I woke myself up this morning from a dream yelling "Daddy!!" My 20 year old daughter came running in to see what was wrong with me. Obviously, I was fine. But I was dreaming that I had woken up and a cupboard over my closet (from the house we lived in 6 years ago) was opening on it's own. I must have jerked in my sleep which knocked my cpap mask slightly off which makes the machine loud. The sound--a hissy, gurgly sound--crept it's way into my dream and I was sure there was something in the closet cupboard hissing or growling at me. So I yelled.
Now here's the crazy confession, I've always been afraid of my closet. Any bedroom closet. Growing up I couldn't sleep if the closet door was open, and often even when it was closed I was sure that there was a monster in there. I know a lot of kids have that fear. But in college when I had a little apartment by myself I was happy that the closet wasn't in the bedroom and was actually in the living room. But I still always had to look in there before bed and then make sure the doors were closed. I still can't sleep well if the closet door is open. I wake up in the night and without my glasses the shapes all meld together and look frightening.
The other part that was weird was that I yelled "Daddy!" I always called my Mom as a kid. I can remember the only time I ever called my Dad was after hearing my Mom tell my Dad she didn't know why I couldn't call him when I was scared in the night. For that one night, I called out for Daddy but went right back to the comfort of Mom after that. And I don't call my husband "daddy" unless I'm talking to my kids.
So as I laid in bed this morning wondering why I would yell and dream of monsters in my closet, I thought of my life right now. As a kid the monsters in my closet were big scary things that I was afraid were going to hurt me or worse. I started each night trying to convince myself that I had nothing to be afraid of. My mom even went through a period of time where she would use the logic of showing me the closet, moving all the clothes around before closing the door. It helped for a few minutes and then the fear would creep in, what if the monsters could hide? I felt like I needed protection as the fear threatened to overwhelm me. Mom would come and all my fears would melt away as long as she was present.
My monster is now the uncertainty of my life. Will the neurosurgeon I'm going to see next Thursday take my case or will he determine it's too complicated? If he refers me out of network will I have an insurance nightmare trying to get them to cover me? Will any doctor know how to treat this CSF leak? What if I have to deal with headaches for the rest of my life? What if they treat it and I end up with surgery complications? What if they don't treat it and the fuzziness I feel gets worse and turns to real memory loss and I lose other functions because of cranial hypotension? Those all combine to form a pretty big monster.
My first thought was that I expected Rick, my personal monster-slayer/husband to come running but why on earth would I have called him "Daddy?" But then I thought about my father God. He is the only one who can banish the monster of fear. He's the one who didn't give me a spirit of fear. He's the only one who knows exactly what the future holds for me and how all of this will turn out. I also know that he is worthy of my trust. He doesn't promise me that he'll take care of this for me immediately. He doesn't promise that I won't have pain, he doesn't even promise that I'll be physically healed on this earth. But he does promise that he'll never leave me or forsake me. And because he promises me that he'll be there I know that I can rest in his presence. I know that his presence is enough to melt my fears, no matter how big the monsters seem.