That night I didn’t even know I needed to be brave.
Crouched on the floor of my son’s bedroom floor, down on my knees, nine months pregnant, prayers and tears pouring. I didn’t know what I needed, but God did.
I had just stepped into my son’s bedroom for one last peek at his little blonde head before laying down myself. You know. That momma heart has to see them breathing, tucked in tight and down for the count. That was all.
It was early January. The house was cleared of all the remnants of Christmas, except one large wreath that was hanging above the above the fireplace. I was due to have our daughter in late February 1998 and had just placed the pink bedding on her crib in anticipation of her arrival.
When I entered Ryan’s room he was perfect. Such a good sleeper! God knew what I needed. I prayed many times that my children would love sleep the way their momma does. Thankfully, he answered. He was there in the middle of his “big-boy” bed sound asleep. No clue that his mom was peeking. Everything was fine, so why did I drop to my knees in prayer and with tears of fear?
I thought my maternal hormones had gotten the better of me as I cried out, “Lord, protect my children tonight”.
Seriously? I got up and took myself to bed thinking, I have really lost my mind!
All was ok.
Husband finishing up a TV show.
About 11 or 12 by husband joined me in bed. (Knowing me I was not far behind my son, maybe 9…remember I like sleep!) I kissed him goodnight and commented that something smelled funny. Not much later we heard a noise. My husband went to check and the wreath, that last Christmas decoration, had fallen from above the fireplace. He placed it against the wall and came back to bed. Well, I thought, I need to take it down anyway. I will put it away tomorrow.
2am. Loud noises. Very loud noises. Our smoke detectors were alarming.
No smoke to be seen.
I arose from the bed and started to walk to Ryan’s room as Thomas went to the front of the house. I opened Ryan’s door and there he sat in the middle of his bed, waiting. Not a noise did he make, no fear was present. He just sat there, peacefully, waiting. About that time my husband proclaimed, “Get Ryan and get out of the house, the wall in the den is on fire”.
While we sat in the van parked outside, in our pajamas, I clung to my son and watched the glow of red get brighter and brighter through our den window. It felt like an eternity for the fire trucks to get to our home. I can’t tell you I didn’t fear losing our home. I did. But in that moment when I held my little blonde-headed boy and caressed my very pregnant belly and watched my husband in the yard I understood my prayers. And seeing this photo from Suzie Eller proclaiming, “Our Heavenly Father knows what we need before we even ask” (Matt. 6:8), it reminded me to continue to share the story of the night God knew what I needed more than I ever knew.
Today, I can tell you without a doubt that my Father wanted me to know that He is always with us and has every moment in His hands.
I can also tell you that after the fire, there were nightmares. As we boarded up that one room and discovered that our fireplace was constructed incorrectly I would close my eyes at night and see that bright glow getting brighter and brighter.
But my restless nights were few.
I faced those nightmares with closed eyes and prayer.
I asked my Father to take away my fears and be our protection.
I face life with the One who makes me braver than I could ever be alone.
His name is Jesus.
You can be braver with Him too!