“Enter at own risk”
The glaring yellow letters seemed to mock her fear.
“I don’t want to go in.” Katie’s voice sounded timid and small.
“Scaredy cat! Besides, you know Mom said I can’t leave you on your own. You’re under my charge.” At first Tim really enjoyed the responsibility that his mother bestowed upon him, but now he was starting to feel annoyed at having to babysit his little sister.
“Look, I went on the Teacups with you, so you can come on the Ghost ride with me.” He didn’t give her time to respond and just grabbed her hand and pulled her in behind him.
That night I was awaken by the sound of my bedroom door and small feet on the wooden floor.
“Mommy, did you hear that?”
“What is it darling? You should be in bed!”
“Voices. Didn’t you hear them call me?”
“It must have been a dream Katie. You’re okay aren’t you? Come on, let’s get to bed again.”
The next day, Katie wasn’t herself. Instead of her usual animated stories and giggles she moped around the house and didn’t want to speak to anyone. That night when she came into my room again, I took it more seriously.
The small body clambered onto my bed, and looked at me with wide eyes. She was shaken, but I was relieved to note that she wasn’t scared.
This time I listened.
“The voices are inside houses. Two big houses.”
“Are they scary voices, Katie?” I remember Tim’s comments about the Ghost Ride at the carnival.
“Well one of them is. The other one is…” her voice trailed off and she got a mysterious look in her eyes. I didn’t get anything else out of her that night. After I carried her to bed, and sung her a bed-time song, she fell asleep. I returned to bed, wondering about that second voice.
Over the next few weeks, the dreams continued. Every night Katie dreamt of two big houses, one dark and gloomy and the other one warm and friendly. Each time two voices beckoned her from inside; one dark and scary and the other one…
I tried listening to her, leaving the light on, speaking through her Ghost ride experience. I even started considering taking Katie to a child psychologist, until one night…
“Go back to bed Katie, we can speak about your dream in the morning okay?”
“No, listen! It’s different!! I went inside…” Her voice shook with excitement, and her eyes were animated and alive.
I was extremely tired after a long day, but seeing my daughter like that after her strange behaviour for the past few weeks made me sit up and listen.
“I went into the house! He called me, and asked me to come in. And I did. He let me play in the house and afterwards He let me sit in His lap, just like Daddy used to.”
For along time I listened to my daughter tell me about the second house and especially the Owner who made her feel special and loved, and most importantly gave my sunshine daughter back to me.
That was two years ago. Since that day Katie never had another nightmare, in fact she grew more joyful by the day.
I was grateful but I didn’t really understand.
I didn’t understand when she started praying after our bed-time song. I didn’t understand when she asked me to start taking her to Sunday school. I didn’t understand when she started speaking to Tim about a God who loves him.
Then when Ashley (Katie’s Sunday school teacher and now a really good friend) invited me to church with her, I didn’t try to understand… but I did listen.
What I heard, was the same mysterious and loving Voice that called Katie two years ago. The Voice that at the same time, called me away from all that is terrifying and towards all that is good. The Voice that asked me to enter into a relationship and not a religion .
And today I did.
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