Love shares…even the dark…even the ugly

by Craig on March 31, 2012


I need to take a couple of days to share this with you.

I hate to interrupt my series on the Stations of the Cross because I heart writing about it.
But I am feeling this right now and I want to share it with you, because you are some of the nicest people I’ve ever known. And if you read me, you know me better than almost anyone ever has…

…and I feel kind of share-ish. You know?

The sleep thing

I’m going to write one post about this sometime, detailing exactly what it is. Then I’ll put it at the top so I can just write it once and get it out of the way. It kind of is my life. But when I write about it, I feel I’m both whining, and repeating. A one time summary post will allow me to not mention it at all, except for three words…

the sleep thing.


one of the things about this 15 year old sleep thing is that it increases or decreases in intensity with no warning, and no trigger. Life is lived in the area between feeling more bad or less bad.

The last 3 days…they’ve been in the more bad category, making it hard to even function.

And there’s one thing that informs me I’ve had a horrible night of sleep, before I even get out of bed,  even if I don’t remember waking at all. It’s one very long, extremely real and detailed dream – or a series of dreams that are connected.

Last night I remember waking 10-15 times. I quickly fell back to sleep and had two of those interconnected – and long, detailed dreams. This isn’t so bad as it’s going on, at least when the dreams are pleasant. But when they are nightmarish…


…that’s not pleasant.

#83 on my 100’s list is that I was homeless once because of this sleep thing.  Homelessness is a challenge I wouldn’t wish upon the worst of my enemies. Although, it was one of the more sweet spiritual times of my life. Maybe I’ll write about that sometime too.

Anyway…my thoughts are jumbled this morning…sorry for a little bit of a run on post.


the dream…

I was back in Seminary, and there were classes I needed to complete my degree. But I was woefully behind in every class and the semester was running out of time. In that funny way that things happen in dreams, my seminary professor, in the dream, was Jack Wagner.


Yeah…that Jack Wagner.

First we had a nice talk in the library about some esoteric theological stuff I was working on…reading, spending hours plumbing the depths of God. He seemed interested enough.

But then were off to the class he was teaching…and he made a public spectacle of me. Everyone else was on target with their studies. But he called me to the front and went on and on…an endless cavalcade of insult…and these are the gentler things mentioned…

“I was an old man wasting time on intellectual forays into theology.”

“I was behind on my work and there was no way I could catch up.”

“It wasn’t just in this class but in every class, and I would never graduate.”

“Everyone else would pass me by, and I was a waste of humanity that everyone should note.”


It’ll take a couple of days to get this out in words…

I almost didn’t write it at all – much less share it. Doesn’t everyone like to appear all together?

This is going to reveal me as hanging together, yes…

but altogether…not so much all together.

Please don’t run away…

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora March 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Craig, I’m begining to sense when these times are coming over you, and I always pray for you, but especially during these times. It’s bad enough to have this sleep thing, but then to have to put up with the dreams —- that’s the pits! Especially when they are attacking, and put you down like that. Doesn’t seem fair to beat a guy when he’s already down for the count! Yea, we all DO like to appear that we have it all together and that we are these balanced, carefree, spiritual, up, walking with a bounce, types of people. I was having the same thoughts today as I thought of taking down my own blog, just because the real me doesn’t seem worth sharing! Blah!!!!! Isn’t it funny that we will build someone else up and encourage them, but never a kind word for ourselves!!! I always look forward to whatever you write, Craig. So I look forward to the next post, too!


Craig April 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Cora, I don’t have very many nightmares – this really wasn’t even a nightmare – just a very, very, very long bad dream. And you should e-mail me about your blog – if you’d like to talk about it. I care. And I think you share the real you pretty well here – and I think what you share here is really worth sharing. And yes – you and me both – good builder uppers – but not with ourselves. God bless you Cora.


Nacole@sixinthesticks April 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Cora!!! the real you is definitely worth sharing! how dare you talk about yourself this way, friend! ~smile~ love you!


Craig April 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

keep in mind my friend, my reply to Cora was that everything she described – COULD BE ME. ツ just sayin’


Nacole@sixinthesticks April 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm

ha ha ok, ok, the real you is also worth sharing too, Craig! DON”T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE!!!! ~chuckle~


Lisa Maria April 1, 2012 at 2:34 am

Hi Craig

Its been a while and I’ve been catching up on my reading. I really have been inspired by your series on the meditations of the Stations of the Cross. I have felt this to be a really dry season for me spiritually with so much going on to keep me from fulfilling my Lenten promises, but reading your blog has been a sort of filling in the gap…so thank you!

I’m so sorry about the sleep thing and the dream thing. I actually thought of you as I pulled 5 straight all-nighters with our puppy who had parvo and had to have round the clock care. (She has survived…after two setbacks and my virtually willing her back to health with “after all I’ve been through you ARE NOT going to die on me!”) I thought of you and I thought of my mother in law (cancer) who has so much trouble sleeping. I know it was just the grace of God that kept me going and trying to function like a normal human being, serving my family and taking care of Xena (she proved to be a warrior indeed!). By the fifth day I had reached my limit and completely broke down…a watery, useless mess…but God in his compassion used that day as the turning around point. I cannot imagine living this way, so though I know I could never fully understand, I got a little glimpse of what it’s like to go without sleep for days. As for the dreams…I’ve had so many similar. Have you ever had one where you feel the presence of something evil but you can’t move, as if you’re pinned down and you can’t scream out either? I often wonder if these are actual spiritual attacks, but somehow even in my dream I call out the name of Jesus and I am released. I’ve wondered if there’s some plane in sleep that acts as a bridge between the spiritual realm and it can be used for good and for evil.. but that sounds kind of occult doesn’t it? Anyway, I truly empathize and I know it must be so lonesome and scary to go through all this without the presence or support of another. Just remember Craig that through all our dark moments all we have to do is call on His Holy Name…remember Psalm 91…a favorite of mine. I take comfort in the fact that, even in my darkest, loneliest moments, His promise is to rescue me, give His angels charge over me and that I am never alone. Praying for you!

God be with you!


Craig April 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

first, good for your puppy to have someone like you. Xena DOES sound like a warrior – so do YOU. Before this sleep thing happened to me I wouldn’t have ever understood it if someone else explained it. I had always been an eight hour a night guy – the only time there was less sleep was when I had to. There were many times I had to – but lay me down, and I got up eight hours later. I also had much less empathy and compassion for others whose bodies betray them. As I’ve said before – I think there are good reasons for the presence of this thorn. And although I haven’t sensed the “evil presence” I have had times where he couldn’t get up – and yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason no doctor can find an answer for this is that the answer could be spiritual – spiritual invading the physical. I don’t know the answers. God knows the answers. We know God. So it could all be worse right? God bless you my friend.


Craig April 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

And Lisa Maria – I said I haven’t experienced that “evil presence” – but I’m wrong. I have. It’s more like the presence of someone wanting to do me harm, to kill me, and I want to get up and get away, to shout for help, but can’t speak, and can’t move — so yes, I have experienced this. Next time I’ll pray. God bless.


Katie April 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Thank you for being REAL!


Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Ugh. Real. every time I get a “real” I feel like I’m whining. Thank you for helping me ease that feeling. You and I are both “little faith ones” – but God hearts “faith ones”, even though their faith may be “little”. God bless you Katie – hang in.


Nacole@sixinthesticks April 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm

oh, this is sad, Craig. im so sorry. i understand…really, i think i do. i deal with paranoia…and anxiety and sometimes things just run away with me. im so thankful i have a Father to run to who is Love and Perfect Love casteth out fear. *praying* tonight–im hoping things have gotten better by now….if you get a chance, read my post i linked up with WWW–i think you will like it. blessings to you, brother!


Craig April 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Nacole, before this thorn, I never would’ve understood things like paranoia, or anxiety, or depression. I just didn’t have enough empathy or compassion. It’s a really sad thing that it took this thorn to teach that to me. But I get it now! And I’ve actually had two really good nights in a row. My spirits are lifted as is my health – the amazing thing about this sleep problem – is that if it ever got fixed – my body could heal itself pretty quickly. Still, the longer it goes on – I’ve had it since you were a wee teen I think. Anyway, we know how I feel about my thorn. ツ God bless you my friend.


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