiety melted into sleep.

Now when I find myself tripping through the black, I’m realizing that little Amy is losing herself in the post nightmare fear. I’m learning that I must tiptoe through the clouds and whisper “Daddy.” Because the moment I seek him out, he is there – God, Father, holding me in arms so tight saying I am with you to the end. While my path may look contorted, twisted, confusing, or dimly lit, he takes me by the hand and leads me along. Because God isn’t afraid of snakes or spiders or monsters under the bed.

So tonight I went to Him and I admitted: “You are most delighted in me when I come too exhausted for words, with nothing for you but open hands and a hungry heart.”

And he answered.

Daughter, let me see your ugly. Let me hold your melancholy. Turn your chin up towards the sky and my warmth – fix your eyes on me, my beautiful girl, and let me sweep you off your feet with the calm of my presence…I will sustain you and see, you’ve sought and found. I am not a God of make believe or hidden traps. I am a Father who is profoundly, madly, foolishly in love with his children.

Sweet dreams, world.

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