Monday, May 30, 2011

Middle of the night wisdom? No, probably not.

I have got to admit, I am so thankful that I'm not one of the people whose heart God has pricked to pray in the middle of the night for my husband.  When I go to sleep, I like to stay asleep.  That's why it is awesome that God designed my son to sleep completely through the night with NO interruptions since he was three months old (I haven't seen him in the middle of the night since December - just had to brag on him, I'm done now!).  Anyway, I am amazed at how many people have told us that they are waking up multiple times a night and being prompted to pray to God on our behalf.  If you are one of those people, thank you for taking the graveyard shift for us.  You are a special, special person!

But sometimes it is hard to fall asleep, like tonight (currently 2:59 a.m.).  Those nights where the future looms so big and scary in front of me, and a litany of topics cross and zigzag and zoom and tumble through my brain.  Cancer.  Money.  Death.  Pain.  Eternity.  Bad news.  Suffering.  Helplessness.  Widowhood.  Single motherhood.  Heaven.  Surviving cancer.  Infertility.  All of these topics can enter my mind at any given time during the day, but as I'm going about my day they don't seem quite so daunting.  When I'm in my bed, when the man that I love and has been perfectly designed is sleeping next to me, after I'm done praying, I'll start contemplating. And sometimes if I'm not careful, thoughts spin out of control.

It starts innocently enough, this crazy mental spin cycle.  I'll think about Colton, what a blessing he is.  Then I start mourning for the future children that I might not have, then I start thinking about all of the heavy burdens I might possibly have to carry at some point, and then things are rolling.  I begin panicking, trying to figure out how to do it all on my own, and then I literally start begging God over and over again to take this cup from us, and tears are flowing.  It's happened several times over the past two months.

So no, I don't ever wake up for a prayer shift in the night, but occasionally I do spend time freaking out before I go to bed.

And so is this okay, this wigging out?  No, I really don't think it is.  Human - yes, okay - no.  It is at that very moment that my focus wanes from my Lord and squarely lands on myself.  What am I going to do if I lose my husband?  How am I going to raise my son?  What if something happens to me too?  What will I do if we beat this cancer and can't have more children?  How can I handle seeing Ryan in pain?  It's all very me-focused.  Little time is spent figuring out how to glorify God, and self-preservation is paramount.

Matthew 14:30
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Hello, Peter.  I'm Kendra.  I think we have something in common.  We both can conquer mighty things so long as we keep our focus laser-sharp on the Lord, but the second we take our eyes off Him, we are sinking into a place where we don't need to be.

So okay, it's easy enough to say "keep your focus on the Lord".  That's a bit arbitrary though.  What does that look like, practically speaking?

We are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  How to do this?  Well, obviously I'm not an expert since I have clearly stated that these cerebral meltdowns are happening to me on a somewhat regular basis.  But I have done due diligence to educate myself on how to start the process of reclaiming the late night thinking sessions for my Lord.

Number one, I need to be in his Word faithfully.  My thoughts can only be aligned with God's if I know Him, and to know him better I need to read my Bible daily (just so you know, there is a fair amount of self-admonishing going on right now).  'Nuff said.

Number two, I need to discern whether the thoughts I'm having are God-honoring or not.  Lest you think that is hard, it's really not.  Even in the midst of the spin cycle, it's easy to identify that my thoughts are self-focused and NOT God-honoring.  A safe litmus test - does this sound anything like a Psalm?  No, I'm not saying that we can't have mundane thoughts about groceries or football (FYI, I never think about football).  However, if we're meditating on something for an extended period of time, it's much more edifying for us to be thinking of God and not solely about ourselves and our woes.  In some translations, the very first part of the "taking thoughts captive" verse says we should be "casting down imaginations".  Easy speak: kick those thoughts out of your head if they're not of God.

Number three, identify your enemy.  Satan loves to prick our imaginations and he uses fear to hurt our relationship with our Lord.  He made Eve doubt the Lord, and don't think he doesn't still do this today.  He would love nothing more than to cripple Ryan and I with fear to the point where we begin to doubt that God is really sovereign over this situation.

Well, I suppose that since it is now past 3:30 a.m., I should begin the process of unwinding and finding a way to get to sleep.  I think I'll start naming off a mental list of all of the blessings I have.

Hey, would it be unethical to take one of Ryan's pills to help me sleep??  Kidding!

1 comment:

Courtney Moore said...

Love you girl! Thank you for being so open and transparent with how God is working in your life.