(For the audio version of this blog post, visit christywilliams.org)
I remember going through this phase with my youngest daughter where I wanted her to sleep without a nightlight, but she totally disagreed! I figured if she woke up to a completely dark room, it would send a signal to her brain that it is still “night time” or “too early to be up time” and she would go back to sleep like everyone else in the house rather than walk to my room and ask me for a banana at 5am!
I would put her to bed with the night light on. Once I believed she was asleep, I’d go into her room, turn it off, and cross my fingers. It never worked. Most nights she’d wake up when she heard that “click” sound. She’d say, “Mommy, it’s too dark. Please turn my light back on.” So I’d turn it back on . . . and try again the next night.
One evening I decided to test my theory several hours after putting her to bed. Perhaps I was not allowing her to approach that deep REM sleep. Well, I did it! I was able to leave the room and make it all the way to the couch where I dozed off! Things were looking promising. Looks like this tired mama may actually sleep in, right? Wrong! I woke up shortly afterwards to the sound of her knocking frantically on her bedroom door. When I got back to her room, she was sitting up in the bed. We did not exchange a single word. The look on her face said it all! I knew exactly what she wanted: light. I turned it back on, she crawled back under her covers and went back to sleep. I walked out of her room to prepare for my 5 am Saturday morning visit.
Have you ever looked up and realized you were surrounded by darkness? Do you wish someone would please turn the light back on? This darkness can take on many forms. Perhaps you’ve gone from married to divorced, from single to still single, from employed to unemployed, from financially stable to bankrupt, from healthy to sick, from dreaming of being a mother to being told it won’t happen, from being accepted to rejected, from loving a loved one to drafting their eulogy—and these shifts in light have you lost.
“Word of God is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
The “lamp” referred to here was a candle in a lamp people would carry around. Today, it would be a flashlight. If you hold a flashlight and you want more light down your path, you have to take the next step. This psalmist is saying that his course through life is under the guidance of God’s teachings. When light is needed to navigate the dark paths in life, we are encouraged to rely on God’s Holy Word.
How do we turn on the light of God’s Word? By reading it. Not sure what to read? I completely understand! Consider starting with the passages listed above. While doing this may not immediately change your situation, it will most definitely give you the light—perspective and wisdom—needed to go through your situation and come out victoriously; that is, having lit up your situation with words inspired by the Light of the world himself: Jesus the Christ.