“I was let go.” was a sentence that I never thought would come out of the mouth of my young, brilliant, hardworking, Kelley-business-school-graduate of a husband.
He threw hours and hours into being an accountant- this was the life I was counting on. And yet the words were spoken, one sunny May afternoon, as I was squeezing a quick nap in between grad school classes- and our world shifted.
I spent that night tossing and turning, not believing the truth of what was given to me earlier that day. What are we going to do? The words ran in my head until they became a chorus- a song for the weary. It would be difficult to secure another job, as we were preparing to embark on a 7 month program through our church called Kingdom Living Training School.
Training school was to be an intentional Sabbath, a space to soak in who Jesus was, and what He was really calling us to be. The schedule was wacky, to say the least, and it was highly doubtful any office job would accommodate him.
The sleepless nights began to pile on top of one other, and soon I was not only plagued with the unknowns – I was also plagued with lack of sleep. When I was finally able to drift at night, I would be haunted with dreams. Dreams of my past, dreams of losing my husband, dreams that were filled with grief and loss and fear and anxiety. I never understood the effects of hopelessness until we walked straight into a season filled with unexpected no’s. Read more about that season here.
My fellow hopers have discussed the physical effects of hopelessness in their personal lives this week, and their posts have been beautifully raw and uplifting. I have begun to realize that for me, hopelessness is often manifested in the dark hours of the night.
I am a combination of a type A personality and an enneagram 7, both of which are continuously at odds with each other. The enneagram 7 in me has a switch that can never be turned off: new thoughts, ideas, visions, and worries are constantly swirling in my head. The Type A personality in me doesn’t want to turn the thoughts off, but instead, to resolve them. This is especially evident in times of stress, and when it is finally time to shut down the lights, my mind explodes.
Spiritual warfare is as real as the air we breathe, and Peter warns us to “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). The enemy knows what makes our minds dull. He knows that rest is essential to the human mind and soul. He is also well aware that our emotions are heightened when our sleep is lacking, and He is keenly privy to the fact that we are much more prone to wandering from the source of Hope when we can’t think straight. He’s there, laying ready for attack.
I fully believe Satan attacks our sleep, especially when we face hardship, because it is here that our minds begin to drain, with our spirit following close behind.
But take heart, friend, for our Lord’s promises far outweigh the enemy’s threat.
The Scriptures hold declaration after declaration of the Lord’s assurances:
… When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)
…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. (Psalm 50:15)
… Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
… He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)
…He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Corinthians 1:10)
Be encouraged, strong one. He is our Hope because He is the one who saves (again and again and again and again). The Father has already delivered us. He will deliver us again.