We're doing the midnight bed dance again because the truth is: no one really knows where we are. Living out of suitcases for over a month, in our 4th round of beds in as many weeks, children bump on the floor in the night and cry out. They don't remember where the toilet is, where our room is, where home is. It's all we can do to spoon them back to sleep, propping our heads up on thin pillows, arms under their weary necks. It's all we can do to set an alarm, find a clean bowl, drive them to a new school.
The exciting adventure of our days gives way to fitful dreams and midnight cries.
I was praying for them, the night before we sent them to school, when we knew where we would settle but weren't quite settled there yet. We faced a long commute, an alarm set before dawn, and I woke at 4 unable to sleep, praying, praying, praying over them. My inclination, my first instinct is to pray, "Lord, keep them safe." But I thought, if that was our only priority, surely we wouldn't uproot them, put them on planes and trains, walk them through the doors of another new school. No, it's not safety we want for them.
It's courage. And faith.
So instead I prayed, "Lord, make them brave." It didn't put me back to sleep, but it put my heart in its place and my hope up high. Oh, I want them to be brave, to know they can, to wonder and doubt and cry a bit maybe (it's hard to be brave if nothing at all is scary), to know when they fall off the bed they'll be found and carried to safety, to hear the wind and see the rain and still long to run outside and face the storm.
Oh, God, give them courage. Make them brave. And give me strength to spoon them to sleep once more.
I think praying bravery - in lieu of safety - is a scary thing. What scary thing are you praying for?