Pulsating rhythm, from head to heart.
Foggy focus, lethargic beginnings and middles combined with restless ends.
My sleep patterns are consistently inconsistent. I used to be an unfailing morning person. It would baffle many of my friends in school growing up. I remember one pre-dawn morning in high school – See You At The Pole – we’re gathered, hands clasped, and one of the members of the circle begins the prayers half-jokingly “God, that we would all have Leigh’s energy in the morning!” We laughed, we continued with our day and prayers. Yet it was categorically true: I was the morning person.
Somewhere, somehow, that changed. Drastically.
I cannot pinpoint when insomnia became a regular occurrence in my life. And let me be clear that my bout is nowhere near as drastic as some have to endure. The most I’ve gone without regulated sleep is about 2 weeks back to back (I’ve had this for years, but consecutively, that’s the duration of worse). There would be at least 2 hours of sleep each night, by average, over that course. The longest running tally without an ounce of sleep has been just over 48 hours. I personally know others with a struggle far more dire than that. Far more long-running, without relief. I cannot imagine their plight in its entirety. My own struggles with sleep and lack is enough for my senses to handle, I can’t imagine the worse portions of this problem.
Still, anyone experiencing any ounce of restlessness, apnea, insomnia…even in by a small dose, knows that it is enough to deflate the rest of your time, your activities, your day-to-day life.
I once heard an acronym for human behavior which clicked in accuracy for me. It has stuck with me since.
H A L T
If someone is operating at levels below their best, if there is limitation, mood affectation, or a change from regular personality, regular behavior…it can usually be attributed to one of the four attributes in HALT.
Think about that. Do you agree? Can you think of a time where you’ve been not quite yourself? More irritable than usual. Impatient. Weary. Without energy. Unfocused. The list can continue. Think on a time such as that…were either of those four a factor?
I have seen evidence in my life that supports that viewpoint. It clarified much when I first heard it. I know that clumping behavior of many into a box and labeling it never goes well for long. I know we are all individuals, with circumstances, history, personality playing into the differing ways and personal choices we each make. I don’t make it a practice, nor enjoy when others do, of generalizing a group of people and calling it unmitigated fact.
People are fascinating enigmas of vary degrees.
My favorite thing about the human race is that we are all different in so many ways; strengths lending opportunities to grow and challenge one another in learning; weaknesses lending possibilities for support of one another and moments of astounding acts of kindness and encouragement.
My point isn’t a grand one.
My point actually lies with the weaknesses.
No one can list my faults better than I. And believe me, some have tried.
Yet what I’m trying to wrap around my shuddering shell, is that weakness is a devoted gift. If I had no weakness, how could I see His strength subsiding?
Verses upon verses try to bore their truth into my crevices –
His power is PERFECTED in my shortcomings.
When my failings flail in grandeur, His might comes swiftly Rescue.
The Light is seen, celebrated, praised more when we notice it against the dark – saving us from the aimless groping – the lit Director guides us safely through.
I think sometimes I can forget to name the Light. To see Him for who He is. I find this more at work when I take the lightness of a season for granted. Yet when I’m broken
, humbled, aching…I know how I truly lack. I know my empty
and I yearn for fill.
And He always gives.
Gives replenish. Give sustainment. Gives splinters and blood – all.for.me.
So how can I not boast in such weakness?
For it shines to His character. His ability. Which is absolutely endless.
I can struggle between my best and my worst
, but the only end result worth voicing is praising a Father-Maker for enabling me to go on the heights.
Before His emptying of self, I was lame, disfigured and much-afraid. There was no hope of change.
Yet after His conquering – I am much-afraid, disfigured, and still stumbling lame from time to time…but I am being transformed every moment from one degree of glory to the next. There is Hope and His name is Immanuel! Wonderful counselor to all my jumbled pain.
He is Rest for my sleepless.
Stamina for my shakiness.
Warrior for my wounded.
So I can be foggy for a moment, I can be all of HALT all at once…but joy is in the morning. And His morning dawn is breaking. Every moment is relief. Because when you’re in darkness for so long you forget it is all you see, that burst of Light is awakening warmth. It dilates your eyes into focus so that you know – for once and all – what saves is the ability to see and know Who is good.