Imagine, if you will, us all sitting in a circle at an anonymous meeting of sorts and we are confessing our greatest fears. My turn is up. I stand up and say
"Hello my name is Kelli and I have a fear of nighttime."
Yes, night. Not really the darkness part, I think that plays into it, but mainly nighttime. This fear has been with me for as long as I can remember.
I remember growing up I always had to have a night light in my room to just make it seem less night-ish.
I remember always getting my best sleep when I could sleep in the same room with someone else. But oddly enough, none of my family enjoyed sleeping in the same bed with me because apparently I tend to kick or punch people when I sleep..... Not sure if these claims are valid.
I remember going to sleepovers and having to ask the friends' mom to cover up the windows so that I couldn't see out and others couldn't see in.
I remember the very first night in my apartment at college, about to start a new job the next morning, and my toilet starts overflowing in typical apartment living style.
This fear peaked after becoming a mom:
The first weeks of motherhood are a blur, but I remember that every time I would hear her grunt or make the smallest noise when we were asleep, I would LEAP from my bed and make sure she was still breathing.
I remember as the weeks wore on, as the afternoon passed and nighttime approached, this sense of anxiety would begin to build and build inside of me until I would have a crying meltdown or just get angry at my poor husband just about everyday.
I remember this fear anytime my husband is away from home, even if it's for only one night. I stay up as late as physically possible until I just crash into bed. Even then, I stay awake for hours worrying about what could go wrong or what could happen now that it's nighttime.
And I think this fear gets perpetuated in my head by the fact that no one is "available" to help me - my sweet husband needs sleep to go to work the next day, the doctor's office aren't open (except the ER) in case of emergency, bad things like crime always happen at night and I would have to defend myself. Any mother will tell you that nighttime is when babies spike fevers, or throw up, or have a witching hour. It's like they plan for it to happen after normal business hours. Babies are smarter then we think.
But as I was reading today, one of the scriptures for Day 10 of the 1&2 Timothy study from She Reads Truth kinda jumped out at me: "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" 2 Timothy 1:7.
Here I am typing this, it's currently nighttime - I'm alone - not sleeping - thinking of all the possible bad things that could happen, yet this spirit of fear that is dwelling inside me isn't from God.
It's a play from the devil's playbook.
It makes me lean more of my "understanding" of the world.
It makes me worry and have an anxious heart.
Instead of playing the devil's game, I need to stop repeating these lies inside my head and replace them with TRUTH.
God has given me a spirit of power - the same power that raised Jesus from the DEAD is dwelling inside of me.
God has given me a spirit of love - His "perfect love casts out fear." (1John 4:18) Am I really believing in His love in that moment if I am living in fear?
God has given me a spirit of self-control, some translations say "sound mind." For my mind to be sound in truth, I need to "take every thought captive" (2 Corinthians 10:5) and measure it against the truth of God's Word. If it doesn't match, then I need to throw. it. out.
So I'm not saying I'm "cured" of my nighttime anxiety and fear or will be anytime soon, but in the moment of my weakness and fear, I just need to believe the truth of God's Word that He has spoken to me and let Him be my strength when I am failing. I just need to trust Him and rest easy.