Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Perfect Love

Bedtime was almost a disaster tonight.  Lots of tears, lots of questions, and finally we got down to the root of the issue - nightmares.  My oldest had a big nightmare last night -- thunderstorms, dangerous utility poles, neglectful parents, panic, chaos.  And she went to bed tonight convinced that the dream would return again.

A part of me just wanted her to realize it was only a dream and go back to bed.  But the more I listened, I realized it wasn't just a dream.  It was a window into the depths of her heart.  And I needed to listen.  I needed to hear how she feared the storm, I needed to hear how she feared that I might not care if danger was coming.  I needed to hear that many other stresses of the past month have become deep fears within her heart and all played roles in her nightmare.  Listening gave me a view into her soul that wouldn't have come if I had simply said don't worry, it's just a dream.

But listening wasn't enough.  Listening to her dream didn't make her fear go away, praying for her didn't make her fear go away.  So next I tried what every natural teacher tries - education! 

Kaiden listened as I told her about fear - how fear is like a small seed that starts in our souls and seeks to grow and grow.  As it grows, it makes us believe things that aren't true and it makes us fear things that aren't even a part of the original fear.  I talked with her about how even though fear is real, fear is not good.  Fear happens when we choose to look at the bad instead of at God himself.  When Peter walked on the water, he was looking at Jesus.  But then he looked at the waves, fear rushed in, and he began to sink.  Fear keeps us from doing the amazing. 

I agreed with Kaiden that nightmares are horrible but that God can take the horrible and make it good.  He does not want us to fear, He does not want us to have nightmares, but He can use those nightmares to help us see the hidden things in our hearts.

Still the fear remained.  Now what... I had listend to the dream, I had talk with her about where dreams come from, I had helped her see what was hiding in her dream, and we had talked about how God and I really do love her...  what still was needed was faith.

When Peter looked at the waves and began to sink, he had to cry out - Lord save me.  Tonight in her heart Kaiden had to cry out in that same way.  She had to, by faith, trust that God could conquer her fear.  She had to believe that His Perfect Love would cast out her fear. 

It was beautiful to watch her fall asleep tonight, trusting in faith that God would push out her fears with His love.

Its funny, every time I put my girls to bed, I always hope for a quick night with no issues.  But my times of greatest joys are after a wonderful night of quiet whispers as we work together through the issues.

Father, thank you for letting me see into Kaiden's heart tonight.  Thank you for allowing us all to have dreams, and nightmares, and for being able to see the hidden places of the heart.  Most of all, thank you for a sweet time with my daughter.  Thank you for giving me wisdom to answer her questions.  Thank you for your Truth and your Perfect Love that is stronger than all our fears.

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