When Sleep Doesn’t Come

It is 2:04 am.  I have yet to go to sleep! When I don’t sleep that’s because there are things bothering me deep in my heart!  And tonight is one of those nights.  I have laid in my bed and tried to be the good girl and close my eyes and rest!  But then…Krisann came and joined my bed and that was the end of me being a good girl.  I got up with sweet Krisann, gave her some Benadryl (yes her nose was a little stuffy), let her have the iPad and tucked the wide eyed girl back in her bed.  So what am I to do now?  I am now WIDE awake.  She’s joined me up front several times now for various reasons, she has decided she would sleep on the sofa which I agreed to but that didn’t last very long, and now she has gone back to bed.  But I’m waiting for her return up front at any moment and guess what…I don’t even care.  She won’t know what to think other than she has the nicest mommy in the world who doesn’t even get frustrated when she gets up a gazillion times!  Not been a cross word out of my mouth tonight!   A rarity of a jewel for sure.  Most of the time in the middle of the night she gets a very grumpy mama!

Today (rather yesterday) was not a bad day.  Busy…yes!  But not bad!!  But it was one of those days that my mouth fell open as I looked to God and said, “REALLY???!!!!”  There are times when I just look around and think Satan is alive and well.  Other times, I struggle with what am I supposed to learn?  What is the purpose in the struggles?  But yesterday was one of those Satan is alive and well days.  And he’s not just wreaking havoc in my life, he’s getting my friends too!!  But three hours later I struggle with what am I supposed to be learning?  What’s the purpose Jesus??

Let’s just be real…life is hard, parenting is hard and marriage is hard!  Marriage is really hard sometimes!!  And it’s one of those seasons in our lives!  Stress wreaks havoc in marriages.  And need I say…we have had more than our fair share of stress??!!   Oh please don’t think we’re about to divorce or anything like that!  Nope!  We are committed, we love deeply and when we love deeply we often hurt deeply.  Take that love and hurt and multiply it by 2 and viola…a perfect situation for struggles.  But one thing we both know…we will survive!

Parenting struggles…a child that is growing up way too fast with too much responsibility on his shoulders breaks my heart.  It is just not fair for my sidekick to feel so much responsibility!! But oh how deeply I love this child who feels so much responsibility.  I see myself in him all the time!!  And that’s not always a good thing!!   A daughter that struggles with anxiety and depression and medical issues some days is way too much.  Last night was one of those pain nights.  Finally a warm bath to help those hurting legs.  How I wish I could take her physical pain away but also her emotional struggles!   And a lively 6 year old named Krisann…need I say anymore?  But this girl is beginning to process all going on in our lives and it’s hard for my mommy heart.  She has said things like if I were God I would take daddy’s MS away…but I’m not God!  This weekend she said my daddy isn’t going to die because I’m not done with 5th grade yet.  Too too much for a mama heart!  As I sat and cried with  my pediatrician on Monday about how best to help her, I just felt totally overwhelmed.  It’s one thing for teenagers to go through what we’re going through but 6 year olds??  Really??!!

Life struggles…since the blood clots and the blood thinners…everything has changed.  Monday morning as Zine coughed and coughed I thought oh no….what’s wrong??  Tonight as he has coughed on and off through the night I think…is this normal?  Why yes he could have congestion Karen and it’s perfectly normal.  But wait, what if something is going on with his blood clots and it’s causing him to cough?  Are we missing something?  Oh yes, the doctor told us over and over that he can not fall!  That’s laughable almost!  Tell a guy with severe MS he can’t fall?  Really??  My idea of safe and his idea don’t always agree together to say the least!  My loving concerns aren’t always appreciated to say the least.  I try hard, really hard, to not over react or over respond, but my goodness, it has been a constant battle this week.

A visit to the neurologist…that is most definitely a life struggle.  Our lives have been turned upside down on more than one occasion by a visit to a neurologist.  But this visit at 4 pm Wednesday…it might be way different. It has the potential to be a life changing visit in a different way.  There have been many discussions about moving forward between Zine and I.  Difficult conversations at that!  What will be the final outcome about moving forward…I guess we will know at some point after 4 pm!!  But I have some suspicions about what might be to come!!  Sometimes we think we are ready for things but when it comes right down to it, we’re not so sure!!   So praying for God to go before us, with us and follow us home!!  Praying for God to give VERY clear direction!!  And praying that the final decision about moving forward would be made with much direction from the One who knows all, who sees all, who controls all things!  But can I just be real?  Just typing about this visit makes my body shake uncontrollably!

In my blog, I want to be honest.  It is my desire that others would get glimpses of the struggles we face!  Sometimes I feel that Christians paint way too pretty a picture about struggles.  I want to poke some Christians and ask if they are really real!!  I obviously have not arrived at that point.  But I also want others to see glimpses of our deep faith.  And tonight even as I wrestle with these struggles, I cling to my faith!

I love music!  Music can lead my heart to the Lord quicker than anything.  The past few days there’s a song that I keep listening to.  It’s called Arms That Hold the Universe.  You can click and listen.  This song reminds me of so many truths!  God is a God of strength.  He holds us and Zeph. 3:17 even says he sings over us.  Sometimes I just get this beautiful picture of a daddy who rocks their child and sings to them and calms them with his love and compassion.  That’s exactly what God does for us.  We just have to be willing to climb up in His lap! And that is the part I struggle with..the climbing up and accepting what He offers! I’m often the child that just wants to be put in their bed with out that sweet time of rocking and connecting or sometimes I’m the child who kicks and screams when they are being comforted, rocked, and sang over!  You know that exasperated parent who after doing everything they can finally puts a screaming child in their bed because they don’t know what else to do…yep…that’s me a lot of times as well!

This song also reminds me that with three words God calmed a raging storm!!    And He can speak those three words into my life.  Peace be still!  So tonight amidst all these struggles, I’m just being still and listening to this song over and over again!  Reminding myself that God is in control.  I am His child!  He will never let me go!

Real life…real struggles…real faith! In the midst of real life, real struggles, and real faith, God is still God, God is still in control, and God still speaks and calms the raging seas!

PS:  It is now 3:36.  Yes this took me an hour and half to write and make my picture!  Sweet Krisann is now sound asleep on the sofa!!  And poor Amanda is getting her tomorrow after she’s been up half the night!  I think we shall pray for Amanda!!  And…I still do not feel sleep coming on!! Soon…maybe soon it will come!


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Michelle Shults

    Hey Karen, As I read your post I'm so encouraged that you are able to hold on to your faith in the midst of such hardship, so many unanswered questions and an uncertain future. Although my struggles are not as all consuming as yours, I do have them. My mom went from no symptoms 6 years ago to being diagnosed Alzheimers needing full time care, doesn't know anyone (often thinks I'm her mama) and, although she communicates, it is never understandable because she can't remember the correct words and how they go together in a sentence. In addition I do understand what it is like to live with a husband who's body is deteriorating at a rapid rate. Ron has Parkinson's and different skin cancers, including Melanoma. While the future is unclear I just keep saying out loud, "Jesus, I trust you" and he gets me through the toughest times by allowing me to get out of my head. I'm so glad you are vulnerable enough to put your life out for everyone to see…struggles, failures and all. It is real life. It reminds me to get out of my own situation and pray for you and your family. I believe your blog actually encourages all of us to be real with our struggles and realize that our struggles do not mean we lack faith but just have opportunities to put feet to our fledgling faith. Those that have no idea what struggles are, are either not believers or they just haven't lived long enough. James 1 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." It at least superficially answers the question of what I'm supposed to be learning: perseverance that produces maturity (and oh how I need that!) I have not gotten to the place of considering my trials "pure joy" but I definitely find the "pure joy" in the fact that I have a Brother, Friend, Savior and Father who loves me and my husband and my mom and that he will never leave us or forsake us—that is pure joy! I honestly don't know how anyone could walk through life without Him. But I'm sure you already know this better than I possibly ever will. I just wanted to put voice to the many thoughts I have regarding your present situation and how grateful I am that I am not alone in mine. I love you Karen.

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