It is 2:02 am.
If you know me, you might know that I HATE sleeplessness with a great passion. I would take it so far as to say that sleep is my #1 idol. I have five young children, and don’t remember the last time I slept through the night without an interruption from them, myself, my husband, etc. I could view this as a major thorn in my side, silently fuming each and every night, martyring myself for my family, building up resentment for them and for my job as a mom. OR, perhaps I could allow God to make beauty from ashes (You are indeed so skillful at that, Lord), and accept that my background and experience in sleeplessness gives me ample credibility to write this post to you, dear sleepless friend.
Fact: I have experienced my fair share of sleeplessness.
Fact: I trust in a Big God, a God who HAS THINGS TO SAY to me in the middle of the night, when I feel like I *should* be sleeping.
Fact: He has things to say to you, too.
So here we are. That last sentence there was the punchline for the post, so no need to continue reading, really.
He has things to say to you, too.
I could go into great detail about how to fix your sleeplessness, because as I mentioned above, I have tons of experience in this area. I have researched sleeplessness to death, sought out doctors, medicated, supplemented, check-listed myself ’til I was blue in the face (and yet, still not asleep).
But the point of this post is actually not to help you get back to sleep (sorry!). The point is to invite you on a journey with me, to discover what God might have for us in these wee hours of the morning.
You ready? Ok.
Sleeplessness is a valuable opportunity. Our days are B.U.S.Y. No matter if you are a business executive, stay at home parent, fast food worker, or even just a couch potato, our days are filled with to-do lists and advertisements and MILLIONS of things clamoring for our attention. We constantly miss out on the best life has to offer. So sleeplessness usually affords us something we desperately need – silence.
It is in this silence that I finally allowed myself to receive a gift our Heavenly Father offers to us day in and day out. His rest, His peace, His comfort, His presence.
Don’t glaze over those words! How delightful they are! What promise they hold!
This morning, I brought some of my biggest struggles to Him and received answers and hope for each and every one.
Here is an excerpt from my journal. Some of you fellow moms might really resonate.
“We have been going 100 mph for months now. No, for years. Something inside of me is dying, or dead already… and I think I have a general idea why…
I haven’t been careful to keep what NEEDS to be in my life at the top of my priorities. I CANNOT choose the amount of sleep I get, & sleep is as basic as it gets, by definition! So if I cannot control something that basic, I am powerless. Right? Wrong!
I have just as much control over my life as I need…
It amazes me how much I love my job and how h.a.r.d. it is at the same time. It requires all of me, then demands more when I’ve got nothing left. It’s used and worn out my body. It’s caused me more health issues than I can even recall. It’s stolen my sanity, my patience, my sleep, my freedom, my independence, my control, my facades, my pride, my dreams, my figure, my priorities…
And I can say with confidence that this is ALL. BEAUTIFUL.
And I can’t possibly begin to write what my job has given to me. Only in eternity will I know the ways it has blessed and grown me into the woman God has made me to be.
So no, this journal entry will not include me boldly declaring what I must add, avoid, list, organize, WORK myself out of this uncomfortable problem (sleeplessness and exhaustion). It will include me humbly declaring,
“I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands.”
You have proven Yourself FAITHFUL & WORTHY of my complete trust.
So take my sleeplessness.
Take my frustrations with my body, my health.
Take my attitude, mood swings, hormones.
Take my desires, dreams, and ambitions.
Take my fears and shortcomings.
DO AS YOU WILL.
When I am sleepless, do I turn to medications and supplements, or to You?
When I have extra time, do I entertain myself or press in to Your Word?
Do I resist a life of service to my God, my husband, my family, and others, or
…or AM I THE MOST BLESSED to have the PRIVILEGE to serve as Jesus did?
Does the amount of sleep I get determine the kind of day I will have? The kind of day my whole family will have?
Or is God alone my confidence?
Will I get sucked into the mainstream Not-enough-ism?
Or declare Your sufficiency in it all?
And will I live the rest of my life giving lip-service to Your Sovereignty while habitually wrestling You over the controls?
Sleeplessness is a valuable opportunity. What will we make of it? And what is He waiting to say to you, to offer you in the midst of it?
Happy journeying, friend.
Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing Stacey. Isn’t that just it? We fight for control all the time, and things aren’t “good” until we have control (or think we do because things are working out).
We need to stay fixed on Christ, and let everything else blur away. He is our only strength.
“I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” 2 Corinthians 11:27