I roll over for what seems like the hundredth time and finally glance up at the clock, “6:40 a.m.? Ugh!” Cause last time I remember looking at the time it was 2:58 a.m. Why was I fully awake with my mind filling with ideas, logos, artwork, articles, music?
I think, “this is not healthy. How long is this going to go on? How long can I keep this up?”
One of the problems I’ve found is that when you get into one of these weird sleep cycles; it seems really hard to break out of.
My husband swore that if I just went to bed earlier I’d be able to get right back on track and be normal again. But the only thing worse than being up and not sleeping is being in bed and not sleeping… because you just can’t. It’s a very weird sensation to be exhausted but not able to sleep. A couple nights of that is very close to torture for me. This has been going on for near 3 weeks now.
About a week ago I even turned off my social media accounts for Facebook and Instagram hoping it would somehow help my mind and heart rest. I couldn’t pinpoint what was bothering me. But after a whole night where I couldn’t sleep for the entire night until around 7 a.m. I was desperate.
I mean, I had prayed over everyone and everything I could think of. I had worshipped God. I had even sung spontaneous songs to the Lord. The last thing I did was that I prayed in tongues. I prayed in the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know what I was praying for, but I also didn’t understand what was keeping me up.
About 2 minutes of me praying in tongues and the baby started screaming. I thought, “Wow, that seems weird.” So I went in and changed her diaper and easily lulled her back to sleep even though she kept pointing at something in the corner by her bed where she always pushes her crib away from the wall. I continued to softly pray in tongues in a whisper as I laid her back down.
I figured I’d get some ginger tea to help settle my stomach. Maybe I’d be able to sleep after some soothing hot ginger lemon tea. But the soft rustle of tea bags woke the baby again. So I put the water on the stove to boil while I debated on whether to let her cry it out or not. I chose the stove to heat water because it was the quietest, non beeping method of quickly heating water.
I figured I’d easily lull the baby back to sleep while the water heated. I was holding my sleeping child, about to put her back softly in bed when the fire alarm went off.
“Seriously?! For Real?!” How does boiling water for a few minutes set off a fire alarm?!”
I was so ticked. I went and turned off my water. Something under the burner must have started smoking, I couldn’t see anything there, but … where was the smoke coming from?
“That’s it!” I said quietly even though the baby was now again in full scream mode.
“Whatever’s in my house…; you foul spirit of restlessness, leave now in the name of Jesus! Get out!”
(From the moment the baby first started crying: I kept thinking in almost wonder the whole time, wow, this praying in tongues is stirring something up for real. Why in the world did I wait so long to start doing this?)
With the baby still crying frantically in the background and I grabbed a saltine cracker and a tiny bit of my leftover homemade wine that no one but I am willing to drink. I took communion and declared the blood of Jesus over my home, and the body of Christ broken for me and again declared that no evil spirit was allowed in my home and had to leave now in Jesus’ name.
Then I went back to bed, and noticed that the baby was quiet soon after. I woke up about 4 or 5 hours later and definitely missed church that Sunday. I decided to turn off my social media to see if that would help. But the next day I found out about the shooting in Las Vegas and I wondered. What if I had prayed in the Spirit more? What if I was restless because of the spiritual activity going on around me. Maybe in my own town, in my own city, in my own state, in my own house something was “brewing” (remember the tea water setting off the fire alarm?) All I’m worried about is sleeping and peaceful rest, but the alarms are going off. I just needed to pray in the Holy Spirit, take communion and declare God’s Word and His Truth over my atmosphere.
I was thinking about this as I laid in my bed this morning awake way too early. I realized that last year at this time I was having alot of sleepless nights. And it was about this time last year that the Lord woke me up from a much needed Sunday nap to impress Psalm 91 on my heart. He told me to get up and read it. I argued that I needed to sleep for my health’s sake, I hadn’t been sleeping much. At night I would have attacks of fear for my family and for the future. What if the world and the internet turned my precious children into monsters? What if I turned them into monsters? How could I do this job of being a parent? Why did God trust people to even do this? Why did He act so calm about sending something so precious to such a dangerous and scary place? I cried myself to sleep some nights as I asked God for wisdom. I couldn’t do any of this without Him. This is what I was living last year at this time. Sleepless nights. Walking my dog at night and being seized by fear of the dark. Childish, I know. I told myself that.
The thing that was stalking me at night, looking in my windows at night was a spirit of fear. It was a lot like a zombie- not alive, not dead, always chasing so it can feast on the mind of it’s victim. And if you get bitten it’s poison would turn you into the same, not alive, not dead, staggering around infecting everyone you hold dear. That’s how fear spreads.
I needed to see the Great Physician. He made an appointment with me, and I crawled out of bed to answer Him and start my treatment. I needed my mind renewed. He said to read Psalm 91. After arguing with Him a couple times He asked me a question. “What if your family’s lives and safety depend on you doing this?” I didn’t argue with that one. I sat up and read Psalm 91 and then read it out loud. Then I went back to sleep. That night I got an email from a ministry I listen to saying how they were going to be praying through Psalm 91 for the next month. So I downloaded the digital wallpaper for my computer and phone to remind me and help keep it before my eyes.
After that month was up I received a calendar in the mail with the theme of Psalm 91 for the whole next year and I knew God wanted me to continue meditating and soaking in Psalm 91. In this year now so far we’ve sung through Psalm 91, memorized it, read it, wrote it, drew it, prayed it, listened to it, heard sermons on it, preached sermons on it to each other and now the children and I are almost through studying it word for word with the Strong’s concordance. This might sound stupid, but it’s been fun for me. Fun. No joke. Right now I’m working on a coloring book for Psalm 91. I’ve written songs on it.
I’m so thankful for the change God has brought into my life. But now something else has been threatening my peace. But this time it’s actually time to, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1 KJV 2000) My sword is ready- the Word the Lord, my Father gave me is sharp and ready to cut my enemy :the unholy, unclean spirits out of my life;
and out of my atmosphere,
out of my home,
and as far as I’ll choose to raise my voice with His Words on my lips.
That brings me to another realization I woke up with this morning, “there’s a more subtle fear that I’m dealing with that I bet a lot of bloggers, deal with. I’m also dealing with the fear that people will actually hear what I say and write. What might they think of it- What will they say? Will they even care? Basically, I’m battling the “fear of man.”
But I can’t be afraid anymore that someone might read what I write and think I’m crazy or stupid, or really lame. I could be the awesomest most successful person alive and there would still be people who would say I wasn’t, and that would be offended by my very existence. So as Lecrae says, “All those feeling of depression and doubt, You gotta tell ’em , ‘Go Away!’ You gotta say, ‘Get out the way!’ and let ’em know, ‘Hey,You can’t stop me now!'”
I’ve also been soaking in the awesome sounds of a cool Lauren D’Aigle song I found on youtube called: “Peace Be Still.”
And another by Switchfoot called “I Won’t Let You Go”
These songs have been my soundtrack lately and they are really blessing me. And this song by Lecrae and Tori Kelly has been stuck in my head on repeat. I went to go get the link to include it and looked through a couple of the comments as I listened to it again. So beautiful. One of the comments really made me cry. A commenter said the song was released on their birthday and they were about to kill themselves but heard the song and found God again. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Using our voices, and allowing our voices to lift others around us up.