Friday, January 23, 2009

Night Terrors and Spirituality

Last night, before Nick and I even went to bed, Josiah had a night terror.

If you've never experienced one of these with your children, let me tell you-- it is horrifying. The child is screaming and screaming and thrashing and obviously terrified. But they are sleeping. And you can't wake them up. And actually, I have read you shouldn't try to wake them up. The only thing you can do is ride it out.

So last night, Josiah started screaming. And Nick went in to get him. And he held him and tenderly spoke to him for about 5 minutes. And then I took him and it was my turn to speak gently to him. "Okay baby. I'm here. It's okay. You're deceived right now, baby. This is not real. I know you don't feel like it, but I am here with you. I will always want to comfort you..." And I prayed for him, and I sang to him. And all the while, he was fighting me-- screaming with eyes closed. It's pretty much the most heart-breaking thing you can imagine as a parent-- trying to comfort your child, but them not being able to receive it.

It ended a few minutes later. He stopped crying suddenly. I continued to hold him for another few minutes until he stopped thrashing. And all the while I kept thinking of the spiritual parallels. Sin is like one giant night terror. It's this thing that has us deceived. We don't trust that God has the best plan for our lives, so we walk in this way that causes all this pain and thrashing and terror. And we scream out-- but we don't feel comfort.

But once we come through the other side, we see that God was not absent. We were so entrenched in the frenzy of our possession that we were deaf to God's tender words that he was speaking to us all along. "Okay baby. I'm here. It's okay. You're deceived right now, baby. This is not real. I know you don't feel like it, but I am here with you. I will always want to comfort you..."

I am thankful to know this God who holds me even when I don't feel it.

3 comments:

  1. If nothing else those night terrors will get you praying...I've never prayed so hard over my kids as I have when they're in the throws of a terror...

    sweet J...like he needs more 'stuff' right now..

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  2. Your parallel brought tears to this new mommy's eyes. I'm seeing everything through a new filter now.

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  3. Vicky had those when she was a kid - Kathy tells us the horror stories of her wandering out into the cornfields at night - one time with a large knife in her hand.

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