Being scared of the dark often plagued me when I was a kid.
Normally, this fear only caused me to flip every light on in every room I passed on my way to the bathroom, but there was one night when I took my battle with the darkness to a new level.
One night, at the precious age of 7, my little mind came up with a better idea than flicking on a few light switches.
It was a no-moon night. Black and quiet, and I was having a particularly hard time going to sleep.
The shadows hid creaky creatures, and I couldn’t just stay in bed and wait for them to get me.
So I did what most kids would do, I went in search of a light. Somehow it seemed less scary to roam around our little home in the dark rather than stay in my comfy bed. Maybe it was my craving for adventure that propelled me or maybe it was my misplaced flashlight and broken nightlight. Whatever my reasoning, off I went in search of another option to cast a warm glow in my room.
I would conquer this fear on my own. Sure I could have gotten my parents, but I was independent, strong, and resourceful. Not a baby.
Nope, no crying to daddy.
I snuck off to the kitchen, pulled a chair over to the counter, and got my dad’s old lighter from the cabinet.
It was one of those metal ones, fairly big for my little hands. But I knew how to get it going, and it would certainly help ward off all those terrifying feelings that plagued me. What could be better than a fire to keep the monsters at bay?
Once I lit her up, I carefully set the burning flame under my bed. Yep. No sense in shining a light on the whole house. I put it under my bed, so I could poke my head over the edge and check on it, and it would give off a nice little flickering glow to my spooky room.
Of course I was careful about it, I wasn’t stupid. I wedged one of my shoes and a Barbie chair next to it to keep it from tipping over, and then I settled back to get some rest.
I’m not sure when exactly my dad found the lighter. I do know it was still burning brightly, and I wasn’t. He was pretty shaken up by my little escapade. I don’t remember him being angry, just thankful and kind. And somewhere in the midst of him hugging me, putting his lighter away, and hugging me again, the thought came to me, “Maybe I should’ve gone to my dad instead of doing this myself.”
That thought’s occurred to me a lot lately. As new fears and struggles attack me, I jump into action, off in search of some genius way to solve my problems. Many of these bright ideas make a lot of sense. But before I go setting a fire where maybe there shouldn’t be one, perhaps I’ll go get my Daddy and let him know how I feel. Maybe, just maybe, he will have a better way to handle this than I do.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5