Approaching my bedroom door, the familiar fear nibbling on the edges of my mind, I wondered what tonight will be like. Will I be able to sleep this second night without my 1/8 sedative pill security blanket? I hunker down under the covers, shifting positions, tension in my muscles. OK, relax I tell myself, this certainly will not help. A fearful thought comes, I push it out and try to replace it with whatever would be normal…(what is normal when you have never had normal in your life?) Randomness floats through my consciousness; I enter that realm between waking and sleeping. There it is, grab it, hold it, I’m there! I snap to attention, and of course the moment is gone.
Maybe if I construct another mental dyke I will be able to block that niggling fear. I hold up the idea of the antidepressant I still take like a cross fending off a vampire. Pushing dirt around it’s base, I start building. But wait, experience has shown me sleeplessness can still come with only an antidepressant as my protection. I continue construction anyway, anxiety staring at me over my small berm. But, again, wait….if I try to build another dyke, attempting to deny my pain, I will also form a wall between myself and God shutting out the very One who has the power to change me forever. Surrendering, I accept the pain, sensing Jesus’ presence with me.
With a weeping spirit, I hear His still small voice begin to speak. Perhaps you are holding on to this pain because you want to keep it. No, my internal cry arises! How can that be? In His grace He continues….perhaps you hold the fear close as a remembrance of the main way you received your father’s attention (in my formative years between the ages of 2 and 6) hoping against hope in your loneliness he would hold you again. My inner-self draws back in disgust, but it is true. (How can one hate and love someone at the same time?) Continuing….perhaps the fear is also a shield. Yes, I agree. Fear keeps my on my toes, ever watchful, so I will never be taken by surprise again. If I let it go…if I let down my guard, who knows what may happen in the darkness. Then this parades across my mind in bold letters, YOUR FATHER WILL NEVER AGAIN COME TO YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. I grieve and drift off to sleep.
Is it really me lying here, waking to the odd, electronic nature sounds of my alarm, relaxed and refreshed? (Actually waking, rather than sluggishly sleeping through an hour’s worth of metallic frogs croaking and unrealistic repetitive babbling of a brook?) With mental hands I feel myself, as one would feel a wound inflicted on one’s body. Is it still there? Sensing the pain is not as deep, I respond with cautious joy. Last night while I slept, God had worked into me more of His healing. Fear had pushed down as a skewer into my gut; my yielding enabled God’s Spirit to push back. The boundaries of my soul had expanded, not completely, but there had been a step. From my gut to my heart the pain had retreated. Still more work to be done? Absolutely. Just as a surgeon will do multiple operations spread out over time to heal a damaged body, God does multiple surgeries on our being over time to mend us from the inside out. I thank Him for His wisdom and gentle hands; His perfect timing. I thank Him that He never gives up; always wanting to help me take that next step. When He knows I am ready.
“He has sent me (Jesus) to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…..to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1b-3a