Both Connor and I struggled with them last night. Not the “bad-dream” variety. More the “stomach-turning terror” type, the kind of nightmare where real-life fear tortures you into an agonizing cycle of suspense, anxiety and dread.

Connor said he was afraid of the shadows. Hard to argue with that one. He knows they aren’t a threat, yet they do look spooky and sometimes menacing in the wee hours.

And me? I was afraid of losing the ones I love. My husband left on a business trip this morning that will keep him Out West for the entire week. With the anniversary of September 11 right around the corner, I couldn’t help but think about what I would do if something happened to him. How would my heart manage to recover from that devastation? How would I raise two children who would forever miss their daddy – and one who wouldn’t even know him? Or what if something happened to one of the kids? My very soul would be torn out.

I reasoned with the fear. “The chances of Corey’s plane falling from the sky are ridiculously small. As far as the risk of losing loved ones goes, this week is no different than any other. We live on a thin rope every day. An accident, a disease, a fatal turn of events could happen anywhere at anytime. So why are you so worried now all of a sudden?”

Of course, while that logic is true, it didn’t do much to help me get back to sleep.

So I prayed. “Lord, I know You. Your grace falls each day in perfect measure. We have been though the dark valleys before – and I beheld Your majesty in ways I couldn’t have imagined before. I acknowledge that every day is a gift from You. Each moment is too priceless for words. I don’t want to be glib with this treasure. Nor do I want to cling too tight, for I trust Your heart with my future.”

But in the end, the thing that helped me the most was the same thing that helped Connor get back to sleep – I just needed to be held by the One bigger and stronger than me. Just feel His love and His tenderness and hear His voice telling me, “Shhhh. Don’t be scared. I’m here.”

I’ve always loved the Fernando Ortega song, “Jesus King of Angels.” I call it a lullaby for adults.
Jesus, King of angels, heaven's light,
Shine Your face upon this house tonight.
Let no evil come into my dreams;
Light of heaven, keep me in Your peace.

Remind me how You made dark spirits flee,
And spoke Your power to the raging sea.
And spoke Your mercy to a sinful man;
Remind me, Jesus, this is what I am.

The universe is vast beyond the stars,
But You are mindful when the sparrow falls,
And mindful of the anxious thoughts
That find me, surround me, and bind me.

With all my heart I love You, Sovereign Lord.
Tomorrow, let me love You even more.
And rise to speak the goodness of Your name
Until I close my eyes and sleep again.

Jesus, King of angels, heaven's light,
Hold my hand and keep me through this night.
While my soul still bears the marks of the nightmares, I’m so thankful my God is bigger than my fears.

As David wrote, let me the “the poet who sings your glory – and live what I sing every day” (Psalm 61:8, MSG).


  1. I've never heard that song before, but they're really good words! I should try to find somewhere online to listen to it.

  2. Ohh....I am just now listening to his music b/c I keep hearing about it. Great stuff!

    I too had nightmares recently. Thank you for this post. I agree...I just needed a big Jesus hug...

    And to cast my cares upon the One who sustains me by His very Word. Bless you sister.

  3. Something to memorize about FEAR is it is often "False Evidence Appearing Real" -- I've taught my kids that!

  4. Funny how your dreams change content as your fears change. Losing my husband is still a common nightmare. Leaves me sweating.

  5. Love that song... Thanks for sharing!!

  6. That song is one of my favorites..I have it on a CD and listen to it all the soothing, I think!