When my daughter was three years old, she had graphic nightmares that would scare and awaken her. By the time she was four years old, she was experiencing physical shaking and screaming in her sleep. One night, I was awakened by her screams and thought she was awake because her eyes were open and she was shaking. Actually, she was asleep and experiencing what doctors have termed “Night Tremors.”
Frightened, by her tremors and screams, I so desperately wanted to soothe and comfort her. Not understanding her situation yet, I decided to pray a prayer over her to comfort her, “Lord, Jesus, please help her dream about You tonight and how much You love her.” This simple prayer seemed to comfort my daughter, calm her emotions, and then she was able to fall sleep.
Several months later, our family was enjoying an indoor picnic during a thunderstorm. While we were eating, with confidence, my daughter said, “Mom, I know what happens when we go to sleep at night!” Amused by her boldness, with my hands raised, I asked, “Well, what happens when we go to sleep at night?” She answered and said, “Jesus takes us to heaven when we go to sleep, and then brings us back again before we wake up.” Now, I have studied Theology and I initially struggled with her statement wondering how I could possibly evidence this with Scripture. Then, I remembered the words of Joel, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions”(Joel 2:28).
Over the next few weeks, she explained that she was dreaming about Jesus and she described the beautiful adventures they took together, in her dreams. Their adventures included riding a bicycle built for two, playing a game of checkers, both of them enjoying a swim in a lake large enough to be an ocean, and Jesus giving really strong hugs, just to name a few.
Later that night, as I was thumbing through a magazine, I noticed an advertisement for a writer’s conference pertaining to children’s literature. As I read the article, I quickly realized that the Lord had answered our many bedtime prayers and I was in awe! My daughter had been dreaming about Jesus and how much He loved her, just as we had prayed! The Lord had answered our prayers so specifically, and yet, in greater ways than I could have imagined He would.
Through my daughter’s fear, a strong desire emerged and has grown in her heart to see Jesus, walk in relationship with Him, and go to heaven. Additionally, I learned a valuable lesson. Through this experience, I became aware that the Lord is longing and waiting to answer our prayers and in ways that bring awe to our hearts! May we be encouraged by my daughter’s story to ask specifically in prayer, believe for more when we pray, and look expectantly for answers to our prayers.