When I was small, I thought that bad things lived under the bed and they would grab me by the ankles and pull me under. The way I got around this was by taking a running leap and jumping onto the duvet from a safe distance, then wrapping myself up in it and closing my eyes, very tight. (My thinking then, as now, is that if you can’t see the bogey-beast, he can’t see you either).
I’d like to say I’ve grown out of such fears and developed better ways of handling them – but I’m not so sure. Today for example, I spent a large part of the afternoon wrapped in my duvet. The monsters I was fleeing weren’t under the bed, but under my skin. Old fears and insecurities that crept up behind me and said, ‘Call yourself a Christian? Well why are you so frightened then? ‘ And the worst thing was, I couldn’t even answer. A little uneasiness nibbling at my toes – but instead of challenging it, I listened to it and let it tell me who I was.
So I shot up a prayer flare. And very quietly, something changed. I still feel wobbly, but I know I’m held. I’m still frightened, but God has got me. That’s the truth and that’s what I cling to – not just the duvet.