Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Plagues and Prayers

Insomnia is the pits. Especially when my favorite thing to do is sleep.

Lately I have been plagued by sleepless nights. The last time I suffered from insomnia was when Peter was deployed for a year. He was getting shot at and bombs were exploding all around him so I think it was sort of acceptable for me to stay up, worrying about his safety.

But now, there is no explanation.

My body is so exhausted. For the first thirteen months of Vivienne's life, I didn't sleep. She was up every couple hours to eat so by the time I fell asleep from one feeding, it was time for another one. By the time she finally started sleeping through the night, I had forgotten how wonderful it was to sleep seven straight hours.

But lately, I've had significant difficulty sleeping. I just can't seem to shut my mind off. Why is that? And why do men have absolutely no trouble sleeping? It's irritating. Peter can fall aleep anywhere at any time. But me? Even on the days when I'm completely exhausted and I try to sneak in a little nap, it's a no go.

And Peter has no difficulty tuning things out when he's sleeping. Last night, Vivienne decided to wake up at 1:20 crying, "Book! Book!" You know how most kids sleep with stuffed animals or soft blankets? Well, Vivi sleeps with books. And sometimes she loses the book in the middle of the night so I have to go find it. That's what happened last night.

After listening to her cry on the baby monitor, I finally got up, stumbled to her room and felt around in the dark on my hands and knees until I finally found the stupid book. I gave it back to her, she laid back down, and she fell right to sleep. I then stumbled back to my room, crawled in the bed, and bam! I'm wide awake. I tossed and turned while Peter snored beside me. Irritating! At 2:30, I finally decided to get up and read the Bible.

And hey, you know what's not a cure for insomnia? Reading about wars and false gods and plagues of tumors and gouging people's eyes out. Thanks for the nightmares, Samuel...

I think I posted a few months ago that I was praying through the Bible for Brienne. I don't think I truly grasped the enormity of this endeavor when I began. Let me just say this - I'm currently praying through 1 Samuel in the Old Testament and Mark in the New Testament.

It's slow going, people.

There aren't a whole lot of verses that I can pray from the OT. How about this: "God said that He will give you a baby so don't let your handmaiden sleep with your husband." Or maybe this: "Try to avoid selling your brother to some gypsies just because you think Daddy likes him better." I'm telling you, some of those stories are crazier than reality TV. There were some screwed up families back in the day.

And there are some screwed up families now, too. Just this morning I was watching the news and they were advertising a new reality show. (As if we need another reality tv program.) I didn't hear the entire promo but I think the basic premise was this - the grandson became a huge YouTube star and decided to move the whole family to Hollywood from Georgia. I don't know how he became an "Internet Sensation" and I'm not sure I want to know. I mean, seriously, where do they find these people? But as I was listening to the crazy talk, all I could think was that that family needs Jesus.

Y'all, I can not begin to tell you how many things I've done in my life that I would change. So many things that I'm embarrassed and humiliated about. Things I would rather my kids never know about me. And I can pretty much guarantee that they won't find out about those things unless I tell them. But what about these reality stars? In ten or fifteen years, will they be proud of the choices they've made? Or will they one day be ashamed to let their grandchildren watch their escapades?

Honestly, I'm embarrassed for them.

But more than likely, I will never come in contact with a reality tv star. I will, however, come in contact with people who need Jesus.

Today, I took Jonah to a play date with some other children with autism. As I sat around, watching these precious children, I heard some constant themes from their moms. Frustration with school systems, difficulty getting appropriate therapies for their children, hopelessness, and physical and emotional exhaustion. As I sat with these new friends, I realized that they need Jesus.

Who else is able to give you peace in a storm? Who else is able to bring you out of the pit of depression? Who else is able to give you wisdom to know what is best for your child?

Only Jesus. Precious Jesus.

I've been praying for opportunities to tell others about Christ, and I believe God put this group of women in my life so that I can show them the Jesus that I know. These women realize that I understand exactly what they're going through because I also have a child with autism. We can relate to each other and share our concerns. But I can do something more - I can give them hope. I can introduce them to Jesus.

So tonight, when I can't sleep, I'll pray through the next part of 1 Samuel and Mark for Brienne. But I'll also be praying for these women - that The Lord will open their hearts to Him and that I will be bold in telling them about Christ. Will you pray with me?