Sleepless to Strength

“When I awake, I am still with you…” Psalms 139:18b

I don’t know what it is about the night that brings me to such a vulnerable place. In the light of day my mind finds rest and peace but in the night watches, when sleep just won’t come, I am at times overwhelmed with doubts, fears, and worries worsened by the constant jumping of my “chemo brain”. It doesn’t take long before my emotions are in shambles, my fears running rampant, and my faith teetering. What is it that brings this vulnerability?

Is it the darkness, the silence, the only time that my mind is not distracted? These are the things that I ponder during my spiritual hangover the next day.

After a recent challenging night of non-stop hot flashes and subsequent insomnia, I found myself in a state of despair and spiritual exhaustion. God in His long suffering and patience gently led me to Psalms 77 where I found an echo of my heart in David’s words: cries in the night, feelings of abandonment, troubled spirits, eyelids held open, a diligently searching heart, feelings all too familiar to me. And, then out of the anguish came the familiar questions, the whys, the hows, the concerns.

But, David doesn’t leave the questions and cries unanswered, the final verses provided my heart with the reminder that I needed and the hope that my heart was desperate for. “But, I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High, I will remember the works of the LORD.” (Psalm 77:10-11) While the first 9 verses of this Psalm speak of the shadows and despair of the night, the final 11 verses turn the tide and remember all of what God has done for His people.

This “remembering” was just the antidote I needed for my desperate soul. My anxieties, doubts and fears were replaced with reminders of the faithfulness, goodness and ultimate control of a God who loves me.

So when the battle for my heart, soul and spirit rages in the night, I take David’s advice and remember the wonders of my Mighty God. I go from sleepless to strength: fears begins to fade away, despair is replaced with hope, doubts are rendered powerless, worries are defeated with promises and faith is reinforced. Eventually, sleep will come and when I awake, I am still with Him and He is still with me, together we face the next day and night.

*Cover picture from Clip Art Microsoft Word

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