Monday, August 30, 2010

The Monsters are Real

He comes to me crying.  I'm washing my face at our bathroom sink while salty tears are bathing his.  The hurt on his face is real.

"What's wrong?" I ask, alarmed. 

A sob escapes his lips.  He takes a deep breath, "I read something I shouldn't have."  Pause and sob.  "I'm scared."  Another sob.

I listen as The Stinker explains about the back of his Nate the Great book -- the part that tells about vampires and werewolves.  And I realize this boy with a sensitive heart has been lying in his bed paralyzed with fear, lying with all the lights turned on, afraid to get out of bed because of what he fears could be true. 

We talk about what's real and what is not.  I speak truth, and he nods.  He knows, but he's still scared.  He has been blessed with my imagination.  He can picture a man turned wolf, and it terrifies him.  It's not rational;  it just is.

I follow him to his room and slip under dinosaur sheets with him.  He pulls my arm tighter around him and nestles in.  My middle-who-was-the-baby-for-six-years.  My squeezed one, wanting squeezed tighter.  How long has it been since I've done this with him?   "Too long," my mama heart sighs with guilt.

We pray together.  I speak words of comfort over him:

Protect his heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
May your angels surround him.
You are a strong and mighty God. 
Help him to not be afraid. 

And I realize this is what I want.  When my mind is running rampant with the fears of this world, when my heart is quaking from thoughts of real monsters who hurt people and real diseases that consume lives and real disasters that steal beauty, when I'm too afraid to take that step out of my doors and my comfort because of what I am imagining . . . I want His arms.  I want His truth spoken over me . . . .and I want to snuggle in and be held close.

And He says, "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you" (Isaiah 66:13).

Comfort us, Lord, because the monsters are real.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
~Psalm 23:1-4

I am comforted, LORD, because YOU are real.

holy experience

Counting Comfort:  Gifts #223 - 240

God is real

He's greater than the monsters

some day the monsters will be no more

in the meantime, He comforts

many fears are only in my head

His perfect love casts out fear

snuggles with my middle

The Chronicles of Narnia

read alouds coming to life

carpets cleaned (the day after The Princess spilled purple paint)!  She was so lucky!

a new soccer season

a Saturday lunch with girlfriends I haven't seen in years

sharing memories and catching up

seeing the beauty they have become

a Sunday church picnic

sunshine and shade

easy conversation

too much food to choose from



the shoafs said...

i worry about those monsters too....but i know that God is here for us and that no matter what, he will protect my family in every way. and it always breaks my heart when i hear hkay crying in her sleep with a nightmare. she knows nothing of vampires and werewolves yet, but the other night she woke up and told me that a giant frog was chasing her and trying to eat her. isn't fear a strange and weird thing sometimes???

-t- said...

He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
~Psalm 23:1-4

"I am comforted, LORD, because YOU are real."

Amen. I am ever thankful!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful that He is there to protect us. What a promise! What a gift! You had the gift of special time with middle son...even getting to squeeze him. That times goes so quickly. Thank you for a wonderful gratitude list!

Myrtle's Turtles said...

What a beautiful post. I didn't realize how much I need to read those words. I have said those verses a million times and today the felt knew. Thank you for sharing. I too feel bad that my "big boy" doesn't get the cuddles he used to. Touch is so important for our little boys!

jeana said...

Comforting them in their fear can be such a powerful thing for our little ones. As well as from our Father! I loved the time you spent with him, and pray I act with such a gentle and comforting spirit with my own little boys.

gin said...

your post brought tears to my eyes as i think about my own children and how real their fears are... as are my own. praise God that perfect love casts out all fear. i, too, focused on fear this week in my list of gifts. thank you for sharing :)

visiting from the gratitude community

Misty said...

i wrote today of how my oldest has his mama's mind, too. i can only imagine if he has my imagination! i love the covers pulled tight in wool and prayer for your little boy, fearing. i love the father's love for us, fearing. i love his good gifts, and your list is lovely.

e-Mom said...

Your poor little guy! Oh yes, the monsters are real.

I read this quote recently: "It might help us moderns to think of Satan as a terrorist—cunning, dangerous, obsessed—looking to destroy whatever he can in your life, with no regard to the rules of fair play."—John Eldridge

On the other hand, I try to keep this in mind at all times...

"But greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world."

Praise God that in the final outcome, the "good guys" win!!!

Hugs, e-Mom ღ

Amy Sullivan said...

First time here. Bounced over from Ann's.

I too am truly thankful for easy conversations.

Really well-written post. Nice meeting you!

Cranberry Morning said...

Wonderful post. God wants us to lean on Him, not to try to go it on our own. In fact, pride is something God hates. We DO need Him. How important to teach that truth to the very young.

Myrtle's Turtles said...

I'm back to tell you not to be intimidated by my Christmas baking. I have haven't started, I am just planning. I bake for almost the whole month of December so I need to start planning early.
Myrtle said...

I like the analogy, truly I do. It doesn't matter to us whether the object of fear is real or not, it is so very real to us. So the point becomes what are we going to do with that object of fear - are we going to be consumed by it or are we going to go to our Father with it? I'm so glad your son braved his fears & came to you. I'm also glad you chose not to dismiss his fears or to chide him over reading something he shouldn't have.

Great looking site & great insight! Glad to meet you.


Anonymous said...

There's a great book somewhere that says wonderful things like, "There aren't any monsters under my bed. God's under my bed."

My 4th son is like that. He thinks beyond his comfort zone and grapples with things he's not really ready to handle - I don't mean bad things, just big things. And just snuggling them, whispering prayers, singing songs to just comfort them is all we can do - and, oh, yes, I want God to comfort me like that! It's so important to talk about what they see and hear - to help them understand - so that those things don't have a hold over them. You handled it so mommy-beautiful!

emily wierenga said...

these words are power, and they made me shiver... and our father is comfort. thank you, friend, for this. xo

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