How sad is it that at 4:30 am I was trying to think of how I would describe the noise that work me up at 3:30 am. I’m not good at onomatopoeia. Pahpahumpump kinda fits, but not exactly. It was one of those times when I wasn’t sure if I’d actually heard it or just dreamt it. So I laid there straining my ears. Nothing. I realized that if I was ever going to sleep again, I just needed to go check out the noise. I dragged myself out of bed and instantly had a big old pitiful me party because there wasn’t some big, strong husband for me to push outta bed and check on scary noises. I’ll blame that moment of weakness on the late hour of the night.
I’m almost embarassed to say this, but I did it, so I’ll share it — I woke up one of my teenagers so someone was awake while I did my security sweep. My poor child. That made me wish again for a partner to have my back. But I didn’t dwell…I was on a mission.
With my cell phone handy and ready to dial 9-1-1 at a moments notice, I flicked on the lights and walked around my house checking doors, windows and closets. All clear – thank goodness! Don’t know what I’d do if I actually did find someone. Hopefully something intelligent and brave.
I’ve come a long way. I’m becoming a strong mama. I can bravely do so many things I would have absolutely dreaded before. I recall many times during my married life when I was afraid to be alone, feared going out by myself at night, hated going down to the basement (well….occasionally I still do)… I couldn’t have imagined facing my fears head on without anxiety. Now I live a new kind of life that requires me to face and master my anxious thoughts.
Many years ago, my mantra verse was Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I really REALLY struggled with fear. Then 9/11 happened and I basically had a freakout period – I couldn’t figure out how to begin to protect my children from this world and all its dangers. Thankfully, God got my attention. I had to decide if I trusted Him or not. I knew I trusted deep down. And, if I trusted Him with my life, I needed to trust Him with everything and that included my children. I still struggled at times (see above – basements can be scary) to live out my trust. The things I deal with now – fear of the future, fear of failure as a single mom, fear of being alone, fear for the way all this will impact my children, fear of lots of stuff.
The first year after my husband left I had a lot of fears come crashing in. In ways I can’t comprehend, God was gracious to fill me with His peace. I found Him to be more than faithful in the big and small. I know that He still is and always will be my provider, my strength and my hope. I grabbed hold of verses like Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” I love all those verses that command us to be strong and courageous. Did you know that God commands us to not be afraid more than any other command in the Bible? I’ve read that God says it 366 times – one for every day, even leap year!
There will be noises in the nights and dark basements to deal with, but we face our fears because we must. We will be strong and courageous mommas! We don’t need to be afraid – not one single day or night!