Growing up as the youngest of three I was always able to have comfort in the physical security of knowing that my older but middle sister was there when the darkness seemed to create a world on its own. I knew that being “babied” was out of the question so I just saught aid from her when counting sheep or any other method failed. Now that I have kids of my own as well as going through the early years of her children and their bedtime creations I have seen a whole other side of the fear that seems to wait for a child to close his/her eyes. When our bodies were designed the shut down to recharge phase was one of the most important and leaves us the most vulnerable because we basically are getting from behind the wheel and allowing God time to sift through us to heal us, recharge us, file information, and communicate with us on a spiritual level. Of course much more is done in the body while we sleep, however my focus is on the fact that our mandatory stop time that we are releasing alert control happens when the chances of getting scared are increased and at a faster speed. Its like you can muster up enough courage at night as long as your awake to try to control it, but like your parents tell you its time for bed and you can feel this tidal wave of possibilities crashing in. It comes at a time that you know you have to let go of your control and trust those around you for physical protection, but what do you do about the spiritual or ( nightmares, boogie men, movie flashbacks, shadows and noises….)? God included in us a way to need his protection from an early age without even knowing it was in us. So basically my three amazing but glued to me children all rely on my physical presence in some way for them to go to bed. One of them is simply reassured to know that I will stay up and AWAKE for them to feel safe enough to go to bed; one of the twins is a “Grit her teeth and bare it” kind of kid in which I have to actually check on her and reassure myself she is OK before she will admit being scared; then her twin my baby girl is the most fearful at night and literally wont fall asleep unless in my presence. With them increasing in age I have started to question this habit of allowing her to be so reliant on me for fear of it hindering her having sleep overs and such. With the help of my son at night time we have been encouraging her that I am just in the other room, reading fairy tale stories to her before bed, or if I can not read that night he will make up a story for her. The other night she was taking too long to go to bed with the excuse of not having me there and I explained I would be there in a minute for her to go get in bed. To my surprise I went in the room and she was in balling tears, I asked her what was wrong and she said didn’t think she deserved this! I wanted to just react with what would have been my assumption of what she meant however God kept me quite on it and instead I asked her what she meant. She said that she didn’t understand how she had been that bad for God to allow the devil to mess with her and scare her. My heart went out to her for her confusion in regards to Gods Love and I knew it came from this very phrase she has heard myself and others say ” that the devil has to get permission from God, that he can only go so far on his own ect.) , her little brain took this as a sign that God gave him the right to scare her because she wasn’t listening. I thanked God for presenting me with this misunderstanding and that he would help me set it right. First, I explained that I was very sorry she got the concept mixed up and that God loves her so much even when she is bad; seeing relief spread on her face I continued with what I or others mean when they say that usually has a deeper meaning and that sometimes when God allows us to get scared before comforting us is to give us the chance to call on him for his comfort. I tried to show her that it is a time when we should see how much God is master of our lives and when he created us to give up our control by needing sleep he is also gives us the chance to trust him, need him and love him; but when we don’t use this blessing to call on him he will remind us of our need for him in any way he needs to because he loves us not because he is mad at us. So the next time you have the chance to go to a child in fear of the dark I hope it will be a chance to remind them of the love of God and allow God to move and comfort them.