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When I was a child, I thought that to be brave was to go in my room and night, and actually look under my bed to see if there were monsters there.

When I was a teen, I thought that to be brave was walking home alone, in the quiet dark, after a night of babysitting.

When I was a young adult, I thought that to be brave was to stay home alone when my hubby went out of town.

Brave has many faces, but on each face a fear of something, known or unknown, is written. The fears of childhood are the foundation for the fears of the rest of our lives. If I re-read my own expressions of what it was to be brave when I was younger, they are all centered on two fears; fear of the dark, and fear of being alone.

I believe that they are universal fears, I believe they are innate fears. I believe the
two fears are really one fear, for to be afraid of the dark is always diminished by
being in the presence of another.

From when we are born, we experience times alone. From our earliest beginnings in our mother’s womb, we experience dark. Yet those two fears go with us, and in some, intensify as we get older.

There is something about nighttime that can cause doubts, discomfort and fears to arise more easily. Add to that being alone, and the night can seem endless and hopeless.

For a child, being taken to bed, being tucked in, being reassured by a loving person that they are safe and that the nighttime will not last forever, can lessen their fear of the dark. If that does not work, having someone to accompany them in the dark, until they fall off to sleep will eliminate any further cries of fear.

For myself, as an adult, I hear far fewer noises, I sleep far easier, when hubby is in the house with me. His presence assures me that I am not alone, and the dark no longer has power over me.

If we are to be brave, we need to understand that the presence of another can be the light that takes away our fear of the dark, because their presence itself is like a light.

God’s message to us all in Isaiah 42:16 is “I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Whenever we think that we are alone, we need to remember that the One who never breaks His promises to us, is with us. Him in our lives means we are never fully alone, and the darkness is eliminated by the light of his presence.

Plato said, “we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” The light of the world has come to illuminate our steps, he is like that parent by the bed of a fearful child, the friend walking you home in the dark, the person on the other side of the bed (snoring like a band saw), but He never leaves those who choose to brave and trust the presence of his light.

“Fear is the path to the dark side.”
Yoda



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