Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sleeping and Broken Hearts

I always have problems sleeping. I'm a high-maintenance sleeper. I may have mentioned that before. I can't remember.
High-maintenance for me means that bedtime ritual of: earplugs, eye mask donned at 5am (yes I wake up like clockwork to put it on), a nasal steroid because I have nighttime allergies (doesn't really work most of the time), a humidifier or fan for white noise. We also have a king size bed because I can't stand snuggling. My husband twitches and snores. So does the dog. But I'm allowed to kick her out. And I wake up about 10 times a night. Sometimes 3. But the reasons I wake up are usually because I hear a noise, think I hear a noise or a nightmare.
Dude. I have a lot of nightmares.
Sometimes the scary ones where you're being chased by bandits and you're going to die. Sometimes I have to rescue my son because he fell into a river and is going over a waterfall (that was fun). Or sometimes just simple silly ones like I no longer have a husband and I have to find someone to marry pronto so I can be taken care of. Oh and of course the one where my son is so badly behaved that it doesn't matter if I punish him and I wake up, completely upset because I can't shake the angry look in his eyes.
He's 7.
I also wake up yelling at someone. Usually Jackson so he doesn't fall into the fire pit or the dog so she doesn't eat that cow turd she's eyeing up (these are dreams, remember, not real. Although my dog loves cow turds).
So this Wednesday night, I'm finally going for a sleep study. Apparently the fact that I have all of these issues, plus I need a grinder (I've gone through 3 in 20 years - bit right through them) and I also wake up choking. Who knew this wasn't normal?
So on Wednesday night I get to be hooked up to weird little suction cups and I don't know how I'm supposed to sleep, but I guess that's the point. And if they find any problems, I'll either get a sleep apnea machine (although I doubt that's what it is) or perhaps the doctor will prescribe something to help me get to REM or whatever it is I'm not achieving.
Now before you go all psychological on me and say I'm not sleeping because of stress in my life, I'm sorry to tell you that is inaccurate. I'm a stay-at-home mom. I do a lot of writing and reading. I get to garden. My life is stress-free. I've gotten to that lovely healing place where all I do is rest and trust in God (I'll tell you about it sometime).
If there is something to be fixed, it will get fixed. Which I'm very happy about. Because I am tired. All the time. Not sometimes? But ALL  the time. I nap because I can't move another step. Caffeine does nothing for me unless I take it at night (bad idea). I can have a great workout at the gym, but once I'm done, it's bedtime. (Yes I've changed my eating habits etc). So. If this gets fixed, I won't be tired anymore.

But maybe I won't remember my dreams anymore.

Which kind of makes me sad.

Because sometimes my dreams are incredible. Like the times I dream I'm flying or I'm actually speaking with God and He's answering me (and He has a great voice! Sorta like James Earl Jones with less gravel and more...smiley?).
The point to all this rambling if I haven't lost you yet?
I had a dream this morning about talking to two people about God.
Two people I'm very close to. And they both 'think' they are Christian, but they aren't. And I'm getting all passionate explaining the difference. I ask her why she thinks Jesus came to earth. She answers to forgive our sins. And I'm bouncing in my chair, and I say, 'well yeah, but that's not the biggest thing. Yes, we get to go to heaven and live forever, but listen, He has come to bind up the broken-hearted, to set the captives free. Do you know what that means?' And she's looking at me, slightly angry in that way she always looks at me and says, 'I'm already free.'
And I say to her, 'No. You are not. Jesus came to heal the broken-hearts. I look at you and I know your heart is still broken. I know you are captive to your pains and your unforgiveness to others. And I'm not. All the garbage and pain in my life - gone. I have a fully healed heart.'
And she just looks at me and says, 'My friends help me heal. They're there for me.'
And I'm really bouncing in my chair now and I say, 'Think of the absolute worst thing you ever did in your entire life. Can you think of it? Now, did you tell your best friend what you did?'
She says nothing in response. And I say, "You can tell God. Because He already knows. And He can heal that awfulness inside you."
And then I woke up with a headache. Which is what normally happens when I'm talking about God in my dreams.

I think we all get bogged down too much. I think we worry so much about pleasing God and pleasing others and trying to be the model person, that we forget. Jesus came here for us. To heal us. We don't have to live a life of pain and sorrow. We don't have to live a life of shame and frustration.  We can just live in His rest. Which means we just go with the flow, let what happens, happen. When the storms come, He'll carry you. And of course you'll cry. What human wouldn't? But at least it won't freak you out as much. At least you'll know He's got your back, He's got your heart and He will heal you. He promises. In Isaiah 64. Promises.

Jenn Kelly is the author of the 'Jackson Jones' books which were written a lifetime ago. She's currently researching movies and books for the perfect kiss. No, really. That's what she's doing with all her spare time. Which is why she can't clean the house. At all. This is a picture of her at age 8. She was in love with these mittens. And she kind of looks like a boy. Blame the 70's.


  1. Love how you write, Jenn - straight from the heart. And I love your heart for God and that you have grasped so beautifully the freedom Jesus brings. Our daughter has sleep problems at the moment too so when I pray for her I'll remember you too now. Much rest and peace to you.

  2. oh thanks Jo-Anne! Could you be sweeter????

  3. Dreams are so powerful. I don't often remember them, but once I woke up after a dream-fight with my husband. I was mad at him all day, even though I knew it was my dream and he'd done nothing wrong. :-) I hope you get to sleep but hand onto your dreams as well.

  4. Oh Jenn, your sharing so openly with us was really touching. I do hope yo get some great guidance and help with this broken sleep. Just imagine how many more books you'll write when you're not tired all the time!

    May God bless you and give you some relief!

  5. As another who doesn't sleep well, though certainly not as drastic as you, Jenn, I can sympathise.I often use that time to pray. I guess you do too.

  6. I do Dale! You're so right. But what I hate is how the praying in the middle of the night is so much more ... serious? You know where you break down sobbing because you're begging God to change someone's heart so they'll be saved? Or that your son will always have great Christian friends? I usually revert back to my 'walking with God in the fields' dream and I feel so much better... And Rita? you're sooo right!!!!