Love says thank you 1,000 times to God (#’s 852-858)

by Craig on April 2, 2012

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Today it’s the hard hallelujah peering through the frigid air – or as Ann says, the hard eucharisteo.

It’s something I’ve never told anyone.

It’s the daily, hellacious struggle that arrives virtually every morning…
in the betwixt…between where awake hasn’t happened yet…
and sleep yanks like a rabid dog desperate for its slab of meat.

Each morning, for years, this seemingly incurable insomnia greets me with an overpowering, unnerving, and ever more depressing desire to not open my eyes.

There is a condition called sleep paralysis where you sense something evil as you lie in bed, and yet, in the middle state between wake and sleep, you cannot move. You feel it close and malevolent and deadly but can’t budge an inch or call for help.

I have experienced that…often…
but this…this…is not that.

It is a daily struggle to leave what is a comfortable place…
a state where I don’t have to admit to the lessened me…
the lessened me that this decades long lack of sleep has left in its wake.

A daily and irresistible desire to close my eyes tight, and not face the day.

It’s like when a person is slipping away into death…
and another person is begging them to hang on…
but the person who is dying is more drawn to let go and die, then to live.

It isn’t an intentional choice…

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…more like the pull…

of gravity.

When I am awake fully, it makes no sense and I’m ashamed to admit it.

God could take it from me and let my body rest…make me normal again…but He has not.

And I choose to believe…and to say…

Thank You God…

 

#852… that Your purpose and power are greater…
than that which is in the world…
and You are in me…
and I…in You. (1Jn 4:4)

#853… that even though there seems no cure…
it’s okay…even more than ok…
though I hate this more than I’ve hated anything…ever…
I thank You for this thorn.

#854…that this thorn brings with it compassion for those who suffer with illness or oppression.

#855…that this thorn, although it grasps hard and pulls me away from joy, it cannot pull me away from You, and with You I have “bigger than the universe” joy.

#856…that whatever draws me from You will ultimately fail…

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…because You always propel the point of my compass…

true north.

#857… that this cloud has no silver lining…yes…I’m thankful for that…
because I’d rather see the rainbow You create through the tempest.

#858… that though the world and its prince (Eph 2:2) tug hard for me to seek escape from trial, pain or struggle…in the wrong way. Your gravity pulls me irresistibly toward that which is “true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent and worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris April 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Praying somehow, by His gracious hand, He provides rest for your soul, deep sweet rest of mind and body, that you might wake one morning from the most glorious of sleeps. I cannot imagine what this is like for you. He is made perfect in our weakness, yes? Prayers offered up for you this day.

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Krissie, sorry I’m a day late – ugh – trials – blech! thank you for your prayers – and as I’ve said before – if the thorn remains I bless him – if he removes it I bless him – I can see the good that comes of this – I hate the thorn – love the God. Blessings friend!

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Christina April 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

What a trial you go through! Not sleeping is tortuous. Thank you for sharing your faith in the midst of it–it is an encouragment to me. Sleep problems are a thorn indeed. I use to have hallucination experiences while in sleep paralysis. Frightening. Praying for His grace.

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Christina, sorry I’m a day late, the post kind of explains that I think. and those hallucinations experiences? I’ve had those too – and the sleep paralysis – both separately and apart from each other because of the sleep thing. Thank you for your prayers – I always need his grace – and I need to accept this thorn with more OF it. God bless you my friend.

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Anna April 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Praying peace and grace may abound……

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Anna, sorry for the late reply – thank you for your prayers – grace and peace will abound if I open up my arms and grab them when our Lord offers them – it’s just a thorn… It’s just a thorn… it’s just… a thorn. God bless you, and thank you.

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A. April 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I just say thank you, Craig, for staying so faithful, for being the ever-present lighthouse shining His beacon into our worlds…our often broken and wounded and puzzled and perplexed worlds or lives. I hope the hugest hope I can that He blesses YOU tremendously somehow! And I am very glad your last one, #858, is true for you!

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm

【◔‿◔】and to keep aiming faithfully at #858 – it’s true for BOTH of us. God bless you A.

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Kara April 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

And here, at your place, I find more sacred echoing. Perhaps it is this Lenten season that begs the darkness up and causes us to face it head on. And of course, as you know, the darkness, the weight and the burden is always there, but us dragging it out into the light? That is a new thing and the newness of it looks different for everyone. Thank you for sharing your raw pain here, for dragging it out into the light to air. It’s hard, but it’s also the way we can share one another’s burdens.
I don’t suffer as you do with sleep (or lack of)… and I can’t imagine. Mercy for you, dear brother. I have had that Sleep Paralysis thing….. just once and I was convinced there truly was an evil presence around me… and I could hear voices…. like mens voices too, but indiscernable… were they that of angels or demons? I’ll never know. I haven’t had very many of those kinds of *supernatural* experiences, but that was one time I won’t forget. :)

Blessings,
Kara

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

just ONE of those experiences is more than enough. And, what this sleep thing makes me feel like – I think two kinds of people can understand the best – any woman who’s had a child and knows effects of that time of sleep deprivation both before and during that first year – they know. Anyone going through chemotherapy – and I have known many, they tell me what it’s like – and so I know that they know. It feels like both of those together – but for 15 years – and with no baby at the end – and thankfully yet, no cancer. It’s just a thorn. It’s just a thorn.. Anyway, thank you Kara. I’m sorry for being a day late with my response – the post probably explains why. you have “come alongside” a brother in our Lord – and I know that makes HIM smile – and I know it made me – well, feel a little better – if not smile 【◔‿◔】God bless and keep you!

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Biscuit April 2, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Perhaps you describe something much different, but to me it sounds similar… the land of dreams is unpredictable, not always kind – the moods, the themes, the residual sense upon waking of the “feel” of the dream. In the mornings I often struggle to wake up, to ‘finish’ a dream, to resolve something I can’t quite name; would rather live my life in this strange place where the scene is always changing, the rules of reality don’t always apply, always moving and changing.

Sleep can be a haunting thing. I have night terrors, sometimes, and see hallucinations in my sleep – commonly I’ll see big spiders running across the walls, but many nightmarish visions have brought me suddenly back to wakeness.

At least, perhaps, we both share a fascination with dreams and sleep. Sometimes… it does seem easier to stay than to wake…. to face a world of constants, of rules, of hardships…

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Bekky, once I’m fully awake, I’m mostly able to deal with this thorn in my side. But this in between area – it MIGHT be spiritual – it might just be the brain – but it IS agonizing and frustrating. I don’t really have a fascination with dreams – except that in the dreams my body is it’s old normal self – and that feels nice – and I do know that dreams are a way that we work through things in our subconscious – and those night terrors – I KNOW of them. I’m sorry you’ve had them. You remind me today Bekky, that this life is not a dream, this life is not a dress rehearsal, It’s part of my eternal life – of OUR eternal lives– God’s hand is on both of our lives. God bless you Bekky, and thank you.

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Katie April 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Thank you.

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

【◔‿◔】

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Caddo Veil April 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I am sorry that you have a very difficult struggle. And I also completely relate to what you said about believing anyway, and thanking God for Who He Is. For me, there was a point where I quit praying/trying to earn a healing/deliverance from Depression, quit trying to die to escape. I settled down with the very credible conclusion that, apart from the Depression–I might think I didn’t need God, might not make any semblance of effort to stay close to Him. I put one foot in front of the other–with no sense of expectation that anything would improve–and did the best I could. And apparently, when HE saw that the time was right, God showed up BIG-Time–and delivered me from crippling Depression. Being a “happy camper” now–for a year–is all about my gratitude, and still a bit of disbelief; and I never forget where I used to be–which allows me to have compassion, and a “living” faith.

Maybe I’ve just made you feel worse, but I hope not. I absolutely believe that God honors and rewards our faithfulness–so, as long as you’re still able to thank Him, I have “experiential” hope that your situation will improve. God bless you, brother–have a much-blessed Easter.

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Craig April 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Caddo – you didn’t make me feel worse at all – I have always viewed this as a thorn in my side – a thorn that has good reason for being there – a thorn that our Lord is allowing to remain – I DO accept it – I do HATE it – I DO love HIM, and I will continue to say thank you for the thorn – whether it remains – or whether HE takes it away – either way – we both love OUR God. I’d heart one day finding myself on the other side – as you – but if not – I’m still blessed.

God bless you Caddo.

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A. April 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Caddo, thank you for this. I needed to hear it for my circumstances.

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Shaunie Friday April 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

Craig,
I’m moved with compassion for your struggle and want to say, “I’m so sorry,” but your courage to thank God even for this prevents me from saying it quite that way. What a shining example you set for the God-hearted response of gratitude and trust we should have when faced with nasty thorns. Instead of being sorry for you, I will instead pray for you to soon see the healing and victory God is crafting on your behalf even now as you still deal with this time of trial and affliction. Your confidence in Him is a thing of beauty and your writing through it is a gift–thank you!

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Craig April 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Shaunie, I almost put that in the post – something like, “I know how you all are – I know you’re all going to want to say “I’m so sorry” – but I’m not really looking for that. I ALMOST put that in! And I see that you know why! ツ

And Shaunie, thank you for your kind words – and I’ll gladly, GLADLY accept your prayer on my behalf – but the thing I need most – the thing that will bring me the kind of peace that God wants for us, is prayer for me to want His will more than my will, and that I pray for His will, and that I accept his will as the way it should be – the BEST way it should be. That’s the prayer I need, even more than healing. Thank you Shaunie, and God bless and keep you.

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