Insomnia: a good time to pray

I’m going through the mundane motions of everyday life and thought I was doing okay. Then, I started to feel the side effects of days-long insomnia, which I didn’t even know I had.

Falling asleep at 4 a.m. from sheer exhaustion and a mind feeling wobbly were just not normal. This kind of explained the daytime restlessness, fatigue, and irritability.

My mind and body sometimes don’t act as a team. Painful emotions show up through psychosomatic symptoms, and bursts of sadness that make me cry when I’m driving or walking to the mailbox tells me something is not right.

This insomnia was that psychosomatic response. This COVID-19 is unprecedented profoundly affecting people’s lives. Big unanswerable questions linger; you realize people are suffering. When this danger diminishes, how will life change? When we emerge from our homes and resume activities, what will stay the same? different? Do I need to seriously consider growing my own vegetables? How long will the recovery take? Will this virus keep us home for many more months? Ack!! Only speculations and little to no answers.

During meal-time prayer with the kids, we thank God for provisions and we pray for peace, healing, and health. I end by asking God for a miracle in this situation. I don’t know what that miracle would involve or if God will do it. But after a conversation with my mother-in-law (which begins with concerned lecturing about how we are to wear and sanitize our masks, did we finally buy those bottles of Vitamin C, are we gargling day and night with lukewarm salt water, etc.), I realized that my view of a miracle is shortsighted.

She then asked how the kids were handling this situation. I told her that kids have been asking questions and they’ve been praying for a miracle. I mentioned that specifically, because I could imagine her nodding with approval.

After a pause though, she said miracles are not always the big and earth-shattering things. We have to trust God’s plans. I forget exactly what she said, but it had something to do with miracles happen in small sizes too.

Even though she disagreed with my view, I was grateful for this perspective shift.

It must’ve been my night of clearing up webs in my heart: a quick text message to a good friend turned into a long conversation about how my life is going. My friend D., who is my buddy and second line of contact after Chris, shows me how a friend sympathizes but also challenges you to go farther in your faith. She’s seen me at my worst: when I’m in the throes of hospital emergencies for Ellis, or the most recent incident of being stranded in a dark parking lot after flinging my keys into the metal donation bin. In all those times, she reminds me to pray. It’s not what I want to hear but it’s so true. This was in connection to my recent insomnia. Why didn’t I bring it to God first?

I know…I don’t want to admit that I waste a lot of time scrolling through social media and entertaining myself with the unfolding drama of the royal family. I thought God would call me a fool for being a bad steward of time and tell me I deserve having sleep troubles…time and time again.

In desperation last night, I prayed in bed waiting for sleep and just talking to God finally thanking him for Easter and saying sorry for ignoring him. It wasn’t a miraculous falling asleep, like conking out at “Dear God,” but it was a restful sleep without nightmares. Again, he doesn’t withdraw but draws closer in my weaknesses.

God is good. Instead of a thunder bolt each time I sin, he gives me peace and grace. He loves me, us, so much that we have Good Friday as a reminder of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for sinners.

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

For I am the Lord, who heals you.” Exodus 15:26