Being afraid of things is part of life, but it doesn’t have to have power over you.
Published on: 07-01-2020
Are you scared of snakes? What about clowns (yes, there are people who shake in their shoes at the sight of clowns)? Do spiders send you running? Do heights bring tears to your eyes? How do you feel about the dark?
When I was young, I was never very comfortable sleeping in the dark when I was by myself. Now, as long as my little sister was in the room, or I was with friends at a sleepover, or any situation where there was another person, I’d be OK.
But left by myself, I was really bothered by the darkness, and I’d have the hardest time going and staying asleep.
One of my most vivid memories of struggling to sleep alone in the dark comes from an experience I had when I was 8. I had watched a movie that was not really a scary movie, but not the most appropriate for a child my age. I wasn’t scared watching it, or when I went to bed, but then I had a really vivid nightmare about it. My brain went into overdrive that night, and when I woke up unsettled, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I ended up spending most of the night awake, and you can imagine what kind of day I had in school after that.
This happened a few times afterward. If I watched or read something even a little scary, I would inevitably have a bad dream. Then I’d need the lights on, and sometimes even that didn’t help.
So what did I do? Well, my grandmother, who was faithful in her prayer life, clued me in to something. The first thing was that I really needed to stop watching and reading things that didn’t fill my mind with good, happy thoughts. Second, I needed to do a better job of talking to Jesus about it in my nightly prayers (because sometimes I forgot). Third, it was OK to tell Jesus specifically that I needed help to have pleasant dreams and a good sleep.
So guess what? When I did these things, I didn’t have bad dreams and trouble sleeping.
Being afraid of things is part of life, but it doesn’t have to have power over you. When Jesus is in control, and you go to Him with anything that bothers you, He will take care of it. All you have to do is ask! You’ll be surprised at the many ways He’ll come to your rescue. At the end of the day, you don’t have to be afraid.
Look up the word “fear” in the back of your Bibles. Or if you have a Bible app, search that word. You will find many verses on the topic—many that will encourage you. Pick out your favorites and make small posters you can color and decorate. You can hang them up in your room to remind yourself every day that with Jesus beside you, fear has no place in your life.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isa. 12:2, NIV).