Sleepless in Misery

Published March 19, 2018 by Dawn

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

Insomnia and I have a long history. As far back as I can remember, I’ve struggled to sleep. The boogie man was real to me, and I have always slept with one eye open.

We became considerably closer when I moved out of my mom’s house. My kids and I lived in a three-bedroom house and my son slept in the back bedroom for the first few weeks. I didn’t sleep much. His room had a window, and I couldn’t sleep at night, fearing that in the back of the house while I slept, someone might snatch my kid right out of his bed. It was a paralyzing fear, really. I mollified myself by moving my son into the middle bedroom with my daughter. Oddly enough, the middle bedroom didn’t have windows, and after that adjustment, I slept alright for three years.

When I bought our house, nearly ten years ago, I was suddenly faced with an overwhelming problem: my house has six-foot-tall windows in almost every room. Two. In each room. My kids were getting old enough to have their own rooms, and I wanted them to, but the first few months, I hardly slept at all. I was exhausted, to say the least. It was obvious that living every day on little sleep wasn’t going to be sustainable much longer. I was already a single mom with a full time job and college. Sleeplessness was about to wreck me.

When exhaustion had me at my breaking point, the Lord said to me, “You have to deal with this fear.” I didn’t want to. You see, I believed in the boogie man. I had reason to. He was real and every window in my house was an opportunity for the boogie man to steal my children and inflict horrific torture on their little bodies and souls. I was petrified every night! I could lock him out with dead bolts, but my windows scared me so much. Finally, though, the Lord encouraged me to deal with my fear. He said, “Do you believe I can keep you safe?”

“Of course I do.”

“Then you must believe for your children, too. Just ask me every night to keep you safe in your home. I will be faithful.”

It seemed so easy. Just ask.

So I did. I asked the Lord to keep us safe and He was faithful. He has kept us safe every night for almost ten years. I still pray this nightly. And with this prayer came peace in my heart and rest in my bed.

This scripture kept jumping out at me, so I thought I’d share this. It’s awesome that God cares about our lack of peace in certain areas of our lives. I encourage you to pray to Him about what is keeping you up at night. Whatever it is: God knows, He cares and He will take care of you.

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One comment on “Sleepless in Misery

  • Sweetie, are you SURE you’re not my daughter?
    Growing up I too was very fearful of things that go bump in the night. I had a close personal relationship with God even before I knew exactly what that meant. That’s how I know God has pursued me since I was a small child and he has comforted me and kept me safe for many, MANY years. I spoke to him a lot mostly to keep everyone in the family safe. And no one knows (until now) that I prayed every single time the whole family got in the car together to go somewhere. I invited God to ride along with us and that calmed my fears (at least for the time being.) I didn’t pray Hail Mary’s or Our Father’s, I prayed real, straight from the heart of a child supplications for safety and peace. And I knew that God was faithful and trust-worthy.
    Every time the sun shone on my face, I felt the kiss of God on my cheek. I knew he watched when I played and danced (usually when others were not too close by). My Grandmother Kennedy caught me standing on the top of the natural gas tank (that big silver blimp looking thing in the back yard) just singing my little heart out. I went on for quite a long time making up my own lyrics usually praising God. Who knew? Seriously, I don’t think anyone does except Grandma K and as far as I know, she took it to her grave.
    I was also plagued with “dark shadows” in the night, in the upper corners of the room. I didn’t sleep well either at least not until I said my prayers. God was never far from me and when I asked him to make them go away, he did. He’s still doing that for me. PRAISE GOD! I don’t remember if other sibs prayed with me or not except for when Virginia and I became roommates. We prayed every night and always ended with “Jesus, Mary, Joseph pray for us”. I now know that Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient enough…” therefore I have now returned to speaking directly to Jesus and no one else.
    Much like you, I feel with my whole heart. And while it is sometimes a noble thing, more often than not, it makes us vulnerable. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to a time and place when it’s a good thing to wear your heart on your sleeve, where sensitivity and compassion are the hallmarks of a godly character and no one will think to use it against us and use it to justify their own abrasive character.
    As my faith grows, I’m less fearful than I use to be. I just can’t handle life without Jesus by my side and as my constant companion. Thankfully, I don’t have too. I knew that as a small child and I know it now though I may have turned away from it for a while. I know that I am not telling you anything new or that you don’t already know (well, except for revealing the child me of course). Sometimes we just need to be reminded of the lessons we’ve learned and that we are not alone in our education of the love, grace, and character of God. He has your children, He hears your prayers and mine and the prayers of all who reach out to Him even if it is for the first time ever.
    Peace be with you little sister and with all those you love.

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