“Mama, the monsters are coming at me,” my son said.
He stood by the bed with his face inches from mine, hands animated. My mid-REM cycle brain lingered between sleep and reality.
“What?” I asked. I saw that my son was disturbed by something. After realizing I was going to have to get out of bed, I stumbled to his room. I gave the bunk a full examination before telling him to get back in.
Five minutes later, he reappeared. The monsters were still there.
For some reason, the miracle of a flashlight never occurred to me. Thank God for my husband who came to the rescue with not just a flashlight, but a headlamp. Under the pillow it went.
Sweet, uninterrupted sleep followed. The next morning, I realized this tool I took for granted revealed the truth: the “monsters” were in fact shadows. There were no creepy things waiting to grab him in the night. He was safe.
It’s amazing what a little light can do.
Even in the darkest place, a flicker of it can go a long way.
A few years ago, before any of us had heard of Covid-19, I needed some light of my own. But for months, I didn’t tell anyone. I went through a dark season where I listened to one lie after another. Lies telling me I wasn’t enough. Lies telling me I should do better as a mother, wife, writer and friend. Whispers that said I wasn’t going to make it.
I thought, “If I can just make it through today, things will get better.”
Good days came and went and when the darkness hit again, I thought, “I’m just having a bad day.”
Somehow, bringing my struggle out into the open seemed threatening. I convinced myself if I could carry it a little longer, it would go away. I thought telling someone would make it my reality.
But in truth, it already was.
One day I sat in church operating the media projector while the worship band played Healing Is Here by The Deluge. My eyes were wet with tears as I mouthed the words.
Sickness can’t stay any longer
Your perfect love is casting out fear
You are the God of all power
And it is your will that my life is healed
Did I believe that? Did I believe God wanted me to be whole, complete, and fully secure in his love?
As I sat there asking myself this question, a miracle took place. The pastor called a sister forward to pray over the offering, but the Spirit had something else for us that day. A rescue. A release.
“There’s someone here who’s suffering from depression,” she stated without hesitation.
She said God wanted that person to know his healing power was for her. The tears ran freely down my cheeks. But still, my butt remained glue to my seat. In the next half hour, our church literally became what Jesus referred to in Matthew as “A House of Prayer.” Service stopped. The sermon was postponed.
This woman’s husband stood up and extended a second invitation, and I knew I had to go forward. And as a stood there at the front of the sanctuary with my head bowed, her hand reached through the crowd and grabbed mine.
Music played in the background while this sister prayed over me, naming lie after lie that I’d listened to for months. It was a God-ordained moment.
And what I realized was this: Even when no one else saw my pain, God did.
“…for your Father knows what you need before you even ask him.” Matthew 6:8b NIV
I finally understood that hiding our struggles does not diminish their power. It increases it.
But when I gave my problem a name, I was able to take the first step toward healing. I said, “I’m not going to let this rule me anymore.”
When we bring our darkness into his Light, he shows us truth.
Like my son with his headlamp, we can see the shadows aren’t able to defeat us. Though they lurk, they can never stand a chance against his perfect love.
Friend, no matter what you’re going through today, know this: God sees. He sees the trauma and the grief we’re all going through as a result of this seemingly endless pandemic. He grieves with us. Bring your fears, your problems and your sickness into his Light today. Tell someone you trust what you’re struggling with. Take a step forward.
His healing power begins when we reach for his hand.