If any of you have known me personally for very long, you know I don’t sleep well. I know sleep paralysis and nightmares all too well. I’ve always had terrible dreams and fears in the night since I was a child. I am often awake for the terrors and hallucinations that are caused by sleep paralysis, but paralyzed and unable to move. Even if I know they are irrational, the fear I feel is so real.
I know I’m not the only one.
I have a terrible sleeping schedule. I always feel like I need a nap. I sleep much better in the daytime when the sunlight is coming in from the window. As a child, I had so many night lights, my parents joked that you could land a plane in my room. There were very few friends that I slept over at their houses. It was worse as a kid, but it never fully stopped as I grew into a young adult.
Maybe you suffer from insomnia, or stress, or anxiety, or a brain that just won’t stop. Whatever it may be, if you’re losing sleep, life can be tiring. People don’t get it. They turn into a doctor and start prescribing medications, or oils, or tell you to get off of technology, or tell you to stop taking naps, or (my favorite) that you need to spend more time with Jesus. (??????) And while I believe that some of these things do surely work for lots and lots of people, I have a few remarks myself:
- medicine can often do the exact opposite. Melatonin, Tylenol PM, things of the sort, can make some nightmares WORSE than actually fix them.
- sometimes technology is the only thing that can keep me distracted from feeling like a person is going to burst through my window and murder me.
- sometimes naps are my only form of rest during the week. Plz let me nap.
- Jesus and I spend lots of time together during my daily devotional and prayer time. We chat and I worship and read His Word constantly. THANKS THOUGH!!!!!!!!
About 10 months ago I was having a particularly rough time. I was moving states, leaving my college town, leaving my dog (+family), a boy had just done the cha-cha on my heart, moving 6 hours away from my two best friends, and lots and lots of emotions and feelings were happening. I was praying one night and I couldn’t form many sentences. Words just weren’t coming out the way they needed to.
Then these three statements just started flowing.
- Heal my head.
- Hold my heart.
- Soothe my soul.
I don’t know where they came from. I don’t know how they got to my brain. (Let’s be real, yes I do. Jesus, duh.) But they made sense for me. They were obviously the things I needed in the moment. Jesus was telling me I needed to ask these things from him. I needed to admit I needed help. I needed to admit I needed to lean on him. He gave me the words I needed to request from him. Man, Jesus is so cool.
My head needed to be healed from the negative thoughts, comparisons, judgements, and overthinking.
My heart needed to be held because it was overwhelmed, hurt, beat up, restless, and needed to be reminded that the lover of my soul was always close.
My soul needed to be soothed because it felt like it wouldn’t sit still. It kept dancing around and not in the pretty way. It was moving like a maniac at a punk rock concert, but dancing to polka music. Way off and out of time. It was so tired, and it wouldn’t just take a a bubble bath and calm down.
Isn’t it awesome that when we don’t know how to form our sentences, God hears our heart?
Maybe you sleep great, maybe you never fear, maybe you never overthink, maybe you just live in bliss and everything is rainbows and unicorns all the time.
But if you ever have doubts or the enemy is in your brain and robbing you off your sleep, then maybe these few requests of Jesus will help you out too.
(Next week we’ll talk about when it may be Jesus waking you up at night, but that’s a whole different post.)
Do you struggle at night? What are some things that help you sleep?