A little back story before we get to the main story.
I grew up in the suburbs of a large city. It was drilled into me by my protective parents to lock doors. House doors - when we were gone and when we were home. Car doors - when we were parked, and when we were driving. Before bed each night, Daddy made sure all the doors were locked up tight and we were all safe and secure inside. It is just what we did.
Now I live in a small town. Some of our friends admit to not locking their homes - day or night, home or away...ummm...NO. I just can't do it.
So, this last weekend, My Prince and I went as chaperones on a beach retreat. Our kids were all going, and well, a beach retreat = a no brainer. I'm in. I mean it. ALL IN. Bring on the sunscreen and the sand!
Our group had one side of a mirror image building (the main street side), and shared the other side with a group that brought down 3rd - 5th grade inner city kiddos. I saw them pass by one afternoon on their way to the beach, but otherwise, I never saw the other group. We all followed the rules and kept to our own sides.
So, we were among our own people. Church members. Family. People we were comfortable with. I shared a room with three other ladies. Our room connected by a door into one of the rooms where some of our girls were staying, and then there was one more room where the rest of our girls and our youth pastor's wife were staying. All of the rooms had an outside access door. The boys had a similar set up. Only they were on the first floor and the girls were on the second floor.
The first night, I never even thought about locking the door. Not once. The thought never even crossed my mind. We all got ready for bed, did some soul sharing (as women tend to do when we get together), and went to sleep. Because tomorrow was coming early, and we had teenagers to chase around in the sun. SOME sleep was necessary.
The next night, one of the ladies and I went up a little earlier to get ready for bed. As the other ladies came in, I mentioned that I think we had forgotten to lock the door the night before, and that we needed to be sure and lock the door that night. I guess it was on my mind after the Youngest Princess came in and told me that there had been a little incident (after I had already gone upstairs) where some guys off the street had tried to join our kids in a game of basketball. The strangers were asked nicely to leave, and were not really keen about vacating the premises (or being told what to do in general). Our men chaperones stepped in and handled the situation. Then the daughter of another lady came in a few minutes later to tell us that she had passed by at some time during the day and our room door had been standing open and that it was really hot in our room. She said she just shut the door for us. All that said, I wanted to be sure that the room door was locked for the night. I mentioned it to the lady sleeping closest to the door, as I was already on my top bunk, and she said okay. I then got busy talking, and promptly forgot to watch her and make sure she actually DID lock the door.
Maybe it was the missing flip flop situation that captured my attention...but that is a story for another day.
We all got in bed. We talked. We laughed. We said goodnight and went to sleep.
Then sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up. I woke up because I was hot. I am RARELY EVER hot. And I was in a room full of ladies who like it COLD. So I knew instinctively that something was WRONG.
When I opened my eyes, I was staring straight out the door. It was standing WIDE OPEN. I mean like alllll the way to the wall WIDE OPEN. And y'all. I was WIDE AWAKE. I mean like fight or flight WIDE AWAKE. Because I know we talked about locking said door. And she said OKAY. Which meant that she was going to do it. So why in the world was it standing WIDE OPEN!?!?
From my lofty perch (top bunk) I did a quick head (or body) count. We were all there. The other three ladies who like it cold, were sleeping through the heat wave caused by the open door. NO movement in any of them. I played mental tug of war with myself. Should I wake them up? Was it the wind that blew open the locked door or was something more sinister going on? What about the girls in the next room? If I woke everyone else up would everyone be able to go back to sleep if it had just been the wind? What if it wasn't the wind?!? What should I do?!? Will they be mad at me if I wake them up and it WAS just the wind?
So I took matters into my own hands. I got off of the bed and tiptoed across the room to the door (meanwhile, all the people watching from home are going "Don't do it! Don't do it!). I gingerly peeked both ways out the open door. Saw no one, and shut and LOCKED the door. Then my sleep deprived, sun baked brain thought, "Well, maybe I should check and make sure no one is in the room with us..." which may have been brought on by the thought that I should go to the bathroom before getting back up on my top bunk. I know that was backwards, but I was scared, and not really thinking straight. Meanwhile, my sweet friends slept peacefully on.
I quickly did a check, and thankfully there was no intruder in the room with us. I climbed back to the safety of my bed. I grabbed my phone and started texting My Prince. Long story short, I finally got ahold of the Young Prince. The Young Prince woke up My Prince. My Prince texted me to let me know he would come up. He came to our door, and stood as lookout while I checked on (and locked the doors behind me) the girls in both rooms. All was well, so My Prince and I went back to bed.
This all took place at about 3:30 a.m. I think my first text was at 3:24. I did not go back to sleep until about 5:10. My friend got up at 5:30 to go watch the sunrise on the beach with her son. I woke up with her alarm, and told her what had happened. She asked me if I had dreamed it. I told her no, that I had the texts to My Prince to prove it.
So, in the end, all was well that ended well. Two of the ladies left that day, because they had to come back home early. That left only two of us in the room for the last night. We made SURE the door was locked, and we put our luggage in front of the door, so the wind would have a harder time if it decided a repeat performance. I was not going to wake up in the middle of the night to an open door again. Thankfully, due to our extra precautions, all was well the last night.
Now. That's my story. What is your's? Have you even thought about locking your "door"? Have you considered that there are forces out there that want access to your heart and mind? God's Word tells us that we wrestle not with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). We are in a spiritual war. And most of us are too comfortable here and too distracted to even think about taking precautions and locking our doors. But I will tell you for sure. You do NOT want to be blindsided and wake up from a dead sleep to find your door WIDE OPEN. You do not want to find yourself completely vulnerable to the elements. I pray that we will remember that we are not meant for this life. And that there is a spiritual battle going on around us. I pray that we will put on the "whole armor of God" that we will be able to "withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand." (Ephesians 6:13) After being caught off guard, we made sure to make every precaution that it would not happen again. Let's learn from mistakes. Let's put on that whole armor each and every day, no matter how comfortable we feel or how distracted we get. Because I promise you, the wind did not stop blowing that last night, and Satan won't stop trying to blow your door in and destroy you and your family. Don't let him! Wear that armor like the good soldier that you are. Don't find yourself wandering around in the dark, trying not to disturb others but wanting to make sure that everyone is safe. Barricade your door.