There's an odd picture I'm sure you are saying to yourselves!! I don't blame you. Yet, there was nothing else that came to mind as I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you today. I titled this blog entry as "Small Victories in Christ." Big or small, I know that my Lord has been with me on this journey - a journey that I never thought I would be able to attain!
When I was diagnosed with cancer many years ago, one of the side effects I had with the chemo was not being able to sleep. A few Tylenol PM and I was able to find rest. Yet, with some of the trials and tribulations I was going through, I found myself relying on the pills for rest - greater than my own will. As the years passed, the amount that I needed to take grew and grew. When life found a way into my head during the darkest of evenings, I found my way to try and see what I could take to find relief (and sleep). Maybe some of you understand my peril. Not being able to sleep night after night is not only frustrating, but totally debilitating. Therefore, I tried whatever I could to be able to sleep.
I won't share all the details, but one evening in particular, I had taken what I could find and my family became a blur to me. They asked me questions, and I didn't answer coherently. It was scary for them and a "wake up" call for me. The next day found my husband and me at the doctor, looking for answers. After the sleep study, it was diagnosed that I had chronic insomnia. My mind just couldn't shut off. We finally found the right recipe of prescriptions and for the most part of the last 7 years, I take a pill a night to sleep.
Last year, I made a commitment that I would try to begin the journey to get off the drugs. Yes, a year ago!! I found one excuse after another to not take the step. There were hurdles with the children, there was too much work, there was my accident with my ankle, there was . . . Until two weeks ago. I'm not sure what happened two weeks ago, other than God pulling on my heart saying - NO MORE EXCUSES. I had already taken the big step with a daily migraine medicine that I wanted to get off of and was successful. Yet THIS - my lifeline to a good night's sleep?? I started. First, I cut my pills in 1/2. And I still slept. Then the next step was a 1/2 pill every other night. Although the nights I don't take a pill are a bit restless, I keep moving forward. The last three nights? No pills! I may be calling victory a little early - but I am so happy to have moved forward in this journey.
What I have come to realize is that I had to give the fight over to God. As my eyes are drawn to the last few paragraphs, I notice what has been the problem over the last few years - "I", or correct grammar, "me". God needed to enter my thoughts at night, my worries needed to be handed over to God, God needed to be on this journey with me. The good news - HE IS!!! He is in every bit of life's journey with us, the good and the bad. Those deep thoughts still try to find their way into my mind at night, but God is there first - putting up His shield to defend me. I know I have a way to go on this journey to a GOOD night's sleep without my crutch, yet, I do know that having God on my side gives me the fighting chance! How blessed I am to have someone like God to take the journey with me.
What do you need to give over to God, completely? What worries can God handle for you? What does it take? Simple Faith that God will be there when we need Him the most - whether it is in the light of day or in the dark of night. He is always there - for you and for me! Let Him take the journey with you - and maybe we all will sleep better!!
"But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves." (NIV) Luke 21:14