image courtesy of Joe McLean
My oldest, a 5 year old, had a nightmare the other night. I had gone for an early morning gym run, so I missed the action but I thought what happened was beneficial to what we had been discussing.
The nightmare was pretty basic. In the dream we were at a local kids’ park and a tornado started coming. We got in the car and went home.
She woke up scared and came to our bed to hunt for comfort. My wife asked her, “What do we do when we are afraid?”
“Ask Jesus for help.”
“Can you do that?”
“Yes. Jesus can you help me?”
“Do you feel better?”
Since it was almost morning, we stayed in bed and snuggled.
It is important to remember the earlier post because we had to first deal with the pride that was keeping her from coming to Jesus. This is important because if we hadn’t done that first, the fear and anxiety would have no outlet besides just parental protection. Don’t get me wrong, a little snuggle with the kids is quite wonderful, but it is also important for them to learn the true source of peace. She needs to go to Jesus herself. She needs to see that Jesus is there for her and not only for Mom and Dad. There will come a time she will not come to us for every nightmare, and we want her prepared for how to deal with them besides just stuffing down the fear.
We could have possibly talked her through how we did not need to worry about tornadoes where we live; tell her that God would protect her. And, this would have been good counsel, but it would in effect belittle her feelings and not point her to the true source of peace.
In reality we could have earthquakes and wildfires in our area. If the dream had been about that, to tell her she had nothing to worry about would only lead to doubt if she were to experience an earthquake or see smoke from a wildfire. As parents we need to give her a more complete answer, which for us is Jesus.
Jesus can meet her at the true source of her fear, and as her parents we can guide her through that process. Not every nightmare will be so easy as this experience, but every one of them can be taken to Jesus.
If I only my parents had known to teach me this, I wonder how long I would have had my reoccurring dream of Bigfoot chasing my family to our car?