It's easy for me (and I guess I'd wager for pretty much everyone) to decide what I REALLY NEED in life.
Sleep is one of those things for me. I'm pretty possessive and weird about it.
Here's a little story to let you know just how serious I've been about my sleep. When I was in high school, my parents let me sleep as late as I wanted. I'm the baby of my family, so I typically got to do those kind of things. So I'd sleep in until noon or 1pm on a summer day. But I was VERY SERIOUS about that sleep. It didn't matter that it was excessive. It mattered that NO ONE INTERRUPT IT.
We had a Great Dane at that time, and mid-morning, my mom would usually let the dog out into the yard for a while. Inevitably, the dog would bark a few times. He was a dog. Dogs do that. But to me, the barks were unacceptable. If that bark woke me up and continued for more than 3 short barks, I'd throw the covers off, vault out of bed, jerk the window open and scream at the top of my lungs "RUSTY!! SHUT!! UP!! SHUT UPPPPPP!!!!!"
That's how serious I am about my sleep.
Of course, having babies loosened my sleep obsession a teeny bit. I got up to nurse them throughout the night. But I can assure you that I wasn't always the most pleasant person rolling out of bed during those years. But then they would start sleeping through the night and everything would go back to normal.
Well, about nine months ago, I had some crazy circumstances that, combined together, caused me to not be able to sleep at night for the first time in my life. And it REALLY freaked me out. It was a very traumatic time for me. But I worked through the sleep issues over a few month span and got back in a workable rhythm of sleep. But I still have nights now like I never had before my big sleep crisis 9 months ago. I have nights where I can't fall asleep for hours. I sometimes don't sleep well. I sometimes get completely overwhelmed worrying about WHY I can't sleep and WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME that it's not as natural to me as it was when I was 15.
So all of this unexpected and (to me) unacceptable battling with sleep has developed some anxiety in me around bedtime. I can tend to feel like something really wrong is happening to me. My mind will want to race with thoughts of why this is going on and how to fix it. I've felt despair that all I have ahead of me is struggle and hardship because I won't be able to sleep.
But recently we've had this phrase that my husband and I have been talking about, that's helped me filter my thoughts about sleep. I wrote about how it helped me as we were nearing a special get-away while having the flu in our home. And this phrase also settles something deep in my anxious thoughts about sleep: 'There's good around the corner.'
I can naturally feel like this path is wrong for me; I should be sleeping, I shouldn't be dealing with this. But 'There's good around the corner' tells me otherwise. It tells me that God has a good plan for me in whatever circumstances I encounter. And I can rest in it.
'There's good around the corner' tells me that I don't have to tightly hold on to what I've determined that I so need. My 'good plan' for myself is not the only way, nor the only option for goodness to come to my life. I don't have to control my circumstances to make sure good will come to me. God has a good plan for what I am walking through. And I can rest in His Goodness towards me.
Sure, it is disappointing to not sleep, or to not sleep well, or to struggle with sleep. No one would naturally say, "Yes! I love laying awake for hours!" But I can let go and rest in the face of disappointment, knowing that my Father is good, and that He's being good to me, and with Him there is always good around the corner. Whether I see it or not.