Sofia Evelina’s bed time was always 8:00 during the week. And she didn’t like it. Everyone in the house all got to stay up later. But her and her younger sister Tenley, always had an earlier bed time. Sometimes, Sofia would cry about having to go to bed so early, other times she would beg her mom or her step-dad Kris to let her stay up later. But the answer was always no.
During one spring, for an entire week, it was especially difficult for Sofia to go to sleep. And when she did fall asleep, she’d wake up at least once or twice during the night with bad dreams. It was very hard on Sofia, she was becoming more and more scared of bed time every day. And more and more tired!
As Sofia’s mom was putting her to bed one evening, Sofia cried about going to bed. Mom laid down beside her and put the blankets over both of them. Snuggling really tight together, she asked her what was really going on.
“Well,” said Sofia, “I’ve been having a lot of bad thoughts before bed and bad dreams while I’m sleeping. I’m scared there’s monsters in my closet. I’m scared that you’re going to leave me and I won’t have a mom any more. And I dream that my whole family dies except me, and I’m all alone. I keep having all these bad thoughts and dreams, and they just won’t go away!”
“Oh honey! Why didn’t you tell me all these things before? I knew you were having bad dreams, but these are worse than I thought!” Sofia’s mom put her arm around her and pulled her in tight.
“I don’t know why I didn’t tell you. I guess I thought maybe they’d go away. And I didn’t think you’d care that much.”
“Why wouldn’t I care? I love you and care about everything that goes on in your life. All the things you care about, I care about. Just like our heavenly Father cares about them too.”
“Well, I was scared that you’d get mad, and maybe even leave. And I couldn’t stop thinking that you wouldn’t want me anymore!”
Mom didn’t know how to respond. Part of her was upset that her daughter would think that after all she has done for her, Sofia would still think that she didn’t want her and would leave. But the other part knew that those thoughts were lies from the enemy that needed to leave her mind right then and there! Closing her eyes, mom whispered a silent prayer for God’s help with what to say to her beloved daughter.
Cupping Sofia’s face in her hands, looking at her straight in the eye, mom said, “Sofia, my love. You know that I love you more than anything in the whole world. You know that I would never leave you. I never have before and I never will. Ever. The thoughts you’re letting come into your mind are lies from the enemy. You have to stop thinking them. The Bible says to take every thought captive against the knowledge of Christ, and that means that every thought we have, line it up with what Christ says about us. If it doesn’t match up, put it out of your mind. And Christ only says good things about us, so whatever we think should be good. Dreams are kind of the same, but kind of different. We can’t really control what we dream, but we control what we think about before we go to bed, and sometimes, both are similar. If you’re afraid before you go to bed, chances are you might have a scary dream. That’s why we always pray before bed, that God would give you good dreams. Perhaps we should do that now?
Sofia sigh, “Yeah, I guess.”
“But what do you think we should do first?” Sofia’s mom smiled and winked at her.
“Say what we’re thankful for and make declarations.” Sofia giggled quietly.
“What?! How did you know that??”
Sofia rolled her eyes, “Mom, it’s what we always do!”
“It is?! I’m shocked! Whatever do you mean?!”
“Oh mom, as if you don’t know!” Sofia laughed. “Okay, I’ll start. I’m thankful that my mom loves me.” Mom bent down and gave her a big slobbery kiss. Sofia shrieked and wiped it off. “Ewe, mom! I’m trying to do something here!”
“Okay, sorry!” mom laughed, “please, continue.”
“I’m thankful that when I have bad thoughts or dreams that I can always talk to my mom and she’ll be there for me and pray for me. I’m thankful that God will always help me think good thoughts and help and comfort me when I have a bad dream. I’m thankful that God keeps us safe and there isn’t any monsters in my closet, or any other scary things. And I declare that God is my protector, He will keep me safe. I know he will comfort me when I need it. God loves me and only wants the best for me!” Sofia yawned, and her eyes started to get heavy.
After mom prayed that God would give her peace and a good sleep, she got up and tucked her in. Kissing her forehead, she whispered, “Goodnight my Sofia Evelina. Sweet, sweet dreams.”