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

14 thoughts on “Insomnia: a good time to pray

  1. This was a very thoughtful post Esther – it is scary how mind-numbing the details and stats and news pieces are … we have a fear like never before, and I have prayed to God myself that the outcome will be favorable and it will not linger longer than necessary. For you and your family, I pray for the continued health of little Ellis and people who know you bide their time and stay apart from you to avoid any contamination. You are strong and will get through this but I will admit that I thought myself much stronger than I am – in truth it scares me, as a person with no family and any friend far flung around the U.S., I do have my moments too. And, though my daily routine is pretty much the same as before as to walking, working from home, it is the sameness of the routine due to restrictions, like weekends when I am on longer walks or just enjoying the outing … that I realize I am staying close to home as we are told not to joyride, or I am worried that filling up my gas tank will maybe cause me to touch germs – little things, but things that taint not only our hands, but our lives as well. Take care and stay safe … all of you.

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    • I’m so happy you enjoyed reading my post! It took me several edits to get it together and I almost deleted it. I think I’m having writing voice issues. I couldn’t figure out how to organize my thoughts. Just too much going on these days and feeling burnt out from taking care of the kids nonstop.

      The news it seems breed fear and give scary numbers about positive cases and deaths. This is the first time in history where people are dealing with life and death matters. Thank you for your prayers…I know so many people have and continue to pray for us.

      People can be so many things…fragile all the way to resilient. But it’s amazing how we can rise to the occasion when it is necessary. I too am fearful of the gas pump. Wear gloves and wipe your hands off with a antibacterial wipe before you touch the steering wheel. I can imagine all the germs on the wheel. It’s a hassle to even leave the house.

      I can imagine your fears in living alone without family nearby. It must come with stresses but you don’t have to deal with unwanted family members driving you nuts with their drama. Everything has a trade off!
      Are you part of any supportive communities? maybe a church group? It’s not easy but once you take the leap and try out some groups, maybe a couple before you commit, you may find a supportive group of friends. I hope you do! I did, and it my trepidation took me forever to get involved, but it has been my saving grace.
      I hope you don’t mind me saying so much about this topic! But I want that community for you too…will enrich your life so much!

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      • No, it is okay – I am really not an introvert, but an extrovert, but am used to being alone. Before my mom passed away in January 2010, it was just the two of us, no family, so I am used to it being quiet around here. I work from home – have not seen my boss since 2012, but talk on the phone every day. I do worry if something happened and I was really sick – could I take care of myself, i.e. this COVID-19? I am burnt out from work as I’ve not had any time off, except the weekend or a long holiday since I was hired back in June 2011 after being laid off. It was what I agreed to in order to work from home – I figured that was good and I was happy, but yes, you need consecutive days to enjoy yourself. My house suffers as does the yard as I tell myself I will go out and walk and take photos and enjoy myself because I don’t have enough time to myself. It is late – I stayed up late tonight to catch up in Reader and comments because we are having bad weather tomorrow and may lose power due to high winds or if it is storming, I do not stay on the computer. I wish it was 9:38 here Esther. Have a good evening and I can understand your feeling of burn out … this is a very trying time.

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      • I hope you didn’t have a power outage or a major inconvenience from the major storm! How different weather is in California…I had no idea I had the heater on all day and kept the windows open. I wouldn’t have noticed if my husband didn’t point it out. I guess I’ve been doing this often these days.
        I’ve read that this SIP is a reprieve for introverts because you spend so much time at home. lol. I guess that’s the bright side of looking at things. I agree partially because I’m an introvert.
        Your worry is valid! You’re not alone in that worry. Oh dear Lord, praying you don’t get sick, but if, then there’s going to be lots of food and grocery delivery. I’ll be the first to offer. Let’s not think about it…such a remote possibility. God watches over us through the storms and he will bring people to help. When I was feeling depleted with Ellis’ situation, someone from church I didn’t even know, found out about our situation, and showed up at my doorstep with food. Like 10 minutes earlier I was so discouraged and felt alienated.
        Oh dear, this reply is long…hope it didn’t bore you too much.
        But I like how your conversational style allows me to do the same!
        Take care and good night. πŸ™‚

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      • It is fine – I was not bored at all and I write equally as conversationally. Never worry about that. You take good care too Esther – keep those babies … your entire family safe.

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      • I know – I am happy it is Friday, though I’ve not been busy at work this week. We had a few inches of snow and now it is raining. As long as it does not morph into freezing rain, that will be good and I’ll get a walk in tomorrow. Esther, will you home school your kids in the Summer months too or just during a regular school year? I imagine you can go on walks, and out in nature if not too rigorous since you have such nice weather year ’round.

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  2. Happens to most of us. Sometimes we ignore God so much when we spend so much time on things that doesn’t really matter and going to bed without thanking Him. I see insomnia as an opportunity to pray.

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    • Totally agree. It’s an opportunity to let go and just talk to God. When it hits, my frustration makes the insomnia worse.
      I hope you are doing well and having restful sleep!

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