The first time I realized Heavenly Father loved me was when…
I was a very young girl, and, one dark night, I was struggling to fall asleep. I looked up through the window to find the stars. Instead of seeing the brightness of the light, I saw a face looking into the window. I was terrified. I couldn’t take my eyes off the face in the glass. In my childish mind, the face was the physical face of evil. I imagined that he (whoever he might be) had to be the devil. He was there to take me.
I started to cry, but was too scared to scream or even call for help. Instead, I slid off my bed to hide underneath of it, dragging my blanket and my night-time friend, Fluffy (my stuffed dog) into the safety of darkness.
Out of sight of the danger. There, I clung to Fluffy for comfort, wet his coat with my tears and started to pray. I honestly don’t remember how I heard about prayer. It wasn’t something that happened in our home. We never even said grace at the dinner table. But somehow, I knew that this moment would require the most fervent prayer that I was capable of giving. I closed my eyes, bowed my head, and proceeded to tell my Heavenly Father what was going on.
I don’t remember the exact words of my prayer. I only remember the paralyzing fear as I squinted my eyes tight shut, held on tightly to Fluffy and uttered the few words that I was able to squeak out. Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming, peaceful, loving, calm feeling. It started at the top of my head and engulfed me all the way to my toes. I knew that all would be well, and that I had no more reason to fear.
I crept out from under the bed with tears still upon my cheeks and looked at the window. The face was gone. The night was still. The stars were brilliantly shining. All was well again in my world. I crawled back into bed, snuggled down into the covers and with joy in my heart, I quickly went to sleep.
In all the years since that dark night, I have never forgotten the terrible sense of fear and danger that overtook me. Nor have I forgotten the all-encompassing moment of peace, safety and protection. I knew then, with every fiber of my being, that my Heavenly Father had answered that one small, simple prayer. That I was safe. That all was well. I knew that He loved me enough to wrap spiritual arms around me and let me sleep safely in His embrace that night.
When things go wrong in my life, as they sometimes will, I am often reminded of that one night and what it felt like to sleep in the arms of His love.