I had all the normal childhood fears. I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of the monsters in my closet and under my bed. And, of course, I was afraid of the alligators sleeping in my bed.
You read that correctly. I feared the presence of alligators between my fitted and flat sheets. This was an easy fear to overcome. I simply had my mom pull the top sheet and covers to the very end of my bed each night so that I could confirm no alligators.
My alligator fear was so real that when I wanted to get into my parent’s bed in the middle of the night, I asked them to get out of bed, turn on the lights, and pull their covers all the way back so that I could confirm they had no alligators in their bed as well.
Here is where I will confess to you a few things about my childhood that I have realized since becoming a mother myself:
1. I was a high maintenance child. (There. I said it so you would not have to.)
2. We never lived within five hours of an alligator habitat. There was zero chance of alligators in our yard much less my upstairs bedroom!
3. I was a very high maintenance child.
I had always thought I was the easy child, but I have learned that I was definitely more difficult than my sister. This was because once I became convinced of something, I could not drop it. Just like the idea of an alligator in my bed…no one could reason with me otherwise.
The alligators became a fearful presence in my life , because I was convinced they were a real possibility.
A few months after Daniel died, I read a scripture about being convinced. I had read this passage before. It has always reassured me of God’s presence no matter what.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35, 38-39
It was true, and I had known this before Daniel died. But after his death, this verse seemed to ring truer than before.
Neither Daniel’s death nor my life here on earth could separate me from the love of God. Nothing – not my grief, not my fears for the future, not anything that had happened or could happen, could separate me from the love of God.
I want to encourage you not to let anything separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Seek Him and you will find Him. Know that His loving arms are just waiting to hold you, hug you, and carry you forever.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I made my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand shall hold me.”
“The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.”