Once upon a life time ago, I never had problems sleeping. It seemed that no sooner had my head hit the pillow I was asleep and didn’t awaken until just before the alarm sounded. My husband often commenting on that as his sleep patterns had changed immediately after his dad had died and never really gotten any better. Then my sleep patterns were destroyed when he died. The one thing I determined to do differently was that when I would wake up in the night, I refused to get up. I would remain where I was, maybe plumping a pillow, maybe pulling his close, maybe simply lying there in the dark listening to the radio playing softly behind me. Eventually I would drift back to sleep.
Right after he died, I would lay there for hours, waiting for sleep only to awaken after brief catnaps. As time passed and exhaustion took hold, the time asleep would be longer, but not restful. The one thing I noticed, was that many of the times I would awaken, I would hear a Christian song playing on the radio, for years it was the same one, a song that really came to mean a lot to me and still does. In the Eye of The Storm.
I found a great deal of comfort in this song. Because I was in the storm, and God was and is my Anchor. Here I am, a little over four years after my husband’s passing and there are still nights when my sleep is slow in coming or interrupted in the night. I recognize the pattern, I will have a day of feeling alone, something will need replacing, a big bill will come up, a worldly issue will cause me concerns and I allow it to work on my subconscious. While my conscious mind and thoughts will quiet, the subconscious will ponder, wonder, and consider until I awaken in the night. One minute asleep, the next staring at the dark listening to the sounds of the fan. I can hear my dog’s breathing and what ever is playing low in my son’s room. Usually, I doze back off within moments, but my rest has been interrupted. I have come to notice though, that there are many times when I awaken, I will have a faith based song playing in the back of my mind. I have awakened in prayer. I realized that in my nightly prayers, I may have left someone out, now, I was completing that prayer. I was still taking my thoughts, my concerns, my prayers to the only One who can ease my troubled mind.
I know, as I have often said, that I have what I need. I am learning daily that my needs are not as much as I thought. It is getting those wants under control. It is in fully trusting the Lord in His provisions. I received a phone call moments ago telling me that a friend is planning on bringing me a load of firewood. This will be the second load. I will be greatly gifted and supplied in wood. My concerns though? My wood stove needs repairs, again. Maybe simply replacing the nuts that hold a metal plate in place. Life seems to want to make things difficult at every possible moment. You have firewood? Let’s destroy that wood burning stove. Place that worry in your head because guess what? That furnace that provides heat for your house? The one that uses propane? Oh, check that tank, you’re almost on empty there girl. Ponder that one for a while, see what that does to your sleep. Because you know, you don’t do cold well now do you? Oh and uh, no pressure but aren’t the dogs due for a vet visit? It can be so easy for life’s issues to add up.
The thing here, I also see those around me and the real struggles they have. Those who are homeless, living in a tent, living in their car, sleeping on a sidewalk. I see those who are hungry, really hungry. Their clothing in tatters. Abandoned, alone, attempting to survive in a world that seems to have forgotten or deliberately ignore them. You see it in the vacant look in their eyes. Maybe, there is a feeling of guilt, as I approach my bed, in a home protected from the elements. There are the moments, when my heart looks toward the windows and wonder about those out there somewhere. Those who would not be impressed with my lack of sleep as they wrap up in what they have, and wonder if they will awaken the next morning, and wonder if they want to awaken anyway.
The weather says another storm is creating destruction that will travel up the east coast. I’ll sit inside and watch the rain strike the windows as the trees sway. Where will those without a home, find shelter? It doesn’t matter their cause of homelessness, the fact they are is the point.
I have friends that I have made all over the world thanks to social media and my writings here. I have read the things they share of their struggles.
When one has a strong empathic tendency those things strike the heart and sink in. You worry over and about them. You want to make life better, easier, more simple and happy.
I worry over family members. Those I see regularly and those I haven’t spoken to in years. I worry over my son, hoping and praying that if it is God’s will that he meet someone special to love forever.
All of this can be overwhelming and can bring about those nights where sleep is interrupted at best and impossible at worst. I am realizing more each day, that those nights I awaken from sleep to realize that my heart is in prayer, is exactly where I should be doing what is most needed. There are many instances in which I can do little or nothing as an individual, but prayer does work miracles. I need to remember, to take all my worries and concerns and leave them with God. Those times when I awaken in the night in prayer, I sleep well the rest of the night. In Him, I find my rest. I’m getting better at remembering that and putting it in practice. Being human though with human frailties, it does take work as I do stumble and fall. But true rest is coming.