Last night just before we went to bed, my orange hair, freckle face OS went to throw something outside in the trash bin. I was tired and keyed up but knew I needed sleep. I was upstairs, sleep mask on top of my head, wearing my super alluring bite guard and mismatched pajamas when the Hubs told me he needed my help, Ike had been hurt.
I went downstairs and found Ike groaning in pain with a bloody leg and knee. It was past midnight.
After attending to Ike and realizing a trip to the Emergency Room wasn’t necessary, I knew sleep was going to be especially challenging. It would have been so much easier to just pop an Ambien knowing I would fall asleep…
but I didn’t
and I’m telling you this not to brag about myself because truly there is nothing to brag about
but here’s one of things that I did and it will sound really weird to some of you*
I picked a letter in the alphabet and began to pray the attributes of God.
For example, I picked “P” and I let my mind claim the things I know to be true about God…
He’s the Prince of Peace, he’s the Great Physician, he’s my protector and praiseworthy. He pursues me, he is present. He is perfect and pure. The Lord is my portion, etc..
Some letters are harder than others but I like the challenge and it helps. I’ve been doing this on and off for years but never without the use of Ambien. I find that without prescription medication, this nighttime ritual gives me a chance to pray and to focus my mind on holy and righteous things since my brain has a tendency to not shut off.
Like many of you have shared with me privately, I can get scared that I might not get enough sleep which then can cause my mind to race but praying and claiming God’s character are drug-free tools with no strange side effects.
I feel the Lord’s presence with me.
And while I understand this might sound really ridiculous to some
God speaks to me while I am in my bed
And He tells me, “Daughter, I’ve got this. It’s time to let me fix this.”
For 11 years I have battled insomnia. I have swallowed over 4000 little potent pills chasing rest. When I think about it, I see that I have put myself in serious danger and been careless. And on an unsuspecting Saturday night in July, the Lord said I was done. I can’t do this alone but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There is a God who bothers with me even though He has a million other things to do and much bigger problems to address.
Why He finds a middle age mama with pink highlights, who wears a sleep mask and a bite guard and who uses no less than three pillows for sleep worthy enough to help, I can’t explain but I’ve got to tell you this. He also finds you worthy of caring about too. And if you have another struggle, the Lord cares about that also.
So there I am, in the quiet of my bed, though the rest of my family is dreaming, the God who never sleeps stays by my side and holds vigil over my weary head. And He can do the same for you, I promise.
And here are a few of the things I’ve talked to the Lord about because I really do incline my ear to Him
August 5th marks the one year anniversary of my precious beloved grandma’s passing. Lord, I’m worried about sleeping that night and the night before. Please be near me even if I cry myself to sleep.
And when I say goodbye to my middle OS Aaron and drop him off at school far from home, Father, could you wrap your arms around me extra tight that night and a few nights after that because I’m really going to miss him?
Somehow mysteriously, I’m staying in bed and trusting Him. And within my soul, I hear His voice telling me, “Beloved, I will give you rest. I know how much sleep you need for tomorrow. This is going to take time to conquer but when you are weak, I am strong.”
My Heavenly Father calms me, relaxes me and within time, I am asleep.
Yes, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night but I got exactly the amount I needed and for that I give great thanks.
And thank you also for I am deeply touched by the responses to my blog post. To know that others are struggling with similar issues brings both sadness and connection. Bless you for being so transparent, it’s a privilege to be entrusted with your stories and I treasure the honor to care about you. Perhaps we can help each other along the way.
*I do a few other things that seem to be helping and I will share them with you in my next post. Some of them are practical things that are beneficial. I’m also willing to share with you the alphabet prayer thing I’m doing if you are interested. Do not give up or feel hopeless, you don’t have to do this alone.