Scared at Night

“Scared at Night,” New Era, May 2009, 36–37

Scared at Night

Last October my family moved from Minnesota to my grandmother’s house in Utah. My father stayed in Minnesota to fix up the house before we sold it. Things weren’t going as quickly as we had hoped, so my mother traveled to Minnesota to help him. At 17 and the oldest, I was put in charge of my younger sister and three younger brothers until my parents got back. My grandmother was visiting my aunt, so it would be just us kids for a while.

I had been left in charge before, and it would be no big deal to take care of the children for a couple of weeks. It was summer, so I didn’t have to worry about school or homework, and my parents left the minivan so I could bus my siblings around. The first night, we ate a quick dinner, watched some TV, and I finally managed to get them into bed. I was very tired when I crawled into bed, but I couldn’t sleep.

I lay there for almost an hour, staring at the ceiling and thinking about what I was going to do the next day. I heard a creaking sound, but houses always creak at night. Normally, I wouldn’t have noticed, but I wasn’t used to sleeping in this house. Not only that, but I was in charge of keeping my younger sister and brothers safe. After a few more creaks, I convinced myself that someone had opened the door and was walking around inside. I was wide awake now. I said a quick prayer and tried to dismiss the creaking sounds as regular house sounds.

After a few minutes I was on edge again. This time I sat up on my bed to bow my head and fold my arms. I prayed that my sister, brothers, and I would be safe while my parents were gone and that I would be able to feel peaceful that night. Afterward I was calmer, but I still couldn’t sleep.

I prayed again, and this time I received the impression that I should check the house. I got up and went to the door of my room and stopped. I could picture myself opening it and finding a burglar with a gun. I did not want to open the door but, remembering my impression, I went into the hall and turned on the light. I opened every door and checked every room. Then I checked the door locks. Everything was fine. I went back to bed and fell asleep.

Later I realized the reason for my prompting. I felt that Heavenly Father wanted me to know that He was keeping us safe. He wanted me to know that my prayer had been answered. I have a testimony that God will answer our prayers, even over little things like being scared at night. He will take care of us if we trust Him.

I was scared of the sounds and the dark, but I felt prompted to open my door and see what was there.

Illustration by Dilleen Marsh