Insomnia & Ineptitude

I haven’t been able to sleep for the past several nights, and it’s awful.  I lie in bed staring into the blackness hiding my ceiling, thinking about everything from my grocery list to meal planning to checks that haven’t cleared.  Like windshield wipers in a storm, thoughts flash back and forth in random pattern.  No rhyme, no apparent reason.

If I were asked during any other week of any other year, I would declare that this never happens to me.  In fact, my husband and I joke that we could go lay down in the driveway and fall asleep.  But this week has been different.

I’ve been feeling an unusual heaviness for some hurting people in my life whom I love dearly.  And so I wonder about them.  Pray for them.  Cry for them.  And to be honest, I wonder why God has placed me in a position to speak into their lives when I don’t know what to say.  When I can’t “fix” things.  When I can’t make it go away.  I feel completely inept.

To top things off, as if a grand cosmic joke, I was asked to step into a mentoring role within my church.  Our pastor talked to a small group of us and brought me to tears [which is pitifully easy to do, I’ll admit] with the reminder that in the lives of mature Christians, most everyone can look backwards and point to the one person who made a difference.  Who brought them along in their faith.  Who exemplified Jesus in a new way.

So, of course, I left the meeting feeling all inspired and hopeful and willing.

Now, of course, I feel absolutely ridiculous, inappropriate, and regretful.

What was I thinking?  Who am I to do this?

My good friends say calming and wonderful things like, “Jane, God wants to sharpen you.” or  “It’s not about having something to say–it’s about listening.” or  “Sometimes it’s not about having the right answers, but helping them ask the right questions.”


But I still feel like Moses.  I’m standing before God–in my kitchen–pleading with Him that I can’t actually do it.  [Dangit–WHY do I sign up for these things?!] I’m wishing for an Aaron to come to my rescue, to say the right things and bring some magic signs.


Exodus 4:

10 Moses raised another objection to God: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”

11-12 God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”

13 He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!”


Yet apparently, he’s sending me.

I don’t understand it, nor do I feel competent to complete this task–to be Jesus for this person.  And so I lie awake in bed, worrying like the doubter I apparently am.

My mind cannot frame how this plays into eternity.  I can only pray for the words.  And for rest.

I can only pray to truly believe God when, as a loving Father, he says, “So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”

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2 Responses to Insomnia & Ineptitude

  1. brad says:

    There’s another good story-a similar story-in Exodus. As the Israelites are being chased down by Pharaoh, they get stuck between Pharaoh’s army and the sea. Moses calls out to God. God’s response? “Why are you calling out to me? Tell the people to go forward.”

    Anyhow, I’ve been battling insomnia for 3 years now. I finally schedule an appt. with the sleep clinic today. It all happened when we had our first. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be tired for 20 years.

    Good post.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Brad, it means a lot! I sure hope the sleep clinic can help you. Brandon and I often say that lack of sleep might be a form of torture. I’ll start praying that baby #2 is a good sleeper with a “non-oppositional” demeanor 🙂

  2. smalltownsmalltimes says:

    Wow – I am so sorry about the insomnia. As you read, I had a very bad case of it — for months. I sleep like a baby now. I highly recommend a book called “No More Sleepless Nights” by Peter Hauri. I also recommend, just letting down your body go limp for a few seconds. Stop for a minute and pay attention to how tightly you are holding your muscles. It’s amazing how much tension we walk around with all the time. I slump and let my body fall like a rag doll, twenty or thirty times a day. It re-sets your body as calm.

    Further, it seems you have heaped an awful lot on your shoulders. I’m going to say something you may not agree with, but maybe you don’t have to “be Jesus” for someone. Maybe you just have to be a kind, optimistic and patient friend. When people start telling me about Jesus, I start twitching and looking for the door. Only when I see someone at peace with themselves and grateful for their lives, do I want to know more.

    Maybe you don’t need to “speak into their lives,” maybe just be in their lives – as kindly and patiently as you can — and let God take care of the rest.

    Thanks Jodi. I do agree with you–maybe the way I wrote it was too “churchy,” but that’s what I meant when I made the Jesus comment. However, that’s precisely what’s so hard for me! Just “being” when my nature is to “do.” Wish I could fix things, you know? Glad you’re sleeping well again! I’ll try to relaxing tip.

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