This is a heavy post. It is a story. I feel better now that I have written it. Tell me-- has something similar ever happened to you? I would love to hear about it.
Here it is--
For years I felt a weight on my chest. For years I had a problem with something and I never said anything. To anyone. Except God. And even then I would only talk to God about it when I was torn from sleep in the middle of the night, heart and mind racing. Well galloping is a better word. Heart and mind galloping. And I couldn't sleep anymore. That had a lot to do with the way I couldn't breathe either. So I would bolt out of bed and sit on my couch in the living room. In the middle of the night. Usually in the dark. And I would feel honest feelings and think honest thoughts. I had a bad habit of never allowing myself to feel honest feelings or think honest thoughts until they tore me from sleep in the middle of the night.
And since my body insisted on speaking what I would never speak with words, I would let the words finally come. There is something about the middle of the night where I am just sleeping that brings out how I really feel. It must take so much effort to keep the real me at bay. Because she only seems to come out in the middle of the night when I am vulnerable and weak with sleep.
So then I begin praying. Over the years how many times have I been wrenched awake with pounding heart and racing mind? Then dragged myself to my dark couch and let the honest and real words just flow. With this honesty came real feelings I refused to feel during the day as well, and with that came crying. Real painful crying. Out it would all come in a few honest moments until my body was finally spent and I would crawl back into bed and life would resume until the next time.
And the years rolled on. Life rolled on but still I wrestled with this one dominant problem I shared with no one. (Lets be honest, there were many problems, but this one stuck out).
Until I got sick a few years ago. Are you sick of hearing about that? Cause I am. Anyways-- suddenly a new set of issues was keeping me up at night. When I woke up with pounding heart and no breath it was because I was agonizing over how this was affecting my family. About time no longer spent running at the park or taking long walks with my children. I thought about dishes in the sink and toilets not scrubbed. I thought about the general disarray of my life and pondered how we were all going to make it.
But. But. God didn't forget my first prayers. Those first reasons I was wrenched from bed were still there. He was working on those for me even while I cried out that I was drowning over new and fresh problems. He didn't forget the things that had kept me up the ten previous years.
What on earth is this post about?
Well, it is sort of about happiness. It is a lot about relief. I didn't know that I would ever resolve the things that kept me up those first ten years. That's why they woke me up. That is also why I ignored them during the day. Why dwell on what you cannot change?
Being sick these past two and almost a half years did something to me. It forced me to... how to say this....
To relinquish control over parts of my life. I didn't have a choice and I complained quite loudly in my prayers about it.
I realized not long ago that being sick these past few years was the darn solution to my original problem. I forgot and wasn't praying about it in the middle of the night (I was praying about new things) but God didn't forget those ten years of panic attacks. He was fixing the things he knew would continue to keep me up at night after I was well again.
You guys I am not one to believe in being given trials for specific purpose. I do believe, now more than ever, that God will take the situations life throws at us and use them for our good. And I believe that is what he has done here.
Now I may be feeling better lately (for real!). So I may not be wrenched from bed in the middle of the night agonizing over how being sick is negatively affecting my family. And now that these problems are fading away--- I won't be waking up for old problems either. I can just sleep.
This old problem wasn't solved by me doing anything purposefully. In fact it has been solved rather messily. I have been focused on other things more pressing to me at the time. It was as if my current two and a half years of "situation" pushed me into the solution for my other deeper problems. That is what sort of boggles my mind. Do people say "boggles" any more? Well it does. It boggles me.
Now what's keeping me up from 2-4 am is joy. Awe. Gratitude. Testimony that God really does hear me. That he really does know me. He remembered the things that kept me up all those years. He quietly was going about helping me in that area while I suffered through another. And now that I am coming though the specific trial of being sick-- there are no longer those old dark clouds to deal with either. Just blue skies. I wish I could describe the tears of relief. This knowledge that God will work on things I truly feel I don't have the capability to work on. This knowledge that what matters to me in my honest, raw moments matters to Him too. That is a revelation. I always thought I needed to change what honestly bothered me. I thought if I could just change how I felt deep down to whatever it was God wanted me to feel then I wouldn't be woken up in the middle of the night anymore.
That didn't turn out to be true in this instance. I feel as though God felt with me all those painful nights. He didn't like what was going on either. Who knew? Who knew.
I feel different. Like I have someone on my side. That my side is valid. Weird. I spent a long time telling myself during the day that I just wasn't a very good person for the things that I let bruise my soul. Then at night being torn from bed letting out how I really felt about it. Over and over again this cycle of telling myself I just wasn't angelic enough or something.
Who put those ideas in my head? This knowledge that just because I want to make things better in my life doesn't make me a bad person. This knowledge that the things that feel wrong to me may be valid makes me feel powerful. Because now that I know that repressing and enduring isn't always the answer- I will start allowing myself to be assertive. I will start being assertive. I will work on improving what sears my soul in the middle of the night. And if what is bothering me is that I honestly have no idea how to solve my problem ( that is what was bugging me all those years more than anything else), then I will find help. End of story. For now.