In the Trenches
- October 31, 2018
- Esther Followwill-Johnson
I always say if you’re going to write, write from the trenches. Whatever tranches you’re in, whatever battle you are currently facing- talk about that. Here are the muddy walls around me:
I’ve never felt more exhausted or out of control of the variables in my life and environment. I’ve only been getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night for the last 2 weeks. A few things contribute to this:
- I am 40 weeks pregnant, so if the baby is up kicking, I will be too. It’s very hard to get comfortable at this final stage in the game
- My toddler just switched to her “big girl bed” and is potty-trained. So she often needs attention in the middle of the night, and interrupts what little sleep I do get.
- During the day, construction on and around our home rages on. This has continued for over a year in the most chaotic and mismanaged project I’ve ever witnessed. Each afternoon, the irregular hammering and drilling generally begins the moment Alétheia and I lay down to sleep. Nap-time is routinely punctuated by the invasive sound of constant drilling.
- At night, our neighbors’ children upstairs stampede around the room, bouncing balls, shouting and yelling even as late as midnight and as early as 5 am. It’s a schedule that is impossible to anticipate.
So with all these factors, it seems like EVERY time I close my eyes to rest, it evades me.
It might not seem like a big deal to just be missing out on sleep. But it really does feel like torture, and the timing couldn’t be worse. I’ve become increasingly anxious to think I have to endure labor again, with so little rest. Only to then have the hardest part ahead: childbirth recovery and caring around the clock for an infant. There is nothing like feeling like you have a marathon to run, when you can barely stand.
My body isn’t my own- it is a host.
My resting isn’t up to me, but the baby’s schedule and whatever interruptions or discomforts may occur.
My home environment, my time, even the hour when I have this child, none of these are things I can really choose.
I feel horribly out of control, and debilitatingly weak.
So what’s the point of all of this?
Everything I’m experiencing in the physical world is a picture of how life ALWAYS IS spiritually. My life is not my own. I’ve forfeited my rights to play God in my life… and I am not in control at all. Breath, survival, sanity, everything comes from the grace of God only. He has all the power and apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
Fortunately, God is far better equipped to run my life than I am. He knows everything, can do everything and loves me more than I could ever comprehend. His way is the only one that leads to life and true contentment. So I am GOOD with Him being in control.
But I forget that when things get hard, and I wrestle Him for the wheel. How easy it is to forget our need for God when life is all ease and FEELS deceptively like we are in charge… when really we are only in control of our attitude and perspective.
So I thank God for the sleep He does give me. I ask for enough. If it’s one hour, if it’s 6, I know that will be sufficient for the day.
I pray for His will to be done and for me to rejoice anyway no matter how I feel in the moment.
This is where the rubber meets the road as a Christian. We can fight tooth and nail for our own way, or submit to the lesson. Growing in holiness happens through difficult moments. That growth and wisdom are more important than ease and comfort. God’s grace is enough and that His power is being perfected in our weakness. One day at a time.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9: 8