For When We’re Afraid of the Dark

Two of our three kids are terrified of the dark. Monsters, zombies, and anxiety live in the dark. They have night lights, lamps in the bathrooms, and open doors for their comfort.

Our son will walk into our pitch-black room in the middle of the night to tell us his left pinky nail is too long, but we dare not ask him to take his dirty laundry down the hall if the lights are off.

Why?

He walks into our dark room with confidence because he knows we’re already there.

He’s not walking away from us into darkness. He’s bravely walking through the darkness to be with us.

How do we teach him to face his fears when we can’t be there? We teach him that God is always with him. Our boy can walk through any darkness because He’s already there. Hebrews 13:6 is written on a huge chalkboard in our kitchen, and we say it everyday. He’s heard it enough in the last two weeks that he has it memorized without really trying.

When he starts to look at the dark hallway with fear in his eyes, I say, “And so we say with confidence…” and he finishes it as he walks toward the light switch.

I’ve been saying it to myself a lot lately as well. Maybe you need to hear it too. So much of parenting is riddled with fear. When our newly-adopted child lies as easily as he breathes, we panic that he’ll be a criminal as an adult. When our new daughter wants to hug everyone she meets, we fear that she’ll be kidnapped. We write the worst-case scenario, and it can often cause us to react in the least-helpful way possible. Instead of calm reassurance, we panic. Our fear often looks like anger. The last thing our kids need.

What fear do you need to face with confidence today?

God is already there.

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Matt and Becca write about marriage, parenting, and life through the lens of a married couple, parenting team, and pastor and professional counselor. They share hope and restoration by giving a glimpse into their lives- the failures, the successes, and the brokenness and beauty of everyday. You can read more of their writing at WhitsonLife.