a prayer for the broken

The sound of my voice rings in my head:
‘Here are the things you could have said’.
Weary but restless my body cries out,
‘Leave me alone, stop persisting in doubt’.
Tonight the voices have won,
I turn on the light so I won’t feel alone.
The sting of tears fills my eyes,
An ever present reminder of the mess in our lives.
I cry out to God:
‘Where are you now?
How can I go on?
I feel so alone’.
I listen, but silence mocks me,
Where is this God of love and peace?
When will He come and make things right?
When will I no longer fear the night?
When will the pain and tears cease?
When will I meet my long-lost niece?
When will death meet it’s final end?
When will the days be fully spent?
When will I have the guts to say
The thoughts that occupy my night and day?
Lord, I don’t want to live this life,
I need your grace to fight the fight,
To stand and walk, step by step,
To pray and trust and take a breath.
I cannot do this on my own,
Lord have mercy, until my time is come.

Waiting for Rest

I have a love-hate relationship with the night. I love it because I can see the stars, and I can feel tiny amidst the huge huge universe. My imagination is always better in the night time. I think that’s a win. But I hate it because I can never sleep and time seems to slow down overnight just in order to make the whole experience more painful. Of course this isn’t true, but it feels true. When I was younger I was afraid of the dark, but these days I live in the inner city, right next door to a hospital, so even when the lights are out its not dark. But I’m still afraid of bad dreams, of waking up more times than I can recall during the night, and of waking up more tired than I was when I went to sleep.

When I lived in Mexico City (2009 – and a whole other story), one of my favourite things was siesta time. I’d come home from language school, and have a rest for a couple of hours. Maybe sleep. Maybe read. It was so good. I think I was consistently on edge from living in a mega city. I was always stressed and tired and always ready for a sleep. Since I’ve been back, siestas have become my enemy. My GP has forbidden me from sleeping in the daytime. She says it doesn’t help my night time sleeping issues. I probably agree, but I’ll tell you, it’s *very* hard to not sleep in the afternoon when sleep is elusive during normal sleeping hours.

So today I caved. Two weeks of bad sleep mixed with a fair bit of life mess finally caught up with me. I slept for maybe 45 minutes. I woke up tired and groggy – siestas always leave me feeling like that. I’m still tired now, but my brain has decided to go into overdrive replaying all the days events over again…and over again…and over again…and over again… Not cool.

It’s nights like this I wish I was fearless. I wish I didn’t care about safety so I could go for a walk without fears of being kidnapped. Very occasionally I want to go for a run. I know I’m tired when that happens cause I hate running. Sometimes I go and sit on the roof. Maybe I’ll go up there soon.

This verse has always has a special place in my heart:

Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. Ps 30:5.

So often this has been my experience. Like a small child, when I am overtired, I cry. In the night everything feels hopeless, but the morning brings such joy. I long for the morning. I’m always a little less crazy in the morning. A little less liable to totally lose it because I can’t sleep. But it is more than the morning that brings me joy. Yes, at 2am, the thing I am most looking forward to is the sunrise, but there is something even better than the sunrise.

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning. Ps 130:6.

I am waiting for Jesus to return. This is the long game. Right now I wait for sleep. For my brain to turn off. For my weary body to relax just enough. But I know that I am waiting for Jesus to come back. To take me to be with him in eternal rest. To a place where I won’t have sore eyes from not enough sleep. Where my mind will be full of glorious thoughts, and not plagued by fear and doubt. Where I can rest. Rest. REST. Oh yes.

Bring. It. On.

An orange sky

It feels like a long time since I’ve been here. 2.07am. Sydney sleeps but I lie here awake. About an hour ago I gave up on my bed and took my blanket and pillow to the roof where I have installed myself on a sofa. I can see the hospital, so I guess not everyone is asleep. I have a pretty good view of the city from here, and because it is cloudy, the lights from the city make the sky glow a dim orange. At dawn I’ll be able to see the first plane come in to land. It’s not all bad. It’s comfortable enough. Still, I’d rather be asleep.

It’s been a while. Last year I had lots of these nights. I expected them. My truckload of thoughts and I would come up here and stare at the stars, thinking of other faraway places where the sun had already risen and waiting for the sun to rise here. The minutes tick by very slowly at this time of day. I hated the night. I would dread the end of the day because it meant another long night of no sleep and zillions of thoughts that I couldn’t remove from my head.

It’s been a while. Mostly this year I have been so tired that by the time I fall into bed my body is already giving up so my brain has no chance of keeping me awake. But I handed in my last essay of the term yesterday and now it feels like my brain is relishing the opportunity to once again flood me with suitcase-loads of somethings and nothings to both think and worry about.

It’s been a while. Oddly, I’ve just been texting a friend who is currently in Nepal who I miss dearly. I haven’t been able to speak to her for a few weeks cause Skype is not working. I wouldn’t have been able to chat with her now if I were asleep.

I’m not overjoyed to be awake. But thanks be to God that tonight unlike so many that have gone before, there is a silver lining.

sleepless nights

It’s 3.58am. I’ve been awake since 12.26am. Time goes very slowly at this time of the morning.

I went to turn off some lights that were still on and found another body, poring her heart out over an assignment that’s due tomorrow. Well actually, today. I sat on the sofa with her for an hour, thought about my fear of sleep, longed for sleep, tried to sleep. No sleep. I decided to make the most of this awake time so came back to my room, brushed up on my Spanish and wrote a long overdue email. I learned a new word – inquietud. I wrote a letter to an old friend. I’m writing this blog post. Still, no sleep.

There are others. I’m certain. Right now, all over Sydney there are people not sleeping. How do they fill the long dark hours? Do they long for sleep as I do? I don’t know about them, but I, for one, would be happy to kick this habit.