Today I’m wrapping up my series on fear with a story about Brienne. As you read this, you may think I took a ride on the crazy train. Or maybe you don’t. I don’t know your background or beliefs – but I do want to share this experience with you in case you experience it in your family.
I know many parents whose young children experience night terrors and nightmares. These can be especially terrifying for parents as they watch their children suffer through them.
When Brienne was about three years old, she began to suffer from nightmares and night terrors. At first, I thought she was watching too much Scooby Doo. Oops. Bad parenting moment.
Anyway, she stopped watching Scooby Doo and anything else that might be a little scary. (By the way, have you watched all the Disney movies through the eyes of a 3 year old? Just a little frightening…)
When her nightmares continued, however, we knew we had to do something. I was starting to get a little freaked out, to be honest, by the language my little verbal prodigy was using to describe her “nightmares.”
She said things like this:
I saw a man, all dark like a shadow, standing in my room.
A man in shadow was standing by my window whispering my name.
Um. No. Just no.
The breaking point came after several weeks of these so-called nightmares. Y’all. I can hardly find the words to explain what I’m about to tell you.
One night, Peter and I were in bed. We still used a baby monitor because Brienne’s room was on the other side of the house and we couldn’t hear her very well if she needed us. On this particular night, Peter and I were awakened by a howling, high-pitched screech coming through the monitor, immediately followed by Brienne screaming hysterically.
I have never been so scared in my life. I had chills running up and down my body.
Peter ran to Brienne’s room, grabbed her, and rushed back to our room with her.
Later, he recounted what he had encountered as he entered Brienne’s room.
As I got to Brienne’s doorway, I could feel a dark presence in her room. It was so dark, heavy, and evil that I almost couldn’t even go inside. I had to literally push through the darkness and I just kept speaking the name of Jesus over and over as I ran in and picked her up.
Y’all. I can’t even.
You know it’s scary when your manly husband who has been to war many times is afraid to enter a bedroom.
I happened to tell a friend about these nightmares and she immediately gave me some instructions.
- Buy a jar of anointing oil and anoint all the windows and doors, any openings, in Brienne’s room. And frankly, the entire house.
- Pray scripture over Brienne every night while anointing her head with oil.
- Play Christian music in her room each night on repeat.
And this is exactly what we did. I anointed her room with oil and we began reciting 2 Timothy 1:7 over Brienne every night. It has become her life verse.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.”
I am happy to report that the nightmares stopped. Immediately. It turns out that demons (or whatever was torturing Brienne) flee at the name of Jesus and God’s spoken Word.
Several months later, I was reading Chip Ingram’s The Invisible War. In the book, he describes exactly what we encountered in Brienne’s room that night.
“…but suddenly there was a foreboding evil presence…” (page 115)
“One night we heard vivid sounds that could not have been artificial, and then we heard, one by one, our children crying out with outlandish, satanic nightmares. I can’t describe how terrifying it was. We had to learn as a family that we were being attacked, and the goal was to make us feel powerless and afraid… We learned that the precision and power of God’s spoken Word, because of his authority and the power of his name, will dispel any of the enemy’s scare tactics – usually immediately, but always eventually.” (page 31)
Friends, I am not telling you these things to freak you out. I am telling you this story so you can learn from our encounter.
Let me be honest. Before this incident, when someone recounted a similar incident they had experienced, I thought they were a little crazy.
But spiritual warfare is real. It is scary. And it is intimidating.
But you can overcome it.
Don’t be afraid to speak the name of Jesus out loud when you are feeling oppressed in some way. God is faithful to help you. At the name of Jesus, every evil spirit must flee.
This is not the last time Brienne has been attacked by the enemy. She has experienced similar incidents over the past year and even within the last week. God must have big plans for Brienne if the enemy is attacking her so acutely. I’m praying she doesn’t allow fear to overwhelm her. Would you pray this with me as well?
Have you ever been tortured or oppressed by the enemy? I would love to hear your story.