When it’s all the things keeping you awake

darkness-light-150x150Column Post by Laura Hyers

I got three hours of sleep last night. I don’t say this in the proud way I once did—because I procrastinated and pulled an all-nighter and got some college project done in the nick of time. I say this after a full day of taking care of little ones who aren’t my own, dealing with hard things, and a cup of really strong coffee followed by who knows how many cups of really strong tea.

I am exhausted. And it’s because I’m too stressed to sleep.

Everything is changing. My career is moving in a new and exciting direction, I’m taking big strides to my dream job, and the new year just started—along with a renewed commitment to better myself. My husband’s office has him working from home a few days a week, his band is in the studio recording an album, and we are settling into a routine that I enjoy.

I know it’s going to be all shaken up a few months from now, and I’m trying to look ahead with excitement and a practical expectation of things to come.

All of this sounds really well-adjusted, right? I sound like I’ve got it all handled and I’m not scared out of my mind for the things that are going to happen—all of which are really good things, and most of which we have long been praying for.

So why am I so anxious?

Because I like things staying the way they have been. I’m not particularly challenged, nor am I growing greatly professionally, but I’m comfortable enough. And my income is reliable enough. And my boss likes me enough for me to know that I’m good at my job and I could stay. But that’s not my dream, my passion—dare I say—my calling.

And my calling is keeping me up at night. Last night it was all but three hours, and the night before I was lucky and got six. The darkness gets deeper and deeper and my mind fills up with a whirl of thoughts and worries and what-ifs and the silence of my bedroom and my sleeping husband gets deafeningly loud in my ears and I’m freaking out.

And I’m tired of freaking out because I’m getting what I want. I’m tired of nighttime and darkness making me feel overwhelmed and powerless, and more than anything I’m tired of feeling like I have no control over anything going on in my anxious little head.

So I grab my phone and I open my Bible app and go to some random Psalm (because David got pretty anxious, too, and I feel like we can relate to each other), and God whispers His nearness:

“… even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to You.” (Psalm 139.12)

Even in the midst of huge changes, in the middle of a darkness that threatens to swallow me whole, He is there.

. . . . . . . . . .

Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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