In 2004 when I was spiritually abused I started having nightmares. Until that point in my life I had only had a few nights in my lifetime where I experienced this and I started having nightmares almost every night. It was a very disturbing piece of evidence in my life of the trauma I had experienced and I didn’t know how to respond to it and to make it go away.
A few months ago after the struggles at my last church some similar nightmares started to resurface. Thankfully this time my heart and life were in a very different place and I was able to lay the issue before God and trusted him to lead me to a solution. About that time I happened to see Beth Moore doing an interview on TV. In that interview she spoke of how she went through a time in her life where she realized she wanted to have God’s word on her heart and to always be rejoicing in and worshipping him. She began to learn how to always have a song on her heart so that even when she awoke in the middle of the night her heart and mind would turn to God and celebrate his goodness. Through that interview I took on a new idea to train my heart and mind to always be thinking of and at rest with God’s word. When I am upset, stressed, emotionally struggling, or feeling depressed…when I don’t think I will sleep well I take ahold of my small bible that fits within my hand and I hold it to my heart until I fall asleep. Throughout the night if I awaken the Bible is there to remind me to trust God because he is in charge and watching over me. This simple act has had profound impact on my rest and overall peace. I know that I can place myself under God’s protection and rest in his care.
A few days ago I came across this story from Beth in her study A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place. The lesson for the day was on the Bread of the Presence that was placed on the altar in the tabernacle. It reminded me of the way God has taught me that he covers me and keeps me safe under his care.
“My father was in the battalion that broke open the gates and announced freedom to prisoners in Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp. The emaciated prisoners kissed the soldiers’ feet and repeatedly cried out their thanksgiving. In that moment the soldiers were forever changed. The liberation, however, posed an immediate problem: the children. Either they had been separated from their parents, or their parents were dead. Either way, they had nowhere to go. An army hospital was set up at once to care for them, where they were bathed, fed, and warmed. However, it was not enough. Every night brought horrifying nightmares, making rest impossible for the children and the personnel. Finally, one man lined up the children one night at bedtime, gathered loaves from the kitchen, and tore off a piece of bread for each child. The children curled up in their beds, nestled the bread against their breasts, and slept with the angels.”
Know that you are safe under the protection of God. He cares about you and if you suffer from nightmares may you find a place of safety, peace, rest, and hope in him!