Susan woke with a start. What was that noise? She listened carefully. The wind howled through the eucalyptus trees and knocked seedpods onto the roof above her bedroom. The noise of their falling sounded like heavy rain, and it had awakened her.
Susan sighed. Her family had just moved into this house, and she wasn’t used to all the new sounds. It didn’t help that Susan now slept alone. In their old house she had shared a bedroom with her older sister.
She pulled her blankets up under her chin as another shower of pods hit the roof. She was scared, lonely, and, she realized, missing her dad. Susan’s dad was an officer in the military. He was away on training. Although he wasn’t in danger, Susan suddenly grew frightened. What if someday her dad was sent to war and got killed? She didn’t want to grow up without her father. She needed him.
Tears pricked her eyes, and Susan knew she needed help to calm her growing fears. Her sister wasn’t nearby, but she knew that Jesus and Heavenly Father were always close.
Gathering her courage, Susan slipped out from under her blankets and knelt by the side of her bed. She prayed to Heavenly Father to help her, to take away her fear.
And then Susan heard something. It was softer than the clatter on the roof. It was her mother’s voice, and she was singing. As her mother walked through the house, finishing up her chores and getting ready for bed, she sang.
Susan’s mother had a beautiful voice and sang often, but this was the most wonderful song Susan had ever heard her sing. Though Susan didn’t recognize the tune, the words were about Jesus. The song filled her with peace.
Susan thanked Heavenly Father, then climbed back into bed, and listened to her mother’s song. Tears came to her eyes again, this time tears of gratitude and relief. She felt that all was well. She knew she had a loving family. She knew that Heavenly Father cared about her. She believed that no matter what happened, there would always be a reason to hope. Susan knew that whenever fears threatened to overcome her, she could find peace by remembering the night her mother’s song was stronger than fear.
Photograph by Matthew Reier, posed by model