Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lions, Tigers and Bears...???

Every time my husband leaves for an overnight trip, my son begs to sleep in my bed. When he was really little I hated it because he would toss and turn and kick me in the head. He has gotten better so most of the time I will let him.


The other night when I went to bed, he was already asleep. I had just gotten settled with my head on the pillow when he sat straight up and had the strangest face, his mouth was twisted in fear he was shaking and although not yelling he was crying a loud "no!" I realized he had a bad dream, or so I thought...

I said his name and he seemed to recognize me which led me to believe he was awake. I soon discovered he wasn't. He would look at me, I would talk to him, he would calm down for a moment and then freak out again. Over and over he did this. He was having night terrors. He is asleep like someone sleepwalking, yet he is in a nightmare. He has done this before. and just like before he would recognize my presence when I talked to him and it would have a calming affect. Yet, also like before he would switch between calm and terror. It is like he can't wake up and get out of his dream like state, even though he hears me calling.

He hasn't had these, that I know of for a few years now. Last time the terrors invaded our world he was nervous about taking the Benchmark tests in the 2nd grade. Why last night? I have no clue. School is officially out and he has the summer ahead of him. He isn't sick, that I know of. We didn't watch anything scary on TV... unless it is because his daddy has been gone, but he doesn't usually have that reaction. Puzzling.

After about 20 minutes of this terror, I finally got him to calm down and go back to sleep peacefully by patting his back, praying and finally singing softly. It was probably off key and a little squeaky, but since this mommy has been singing to him since his birth, he doesn't know any better!!! I sing the same song every time. It is my "fear" song. When I am afraid these are the words that come my way;





"You are my hiding place

you fill my heart with song

with songs of deliverance

whenever I am afraid

I will trust in you

I will trust in you

let the weak say I am strong

in the strength of my Lord.

You are my hiding place."




I typed those words from memory so maybe they are correct. Either way the song served it's purpose last night. Jordan went to sleep within a couple of minutes of me singing. It is moments like this that are heartbreaking as a parent. My little man was terrified, and I couldn't stop it. But God could. This is an example of how when we are afraid, the comfort of the Lord is there, even when we don't realize it!


How many times do we hear the Lord's voice, yet can't seem to shake the crushing reality we are living in? How many times have we chosen fear over peace because we don't want to let go of what haunts us? How many times have we told God we wanted to do things our own way only to feel so weak without Him? When the lions, tigers and bears come out, do we run for cover or do we stand strong, like David and show them where true strength comes from?


Last night Jordan's fear reminded me of the fears and panic attacks I have while awake. I can hear the Lord's voice softly calling, but often I can't seem to let go of the fear. Amazingly, He doesn't give up on me. He continues to call me back safely into His comforting presence. I am so overwhelmed at times, at the depth of His love and strength.


What more can I say? I serve an AWESOME God!!! He can close the door on the ghosts in the closet, get rid of the boogie man and take care of all those monsters under the bed.


He IS our hiding place if we just learn to trust...

8 comments:

Angie said...

Hi. One of our sons used to have night terrors - but during his afternoon nap. It was so scary. I was so glad when they stopped. It's funny that you sing your kids that song You are My Hiding Place. I always sang to them at night but when I tried to sing that song they would cry and tell me it sounded sad.

You look familiar - did you got Ouachita? Your profile says you live in South Arkansas. My mom's family all live in Eldorado. I'm an MK too.

Amber said...

That's the song I sing to the boys, too. Huh.

Precious Jordan. I know that is so scary for you when he has those. Hopefully it was just a one time thing and it doesn't mean that they are going to start up again.

Love you guys.

whimzie said...

Wow.

I needed to read this today.

Thanks, m'am.

Christi said...

Christian used to "wake up", while not really awake. He never had a night terror, it was more of a bathroom issue. Let's just say that he has gone to the bathroom in some VERY unusual places at night! Not cool.

Jim said...

Sis,
I wonder if sleepwalking-type terrors that Jordan has had are inherited? Did I ever tell you about my own episodes when I was Jordan's age?

Mom told me, for I don't remember because, well, I was asleep! She said that one night I got out of bed in the room I shared with my brothers, walked through the dining room and living room to the front door, walked out into the snow (it was winter) around the house to the back door, walked in through the kitchen and dining rooms and back into the bedroom and to bed. They knew this because of my tracks in the snow that led to wet footprints from the back door to my bed, where the sheets showed where my dirty feet had been. I suppose there is no telling how many times I may have walked in my sleep with out evidence to show it, however, one other time mom related was when she woke up to hear me screaming. She found me standing on a chair in the bathroom, staring at myself in the mirror. I woke up when she touched me and spoke my name. I did not remember how or why I got there. Perhaps these were simply responses to the early transitions we faced with mom's divorce before I was in school, and the subsequent moves, then her remarriage and our family increasing to include a dad and two stepbrothers. This and simply my move through puberty, perhaps. With our life settling into a routine on the farm in my teens, I seemed to have no such episodes, though very infrequently your mom says I may talk in my sleep.

I did dream some pretty frightful dreams as a youngster. I even wrote one up as a short story for English and got an A for it. Who knows, maybe writing it down helped erase it from any "reruns".

Obviously, your care and presence brings and peace that brings the necessary assurance.

I applaud your applications of the experiences and am proud of your growing understanding and insight -Did I tell you lately "I'm proud to be your Dad?"

Tell Jordan I understand and am there for him.

Love you all,
Jim-Dad

Gretchen said...

"How many times do we hear the Lord's voice, yet can't seem to shake the crushing reality we are living in? How many times have we chosen fear over peace because we don't want to let go of what haunts us? How many times have we told God we wanted to do things our own way only to feel so weak without Him? When the lions, tigers and bears come out, do we run for cover or do we stand strong, like David and show them where true strength comes from?"

Thanks, Mich. I needed that.

Hope said...

Mich,

I know and love this song, too.
Yes, I can relate completely, and God is SO good.

Thank you for this post.

♥ Hope

S and J said...

2 of our kids have had these night terrors. Its been a little while now since either of them have had one, but they are SO bizarre and quite unnerving. We pray aloud, sing, and say JESUS alot. Exhaustion and stress seem to be triggers, as well as anything that awakens them within the first 2 hours of sleep. Glad we're not the only ones, but its not a fun club to belong to!