So, I had really rough night.
Family conflict past 11pm and woke at 4:21am for the usual middle-of-the-night pee. Doing my classic half-awake stumble instead of swagger walk back to bed, I pray, “please, God, let me go back to sleep. I am so tired. Please let me find rest.” I prayed this for I often have a very hard time going back to sleep after having to relieve myself in the middle of the night. Especially when my beautiful husband’s alarm starts going off at 4:30. (I love that man.) ❤
He throws his arm over me upon my return, he always knows the moves I make when I am restless, and he always holds me super tight, almost begging me not to go, when I have to go potty in the middle of the night. He is fully asleep as he reaches for me and pulls me in close and my heart turns to mush. I tell him the stories and he doesn’t even know he does it. He couldn’t be more precious..
So there I was this morning praying for rest and my husband cuddles. He holds my tired, weary body from the night and day before (okay, who am I kidding…. the weary body that has been running on almost-empty for months, heck, years.)
I say almost empty because God never allows me to become fully empty.
He is always keeps the light in my candle when I feel my wick will burn out…
He always keeps me going.
Even if it is one breath at a time.
Stephen kisses me this morning when he gets up for work. I am still tossing and turning. He kisses me again when he is about to leave, I was hugging pillows and shifting positions like no tomorrow trying to find that comfort and rest I was so craving.
For over two hours, I have been tossing and turning… wanting to cry in pain but having dry eyes. My neck, jaws, shoulders, back, and restless legs are giving me nothing but grief. If I don’t lay on my neck or back just right…. these things start to hurt to the point where I am kept wide awake. The jaws from the TMJ and grinding of my teeth…. sure signs of great stress…. and yet, I continue to pray “Please God, let me find rest.” He is the faithful one so I don’t give up praying.
Stephen is gone at work now, will be arriving in less than five minutes. And I give up on trying to sleep…. I grab my phone to text him of the pain I experienced last night while he was waiting in bed for me. He was asleep by the time I made it to him. So I educated him on my pain this morning and for the first half hour+ of his work day, we were talking about my pains.
We shared our hearts and I felt his strong arms of defense around me even though he was sitting in a cubicle 20+ minutes away from me.
Our hearts are being woven more and more each day with God’s as some sort of stain resistant, flammable, perfect cloth… our banner of love flying high in the wind. As a flag… As a symbol of strength and victory.
Where He is calling His kids to go, (us! whoo!) what to be, what to do with our lives…. we are still learning.
But where we go with Him is where we want to be.
On a pilgrimage…. in a love story that does not end.
Pilgrimage means: a journey to a sacred place…
Great thing that sacred place is God who is omnipresent… Always there, All around us, All the time.
He doesn’t make it that hard since He promised us He will always be there.
(Though with sin and flesh, as my sweetheart always says, it is simple, but not easy)
Regardless of what He is doing, put our faces on the next Thanksgiving educational book for elementary school kids…. you know, those ones about the pilgrims, indians, and the beloved turkeys?
Well, here is what I gather from our modern day journey:
We will eat the turkeys God gives us to eat (for He always meets our needs and satisfies our hunger… our daily bread), we will befriend the most unlikely and find favor in the least expected ways (the Indians who are foreign to us can give us something greater than gold… or their golden corn… the joy of serving and loving others and hopefully being loved in return), and us, the pilgrims, soak it all in with thanksgiving.
As my dear sister, Ann Voskamp, whose blog has become an important/special part of my days, has been talking about lately, to have joy is to have thanksgiving and to be thankful, we must shift our perspective.
I have been praying for that very thing…. and I think God is up to something spectacular in all of Stephen’s and my pain.
Because He always is.
I read from Holley Gerth yesterday (another beautiful sister whose blog means a great deal to me) that “God won’t allow pain unless it’s giving birth to something new.”
Doesn’t He promise us trial in the world (labor pains) but real, amazing joy and hope and faith of the life to come and knowing Christ here? (you will see me again… I am preparing a place for you… I have given you the Holy Spirit who will guide you in all things… God the Father loves you… I love you… you are worth more than many sparrows…. I know the number of hairs on your head…. I have loved you with an everlasting love… my plans are for your good… fear not… I am always with you, until the very end of the age….)
I don’t want to miss it. Neither of us do.
Lord, if you are willing, let us give birth to something miraculous and beautiful that we may profess Your name and know You and love You with such confidence and joy… please give us real life. Show us Your Names…. I AM. and LOVE. = I AM LOVE. Yahweh…. and all the amazing names Your people have cried out to You through the ages… You changed my name when I married your son, Stephen, can we please know your Names in new ways?
Help us in every trial. Let this cord of three never be broken.
I found rest this morning.
Not in the way I was initially praying for (being able to go back to sleep after -5 hrs of sleep) but in the fact that my God is the awesome Superhero who has not let go of me or forgotten me in all my stumbling. AND, He is still doing amazing things with Stephen and I in our marriage…. that Stephen’s heart is representative of His very own…. and the incredible romance of it all. I feel so refreshed. What a nice rest this is….. And that God of ours, whom I prayed to with such persistence and confidence about finding rest this morning…. gave me that rest…. but in the way I was not expecting it….
He always does that to me.
I love it.
We are in for a good day…. let us rejoice, for our God has made it.
In the morning, O LORD, your hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my prayers before you, and wait in expectation.