Last night I couldn’t sleep. Insomnia? Was it what I ate for supper? Was it the temperature? No, that couldn’t be it. Everything was normal. Wait, WAS everything normal? I began to think about the coming weeks. Everything’s about to get crazy. Moving into a new apartment, a different routine, school, work, people to see, places to be, things to figure out….. Soon my mind was spinning a thousand different directions.
Our minds tend to wander. When our bodies need rest, our thoughts consume us. We dwell on the past, present and moreover about tomorrow, the next week, years: the future.
I was overwhelmed. Jumbled thoughts led me to worry which soon became anxiety and fear. Now, I’m not one to particularly worry a ton. I stay up late, but usually it’s because I’m watching Netflix or scrolling through Pinterest. I immediately recognized that this was a different, unhealthy kind of insomnia. After several hours of laying in bed, trying to sleep, I was still awake with anything but an empty mind. Certain things were on my heart and I knew I wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon. I felt trapped in a swarm of emotions and thoughts controlling me.
Staying stagnant is never the cure.
It was 1 AM and I was still restless. I knew my anxious heart needed something more than sleep. Inside of distracting myself with Netflix, I went and sat outside. Instead of scrolling through Facebook, I braved the 85 degree summer humidity. But you know what… The quiescent, slightly dimmed starlight was exactly what I needed. Not just the hushful peace of my surroundings, but the hushful peace of talking to my Creator.
“Let us be silent, so that we may hear the whisper of God.”
I may not have been completely silent, as I rambled on with my life’s “problems”, but there comes a moment when you are in complete awe of the peace of God that your mind trails off to His words instead of your own. Your fears of the future trail into, “child, I have great plans for you.” Your anxiety about relationships and loved ones trail into, “child, I’m working when you can’t see it.” Your doubts and fears trail into, “child, trust me.” Your worries that just seemed too much are now comforted with, “Julia, take a deep breath. Be still and know that I am God.”
“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” Psalm 61:1
Take an hour and unplug from life’s distractions. Go for a walk or drive. Talk to the man that will listen 24/7. He is our comfort and peace when this world can be a heavy burden.
“Solitude is the creation of an open, empty space in our lives by purposely abstaining from interaction with other human beings, so that, freed from competing loyalties, we can be found by God.”