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I once thought that the sleepless part of parenting belonged to the first few months of our baby’s life. Now between sickness, teething, growth spurts, and nightmares, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to enjoy seven hours of uninterrupted sleep again.
Last fall, we think our toddler had her first nightmare. She came crying to our room in the middle of the night, saying something unintelligible about an animal in the backyard. Of course there wasn’t, but since that night, she hasn’t been willing to sleep alone in her room at night, so her new room is in our closet. I thought that was close enough, but she now comes to our bed whenever she happens to wake up. If it’s before my husband leaves for work, I walk her back to the closet and turn on the iPod so she can fall back asleep.
This past week, however, she whimpered and cried and tried to get in bed with us at least three times in the course of an hour or two. Because I had been up with the baby, my husband walked her back to the closet the first two times, but when she continued whimpering, I went to the closet to figure out what was going on.
She was lying on her makeshift bed of sleeping bags, blankets, and sheets, eyes closed…but she was crying. She was dreaming again. Even though I was exhausted, my heart broke for her. She was going through something I couldn’t go through with her. I couldn’t even enter her dream to comfort her and tell her it was all going to be ok.
As I knelt beside her, I suddenly realized that that is precisely what Christ did for us. He left the real world in Heaven to enter our temporary world to tell us that everything would be ok. He joined us in our dream. He gave us hope for a better world, a better life. He made it possible for us to wake up from our nightmares. That’s what it means for Him to be our Savior.
And so, when my daughter woke again from her dream, whimpering and asking to sleep in bed with us, we let her. It was the least I could do to assure her that everything would be ok.