Turkey Nights and iPhone Lights

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Can you believe Thanksgiving is over already? If your holiday was anything like mine, it was wonderful and filled with tons of food, family, and frolicking; one might say we gobbled until we wobbled. My body has very clearly indicated that it’s time for me to slow down on the leftovers, so we barely packed enough turkey for two Buzzfeed-inspired leftover sandwiches.

Speaking of turkey, I recently read that the trace amounts of tryptophan rumored to cause the beloved Thanksgiving food coma are likely insufficient to impact our serotonin levels that much. I mention all of this to say that I’m not sure exactly which food item caused me to pass out shortly after the leftover containers were stacked and I’d waddled upstairs to brush my teeth (after flossing, of course). All I know is that I don’t remember drifting off into a delightful doze… and I didn’t stay asleep. Around 3 AM, I awoke realizing that I washed down all that yummy food with too much water too close to bedtime, and my bladder now served as an unwanted alarm clock. A normal person would likely have sat up, ambled to the bathroom, taken care of business, and returned to peaceful slumber. I, however, am not a normal person. I was also discombobulated and full of various Thanksgiving delicacies. Thus, when I finally opened my eyes in the dark room, I began to panic. Because my eyes, devoid of their helpful contacts and glasses, and defeated by the very effective blackout curtains in the room, perceived a dark creature to be standing at the foot of the bed just a few arms lengths away. I couldn’t necessarily make out a head from a torso, but I was thoroughly convinced that there was someone dangerous in the room ready to pounce on me as soon as I got up to relieve myself. I held my breath as I planned my next breath. I could play dead, I thought, but that wouldn’t last long. My heart raced as I was reminded of how urgently I needed to use the bathroom. I slid my right hand along the fluffy comforter and felt the reassuring presence of my husband dozing peacefully. Surely he wouldn’t have eaten too much peach cobbler to not hear me scream in the event of an attack, right? Right!?

Photographic evidence that I could stand up even after stuffing my face with a monstrous amount of food
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? -‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The pressure on my bladder reminded me that time was not on my side, and that I was far too old to have a repeat incident from the beginning of my last blog piece . It was time to act. I took a few deep breaths, said a quick prayer for peace to trust God in all things, balled up my fists, rolled to my left…and grabbed my cell phone. A few taps and I accessed the phone flashlight, which shone pale white as I slowly panned around the room. The mystery was solved, and I exhaled audibly. As one may have guessed, there was no monstrous intruder in the room. The remotes were exactly as we’d left them, and our backpacks and suitcases were strewn lazily in the corner of the guest room. Nothing out of the ordinary. Feeling equal parts relieved and silly, I hustled to the restroom and later returned with chilly toes and a clear head.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. -‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:11-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’m honestly still a little embarrassed at how worked up I was about a potential threat in the night. As much as I’d like to blame my mild hallucination on an overconsumption of sweet potato souffle and dinner rolls, I know that’s not the only reason. When I really think about it, I think it could it be that I’m still just a little afraid of the dark. Not like the childhood fear that made me scared to check under the bed or in the closet. But fear of the deafening quiet and unknown of the night. The uncertainty of when exactly morning relief will come, and if I’ll see it. The painful time waiting for what tomorrow may bring, and if my troubled thoughts may threaten to swallow me up before then. I don’t always fall asleep with dread or paranoia about what’s coming next, but I do know that darkness and night seem to amplify my worries and anxieties at times. I know light will come, but sometimes the dark can feel smothering. 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.- ‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.- ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:105‬ ‭NIV

Thankfully, there’s nothing new under the sun, and the Bible reminds us that we’re not the only ones to have encountered the profundity of night and all it’s lurking concerns.‬‬ While I totally recommend and employ sleep hygiene tips, journaling, therapy, tea, and so much more for a restful night’s sleep, I also take great pleasure knowing that the Creator of the universe, the One who loved us so much that He sent His perfect son to die for us, has conquered the evils of night. Moreover, He is with us in the night. Just as my iPhone immediately revealed the true contents of the guestroom, the love of Christ reveals what is true and real, and helps to dissipate our worries of being swallowed by the dark. Furthermore, there will come a day when “there will be no more night. [We] will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give [us] light…”(‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬). Of all the things I ate for Thanksgiving, this has been my favorite to chew on.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.- ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

From now on, I’ll probably keep my second helping of holiday plates nice and petite, and I’ll be tracking my water consumption early in the day to avoid any more nighttime bathroom breaks. But even if I don’t have another post-midnight freakout, I know night and darkness will inevitably come. I can’t prevent it, but I can combat it with the light. I pray that whatever darkness you may find yourself in is inundated with Christ’s unconditional, unfailing love this season, and that you won’t hesitate to let it shine into all the areas of your life. Stay bright!

You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.- ‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭22:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The aforementioned “,food, family, and frolicking”

2 thoughts on “Turkey Nights and iPhone Lights

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