Nightmares and What God Says

We got home from lunch at 5pm, having gotten a late start visiting with Pastor and his wife, Sheila. Cohen had completely missed his nap, but at almost dinner time, our strategy was to keep him awake and put him to bed early rather than letting him nap and then be up until 10 or 11. We all curled up with Lady and the Tramp to put a restful tone on the remainder of our marathon day.

My friend Mackenzie stopped by with a friend and well- let the showing off begin! Cohen was doing somersaults and karate chopping and running in circles and giggling. Somewhere during that visit, my last nausea pill ran out and it became necessary for me to just lie down. That was around 6:30p and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the couch a half an hour before midnight.

I took Piper and Scout outside and then put them in their crates. I crept up the stairs, so as not to waking either of my sleeping boys, but no sooner had I snuggled down under the covers and I heard Co shifting in his toddler bed. I listened as the covers and pillows dropped to the floor and within seconds there was the sound of quick little footsteps across the hall to our room. I helped him to the bathroom, carried him back to bed, and rubbed his back until he fell back asleep.

Now after midnight, I settled back in to bed and quickly drifted off. A cry from Co’s bedroom woke me. I looked at the clock. It was just past 1am. I listened to see if he was still asleep or getting upset. It was the latter and seconds later he was standing by my side of the bed. I hugged him, assured him he was safe, took him to the bathroom, carried him to bed, and rubbed his back. Repeat this whole scene twice more before 3am. He was crying and terrified so I made him a bed on the floor right next to mine and he settled down. Still, every 40-50 minutes throughout the night he would cry out and need to hold my hand.

It was a long night.

We’ve been fighting nightmares for a year now. It used to be that I would just let Cohen get into bed with me on those nights, but at some point I realized I wanted him to feel safe apart from being snuggled up to me. I want him to know he’s safe in this house and in his room and especially with Jesus.

We talked a little about the nightmares during the night, but by the morning he “didn’t want to tell me” about them…so, I let it go. I know what they are, anyway. It is always the same.

Gymnastics is our Monday evening date now. Cohen flips and rolls and jumps on the trampoline and I watch through the glass windows in the waiting room. Every so often, I will catch his eye and he waves and blows kisses until his teacher redirects him to their routine. When the class let out, he bounced all around the waiting room while putting on his socks and boots. I helped with his hat and zipped his coat and we headed to the car. It is a short ten minute ride home. He was unusually quiet for the first few minutes and then…

“Mom, you know what?”

“What, Co?”

“I told Jesus about my bad dreams.” I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until he continued, “When I was sleeping, you know what God telled me?” What followed from his mouth instantly made me cry. I knew God had told him that. It was an answer to the very thing his nightmares have centered around. I looked into the rearview mirror at my very brave 3 year old who has information beyond his years… a heaviness I can see at times his expressions and his eyebrows. He was smiling, “God really did say that, Mom. I know He did. When I was sleeping.”

“I am sure He did, Bug. That sounds like Him.” He smiled.

“Let’s call Grandma.”He was antsy to tell her. I got Grandma on the phone and handed Co the phone. He repeated it all to her, like it was the best news he had ever heard. It was certainly some of the best news I had ever heard.

“Mom, do you know why I told God? and Jesus? Because they don’t like bad things. And they will help me.” I just stared at him, amazed.

“That’s right, Bug, that’s so right.”

He bopped into the house, immediately telling David about what God had said and then following it with, “Do you know God and Jesus too?” When we both affirmatively answered he chimed in, “I do too!”

I got Cohen home and then ran over to talk to a friend (whom I am interviewing for the blog- coming in a couple of days- you will not want to miss it!) for a little while. On the drive to Jolene’s house, I felt courage and such thankfulness flooding my heart.

Cohen slept all night in his room, not even waking once. He woke up with a smile on his face. And while I know that its likely we will still battle fears and anxieties and dreams from time to time, I am relieved to know that God is speaking to my son. If God is for Him and Co gets that, than what can be against him? If he can hear the Voice of God speaking peace to his heart, then what will overcome him?

All mother’s worry about their children, I think it comes with the territory. And I am not exempt from that. And while there have been lots of regular things to brew over, I have seen the Enemy attack my son’s life over and over and over again since even before he was born. Running the gamut of emotions, I have felt overwhelmed and then angry like a she-bear and then I have had to learn to just pray and not try to control the things I can’t.

This morning the Lord is reminding me of elementary, but powerful truths.

—No weapon formed against those who are the Lord’s will prosper. I love how the Amplified Bible states it:
But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. [Isaiah 54:17]

—All things work together for good.
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan[ for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. [Romans 8:28]

—God will complete the good work He has begun.
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. [Philippians 1:6]

So, with just Cohen and I up enjoying these wee hours before the sun comes up, I am thanking God with a full heart. Thanking Him for intercepting the fiery darts meant to take Cohen out in the most formative years of his life and working it all together for Cohen’s good. I am thankful that He knows how to comfort and speak peace. I am thankful He is pursuing Cohen and letting Cohen know Him. I am thankful that this seed He has planted in Cohen’s heart will be tended and watered and pruned until Jesus returns and the work of God is complete in Him.

Don’t miss the whispering of Jesus to your heart today, my friends.

9 Comments

  1. Cried all.the.way.through this. So grateful for the way God’s children always, always have all that they need, no matter the circumstance. He is truly enough & proves Himself to be in beautiful ways like this. I love it!

  2. thank you for sharing this, kate! my heart is so moved by this example of God’s extraordinary love and presence with us. blessings to you and your family!

  3. So good! Thanks for sharing those verses… such good promises to remember. I read this two days ago – another nugget along the same lines…

    Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

  4. LOVED this story, what an amazing GOd we have, who reveals Himself freely to the little men in our lives!

    and CONGRATS on your pregnancy! just read about it before i got to this post! :)

  5. thanks for this. i shared this story with my 5 year old who also has nightmares and night terrors. i always comfort her and encourage her to pray Matthew 28:20- I am with you always, or ask her if i can pray it over her but she usually tells me no. i struggle with her rejecting scripture like that and sometimes wonder where i went wrong. seeking God about that this morning. thanks again for the story and for those verses.

  6. SO glad to read this, Kate… How great is our God. I pray over Cohen a lot, as you know. SO grateful God talked to your little boy’s heart.

  7. So beautiful! That brought tears to my eyes. It’s amazing how he said “they will help me”….why can’t we adults believe as easily?

  8. This is so sweet to hear and oh so true. I love that the Lord reveals himself even to three year olds!

  9. i liked this story. i hv suffrd frm ngtmres 4 a lng tym nw. i always dream bout the same 2 ppl in my family. ive hd a tough pst. its all dne n dusted nw. i jst wana heal. i wnt 2 4gv. i wnt 2 stp dreaming. wen my boyfiend is here i neva hv bad dreams. bt ths week he went away cz he’s in the army. n i hd a messed up dream. sumtmz i wounder hw God still loves me. i dnt wana dream like this wen he goes ob tour 2 afgan. he’l b away 4 6mnths. i thnk God is wtchn out 4 me thgh. i thnk he hurts wen i hurt. im gna tlk 2 him aswel. im gna hv hpe n im gna try read the bible n strt goin 2 church again. thank you 4 yr stry xox

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