From Chicken Soup for the African American Soul

Bedtime Blessing

It is better to walk in the dark with God than to run in the light alone.

Bobby Jones

“I’m tired, Lord,” I said as I walked up the stairs leading to the hallway of the kids’ bedroom. My circumstances weighed heavily on my normally cheery disposition. It had been six months since I was laid off from my job. I knew the letters by heart. “Thank you for your interest in our company. We will keep your resume on file and if your skills match our needs . . . blah blah blah.” The job search thing had gotten under my skin. After all, I have a pretty impressive resume, and I’d never before had a problem getting a job.

I plopped down on the floor at the top of the stairs and dropped my head into the palms of my hands. It had been two years since my marriage ended. I was wrestling with being single, again. This job hunt made me want to pull my hair out. And on top of that, the bills were due and unemployment wasn’t quite cutting it.

“Mommy!” the kids called out.

I pushed past my feelings of fear, uncertainty and frustration, got up from the floor and made my way to the kids’ bedroom.

“What story would you like to read tonight?” I flipped through a book I thought the kids would both enjoy.

“Mommy, let’s read about the animals!” Cameron stood up on the bed and waved one of his favorite animal books.

Courtney, my two-year-old, clung to her doll as I picked her up and sat on the bed next to Cameron.

As I read, their eyes widened with excitement as if they’d never heard this story before. I silently wished I could look at my life this way, too.

They pointed at pictures of the animals and identified which they liked best.

“Mommy, which animal are you? This is me,” Courtney said as she pointed at a giraffe.

I pointed at a colorful bird, “That’s me.”

Cameron interrupted, “No, Mommy. You can’t be that bird. That bird looks afraid. Look at his face. He’s afraid. Mommy, you’re not afraid, are you?”

“Uh.” Tongue-tied and amazed at the profundity of my four-year-old, I stared at him, perplexed by the depth of his question.

“Fear not, Mommy, for God is with you,” Cameron reassured me with a smile.

I felt a flame of hope ignite inside me. The kids played in bed as I sat there and reflected on the conversation I’d just had with God on the stairs a few minutes ago—and the one He had just had with me through my young son.

Sure, I had lost my job, but it was a job that I no longer enjoyed. The reality of divorce permeated my mind with clouds of uncertainty and fear, but then I thought of how much time my ex-husband invests in the children and what a great partnership we’ve formed since the divorce. The bills were due and my expenses far exceeded my income, but every month God provided and met the needs along with a few wants.

After the kids were bundled into bed, I kissed them goodnight and turned off the light. I gazed into their bright eyes once more.

“God loves you, Mommy,” Courtney said with the excitement only a two-year-old could possess.

My heart smiled as I reached into her eyes and grabbed a mustard seed of faith.

Catina Slade

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners