Taming the Dark


The words stuck to my tongue like peanut butter on dry bread. And I’m so thankful they did. Though the taste was familiar, they felt bitter and far from the sweet, savory truth.

But shouldn’t I help my son overcome the fear of darkness?

Shouldn’t I tell him his surroundings are the same in the dark as the light? Shouldn’t he feel safe regardless of the time of day, no matter what he can or cannot see?

Normally, I would have tried to convince him of this. But the idea of light has followed me around lately. Reaching me in the most obscure and obvious places. And a part of me wants to teach him what I’m learning in hopes his journey would be more illuminated as a result. Regardless of how the darkness feels. The other part of me doesn’t want him to know the truth yet…how the darkness is a foreign animal no human could ever tame…

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
β€œI am the light of the world.
If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12

I’ve been thinking about how light cannot be preserved. It can only be spent in the present. And how bright it is depends on how much power you expel behind it.

Jesus offers us a solution to our fear of darkness: Himself. The light of the world. The only light leading to a life worth living.

And I’m beginning to realize our hearts were designed like a rechargeable flashlight. We need to let Him wind us up now and then. We also need to give Him the proper space, for the more room we provide Him within, the brighter we’ll shine. The greater we illuminate. The more darkness we can squelch.

Friends, all we need is Jesus.


I reach down and turn on the little round switch in the dark. Immediately, his five-year-old voice whispers “Thank you, Mom.”

While stroking his cheek, I ask him, “Why is that better, bud? What’s changed?”

“You gave me light, so now I can see and have no reason to be scared.”

My smile widens as I see the opportunity He has given me here. And I share with my firstborn the promises I have tucked in my heart for times such as these–when the dark overwhelms.

Jesus is the Light of the World. (John 8:12)
He can be our trusty night-light.
Because Jesus is always with us and can help us when the dark feels scary.
He will always love us.
And no matter how dark it seems, joy always comes in the morning. (Lamentations 3:22-24)
So if we stick with Him, He will help us through.

As I bend low to kiss his cheek, I ask him, “What do you think about that?”

He puts his palm on my cheek as he whispers “I know that, Mom, but Jesus says it’s okay if I need a night-light, too.”

A chuckle escapes as I whisper back “You bet He does, bud. You keep listening to Him, okay?” And I leave the room, leaning in a little closer. Seeing Him more clearly. Realizing the dark might not be a bad thing after all.

Because Jesus tamed the dark.

And He’s promised to never let me go.

18 Responses to Taming the Dark
  1. Tonya
    May 28, 2013 | 1:44 pm

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love your heart? This is so beautiful. Looking for those opportunities to feel Him recharge me! Love you.

    • Nikki
      May 28, 2013 | 10:10 pm

      I’m quite fond of you, friend. Thank you for walking alongside, reading my heart with such grace. Praying it’s a wind-up week for the both of us! {HUGS}

  2. Laurie
    May 28, 2013 | 2:05 pm

    Oh, how sweet is your mama heart and that boy of yours? Sweeter yet!

    • Nikki
      May 28, 2013 | 10:11 pm

      He melts my heart every day, Laurie! I’m certain he’s changed the shape of it forever…which is fine by me;) Thanks for reading my heart, friend!

  3. Dolly
    May 28, 2013 | 3:57 pm

    Love your wise and tender mama heart…your son is blessed πŸ™‚ {{Hugs}}

    Praying you are well.

    • Nikki
      May 28, 2013 | 10:12 pm

      Thank you, Dolly! You know I could say the same about you and miss, ‘S’, right? {HUGS} Praying you and yours are well, too!

  4. Sherrey Meyer
    May 28, 2013 | 5:43 pm

    Sweet Nikki, we haven’t touched base much lately — graduations 2200 miles away, illness, working on my book, and life — but I do of you and your beautiful heart. That heart is shown so clearly in this post. I love those words, “Friends, all we need is Jesus.” God bless you and your Bud.

    • Nikki
      May 28, 2013 | 10:19 pm

      My goodness, you’ve been busy, Sherrey! What a blessing to see you here today. Prayed for you, friend. Thank you for reading my heart with such grace.

  5. Mandy
    May 28, 2013 | 8:03 pm

    You gave him light, and you gave him Light. Which makes Him smile. They’re both pretty lucky to have you:)

    • Nikki
      May 28, 2013 | 10:21 pm

      I think I get more of them than they do me…;) Thank you, friend {HUGS}

  6. Fawnda
    May 28, 2013 | 9:16 pm

    Aman to it all! Especially that Jesus says it’s ok to have a night-light! I still have one as I also hate the dark!

    • Nikki
      May 29, 2013 | 9:54 am

      You’re so right, Fawnda! I was so focused on stopping the fear when I should have been more focused on giving him the tools to combat it himself;) Thank You, Lord, for that lesson!

  7. Missy
    May 28, 2013 | 9:21 pm

    These words here, Nikki, lit up my own dark night. Thank you. This piece of writing was prose, lesson, and love all wrapped up into one beautiful post. He’s one blessed boy, that firstborn of yours.

    • Nikki
      May 28, 2013 | 10:23 pm

      I don’t know how you read my heart with so much grace, Missy. What a treasure you are to me. Thank you, friend.

  8. ~Karrilee~
    May 29, 2013 | 10:16 am

    Sweet Nikki… such wisdom and grace – it just pours out of your words like coffee filling my cup early in the morning – (oh so needed and savored slow!)

    • Nikki
      May 30, 2013 | 9:23 am

      I’m not sure how you read my heart with such clarity, Karrilee, but you bless me so because of it. And then some… Love and hugs to you!

  9. Vicki
    June 5, 2013 | 1:59 pm

    Oh my goodness…..The preciousness of this just melted my heart completely. πŸ™‚

    • Nikki
      June 9, 2013 | 8:12 pm

      Oh, thank you, friend. The lessons we can learn from our boys, yes? {HUGS}