Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Security Blanket

We look at children who need a "lovey" or a security blanket to get to sleep at night, and we think it's quaint and cute.  But the truth is, everyone needs a security blanket of some sort.  Because we all need security.

When I was a child, and even into my teens and twenties, I had horrible flash-back nightmares of traumatic childhood experiences, as well as dream-type nightmares based on my worst fears - phobias I had, and in some areas, still have. These left me feeling so exhausted that I would eventually "crash" and go into a dreamless sleep for a few nights running.  And then they'd start again. Every time.  I'd wake up in a panic, convinced that insects were crawling all over me and into my nostrils, suffocating me... or whatever other "powerlessness" dreams my subconscious (or my conscious memory) cooked up for me.

I was at a loss as to what to do.  Then someone - I think it was a Sunday School teacher - suggested to me to sleep with my Bible under my pillow when I happened to mention that I was having bad dreams.  I was brought up in a very superstitious household and community, so that tactic made sense to me at the time.  I started sleeping with my Bible under my pillow ... and amazingly, the nightmares didn't happen nearly as often.  

In hindsight, what I think really happened is that I was aware of that Bible under my pillow all night long, and was reminded as I slept that Somebody bigger than me, Someone much larger than even the thing or things I feared most, was with me and looking after me.  It was a very small, very unusual security blanket. And I SO needed security.  And it worked.  I'm a firm believer that God uses whatever means necessary to let us know that He is looking after us because He loves us.

And yeah, I need reminding.  

I eventually grew out of my need to sleep with a Bible under my pillow - that phase lasted about three or four years.  The thing I took from that time in my life was that God's love was something that I could count on whether I was aware of it or not.  

Yet ... I still need reminding. Often.

I found myself thinking about my youthful but rather bizarre security blanket lately, because of my recent struggles with feeling overwhelmed by stress in my life.  I guess that my emotional needs haven't really changed since I was that many years younger than I am now. I still need security, security that can't be provided by other people or a regular paycheck.  I've tried to find it in other things, usually compulsive habits that make me feel better temporarily, but nothing really works except being reminded - and God always finds a way to remind me - that He loves me ... no matter what.  

No matter what.  Now THAT's a security blanket.

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