Sunday, October 20, 2013

When You Turn Out the Light

During the early months of my single mom journey, turning the light out at night was difficult. I had two youngsters in the other bedrooms to protect. I had to protect myself. There was no man in the house to make me feel safe and secure. I was it. Head honcho. I was a knee-knocking, fear-filled 27-year old single mom in charge of our safety.

I haven’t told many people this, but those first months and probably the entire first year, I slept with a knife hidden under my mattress.  A big one.

I remember putting a chair at each door, tilted just under the doorknob to keep out predators. LOL, right!

We had a big dog. Sheba was a Doberman. She slept outside in her cozy doghouse in our fenced-in yard, or so I thought. One night she erupted into an attack bark right under my bedroom window. Her barking was followed by the sound of her jumping up and running to the edge of the yard. It was probably just an opossum or some other night creature. That’s what I’d tell myself. I didn’t know she’d been sleeping under my window until this barking episode. But night after night, there she was, right under my window.  I was very thankful for Sheba back then.

Eventually I put the knife back in the kitchen where it belonged and didn’t have Sheba anymore. Over time, I realized I had a Protector that was much bigger and stronger than any physical weapon I had back then. Every night when the light went out I prayed for God’s protection, for Him to surround our home with his guardian angels and the blood of Jesus. Every single night.

Protection isn’t the only thing a single mom thinks about when she turns out her light at night. It’s being alone. There you are in the dark alone with your thoughts. For me thoughts of him with her invaded my mind. Fearful thoughts of our future and the unknown. Random thoughts that made no sense. Eventually I made a conscious decision to turn off those thoughts along with the lights and dwell on the Lord’s presence there in the dark with me.

The wonderful thing is we can control our thoughts. It’s hard at first, but when you are intentional about it, it’s like quitting a bad habit or starting a new good one.

No one but the Lord knows where your heart and mind are when you turn out the light at night. You think you’re alone. You feel alone, but the truth is far from it. He is there, ever present. When you purposely turn your thoughts towards Him, and practice keeping them there, something incredible happens. You start to enjoy turning out the light after everyone is asleep and all is quiet. You can then focus on the One who loves you more than His own life.

From now on when you turn out that light at night, don’t think of you being all by yourself and alone. Give Jesus a chance to use that time to make His presence known. Think about Him. He’s thinking about you.  And when you fall asleep, He’s still thinking about you. When you wake up, He’s still there, thinking about you.

In His grip,