I wake up from a solid eight hours and I feel like a wreck. Again, shadows of once full-color dreams linger at the corners of my mind. I can no longer make out the precise shapes but I know they were jagged, intense, chaotic, oppressive.
In my middle-of-the-night turmoil, I fluttered awake just enough to realize that I was covered in sweat — again. The nape of my neck wet, perspiration dripping between my breasts. Was this because of the dreams? Am I starting perimenopause? Is my anxiety medication not working?
I spy a sliver of dusty blue sky out the window. The world is rising and I’m wrestling. I know hope awaits me away from this mattress but I’m so exhausted that I just keep laying here. Keep checking the white numbers on my phone as they slowly change digit by digit. Soon my three boys will be asking for breakfast.
I eventually wrench myself out from my cozy covers, shuffle to the kitchen, turn on the kettle, go to the bathroom, and flinch at my reflection. When did I start looking so haggard?
The couch welcomes me and my favorite cup of lemon tea. I open my Bible at the ribbon bookmark and start reading. Slowly I exhale. I didn’t even realize I had been holding my breath. This is so nice. So peaceful. Why didn’t I get up sooner? It’s my daily refrain.
I hear the creak of my son’s bunk bed as I read, “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him” (Psalm 62:5).
My twelve-year-old thunder stomps down the hallway. He’s still learning how to control his man-sized feet.
I read the verse again like I’m coaching my own soul. Rest in God alone. Your hope comes from Him.
It’s hard to feel at rest when you’re tangled up by invisible strings.
Elias now joins me under my gray fuzzy blanket and rests his wild bedhead on my shoulder. I keep reading.
“Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts before him.
God is our refuge.”
Trust in Him. I do trust God. But the Spirit gently pricks my heart and asks, Yes, but what else are you trusting? The list comes quickly: My determination. Someone else’s ability to change. Hope that we can turn things around. Just a little more sleep. A little more self-control. Enough boxes checked off.
Trust in Him at all times. All times. Not when I’m healthy and my kids obey and I keep all the balls in the air and I like my hair. God invites me – us, yes He implores us — to trust Him at all times. When sleep eludes or exhausts us. When people let us down or break us open. When that dream keeps getting one step further out of reach or there’s no friend to catch your tears or money in the bank. This is when we get to trust God.
Elias is asking if I’ll put frozen waffles in the toaster for him. I tell him he can do that himself but when they pop I’ll put the peanut butter and syrup on the way he likes it.
Pour out your hearts before Him. Could this be the answer to my tangled soul? The way to rest? I ask the question but I already know the answer because I’ve lived it again and again. God works in our hearts when we take our worked-up soul and bear it all before Him. He knows it all anyway. But there is something sacred and sanctifying in the intentional unraveling of every knot and jumble. It’s where God’s compassionate hands meet us and take over the real work.
Noah does his teenage shuffle out to the living room and plops down on the other couch. I know I better get up, start the coffee, and wake up Jude. But not before I read this:
“God has spoken once; I have heard this twice:
strength belongs to God, and faithful love belongs to you, Lord.”
I push myself up off the couch, weak and weary. And it’s okay. Strength belongs to God. He will carry me today in His faithful, loving arms – not minding my dried sweat. I can already feel my soul starting to rest. Can you feel it too?
Becky shares more real stories and hope-filled Scriptures for anxious and weary souls over on Instagram. Follow her at @beckykeife.