Sleep in Peace

Worry, stress, struggles, pressures, sickness, fatigue, and the weight of overseas life affect us all in so many ways.

Loss of sleep is possibly at the top of the list of affected things.

When I am worried, I can’t sleep.
When I have fears, I can’t sleep.
When I feel overwhelmed, I can’t sleep.
When I feel stressed, I can’t sleep.

On and on the process goes until I have many sleepless nights piled on top of the daily pressures of living overseas. As we all know, this produces an angry mom, an unkind wife, a grouchy friend and a complaining worker. Not to mention, a tired heart. Ugly… I know.

I’ve been tossing around this post about sleep in my head for a few weeks now and honestly, coming to the conclusion that there is one simple thing that Jesus wants to say to us all. Myself included.

Until we give it all to Jesus, we will not rest in peace.

We just won’t.

There is something incredibly powerful about handing it ALL over into His capable hands, letting it go, and going to sleep.

In fully giving it all to Him, we will learn to let our hearts rest. When our hearts rest, we will sleep.

Oh, I know what you are thinking.

And I agree.

The problems, the stresses, the issues, the conflicts, the transitions… they are all HUGE. Massive. Complicated. Stressful.

But again, until those things are handed over to the capable hands of Jesus, we will not rest. We will not sleep in peace. We will not experience His precious, gracious, refreshing recovery. We will not know the power of letting go and trusting Him to be on the clock while our bodies take a break.

We must learn that He establishes peace for us. He provides peace. He gives peace. He is peace. He is REAL peace.

This is something that I’m learning is not just a one time thing. Recently, I’ve found myself waking back up at 1:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., and 5:00 a.m. Not just kind of awake. Fully awake.

Wide-eyed and ready to take back all the problems of yesterday and bring on the coming problems of the new day before it even begins.

In those middle-of-the-night moments, my heart begins to race with the decisions we are making and the circumstances of our jobs and the greatness of the task. I remember things people said or things I need to do or things that need to happen so we can do this or that. I see dangers in the darkness that are not there in the daylight. At night, the stress feels heavier, the problems seem more overwhelming and issues become more daunting. The very things that I let go of the night before come rolling back through my brain and steal any chance of continuing in peaceful, needed sleep.

So I must walk through the process again. And again. And again.

Giving it all back over to Jesus, letting go, reminding myself of His promises and going to sleep.

There are things you can do to help with sleeping.

Stay off your phone for an hour before bed
Drink some chamomile tea
Listen to worship music
Take time away
Read the Word and find verses to meditate on

But I feel like God’s message for me and for you is to just simply give it all to Him.

Let Him have your day, your situation, your struggle, your mess. Give it to Him in full. And don’t take it back. Let Him work while you rest.

Sleep in peace, dear friend. God is on the job.

How are you sleeping these days?

What’s helping you to sleep in peace?

17 Comments

  1. Jody January 24, 2017

    Truly giving it all to God is the ultimate in keeping one’s mind and heart at peace…… “He keeps him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee”…. Practically though, I sleep like a baby with my supplements that I have my dad ship me from the states. When I run out……I totally can tell a difference!

    1. Jenilee January 25, 2017

      Yes, sometimes it is a physical thing and our bodies do need some help! I completely agree! Yet, for me, I don’t want to miss the simplicity of what God is saying, asking and offering to us when we keep our minds and hearts stayed on him. Even when there are physical things keeping sleep at bay. Thank you for sharing that!

  2. Natasha January 25, 2017

    Thanks for this reminder, I have really been struggling with this lately and waking up throughout the night with my mind on so many other things.

    1. Jenilee January 25, 2017

      praying for peace for your heart tonight!

  3. Margaret January 25, 2017

    Sometimes when there’s been trauma we need professional help before we can get to the deep stuff that God wants us to heal.

    I find that if it’s really important asking God to remind me of that in the daylight He does work within us while we sleep and it’s not usually God waking us up.Quiet time before bed and exercise during the day help. But I still struggle often.

    1. Jenilee January 25, 2017

      Yes, absolutely. Sometimes professional help is needed. I love this thought… “remind me of that in the daylight” What a beautiful prayer!

    2. Amy Young January 25, 2017

      Agreed, Margaret.

      Did you read Monday’s post? That one addresses the relationship between trauma and sleep.

  4. Grace L January 25, 2017

    I just want to share that I have struggled with sleep problems for the past 14 years. When I first encountered insomnia, I thought I was going crazy because of so little sleep. My doctor put me on anti-depressants and prescribed Ambien. But of course, taking a sleep aid like Ambien is not a long term solution. After stabilizing, he prescribed an anti-anxiety medication that was mild but known for helping to relax and get to sleep and he told me I could safely take this for the rest of my life. I took him at his word and am grateful for this medication. I also use a little aromatherapy each night and use a combination of lavender and peppermint essential oils to relax. After a busy day I look forward to my routines prior to going to sleep and “usually” get a good night’s sleep. But I do keep a supply of Ambien around in case I wake up and just cannot get back to sleep. It is a comfort to know I have these helps, and I know that I need to get good sleep in order to function well. I share all this so that others might know that sleep aids can help. Yes, as I go to sleep, I pray. And if I wake in the night, I pray, or sing a worship song silently in my head. “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
    May the Lord give us all sweet, deep sleep. It is a gift from God, it seems, and my husband and I always pray for good sleep for one another before we go to bed. And it’s one of the first things we ask each other in the morning, “How did you sleep?” A good night’s sleep is such a blessing…

    1. Jenilee January 25, 2017

      We pray that too each night for our family. I agree… a good night’s sleep IS a blessing!

    2. Amy Young January 25, 2017

      Grace, thanks for sharing bedtime routines! I know that Michael Hyatt and some famous lady (is it some Huffinglon lady?) write often about sleep routines and how helpful they can be.

  5. Kay Bruner January 25, 2017

    Waking up in the middle of the night as you describe here is the most common type of insomnia associated with clinical anxiety. Hashtag, things I wish I’d known at the time. Clinical anxiety is a treatable illness just like any other physical ailment. If you try giving it over to Jesus, and you’re still waking up at night, please see your doctor. There is help, as other readers have wisely noted above.

    1. Jenilee January 25, 2017

      Yes, this post was not at all intended to discount real medical advice or conditions. Just a reminder of some of the simple truths we can lean on in those waking moments. Definitely wise advice to seek help!

    2. Amy Young January 25, 2017

      Hey Kay, as the editor who approved this post, I do know there is a place for the medical piece :)! Jenille’s post is more for the non-medical reasons. If someone (like the above commenter) has had insomnia for an extended period, yes, see your doctor.

      I consistently sleep better not at home :). I love going someone where because it means I will sleep! And I’m not depressed :). So, it can be medical, but it can also be a weird pattern for your body. And it’s not my mattress because I have had this pattern for over 20 years and multiple beds. :).Ah, bodies!!

  6. Amy Young January 25, 2017

    Ah, those middle of the night moments! Several years ago I had to tell my team that I was checking email before going to bed and as that was the start of the workday for our home office, I’d get quite a few intense work emails and it made it hard to sleep. So, I told them that I needed not to check them and they had permission to ask me at any time if I had checked email after 8:30 p.m. It helped my sleep and those middle of the night moments.

    Love that we can trust Jesus with the stuff of our days while we sleep.!!

    1. Amy Young January 25, 2017

      ‘THEM” refers to my emails :). I did need to check with my teammate! I also need to use fewer pronouns!!

    2. Karen Huber January 25, 2017

      That’s such a good rule! I try to do the same, too, with those anxiety-inducing emails. I’ve found I sleep loads better if our evenings are work-free.

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