In the still quietness of the night, we slumber soundly, dreaming in deep sleep. Larry and I don’t feel the little body that inches her way up to our pillows, or her pressing between us. We awake stiff in the morning from our motionless sleep and rise to find our youngest daughter warm, well wrapped, and snoring in a mountain of blankets. Hours later, she graces us at the table with her tussled hair that extends in every matted direction. Worried eyes look up at me; “Last night I had a bad dream about a witch…” With vocal tones rising higher and tears flooding her eyes, she continues; “I could see shadows moving in my room!” Unfortunately, my consoling, comforting snuggles, questions, and feeble explanations of moving shadows, aren’t uprooting the mounting fear that grows on her mind. The second and third nights follow, and we repeat the new nighttime pattern until our aching spines and restless sleep can’t endure the routine any longer. Larry and I are now motivated and discuss our new battle plan, remembering seasons long past as our guide.
Seven years ago, I too felt overcome by fears that left me gripped and paralyzed. We were in full time ministry and in our newest home. Being our seventh move, I quickly became familiar with unpacking. I became so familiar with relocating, that I would keep the emptied boxes, in anticipation of our next move. In addition, I didn’t learn to unpack the countless thoughts and lies that I collected in life, instead, they were placed upon forgotten shelves in my memory. Even though these beliefs remained mostly quiet and still, they would alarm me with their presence at the times when my faith in God was growing or being put to the test. Distracting shadows lurked and skittered across the walls of our home without explanation and eerie noises startled Larry and I out of sleep on a few evenings. Terrifying images and paralyzing fear would grip me at random as I would attempt to drift into a doze . I awoke often with a clenched, pain filled jaw, which Larry would massage on many mornings. I felt so pursued that unexpected, thoughts would flash through my mind with tempting images of my life ending.
Grieved, I was unable to free myself with lasting effectiveness from this relentless evil. It took courage, but I confided in my husband about the newest grips of fear in my life. I quickly found that without his help, insight, and prayer- I would continue to be tormented even as I lived in joy most of the time. During that season, he was going through a study on ‘Reclaiming Surrendered Ground’ by: James Logan. I wrestled with the idea for days to become vulnerable, trust God, and take a step of faith to go through this study with my husband. When things became too overwhelming, it was then, that I surrendered. My eyes were unveiled as Larry took me down a road of faith that I had never traveled before. In my enthusiasm as a child, I consumed countless horror movies and books and welcomed them into my life. Even though these choices happened 18 years prior, they were exposed as dark and fruitless seeds that followed me into adulthood. It wasn’t until my husband prayed for me, that I experienced a freedom I had never known. I sat stunned, experienced noticeable freedom from the strangling roots of evil that I had once toyed with and allowed into my life. I was also healed of the constant gripping pain within my jaw. Peace now grew where fear and darkness once resided.
Today Larry prays over Kathleen in faith, that God will bring freedom and comfort to the daughter he loves. In his God- given authority as husband and father, bondage is once again broken. We all dream in our own beds again, believing that we are not alone, and that there is nothing too impossible for God.
“We act out what we believe. Not what we know.” Vickie Arruda -From “Praying God’s Word” by Beth Moore