Sunday, August 3, 2014

Three Nights In a Row...

It happened three nights in a row.

I generally have no problem going to sleep. Usually I kiss all three of the boys goodnight (Pepper counts too) and head to bed an hour or so before them. That gives me plenty of time to get my ear plugs in, turn on the sound machines (yes, more than one), and fall asleep before the snoring trio settles in for the night. Lately, the trouble has been staying asleep.

I'm an incredibly light sleeper. The slightest amount of light. The faintest hint of a snore. The sharpest jab of a bony 9 year-old's elbow (well, I guess that would wake anybody). The point is, it doesn't take much to wake me. But of late, it hasn't been those things waking me in the middle of the night.

I could lie and say, "Hey, I've got this!" Or I could be real and say, "You know what, friends? There's a little fear trying to seep in here." (I'm being brave and choosing the latter....)

I've been waking up with a million different things running through my mind.

         "What if I don't find a job by the end of August?"
                                    "What if I do get a job and I never get to see my family?"
    "How will I have the energy to teach Sunday school and lead the women's ministry?"
                    "How will I suddenly get used to waking up at 4 a.m. again?"
                                        "Why haven't they called me back?"
                         "What if nobody EVER calls?"
                                                "Why didn't I finish college?"
                                                             "Why do I feel like such a failure?"

Here I am, two months into my employment search, and I still have no job. It's. A. Bit. Scary.

Friday night was the most difficult. I was awake, tossing and turning, for more than two hours. My shoulders shook and tears fell. I prayed, more than anything, that God would be glorified in my suffering. And then I fell back asleep.

I shared my struggle with Scott yesterday morning while I was sweeping. I kept my head down, concentrating on each grass clipping and ball of dust as I swept it into the dustpan. He stood in the doorway, listening intently. I quietly wept as I told him how I'd been waking up in the middle of the night with so many fears running through my mind. Slowly I lifted my head and he looked me straight in the eye and said, "Fear is okay, Kari."

Fear is okay? FEAR IS OKAY?

I stopped sweeping and said, "But I'm NOT afraid God won't take care of us! I'm afraid of the unknown. I don't understand this. I KNOW God is at work. I just need a little glimpse of what He is doing because I don't understand it!"

    "When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear..." Psalm 56:3

We talked a little longer about all the reasons we have for concern in our circumstances. (There are many.)  I think my greatest fear is that I don't know what God will allow. I've surrendered this situation to God. I'm doing all that I know to trust and obey Him. But I don't know what is to come.

So. What is the remedy? How do I resolve the fear? FAITH. There is obviously a gap between my own understanding and the possibilities of God's will. That gap can only be filled with FAITH. I might not know what is in my future, but I can put my trust in the One who does.

                "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will
               strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold onto you with my righteous right
                                                            hand."  Isaiah 41:10

                 " God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Psalm 56:11

I finished sweeping and Scott returned to his errands outside. The rest of the day was spent cleaning, enjoying dinner with friends, and shopping for paint supplies. I don't think I gave my fears another thought.

And, you know what? Last night I slept like a baby.