“You know, momma, I just don’t like the dark.”
Those words came from my 7-year-old girl when I was questioning about why she was having trouble going to sleep the other night. It’s a regular thing: She reads in bed reading for some time. She knows it’s time to turn out the light, but she’s hesitant. And she’s so much like me: Her mind gets going right when she should turn it off. But it’s not that easy, I know.
And, really, who likes the darkness?
So I give her a hug and kiss. I tell her I love her. I say a quick prayer for God to calm her and give her rest. And I don’t see her again until I check on her before I head to bed and then nearly nine hours later awake her for school.
LIGHT has been my word for the year. It’s a popular blogger thing to choose a word for the new year. Like a trendy resolution. I like words, so I’ve been going along with it the for past several years.
But this year has been different.
God has shown me LIGHT in so many areas. I’ve worked through some childhood hurt that has spilled over into my adult life. I’ve witness God’s glory in some hard days. I hear the word in songs and realize its meaning in my everyday life. Book after book I’ve read have pointed me the LIGHT – such a stark contrast the darkness so many of us fear.
And I’m in the middle of “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore. If you’ve gone through the study, you get it. If you haven’t, you should. So many times I’ve felt caught in the doorway between darkness and light. I want to shut the door to the dark room and live in the room with all the natural light coming in through the windows. I spend so much time there, but sometimes meander back to the darkness.
I’m learning how to let go of that tendency. I’m learning to grab onto God because with him there is no darkness. And it’s easier to close my eyes at night because I know I’m not alone. That’s what I want my girl to learn too.
She’s a talker and a thinker. For as many words as she says, I’m pretty sure she has even more thoughts. These conversations about the literal darkness have spurred on so many good words between us.
A few days passed after her confession that she just doesn’t like the darkness. Then she brought me three $10 bills and eleven pennies. She wanted to give it to me. I’m not sure why. She just said it was a gift. As sweet and sincere as the gesture was, I told her I’d like to her to think of something else to do with that $30.11.
After a few minutes, she said she’d like to send Roselyn, our Compassion International-sponsored girl in Guatemala, a gift. We are only allowed to mail flat things like coloring pages, sticker sheets, and letters, so I encouraged her to come up with some like that.
Then her big, brown eyes lit up: “Can I help some other kids like Roselyn?”
I’m not sure she comprehends how “kids like Roselyn” live. Truthfully, I’m not sure I do either. But the fact she wants her $30.11 to help someone else is good. She went to bed with a gift catalog – you know, the one where you can choose meals to feed the hungry and medicine to help the sick – and I didn’t hear about the darkness from her that night.
The next morning, she showed me what she had circled. “Mom, you may need to help me. These things add up to $67.”
You can’t put a price on LIGHT, but I’m certain $67 will buy more than some gospel tracks, hot meals, and medicine. That money will shine the light on some dark situations – in Guatemala, maybe in Ecuador, and certainly right here in my own American home.
It’s nearing the Christmas season. I know. Choosing gifts for others is such a joy. We’ve loved helping others through Compassion International and have had good experiences doing so. I’d encourage you to check out those gift catalogs for a meaningful, life-changing kind of gift-giving. We’ve also loved sponsoring children through Compassion International. There’s plenty of children who could benefit from your prayers, money, and relationship.
Other posts about LIGHT :: One Word. Songs of Spring. Living & Learning.
I’m linking this post with Lyli Dunbar’s Thought-Provoking Thursday.
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