the green bunny is normally enough. sometimes aiden lets me wash it so it’s nice and soft but most of the time he carries it everywhere, my three year-old, while his brother carries a brown bear.

but lately the bunny’s lost its power, and i’ve been praying over the bottom bunk bed where aiden sleeps.

the glow and the dark stars on his walls. and my body rises in the night to go to aiden multiple times to keep him from these monsters that chase his dreams.

and it’s become spiritual warfare, friends. because he’s screaming like he’s haunted. he’s screaming that they’re going to get him and i can’t help but feel angry. furious, at the enemy for picking on someone so small, but satan’s weak like that. he goes after those that can’t fight for themselves, and so i’m teaching my son. i’m teaching him to tell those monsters to go away in Jesus’ name.

and i didn’t know what i thought of spiritual warfare until i saw my son tormented by shadows on his walls. and then i knew, it wasn’t about what i thought. because it was real. it was about how i responded.

and i’ve prayed and i’ve wrestled but i think, as much as i hold him and pray for him and sing God Is Bigger Than the Boogeyman, as much as i give him flashlights and turtles that light up with stars and moons, i cannot save him from the shadows.

i can only equip him with the source of light. i can teach him that God alone is light, and then wait as he prays that light into his room. because there’s no lamp brighter than a child’s prayer. 

and maybe more than anything, we teach them that the monsters have no power. “here is the world,” wrote frederick buechner. “beautiful and terrible things will happen. don’t be afraid.”

it’s hard watching your little boy stand up to the powers of darkness, his onesie pajamas bunched at his toes.

but the angels fairly sing when he’s finally asleep, long lashes on his cheeks and a green bunny tucked securely in his arms.

(friends, how about you? have your children battled nightmares? how have you dealt with them?)

*linking with laura, jen, michelle, and heather 

*my sister was up this weekend, and we recorded John Denver’s “You Fill Up My Senses”: