Isn’t sleep such a beautiful thing? I remember not so long ago I would get a full 8-10 hours of sleep and wake up feeling like I could take on the world and felt so carefree. Oh, how that now feels like such a distant dream.
I woke up early this morning. Actually, I woke up a whole 3 hours before my alarm was set to go off at 6:10 a.m. In fact, for the past year, I have either gone to sleep at 2 a.m. or have woken up around that time and, for a while, it was driving me insane. I would wake up saying, “Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. Again?! I just want to sleep” or I would be begging God at 2 a.m. saying, “Please, just help me sleep. Just take this feeling away. Just let me close my eyes and fall asleep peacefully.” With the little hours of sleep, I seem to be getting, combined with a slew of personal battles I’m facing, I have been at a complete loss for words. I wake up feeling bitter, angry, extremely sad, and pretty much hopeless. Crying myself to sleep became a nightly routine for me and waking up with a negative attitude took the place of my once care-free, positive self.
One evening, in the early hours of the morning, I sat straight up in my bed, once again, annoyed that I couldn’t fall asleep. I walked over to my desk and sat down in the chair. For about an hour or so, I just stared into the darkness of my room, thinking about just about everything under the sun…
- Why am I awake?
- I wish I could sleep.
- If I had this much money, I could take a month off and travel through Europe as I’ve always wanted.
- I hate how I look, need to lose at least 40 lbs.
- I wonder if he hates me. It kind of seems like he does.
- Why would anyone want to be my friend?
- I annoy myself; I know I must annoy everyone else.
- I hope she doesn’t think I sounded rude when I was talking to her last week.
- If I save another $1000, then I can have some peace with my finances.
- Oh no, did I remember to pay off my last doctor’s bill?
- I’m never going to get married and probably will die alone.
- Yeah, he definitely hates me.
- Why can’t anyone just say how they feel?
- I’m kind of hungry. Wait, no, you can’t eat, you have to lose 40 lbs. at least.
- Ahh, I’m so tired…
- I wish I could sleep.
And the cycle kept repeating itself until I heard a sudden thump on my bedroom floor. I walked over towards my bookshelf and found an old journal that I had written all through. Mostly, it was filled with prayers and song lyrics from a LONG time ago. “How strange?”, I thought to myself, “How did this fall from the shelf?” This journal was wedged between all the devotional and inspirational books that I should have been reading. I picked it up and flipped to the page where the bookmark was left. It was a journal entry that I had written on January 9th, 2016, and this is how it began:
“Hey God! It’s me again! It’s around 2 a.m., and I’m writing down my prayers to you because, well, I feel like there’s a reason I’m up this early. I haven’t been feeling like myself lately and am not sure what I should do. I’m so sad, I cannot even think straight. I feel like I don’t hear from you anymore. Why is that? Why can’t I hear you? As I write this, I am even crying. Can you hear your child calling out your name? Can you hear my heart’s cry? I don’t understand what I’m even doing here. I know you have a plan and a purpose for my life, but what is it? I know you say you are for me; then why do I feel like everyone is against me? I cannot feel you, but trust you are there. I don’t know what the plan is for my life, but I have faith in your promises. Why did you wake me? What are you trying to show me?
The journal entry goes on and on, but this beginning portion is what brought me to my knees in the wee hours of the morning. My mentality changed from “God why?” to “God, what are you trying to tell me? What are you showing me? I’m awake, I’m listening, I’m ready.” And my mindset began to change. A journal entry from 4 years ago brought me to my knees because I was living it in the present day, and God was showing me something at that moment. The journal didn’t just magically fall in the middle of the night while I stared into the abyss. GOD WAS SPEAKING! Reading through that journal entry reminded me of the girl who chose to have faith, regardless of her circumstances. That journal entry reminded me to be sensitive to what the Lord was saying.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Even in my weakness, God’s power shines through.
Even in my confusion, God’s power shines through.
Even in the dead of night when all hope is lost, God’s power shines through.
There will be moments in your life where you will question God and His ways. There will be moments where you will question His plan and purpose for your life. I encourage you to remain diligent and faithful in listening to what He is speaking to you. Sometimes, it’s not as obvious as we’d like it to be or think it should be, but our God is still active, He is still speaking, He is still working!
Don’t sleep on His promises, stand on them! Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” This is one of the MANY promises God has given to us. He is there, guiding us and instructing us in the ways we should go. His plans for us are far greater than we could ever imagine. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I challenge you to begin reading about God’s promises and actually believing in them!
Don’t sleep on His promises for your life! Wake up renewed in Him and his strength, even if it means you only slept a few hours.