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

Some rambles in quarantine

* this post has been through many edits. I keep seeing holes here and there, thus the rewording and reorganization. Just letting you know. And of course, thank you dear readers for reading and for being here!!

Our family is made up of homebodies. We spend a lot of time at home, but this sheltering-in-place and social distancing are taking it to the extreme. All the news inform that staying home is the best solution: it’ll flatten the curve and hopefully prevent further spreading of this super contagious COVID-19. But even if you wanted to go out, it’s a scary prospect. You could catch it from non-symptomatic individuals or we could be carriers and unknowingly spread it. Too risky!

So we feel grateful to be home and for our health. We are extra vigilant to protect Ellis too: her underlying medical condition makes her more vulnerable. Though many people are stuck at home riding out this pandemic, there’s mounting fear concerning the present situation for ourselves and family, health issues, job situation, economy, and what the future holds. Click on a new’s story and be prepared for a meltdown; death toll keeps climbing, new cases mounting, protective gear in low supply for medical workers, and surgeon general’s warning that this upcoming week will be the “hardest, saddest.” Unreal. Cue…panic attack.

A lesson I’m learning through all this is that plans are only plans. I’m not a planner at all: the word itself gives me a migraine. But I still have broad ideas of what we would be doing the next couple of months, in terms of homeschooling, appointments, summer activities, goals to achieve etc. Then, when the first quarantine happened, my very vague plans suddenly became nothing but a past concern. Now, it’s a day-to-day thing.

For the past 2 weeks, I feel my mind sorting through this deadly reality. It’s all a confused, incoherent jumble at present. So much to digest as life turns inward and reality flipped upside down. But my plan (eeek, I said it!) Is to use this solid block of time to make memories with my family and dig up old things to do again. I aim to do that in bits, because this making memory thing is a laborious process testing my patience when kids get into everything and simple activities become elaborate disasters. Will we have stories to share when this is behind us.

Through it all, I’m working on strengthening my affirmation that God is in the business of performing miracles and bringing goodness out of awful situations. He’s done them before in amazing ways. However, the walk was and is not easy…so many perils, questions, unknowns, losses, and paralyzing fears. Reassurance is that a powerful God who raised Jesus from the dead walks with us through the darkest valleys. He’s that kind of powerful. I’m sticking with him.

Praying that you stay safe and healthy. And here’s an empowering thought from pastor Jud Wilhite’s sermon yesterday:

“You can make yourself miserable or you can make today memorable.”

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