(After posting what I wrote below, I realized that I'd already posted a week or so ago about this insomnia thing, but I suppose if God isn't done teaching me through it, it's okay to write about it again. Besides which, I read recently that insomnia can actually lower a person's IQ. In that case, I can't really be expected to remember what I've already written, right?) :)
So the last couple of weeks have been rough. It's seems rather ironic that I would be suffering with this bout of insomnia in the midst of this "fast." Over the last few days, though, I've wondered if this might be the best time for some sleepless nights. I was thinking this morning about the years before Rebekah was born when we struggled with infertility. Some of my most intimate moments with God were during those times...moments when I had to learn to trust Him with everything. Trust that whatever He had for me was better than what I was planning out for myself. Trust that He was enough...more than enough...to satisfy. I remember being so thankful that before we ever had a baby, I had reached the point of accepting that we never would, and finding peace in that because I knew that He was in control. I also remember coming to believe that the infertility was a gift...something that He used to shape and mold me...to sanctify and bless me...in ways might not be possible without trials and tears. Accepting that maybe the infertility was His choice for me. The best choice, not a curse. I admit, it's easy for me to say those words since our struggle with infertility ended as it did, with not one but four precious babes born from my womb. But as I said, I did come to those terms before the babies came.
So now I'm wondering if insomnia is what I need to sanctify me in this journey. To force me to keep my eyes on Him and rely on His strength...like I said I would when I started this fast. Because I promise you that with the amount of sleep I've been getting I would never make it through breakfast, let alone a whole day, without lashing out with my tongue. Historically I've been reduced to a complete mess when insomnia has settled in for a long visit. But this time it's been different. Somehow it has only served to focus me. To make me more aware of my tendency to snap or criticize, and to be more on guard against it. I have to be honest, I've had some lapses. This morning, for instance, when Anna (for reasons I could not imagine), snatched my coffee cup off of the kitchen table and swung it above her head. Splashing coffee all over the table. Which was covered with books, school papers, etc. (She said she thought the cup was empty). I'll leave my response up to your imagination, but it wasn't what I wish it had been. However, it was a whole lot better than what it might have been, or perhaps would have been a few weeks ago. The thing that has amazed me is that for most of the many weary days over the last weeks, I haven't felt like snapping. I have felt a level of patience and tolerance that is unusual for me even at my best. That's how I know that it's not me. I've been so aware of God's presence and help that I have found myself thanking Him for the insomnia. I said at the start of this that my greatest desire was for more of Him...even primary to my desire to conquer my sharp tongue and critical spirit. I know that drawing closer to Him is really the only way to be transformed. And whatever He uses to demonstrate His love for me, and my need for Him, is all good.
So I've been saying "thank you" a lot. Every time I am in the midst of a situation in which I know full well I would normally criticize or snap...and I don't. Every time sweet, loving, encouraging words come out of my mouth. Every time I don't feel angry, irritable, or impatient. It's all Him. And I'm whispering "Thank you, Jesus" right out loud. And the kids look at me funny, and I don't even explain it to them, but I'm still glad they hear me saying it. Thanks to Him for every good or right thing I do...it's all Him. Thanks for every sharp word or unnecessary criticism that I don't say...it was His spirit holding them back. And, okay, thanks for insomnia. I can't promise I'll say it tomorrow, but I'll say it today (though I'd still be more than glad to sleep, and glad for any prayers along those lines).
**In the interest of full disclosure, I wrote the above post earlier today, but just now went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription sleep aid. It was generic. It cost $50...after insurance. It's entirely possible that I could lose sleep over spending $50 on a prescription.