When the Dreams Shatter the Night

nightmareI’m jolted awake and realize tears are flowing down my cheeks. I feel sick to my stomach, and my heart is beating hard and fast. I blink three times trying to establish reality and hug my pillow tight.

It happened again. My worst fear came to visit me in the night. I know in my mind that it was just a dream, but I can’t turn off the feeling that it was real. I roll over and snuggle up behind my husband. I find his hand and hold it tight. I just need to feel him. I need to know he’s there. I need to know this is reality… me with my husband.

These dreams don’t visit every night. In fact, they only visit when something in reality triggers them. A person, a situation, a certain car… a glimpse of anything connected with disturbing memories. It’s these triggers that jump start the fear. I can manage to keep the fear stuffed in the deep recesses of the filing cabinets of my brain during the day. But once I lay my head on the pillow and lose consciousness, I’m at fear’s mercy, and fear is not nice.

It mocks me. It makes me feel like a fool… like a psychological idiot. It envelopes me and threatens to take over. It plants more fear. More distrust. It threatens to steal the relationships dearest to me. And I hate it… with every once of my being.

But what do you do? What can you do to keep the fear from manifesting into dreams in the night?

I don’t know if I have an answer to that. But I have some things flittering around in my mind…. Things like:

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (I John 4:18).

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (II Timothy 1:7).

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31, 32).

But what’s the practical of all that?

If perfect love casts out fear, is this God’s love to me or my love to others? If it’s my love to others, how do I perfect my love?

If this spirit of fear is not from God, then I’m going to take a big stab in the dark here and say it’s from the devil. So how do I resist him and his attacks of fear?

How do I continue in His Word? Is there a truth I don’t know yet? One that will set me free from this fear that slips in at night to terrorize me?

I just want answers. I want to know how to turn it off.

God, help me throw off this spirit of fear and to claim the spirit of power, love, and self-control.


*photo credit


  1. *tears* I struggle with nightmares too – I’m so sorry. I have absolutely no answers. *hug*

  2. Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
    Mark 4:39-40

    Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe, showed His disciples He could calm the storms with just three words; yet the disciples were still afraid. And how often this is the case in our lives. We trust in the Lord to help us, yet we remain panicked, afraid, and uncertain He will pull us through our pains. This is such an important lesson for us to learn: faith is destroyed when we let fear inside. Fear handicaps our mind and it cripples our actions. Fear robs our faith.

    Time and time again, though, God shows us through His Word that He desires for us not to live in fear… but faith. As children and joint-heirs with Jesus, we can have the same peace He brought to the wind and the sea. You see, He came to give us peace with Him (Romans 5:1). No fiery dart from the enemy can keep that peace out of your life. Don’t let fear inside your heart. When you start feeling the pressures of life, ask the Lord for His strength and the Holy Spirit’s enabling to cast the fear aside.

    Take some time to read through these verses below, and pray each of them as your personal prayer to Him. Keep these verses close to your heart throughout the day, and all through the holiday weekend. Let them sink deeply into your soul and speak truth to you — that you are special to the Lord and that He wants you to live a life full of joy and peace, not fear.

    “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

    “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).

    I have this devotional from Horizon Online that I saved in my emails and have found very helpful.

    “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7).

    “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

    So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).

    I hope this is helpful
    I really like your blog. I saw it on money saving mom.
    Thanks and I will be praying for you.

  3. Oops it was supposed to say that this is from Horizon Online by Mike McIntosh.

  4. Thank you for sharing this, Shelley.

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