I Can't Sleep

Sometimes you can't sleep.

No matter how tired and worn out you are, sleep will not come. Sometimes this is part of facing the consequences of looking at your phone for two hours (haha guilty as charged; there's no better time to check Facebook than at eleven at night). Most of the times it's because of fear and relentless anxiety as you lay there mulling over everything that is uncertain. Sometimes it's for downright funny reasons like the story I am about to tell you, when the urge to check Facebook is just too much. ;D

Quite awhile back I was up in Estherville with my grandparents. I always sleep with my grandma, and I probably keep her up way too late when I'm playing on my technology haha. But one time it was actually HER that woke ME up. And it was one of the funniest things . . .

Grandma loves to be on Facebook. She says she doesn't, but she totally does. And she has no idea what she's doing, which is even better, ha. But everyone likes to tease her about it saying that she is addicted. I don't know why she needed her phone in the middle of the night, but she did. And this is what happened.

I don't know what time it was. We were in our room, and the bed was in the corner. I was right next to the wall, and Grandma was on the other side next to her nightstand, which is where she kept her phone and also where the lamp was. But the lamp was off. Why she needed her phone, I have no idea. She's moving around, though, and the room is pretty much pitch black, so I can hear her rummaging around trying to find her phone, and I wake up. I look over and see her on her side reaching for the phone. And I'm half there, and I despise being woken up, so I'm like, "Grandma, what are you doing?" Translation: what the heck are you doing that is more important than my beauty sleep.

But I am so glad I got woken up because what happened next is priceless. You just had to be there to witness this, so my apologies if this doesn't come across as funny as it actually was. I hope you can visualize well. :)

Okay, so, I'm listening to her grasping for her phone, and then finally I hear something tumble to the ground. Which would be the phone falling off the nightstand and onto the carpet. Oh my gosh, I'm dying just thinking about this again. There is never a dull moment with my grandparents.

I hear Grandma mutter something, and then she's trying to turn the lamp on, which is also nearby, but since it was so dark, Grams couldn't see anything. Then I hear a big crash, and keep in mind I still was only half there, so I'm like what in the world... I had no idea what Grams was doing. I thought she'd lost it. Turns out that was the lamp falling to its death since Grandma knocked it over! But it doesn't stop there. . . . 

Then I hear the loudest thud of all . . . and I realize Grandma isn't in the bed anymore. I hear Grandma say, "Ow." I look over, and there is Grandma, sitting right on top of the lamp. And then she tried to get up, but she kept stumbling over the lamp. And she shows me the lamp, which she totally killed, saying "Look." Needless to say we never used that lamp again. :D

Oh, that story just kills me. There's nothing quite like waking up to hearing your grandma fighting with the lamp. And what is my point in telling it?

Sometimes you can't sleep. Worry creeps in. Who knows, maybe someone was calling, and that's why Grandma needed her phone, out of fear for what was wrong. Maybe anxiety is paralyzing you, making you lie there and think about all that could go wrong. Maybe you are wrestling with doubts and problems in your life that seem to have no answer. Maybe grief is killing you, making you unable to think straight.

I don't know what your needs are, but I know you have them.

I don't know what keeps you awake at night, but I'm sure something does at some point or another.

I don't know why, Grandma, you decided to check Facebook in the middle of the night and kill a lamp in the process. ;) But hey, we all know you get violent without that phone.... ;D

On a serious note, though, we all have fear. We all have dreams. We all have sadness, and pain, and anger, and doubts. We all have desires we want to act upon. And we all handle them differently, portray them differently. Some people act like they don't have pain in their life. I think you all know by now I'm huge on keeping it real. I'm not afraid to share what bothers me, what hurts me, how I sin, etc. Because I know we all do. And to me, there's nothing worse than not being able to relate to somebody because they pretend their life is all sunshine and unicorns.

So I'll tell you some of the things that keep me awake at night, in all honesty, so maybe you can relate. And maybe you can soak in what it is God has taught me.

Fear keeps me awake. I worry about losing loved ones. I worry about getting sick somehow (this is probably what I worry about most; ask my mom - I drive her nuts, haha, because I'm always asking if something is wrong with me and do I need to see a doctor again?!). I worry about school, grades, projects, and how in the world I'm going to do XYZ. I worry about my dreams, what will happen if I don't get moving on them, if I don't get to fulfill them.

Dreams keep me awake. Some nights I stay awake dreaming of things I'd like to happen. I dream of what it would be like to publish my book. I dream of what it would be like to be in prison ministry. I dream of how it would feel to see your prayers get answered for somebody to be saved, to know that God used your prayers and witness to be a light for a person and lead them to Him. Sometimes this can be fun.

But it's not so fun as you start pondering all you've tried to do and take stock of how so many of those dreams are no closer to becoming a reality, day after day.

Sadness keeps me awake. I think about topics I see on the news that simply break my heart. Terrible issues like human trafficking. Stories of families being ripped apart by sin and terrible choices. Sadness in my own family. I reflect on my loneliness, my unmet hopes, my unmet dreams.

Pain keeps me awake. There's pain from seeing issues in my life take place. There's pain from broken relationships I have. There's pain from rejection. There's pain from situations I'm powerless to do anything about.

There's anger sometimes, too. Sometimes there are people that simply drive me nuts. There's jealousy on why I can't be used like certain people I know to inspire.

There's doubts. So many doubts. Should I keep praying for this person? They're not my problem, so why should I, especially when there's no evidence God is using my prayers in their life? Was reaching out to this person a good idea? Did I make things worse for intervening here? Does what I do even matter? Does God still want me even after I've failed again at the same sin I battle everyday and swear to try harder at?

I saw a quote one time that said something along the lines of when you're not able to sleep, it may be God's way of saying that now you have time to talk to Him.

And I have never found this to be more true.

We live in a crazy world. There's so much to be afraid of, so much we could stress about. But God tells us, repetitively and relentlessly, not to worry. He's there. He can take whatever it is you are feeling. If you are angry, then you tell Him. If you are heartbroken, then you tell Him. If you are stressed, then you tell Him. EVERYTHING. Talk to Him until you have absolutely nothing else to think of to say. Talk to Him until you fall asleep.

The truth is that God wants you (Zephaniah 3:17). He loves you so much. And when you can't sleep, try remembering that. He loves you. He sees you, and He loves you.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
— Philippians 4:6 NIV

Do not be anxious. That is a command. In every situation. Every. Single. One. Pray about all of it. And thank God for His amazing love which cares so deeply about every single part of you. There's no better way to fall asleep than that.

And you won't even have to kill a lamp. :)