Rachel has always had a hard time going to sleep. There have been spurts where she does well, but in general we'll have to go back into her room again, and again, and again, and again, and... well, you get the picture. Sometimes this lasts for up to two hours.
Yesterday we finally figured out some of what is going on. She told us that she didn't want to be left alone. That tied with a conversation we all had at a friend's house connected the dots and we figured out that Rachel is afraid to be left alone without the option of having companionship.
In my life I've been blessed to be able to know a lot of different people. People from all different walks of life and with all sorts of different opinions from mine. Some of the greatest times in my life have been those where I get to know someone so well that I get to take part in all aspects of their life. From all of these interactions I've found a couple commonalities which flow across all people.
One of those commonalities we share is that each one of us is a fear of being alone.
Erin finally had a good sit-down with Rachel and talked through a lot of it. Then I was able to talk to her as I put her to bed at night. We talked about how Jesus is in the room with her, and with her everywhere. "And Santa Claus?" was her reply. Well, of course he is. The list went on through almost all of the Sesame Street characters, including Rocco, Zoe's pet rock (which "Zoe carries him around" as Rachel said).
In the end Rachel didn't feel alone anymore. She knew there was someone in the room with her, holding her hand, hugging her, and laying by her side.
She went to sleep immediately.
I couldn't help thinking that one of the best things any one of us can ever have is someone else to hold our hand and hug us close, no matter what. For some the only person to do that is Jesus. For all of us He's the one person who will hold us no matter what, even after we've hurt or defied him so badly that everyone else around us sends us away.
It's gotten me to want to reach out to some of those people I know I've let down or left alone.
What am I doing for the lonely people I see every day? What are you?