When you lose your spouse, everything changes. Not only do you deal with the grief and the memories all during the day, but when you try to sleep at night, fear can seep in. Betty Whitworth tells her story of how God miraculously showed her that you always have God’s protection as you sleep.
What was that? I listened closely, all alone in my dark bedroom, but heard nothing more. Just the house settling, I told myself. I rolled over and pulled the covers up tight around me. I’d never get to sleep.
My husband, David, had died only a couple of weeks before. Without him here with me, our cozy, familiar house became something else entirely in the darkness of the night. The moon cast a ghostly light across the floor through a gap in the curtain. Shadows in the corners of the room
grew long and sinister. Creaks and groans echoed throughout the house, punctuated by mysterious animal calls outside. I stared at the ceiling, praying for the sun to rise. Another sleepless night, I thought.
Alone in Their Dream House
I knew it was silly of me to feel so frightened. It was still the same house, one I’d even helped
design myself. I was no architect, but David had encouraged me. “Get creative, Betty,” he said. “Build us our dream home.” I came up with an open-concept floor plan, a sprawling one-story farmhouse with a wraparound porch and a big bay kitchen window that looked out onto the yard and the woods beyond. Every moment in the house had felt like a blessing—until now.
Of course I was lonely. That was to be expected. David and I were married for 49 years. But during the day at least I was coping. Nighttime was another matter. Once the sun went down, I curled up in bed and imagined what kind of horrors might be lurking. Even when I did manage to drift off to sleep, any errant noise could disturb my slumber. I didn’t know how much longer I could go without a decent night’s sleep. Did I have to move? Despite my fears I loved this house where David and I had been so happy. Would any other house be any better? I turned over again under my covers
and hoped dawn would come soon.
The following afternoon I sat at my kitchen table, looking blearily out the bay window at the yard. “Lord, I just want to feel safe again,” I said. I’d repeated that prayer so often I was sure the Lord was tired of hearing it. I thought of David encouraging me to get creative with the plans for building the house. I needed to get creative in dealing with my fears.
A Prayer for God’s Protection as You Sleep
You have to do something besides pray, I told myself. Maybe “do” was the magic word. I decided to put some action behind my prayers. That night, right before bed, I marched to the front door with a brand-new prayer. “Lord, send guardian angels to watch over me.” Then I turned and made my way to the back door that led to the porch. I repeated my prayer—then again, a third time, at the side door. If each entryway had itts very own angel to guard it, surely I would have nothing to worry about. This would be my new routine.
I climbed into bed. After so many bad nights I drifted off to sleep quickly. But when a strange sound outside startled me awake, all of my fears came rushing back. My heart raced. I didn’t need to pray for angels to protect me when David was alive—I had him. Would I ever feel that kind of comfort again? I stared into the darkness.
The next evening I stuck to my plan, asking God to put an angel at each door of the house. A week
passed. Nothing changed. I longed for peace. Is there any point in going through my tired old routine? I thought grimly one evening, sitting in my recliner in the living room. No routine could replace my loving, protective husband. Maybe it was time to accept that. “Time for bed,” I sighed. I stood up from my recliner, then eyed the front door and yawned. I’ll give it one more try.
God Sends His Angels
Before I took a step forward, a strange feeling came over me. The room shimmered and warped,
then pulled away like someone was drawing back a curtain to reveal a scene. I could see my house from the outside, a panoramic view in great detail. But as odd as that was, there was something else in the scene. Something even more mystifying.
A ring of angels encircled my home, their glorious wings unfurled. They faced inward, their features obscured. Each one wore a brilliant white gown that sparkled with heavenly light, the otherworldly fabric illuminating the space around the house. The tips of their powerful wings touched at each end, creating an unbroken circle. Every door, every window was covered in their
protection. The darkness beyond the house seemed to shrink back, as though banished by these divine figures. The angels themselves never moved. They remained stoic and unwavering at their guard posts.
As quickly as it had come, the vision faded. I was alone within the walls of my living room once again.
That night I made one last pass by the doors of my dream home. This time I thanked God for the guardian angels who watched over me, bringing a peaceful slumber. Nothing could replace David. Living without him would continue to be hard. But I could rest easy at night with angels standing guard. I know that you also have God’s protection as you sleep.
After so many nights tossing and turning, Betty now has a new appreciation for a good night’s sleep. “Proverbs 3:24 has become especially meaningful for me,” she says. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” In today’s busy world, a good night’s sleep can feel like a luxury, but experts say it’s much more than that. In fact, it’s essential to your well-being. Getting enough sleep can improve your memory, your health, your creativity and your weight. It can even afford you a longer life. Remember that you always have God’s protection as you sleep.
If you’re experiencing sleep difficulty, download the Abide app. With its library of more than 300 Bible-based sleep stories, Abide can help you experience God’s protection as you sleep.