Brave Enough?

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Even after her prayer, Christine was still too scared to sleep.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Thwap, screeee!

Christine froze in her bed. Her heart beat so hard she could feel it squeezing in her chest. What was that noise?

Very slowly, she turned to look at the window. The blinds were closed, so she couldn’t see what was making the sound.

She kept hearing the scraping noise, and she kept imagining scarier and scarier things.

Her heart beat even faster.

She could just go into Mom and Dad’s room again. She knew they wouldn’t mind. But she was always so embarrassed the next day when she did that. I’m too old to be scared at night.

But she was scared. It could be anything, she thought. It wasn’t very loud, but she kept hearing it.

She closed her eyes and said what seemed like her hundredth prayer for the night. Heavenly Father, I can’t go to sleep. I’m too scared. But I don’t want to go to Mom and Dad’s room. I want to be brave. Please help me not be afraid.

She finished her prayer and took a deep, slow breath. It’s OK, she thought. I can do this.

Thwap, screeee!

Yeah, she was pretty sure it was something trying to get through her window. She was so scared she didn’t dare move a muscle. She didn’t know what to do.

I could ask David, she thought. That isn’t as embarrassing as sleeping in Mom and Dad’s room.

Carefully she peeled off the covers and jumped off the bed, landing as far as possible from the window. Without looking back, she tiptoed quickly to her brother’s room.

“David,” she whispered, shaking his shoulder.

Gmmmblll.” David slowly turned over and opened one eye. “Hmmm. What?”

“Uh, there’s a noise outside my window. Will you check what it is?” she asked.

“Sure.” David got up and shuffled to her room.

When they reached the window, he pulled up the blinds and looked outside. It was too dark to see.

“I don’t hear anything,” he said.

“Just wait a minute,” Christine said.

Sure enough, there it was again. Thwap, screeee!

David opened the window and reached out. Snap! He pulled a small branch back in.

“It’s just the tree outside. This was scraping against your window,” he said, handing her the branch.

I was scared of a stick? She felt really silly. “Thanks for looking,” she said. “Sorry I woke you up.”

David smiled. “You can always ask me for help.”

“Thanks.”

“I can stay for a little while if you want,” he said.

Christine nodded. She jumped into bed and pulled her feet away from the edges. David sat on the end of her bed and scooted back to the wall.

“I wish I could be braver at night,” Christine said.

“You know what’s brave?” said David. “Asking for help.”

“No it’s not,” she said. “I was scared.”

David laughed. “Everyone gets scared—even me! But being scared doesn’t mean you aren’t brave. It takes courage to ask for help when you’re afraid.”

Christine smiled. It was still dark, but she didn’t feel as anxious anymore.

“I’m OK now. You can go back to sleep,” she said.

David gave her a hug and walked out. He stopped in her doorway. “Night. Sleep well,” he said.

“Night, David,” she said back.

Christine closed her eyes. There were no more scary sounds. Heavenly Father, she prayed silently, Thank Thee that David could help me. I’m glad I was brave enough to ask.

One night after we had just moved, I couldn’t fall asleep. I felt scared and lonely. I said a prayer and got the idea that I could read my scriptures. I opened to Isaiah 41:10, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee.” I knew that my prayer was answered, and I fell asleep.

Teegan M., age 9, Texas, USA