I’ve been battling a persistently annoying less-than-perfect-health situation for a couple months now. It began as symptom-free general yuckiness and descended into a week of full-blown sick, then cleared 70% of the way up. Now, it refuses to go away fully because sickness (unlike its carrier) thrives in sleeplessness and uncharacteristically inclement weather.
I’m not a day-napper, so a full night’s rest has become paramount. Yesterday around 10:30 pm I dutifully settled in for a full eight hours, complete with earplugs.
11:30-ish I woke up with a dry cough, pouring sweat because the thermostat was set too high. I groggily turned it down and dozed off again.
12:30-ish I woke up again coughing and sweating. Frustrated, I turned the heat down further and fell back asleep.
1:30am-ish I woke up yet again, as I felt the pressure of paws on my side from our snuggle-hungry cat who Macgyvered her way through our barricaded wall heater (let that sink in. She’s an ever-loving beast.)
Exhausted and growing angry I returned her to the other room, reset the barricade and shut the door. I never suspected this scene would replay itself nearly every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours until I begrudgingly fed her, hoping a food coma would kick in.
3:30am-ish I dozed off. I needed to be up at 6:15.
5:15am-ish I woke up once more as she returned happily purring, full and ready to snuggle. Fuming, and hazy from insomnia I put her out again, this time closing my bedroom door. I knew in the back of my mind she might claw at my love-nugget’s door and wake him up. At that point I felt so tired I couldn’t care.
6:10am-ish I woke up again again to noises in the hall. I angrily slitted one eye to see my door open and grumpily shut it, apparently in my love-nugget’s face (who I couldn’t see in the dark through my one-eyed glare.) I learned later that he tried in vain to get my attention in spite of my ear plugs.
6:40am-ish I woke up for the day to my alarm. I painfully went about my morning prayer while my cat once again sought snuggle time.
Now, I cringe to think of how everything right seemed wrong because I let my environment cause me to lose control: I wasn’t in my right mind. And it wasn’t hard to get me there. I was just sleepy. Not intoxicated, or in danger. That’s scary.
I could make excuses for it, but instead choose to recognize the screaming lesson in this human moment. Being human is no excuse to do stupid. And lessons will keep repeating, louder and louder until you get them.
Last night I was blessed. Blessed to have rest, health, a warm home and comfortable bed, loving pets and a loving, God-fearing man who does his very best even in his sleepiness at the crack of dawn, to care for me.
Last night I spent hour after hour, after hour cursing every. Single. One. Of those blessings.
I cursed heat during the coldest season we’ve had in years. I cursed the adorably loving cat I’m responsible for. I cursed the love of my life while he did his best to take care of me.
There are a million ways I could write it off and excuse it, but the reality is, I was cursing myself by directing negative energy at the blessings God gave me. We don’t have time to play that dangerous game.
There’s far too much at stake and it has everything to do with us not only loving the goodness of life’s blessings, but overflowing with love for others.
Last night was God whispering: Be thankful. Take nothing for granted. Love first, only, always.
Too often, we act like lazy high school students making excuses for failing to understand an important lesson. We’re the ones who suffer for it. And we won’t graduate until we get it.
Last night God whispered to me: Who am I? How have you forgotten me, that you lose your thoughts? Who is Your God, that you would curse His gifts as rubbish?
I’ll never know what might have happened if I had fallen to my face in prayer when the heat first woke me up last night. If I had sought comfort instead of rejecting it.
Don’t wait until you’re shackled and broken to struggle to break free. The minute you see restraint obliterate it. Bondage, whether it’s a satin ribbon or seemingly impenetrable institution is the beginning of the same pain, depression, hate, anger, that fuels addiction, suicide, murder, racism, and every other evil that chases us.
Never confuse bondage that’s pretty, easy to remove and feels good with freedom. It’s the same bondage that will destroy you because you didn’t realize accepting it is loving it.
Love freedom so much you hate anything that hints otherwise. Love truth so much you hate every whispered lie.
Love your Creator so much, you are hungry not only for His love, grace and mercy, but for His lessons, His correction. Be eager to fix yourself.
Know it really is that big a deal because nothing on this earth is random or thoughtless.
In seeking meaning, in seeking truth, you seek the One who made you, and every moment is a true master class in freedom.