insomnia or invitation?

For quite a long time, I have been waking up around 3:00 AM every day. I usually wake with anxiety, with some issue pressing on my chest like a hundred pound weight.

The anxiety is compounded with frustration at my sleep being broken for the millionth time. How will I function tomorrow? I’ll never get back to sleep. Then my thoughts drift back to the issue I’m anxious about: kids, work, church, what I ate yesterday, what I forgot to do yesterday….. 

Even on vacation with my husband in Chicago, I suffered through the 3:00 AM wake up call. I felt rested and relaxed on the trip, so why the insomnia?

The first morning in my own bed after the trip to Chicago was a rough one. It was the first day of school. I woke up at the regular time, barely able to breathe. Anxious thoughts were swirling through my mind. I immediately thought of the previous day, long with travel to get home. I found myself angry. Angry that I was losing sleep, and angry that the day ahead required so much of me.

Then a thought broke in. Not my own thought of course… it was far too gentle for 3:00 AM to be mine. It had to be God.

Let me in.

I tried to make room for Him in my thoughts. The struggle to turn worries into prayers gave way to sleep again. When I got up at 5:00 AM and made my way to the Word, He spoke to me. One of my favorite morning routines is to listen to scripture readings presented by a sweet sister in the Lord. (click here to listen.) God ministered to me through Psalm 24 as Summer read the passage to me three times through.

 7Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.

As I listened, His personal word to me came through with great affection:

Your defenses are low at 3:00 AM. I let your anxiety rise from where you’ve buried it, so I can address it. Your heart is open and laid bare at that moment. Your choice is to wrestle the anxiety OR to let me in and minister to your heart. Will you close your heart to Me, or let the King of Glory come in?

Just talk to Me. Tell me your feelings and worries. Let Me comfort you and sort your feelings out for you. Let Me guide you and show you what to do. Instead of resenting the insomnia and trying to silence the anxiety, just welcome Me in and let Me help you. Embrace the moment and in no time you will be back to sleep.

Resist the urge to wrestle, to solve, to rehash or rehearse. Perhaps if you hand things to me, I may whisper answers and wisdom to you at 3:00 AM.

It’s not insomnia. It’s an invitation.

Dear friend, recognize it as an invitation to trust Him, to lay your burdens down. It’s an invitation to rest and be at peace in His presence. Let Him in.



moonlight photo courtesy of google images

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