I remember that night well. It is etched in my memory forever, every single detail. You never forget when fear had its grip on you.
The story begins back in 1976, when I was living in Ontario, and a minister that I met while pumping gas at the BP gas station, started up conversations every time he came to get gas. He and his wife lived up the street and they pastored a small church they had started there. So small it was still in a school. I never attended. I was 18 and though I believed in Jesus and God, I still didn’t go to his church. I met his wife, Marjorie, and signed up for her macrame classes. Remember making macrame plant hangers, purses and everything else? Such the rage at the time.
I was living with my dad in his tiny one bedroom apartment. I slept on the couch, an orange armless davenport. I wasn’t there much since I worked all day. Eventually I found my own apartment just down the laneway from him so he was close by.
My mom had given me a red King James Bible back in 1975. I remember that day too. I had spotted this Bible in the Christian Bookstore. Such a tiny store at the time. Lots of selection though and my eye caught the red cover of this one Bible. My favourite colour. It cost 4.95 and I didn’t have the money so I asked Mom if she would buy it for me. We went there together and I showed it to her. She bought it. My first Bible. I was 16. I spent days reading it. I treasured that book. And whenever I moved, it came with me.
But back to 1976. I remember having an issue that I needed help with, though I can’t recall what it was, but I do recall phoning Rev Lofthouse who suggested I read Psalm 139. So I did. Over and over.
I came to love Psalm 139. It told me everything I needed to hear.
After returning to my mother’s home in BC, I had the downstairs bedroom. We kids called it the dungeon. Its door had the sliding window slot, you know, the kind where the guard looks in at you to see what you’re doing. It was creepy. The basement was unfinished except for this one room. I had it set up comfortably though. I had a davenport couch with arms, a desk and chair under the bedroom window. A shelf with my dishes. There was a built in dresser in the wall. First time I had ever seen such a thing. A wall with drawers in it. Nice big slider window about an inch off the ground facing the driveway. I could see when my mom came home. Or when anyone walked to the back door.
Night time, it was dark out the window, for the most part. Some light sneaked through the leaves on the trees dividing the two houses. The lock didn’t work very well on the window. In fact, it didn’t work at all. Anyone could open it if they wanted to. I just didn’t know who ‘they’ were.
I really liked my room. I would pull out the davenport, make my bed, and climb in for a good night’s sleep. And then my mind would think. What if someone climbed in the window? My room is under the living room, everyone is in bed on the other side of the house, no one will hear me scream. What if someone climbs on top of me? What if he rapes me? What if two guys come in and pull me out? What if no one hears me?!
I would quietly climb out of bed and make my way upstairs. I always woke up in the morning in Mom’s bed.
Night after night this continued. I would start off in my room but the thoughts, the fear would overwhelm me so much that I would go sleep in my mother’s bed. Night after night after night.
Something had happened. Something did creep in. Its name was Fear.
Fear of the dark. Fear of being raped. Fear of being abducted. Fear of being attacked. Fear had its grip on me.
You see, those things weren’t new to me. I was almost raped two years before. I had been abducted a year later. So, ya, fear had moved in.
One evening, Mom was working downstairs. I was in my room, reading my Bible and my door was open. I can still see it. The light from Mom’s work space was streaming in my room and I was talking with her when I asked her if I could read to her my favourite Psalm. She said yes. I leaned in towards the light and began to read the most wonderful words.
Psalm 139 (NKJV)
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, â€œSurely the darkness shall fall on me,
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
Did you see that? The verses, Surely the darkness shall fall on me, even the night shall be light about me, indeed the darkness shall not hide from You the darkness and the light are both alike to You, did something for me, something amazing happened!
Something truly wonderful! Totally unexpected but oh so wonderful! In that moment when I realized that God could see me in the blackest of black nights, that when He looks down from Heaven at me, it is daylight to Him, that He SEES me!. In that very moment, the black cloud of fear was released from me. I could feel it rising off my shoulders and going up in the air, never to return again.
The fear was GONE! It left! I was free! The written Word of God freed me!
I could walk down the street again and not feel like I was going to be attacked. I was free! Such joy! Such freedom! Such relief!
Mom didn’t even know what just happened to me. What I had just experienced.
I barely even remember reading the rest of the Psalm. But I will never forget what the Lord has done for me. How He set me free from fear.
The Lord is good!
That night, I slept in my bed for the first time, and every night after that.
Can you identify with me? Do you have anything that has you in its grip? Are you afraid of something that you’ve never shared with anyone?
Do you believe that the Word of God can set you free? Do you want to be free? Will you trust in God and His Word to set you free?
Drop me a line, tell me your story. I’d love to pray with you.