My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on your word.
Psalm 119:48 (NASB)
Your bedroom is nice and dark, and the temperature, for once, is just right. You are sleeping soundly, but then, right in the middle of a wonderful, sweet dream, something wakes you. Oh no!
You lie there and lie there, rolling over from side to side in an effort to get comfortable and sleep. But to your dismay, Miss Sleep is eluding you. This usually faithful friend seems to have escaped to some far-off wonderland, never to return. Then, your mind begins to race with a situation you’ve felt anxious about, and the more you think about it and the fact that you are unable to sleep, the harder it is to fall asleep. What do you do? Do you lay there and worry or do you get up?
This happened to me the other night. I lay there for hours and hours, and the sleep still wouldn’t come. I felt anxious about some personal issues in my life, and these thoughts kept going round and round in my head. Finally, at 3 AM, I decided to get out of bed and break open my Bible, asking the Lord to minister to me through His Word.
I read John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
After I read this beautiful verse, I immediately felt a little more peaceful knowing that all I needed to do was simply stay close to Jesus and rest in Him. Through this scripture, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that He wants me to trust in Him and stop the anxious fretting.
You see, God knew my heart and that I needed to be woken up in the middle of the night—when all is quiet, when it’s just me and Jesus—to hear what was on His heart for me.
It is so amazing to me that the Lord knows what causes us to feel anxious and where to point us in the Bible for encouragement.
This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten up for a middle-of-the-night quiet time. When my children were growing up, I didn’t always sleep well then either. I struggled with anxiety and felt overwhelmed at the thought of raising children in a Christian home because I had no idea how to do it. My own childhood was very difficult. I grew up in a home filled with unrest and trouble. My parents divorced and our whole family began an uncontrollable downward spiral and, sadly, fell apart. Since my family didn’t go to church, there were no Christian friends to help us get through these times, and I felt entirely alone.
Becoming a Christian changed everything for me. I felt peaceful and at rest for the first time. I desperately wanted a different life for our children but didn’t know how to make this happen.
I spent many days and nights crying out to God for help, feeling lost in my inadequacy as a mom.
The good news is that, one day at a time, God in His faithfulness taught me everything I needed to know to have a peaceful, Christ-centered home. By the grace of God, here I am, teaching other women like you how to do the same. So, why am I telling you all this?
It is my prayer that you, like me, will get out of bed on those anxious, sleepless nights, open your Bible, and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. He is so faithful!
The next time you can’t sleep, try it! Pray and spend some time with your Jesus. Maybe you’ll fall back to sleep peacefully, or maybe you’ll start your day early with a little extra Jesus!
Take a moment and do a “stress dump.” Write down each and every situation or complaint that is on your heart. Pray for the Lord to guide your hands as you write and don’t stop until you’re done. Don’t worry how your handwriting looks, just keep going.
Now, take that list and pray to the Lord, “God, I need you. I can’t handle the stress from this stuff. Please take this from me and help me to rest in you. Help me to ‘Let. It. Go!’
Next, rip that list out of your journal, fold it up and put it in a safe place. Set a reminder on your phone for three months from now. Continue to ask God to help you trust Him with the stress that comes your way. After three months, open your list and see the progress God is accomplishing through you. On the back of this paper, write a prayer of thanks to God for the ways He is helping you through these challenges. Share one of these thanksgivings with another mom.
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Deb Weakly is the co-founder of Help Club for Moms, a ministry that encourages women to know the great love of Jesus Christ and offers practical resources to help them thrive as women, wives, and mothers. She is a contributing writer to the book of the same name, The Help Club for Moms: Inspirational and Practical Help for You, Your Home, and Your Family, and 10 other companion series books titled, The Wise Woman. Deb and her husband, Randy, have two grown children, Christie and Jack, a wonderful son-in-law named Alex, and two precious grandchildren, Aspen and Skylar.