I finally started sleeping at night a few weeks ago.
Not every night.
Maybe one day out of the week.
That strung into three.
It started happening randomly.
There was no formula. I’d been doing the same things, feeling the same way, battling the same anxieties.
But, for some reason, the nights I’ve been able to fall asleep — and stay asleep — started emerging every few days or so.
I still have to take a light sleep medication. Ambien — it’s the price of admission, to even have a chance at falling asleep. And I can’t stay asleep too long. Maybe five hours on a good night. But, it is still 1000% better than what it has been for the past year — which has been insomnia for weeks that stretched into months.
If I had been able to sleep at all, it had been broken. Two to three hours spurts, interrupted by hot flashes. Anxious thoughts. Panic attacks. And on the nights void of panic attacks, I’d just lay there helplessly as the night poured out into the dawn, tired and dark as molasses, even though I was so exhausted, my eye sockets would ache and my bones throb with hurt.
Sleep continued to elude me.
This has been my life for one year.
Wall Papered Memories
But, three weeks ago — after my last post here on Faith Barista — I started sleeping.
I certainly wouldn’t have guessed sleep could return out of the blue. So out of context.
Dr. P and I have been working through one particularly traumatic memory in my life.
For the past three months.
This was a very deep and painful chapter in my life.
I was seventeen.
And as you can tell from my writing these few months, it’s made me incredible heart broken to relive it in the tehnicolor of heightened sensory that comes with a body and nervous system amplified by post-traumatic stress.
And I’ve felt so very, very lonely.
And overwhelmed with grief.
Dr. P tells me this isn’t me now, who is drowned out by these intense feelings of numbness and excruciating aloneness.
It’s seventeen year old me, who has been frozen and sealed off by wallpapered memories.
It’s the seventeen-year-old-me who had lived many lifetime’s worth of aloneness and fear — since she was four years old.
For the First Time
I haven’t been able to even get out of bed most days.
Even when I drag myself out to take a walk in the morning and enjoy intimate time in prayer with Jesus, I find myself going back to bed, as a place of comfort.
Until it’s time time pick up my kids.
Then, I seem to come alive for them. I play with them. I go to Target, drive to Costco, buy my groceries, help with homework, cook, read CJ stories in preschool voices and listen to TJ demo the features of his latest spaceship Legos.
Then, after they’re tucked into bed and the dishes are washed, I take my bath. I’ll spend some quiet time sipping tea, reading or listening to soothing music and reflecting on Scripture I’d read earlier in the morning.
And I go back to bed.
To brave the night once again.
Except this time, for more than a few nights thereafter, things were different.
I’ve been able to sleep. For the first time.
I was excited to tell Dr. P this one morning.
Maybe I’m finally touching the surface after tunneling through so much trauma. Maybe my body is finally beginning its release through the memories that have been reignited.
It Is Now Time
Dr. P was very happy for me.
He tells me this is a big step in my recovery.
And we proceeded our therapy session that day, to process the remaining roots of the traumatic memory that we’ve been working through.
As I begin to gather my things at the end of the session, blowing my nose, and draining the last sips of my tea before I leave, Dr. P says it is now time for me to consider the next step.
What? I ask.
“It’s important,” Dr. P prefaces. “I want you to think about… reconnecting with your father.”
The dad I last saw when I was seven years old? Are you kidding me?
I don’t think so.
“Just think about it… Talk to Jesus. See what He says.” He prompts.
Just when I started sleeping again, you want me to do what?
Open a can of worms — to more emotional drama?
Nothing to think about there.
At least that’s what I thought…
The week before my next therapy session, my mind kept returning to a scene in the Bible where a man was lying next to the pools in Bethsada.
He was an invalid.
He could not move.
He could only lie there day after day, next to the pools that were rumored to grant him healing. If he made it in first, when the waters were stirred.
But, somehow, he never touch those waters in time.
He was trapped there.
For 38 years.
Out of all the people who piled around the pools hoping for a miracle — lame, blind, handicapped and suffering — Jesus saw this one man.
Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well.
Then, Jesus asked him to pick up his mat.
The one he had been lying on for 38 years.
Pick up my mat.
What is the mat you want me to pick up, Jesus?
What realities have I accepted living with for my “38 years” so long, that they have become immovable parts of my identity?
Like the paralytic man who is chained to his place by the pool — how have I adopted ways of coping, managing life, relating, and surviving — that might be keeping me from healing?
From the very beginning, when it first dawned on me —
Bonnie. Your panic attacks aren’t going away.
What’s worked before — staying strong, reading more Scripture, praying more fervently, exerting more self-discipline, applying greater optimism — isn’t going to solve this problem.
From the very beginning, Jesus has been whispering one phrase into my heart, as I read this story.
You’ve rowed your oars upstream for oh so long. It is time to stop.
Follow the current downstream.
Are you afraid where will it lead ? You can be afraid with me.
Follow me. Downstream.
Like the sun, faintly lit behind the fog rolling through coastal skyline, these words drew me to set out and seek a therapist to help me.
And now, here I am, one year later, asking —
Jesus, are you asking me to do what I’ve vowed I’d never do?
Are you asking me to look for my father, 36 years after the day he cried into my shoulders, and then drove off, leaving me with his tear choked whispers, “Say bye, bye to Daddy. Say bye, bye now. Daddy isn’t coming back anymore.”
To be continued…
“I have heard your prayer;
I have seen your tears.
I will heal you.” ~ 2 Kings 20:5
How is Jesus prompting you to pick up your mat?
How is Jesus placing the word “follow” on your heart today?
Pull up a chair. Before you say a word, I want to thank you for praying for me. The prayers you’ve whispered for me, as I’ve come to mind, are being heard. I continue to think of you and remember you as I echo my prayers as well.
I feel so small and yet, you’ve surrounded me with big encouragement, just by being present with your thoughts in the moment. Strangers we cease to be, when we share a quiet understanding for the walk of faith we are on.
My social circle has been very small this past year. But I can see, by the trail of words & stories you’ve shared with me, this painful stretch of the faith journey has brought me greater & deeper acceptance than I would’ve believed. Thank you for opening up your hearts and allowing me to hear & see Jesus in you, as is.
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*This Thursday’s 3/14/13 Writing Prompt: “Follow” (inspired by Faith Jam contributors Mandy and Debbie.
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Oh Bonny! I’m so happy for you. Your body and mind finding I’ts Way back to sleeping.
Sleep is à gacious gift that is easy taken for granted. By loosing it you learn what a gift it is.
I hope the rest of your problems Will fall away one by one. I think going back to the roots could be good.
It could help you to end an old story for good or it could turn into a new and different story. Be strong, be brave
And consider who’s hand your holding onto through this journey.
I’m thankfull for you sharing this increadable life story With all of us. And Wish you the best in every way!
Elisabeth from Sweden
Yay! So happy for the improvement; you being able to sleep better. As always, you are close in heart, thoughts and prayers.
Love you, friend! XOXO
You continue to inspire with your courage – keep going! Healing is a lengthy and, it seems, almost never-ending process this side of heaven…we learn to live, really live, with the tension. Enjoy the ride as you drift downstream!
Sorry to hear of your struggle, but thankful you’re making sweet progress. I share your struggle, and I’ll pray for you when I’m in the midst of a sleepless night.
Good morning Bonnie! Thank you today’s post. I realize how difficult this journey is for you and I am grateful for your obedience to share your story as it unfolds. I pray God is with you and guiding you as you go through this challenging process. The next step…you have made it to the next step! This milestone needs to be appreciated for the importance it represents. God has brought you, His Beloved to this point. Stop, take a breath, and hold onto His promises.
Praising God for His Blessings!
Bonnie — the paralyzing impact of not sleeping is probably much like that man at the pool. After you just figure, “this is my life — I’m stuck with it.” One thing I’m learning is that it’s never too late for things to change, never too dark for the sun to break through, never too hopeless for a miracle. Happy you are finding some relief!
Praying for you that God will continue carrying you on this difficult journey and that He will fill you with renewed strength each and every day!
Tears fall as I read your blog. I have to stop a minute to clear my eyes so I can see. Bonnie…I rarely cry…am not a maudlin type…but I feel the pain in your words. I’ve suffered with similar symptoms and I know the terror. I am amazed at your courage and will continue to pray for your healing. You are such a precious daughter of the King. At present, I don’t know how God wants me to pick up my own mat and follow Him. Pray that I will discover that as I pray for you. God bless and keep you sweet sister. 😀
Bonnie, I love it each time an email from you arrives in my inbox. What you write is ALWAYS such a blessing. And what a blessing you have begun to sleep again. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate this with you. I am here, lliving in the truth that He who loves us, is (Rom 4:17) “the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not”. Any feeling towards myself died as a child, so He is calling me forth 🙂
Sleep is such a blessed gift! Too many times I have tried to reach the pools with no avail…Jesus is asking me to be transparent and it scares the heck out of me! Thanks for being an example of courage and strength to me!
i love this writing… i just thank you so much for saying out loud that: staying strong, reading more Scripture, praying more fervently, exerting more self-discipline, applying greater optimism-isn’t going to solve this problem. thank you for saying this out loud. and by saying that it also does not mean that we shouldn’t or that this is not good to do.
but when we tell people to just pray harder, or look on the bright side, etc, etc, it keeps us on that mat just like the man at the pool. because we have to do our part also….
which is also alot of work. God will not just do it all… and magically make things happen. we have to get involved in our own lives and do something too.
thank you dear Bonnie, for saying this out loud… thank you so much… it has validated many of my experiences in ways that i cannot describe. but thank you for helping to validate what and how the spirit has been teaching me. thank you Miss Bonnie….
Miss Bonnie this is what i loved in your article and what you wrote:
Bonnie. Your panic attacks aren’t going away.
What’s worked before — staying strong, reading more Scripture, praying more fervently, exerting more self-discipline, applying greater optimism — isn’t going to solve this problem.
From the very beginning, Jesus has been whispering one phrase into my heart, as I read this story.
You’ve rowed your oars upstream for oh so long. It is time to stop.
dear sweet bonnie, thank you for sharing your journey…you will bring healing to so many…your words always bring healing to my heart and soul. Continue to rest in Him, friend.
Oh, how Papa loves us too much to leave us how and where we are. I can only imagine how tough this journey has been for you and what you feel knowing He is leading you to “pick up your mat” and BE HEALED. Our choices are sometimes difficult ones, but we know ALL things work for our good. It doesn’t feel good at the moment, but everything He does is good. I applaud you for humbling yourself through this process to see the manifestation of your healing because truthfully, you are already healed, but I also it gets hard the longer something goes on. He never leaves us; He’s right there through it all. May you continue to have major breakthroughs and you allow the current of God’s Spirit to send you to the healing downstream that awaits YOUR arrival. Sleep peacefully; receive refreshment and rest in His presence.
I do pray for you….keep leaning on the true Father, He loves us more than any on earth or heaven!!!
Thank you for sharing. I have suffered with panic attacks most of my life. The last 17 years have been an uphill battle trying to cope with these attacks. My childhood is a collection of abandonment, fear & rejection. It amazes me how 40 something years later I’m still affected by the decisions & actions of my parents. I have a wonderful husband, four healthy children, live in a nice house in a great neighborhood. God has blessed me with everything I didn’t have as a child. Yet, the scars still bleed. I want to move on & enjoy all He has given me but I feel like I’m half living. Like one foot is in a shackle never to be set free. Gods word says I do not have a spirit of fear but a spirit of sound mind & body. I trust, I believe, I pray. The attacks still keep me a prisoner.
I can relate when you say you feel so lonely. I myself feel the same. I feel like everyone is tired of me. Tired of my issues, my attacks, my limitations. Does anybody really understand how I’m feeling?
I know God brought me to your page. I have been following you for the past 6 months. It’s been encouraging to know I’m not the only one dealing with this. I can relate to so much of what you say. I pray that we both experience the healing & freedom soon.
Bonnie, I cannot imagine walking through the season that you have, and continue, to go through, yet I’ve watched you walk it with grace and I’ve seen you work to keep your head held high, even in the midst of the worst of it. I know that God is going to bring you through this and out on the other side.
As for my “follow me” stuff going on…well, it’s more about being weary and worn out and such and he’s telling me to rest, only it’s hard to rest, especially when I’m it, I’m the only one my son relies on, I’m the one who brings in the money, pays the bills, gets the grocieries, cleans, cooks, etc. (you get the picture). I tell myself I’m better under pressure, because most of the time I am, but lately….lately, I’m exhausted. I pry my eyes open at work with toothpicks it feels like and I walk around the office frequently just to stay awake. I sleep, but I don’t sleep well. And now I need to rest in Him. It’s hard you know? But, I’m trying to work my way there.
Stay strong friend!!
PS. I no longer have Blessed Beyond Measure, but am working on a new project that I hope to have up soon. In the meantime, I’ll continue to comment here.
Bonnie, thankyou for being so transparent, it is a gift to the body of Chist. We are meant to be real with where we are at, it encourages the rest of us to be real. When we are real and transparent then our Father meets us in that vulnerability.
My husband of 21 years is in the middle of trying to recover from PTSD, also from childhood trauma. Walking beside him through this is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I know it pails in comparison to the walk he has to walk.
It’s tempting to look at his pain and ignore my own because it does ‘pail in comparison’, but that does a disservice to the reality of being an emotional human being who sees her husband suffering, and who has to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage; who has to maintain ‘ the act of living’ for the
sake of the children, and strives to not be an additional emotional burden to someone weighted down with burdens already.
It takes courage to be on this path Bonnie, and thankfully our God is faithful, and he knows where He is leading us. I believe He is leading us to freedom, and He will supply us with enough courage to take that next step of faith to pick up whatever mat is before us. Blessings on you and your family, from a fellow traveller.
Thank you for writing the words that I still cannot seem to find….and your Spirit filled look at scriptures give me a sense that our journeys have a deeper meaning and purpose than our minds can comprehend. I am eternally grateful for your courage to put your story with all its joys, sufferings, and healing into words…you have brought unmeasurable comfort, and His divine healing into my own broken, bruised, and weary soul.
Thank you Bonnie ♥
Oh this sounds so familiar the road you are currently on. (((((((hugs))))))))) I have been where you are and sometimes it creeps back up — the anxiety and panic– and my past trauma and abuse. I love you friend and continue to pray for you. It is a hard choice in recovery you are about to make. I will be praying that what ever decision you choose that you encounter Jesus in ways that speak to your heart in deep and intimate ways. I also pray for your family during this time. I remember when I first found your site and the jam sessions back when I was on xanga, instead of where I blog now. I remember the pain and anxiety and trauma of relieving my own abuse I was going through. You were an encouragement to me then and you are one now even more in the midst of your own. Thank you for continuing to write and share your heart with us!
Oh my Bonnie; reconnecting with your father is a huge step. I’m sure the unknown is very scary. But your Abba Daddy is right there with you, asking you to trust Him. I am so glad though that you are making progress and beginning to sleep. One step at a time and sometimes it is huge leaps and other times baby steps. But you’re heading in the right direction. I’m continuing to pray for you.
Blessings and love,
oh, Faith, there is something that has been heavy on my heart . .my grandson’s stepsister was molested for 18 months (from 6-8) and how it was found out was that she was molesting my grandson – teaching him what Daddy said was special love. At first Kayleigh would talk to the police, the counselors, the dr . . .that was while stepdad was in jail. at the pretrial hearing she told everything. then step dad got out of jail. Kayleighs mom has been in denial. between her mom and stepdad they convinced her to tell the court it was a dream, a lie. Everyone knows it isn’t she gave too many details to not know…. my grandson won’t talk about his abuse….. the trial is Friday, and how I hope he is convicted, and sentenced until they are old enough to stand up for themselves. That may not happen and I find myself praying for the little girl who was betrayed by two people who should love her the very most. I hate that she and Dean won’t share. I don’t want it to be hidden so deep inside that someday they have the moment of remembering. I want them whole. As I have read your journey, it has been in many ways personal. I have prayed for you daily….. and will continue to pray that you have the strength and courage to find completeness. That you will be whole – that your journey bring healing to others. Thank you for being open, vulnerable…trusting. You are such a blessing. and an instrument of healing. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your vulnerability and honesty. I am encouraged by what you are sharing about PTSD. I have memories which have fed lies that I struggle to overcome. It is a process – a longer process than I would like. But your continued faith in Christ and His faithfulness to you encourages me also.
I too suffer from PTSD and look forward to sleeping all night. I dread and put off going to sleep because I don’t want to wake up after only a few hours. I’m perpetually exhausted & emotional. All that to say, I understand completely your inability to sleep, and the effects of PTSD on your life.
Oh, something else. It’ OK if you decide reconnecting with your father isn’t safe emotionally. Sometimes the need for that safety outweighs any benefit from trying to create a relationship. I felt a huge relief when I made that conscious decision to let that relationship go. I know it says in the Bible to honor your parents and to be forgiving. Yes, you can and should forgive even without an admission from the abuser, but without acknowledgement and change by the abuser, a relationship cannot exist. But don’t be too hasty to connect with him. Wait until you have the strength to stand strong against his potential lies and be able to accept the possibility of no admission of wrong or change by him.
Thank you for being honest and real and not giving an “answer” but the journey. For saying “staying strong, reading more scripture…” isn’t going to cut it. I need to hear more of the journey and not so much of the answers. I grew up hearing the “answers” but sometimes the answers involve more than just praying more, etc. It seems as if, in my childhoold anyway, no one was willing to share the journey. It was as if they were fearful of looking like a bad Christian if they weren’t living in the victory. It is such a struggle to find those in the Christian community who are willing to be honest that what they are going through falls out of the “answers”. Anyway, thank you. I need that honesty today.
I admire you writing your heart out so openly here. I can tell how difficult and painful this experience has been for you, but I can read the hope in your voice, too. I’m so glad to see you back online!
Bonnie, I am so glad that you are able to sleep. My daughter has struggled in the same way and I understand the physical impact. I pray that God will continue to surround you with his love. And I pray that he will guide you in this matter of seeking your father.
Thank-you for continuing to write and share your heart.
Thank you Bonnie for sharing your heart. I think of you often and miss your posts, but it makes the ones I do get even more sweet. You are in my prayers. I know Jesus is doing a wonderful thing; but I also know it is hard. As I am walking my own road, each triumph seems to be followed by something hard. But, I know that I am not alone and I am walking this road with Jesus. You are too.
What a deep and truthful encouragement, Teresa. “each triumph seems to be followed by something hard.” Dying with Christ, alive together through Him, loving each other!
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Oh, friend. I wish I could throw my arms around you, sit with you, drink tea with you. I’m drinking your words because I have a sense that one I love may one day walk this journey, too. xoxo
What comfort and kindness your friend will have in you, then Sandy. So thankful your friend will be able to be present — with all of herself with you. Jesus to her — to us — through you.
Bonnie, I have struggled with this father issue, too. By God’s grace the healing came when I was 40 (I am now 60) but the holes in my relationships and my walk with Jesus got filled in so much better when I faced the hard facts about my abandonment at age 5.
I look forward to reading about your journey of healing….
It is wonderful to hear that you are sleeping again..big step! Praise God! I do not even know how to tell you how much what you write resonates deep into my soul. I often find tears on my face and taday found myself sobbing as I relate so much to your story…your pain…and the insights I am gaining from what you share here are healing me and I am sure many others from childhood trauma…from PTS…..from fears. Bonnie, bless you for your courage to walk with Jesus through your fears to your freedom….there are many walking with you…many walking beside you on their own journey. Only God. He alone weaves us all together. You are remaining in my prayers.
Bonnie. I don’t know what to say, but I will be praying for you dear sister in Christ. You’ve been a blessing so often with your Faith Barista posts. Thank you.
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Oh Bonnie…have I said before that I love you? Because I do. Is it weird that I feel like we’re friends even though we’ve never met in real life and that I love you like a friend who’s walked with me through storm after storm? As I read your words, your heart spilled out on this screen, I feel like God brought you and your story here for a purpose and so often, though my experiences are vastly different, it’s like He is speaking to me through you. You, my friend, are a brave warrior, because you continue fighting for Truth no matter how hard it is and even when you can’t do it on your own. And maybe that’s the point? When we realize we can’t do it on our own, we realize all the more how much we really need Him…and only then can we see the beauty of this community, this sisterhood of broken women. Because He is the One who takes our brokenness and pieces us back together, painful bit by painful bit. I’ve walked my own journey of recovery from some painful, dark moments in my life and there are still days when the memories haunt me and the hurt runs so deep I can feel it just as painfully as the moment it happened. In fact, I’ve been wading through memories again. Just when I think I’m past them, just like you shared here, He is asking me to relive them again, to write out pieces of my story for other women to hear and know (1) that they are not alone and (2) that God is bigger. And as I write, the memories are flooding back and the panic rises again…but reading your words today was a beautiful reminder that even in those painful memories, He is still there and He is faithful to carry me through. I know I will never be fully healed here on earth…but that just makes the hope of heaven all the more precious to me. I have no idea if this all makes sense, but, what I really want to say is: THANK YOU. For being brave, for writing these words here, and for speaking truth in the darkness. ((hugs)) and continued prayers – and PRAISES to the One who is doing little miracles of healing already in your life.
It makes total sense. 😉 Stephanie, thanks for taking the time to share your story and to open up your words — you are expressing deep faith speaking in full voice with Jesus. Beautiful.
Over these last months, I’ve struggled to write some painful things from my own life. I thought I was just putting it off in favor of other things until God gave me a window and challenged me to start. When I did, I had no idea the level of emotions that were there. Nothing as significant as yours, but I was still surprised at it. After writing barely a page, I had to stop and regather for close to the next hour. I say all that to say that I appreciate your heart and not giving up, to work through and press through so that He will be glorified in all this suffering and pain. He will get the glory–I know it! Thank you, Bonnie.
Jason, it’s great to get a glimpse of your journey. Appreciate it much. I’m sure it is just as significant, as the soul is deep and whenever the Spirit moves, He touches us in ways we never thought existed. Thanks so much, brother in Christ,for sharing how God is calling you to let your boat out to deep waters — in your writing — and identifying with me on this journey to follow Jesus, wherever He leads us.
i am really laboring in prayer for you. it’s so weird sometimes to read and read an author’s work, follow her publications but never register her as another living, breathing, struggling Believer! You are that to me, now.
Somehow, when I read your comment beneath my piece I wrote (IRRESISTIBLE II), your humanity became palpable.
Even if your comments were computer generated and sent to all of us who link up with you, they prompted me to say, “Oh, wow, Lord. This lady has been in a broken place, as well. I am committed to praying for and about her. BONNIE.” And my heart went out.
I shall continue in that. Thank you for this opportunity.
Out of your pain, relief has come to mine. You have been an inspiration to me. I am writing, again. Thank you, for sharing.
With Love because of HIM,
-aj : )
Sweet Adriene, my words came from my heart , from my fingers to you. 🙂 Keep writing and speaking His words to you onto the page to us. We are fans of Jesus… Blessings!
Oh, dear sweet Bonnie – I cannot even imagine how difficult this journey is for you. After 36 years … and at such an impressionable, young age, what you experienced back then. I can hardly even think about how painful this is for you. But I am thanking God for the sleep that is coming now, and that your therapist thinks that you are able to handle this next step. And we will be praying for you, and holding you in our hearts. Thanks for sharing your heart with us … you are such a blessing to me, and to many others. (I’ll be linking up a post of mine that I’m not exactly sure goes along with the topic today of “follow”. But maybe it does, as God is calling our family to “follow” Him through another trial … and He promises that He will be with us … )
Yes, I am surprised at this next crossroad — I am ready (really?) 🙂 Thank you Cherry for holding me in thought, as the Spirit brings thoughts of each other to heart as well. I will be reading where Jesus is calling you to follow Him, even as He walks with you through this other trial. Thank you for linking up this moment on your journey with us.
Just a practical thought Bonnie…I have also suffered from insomnia for years and found that going back to bed during the day is abad idea for the most part. If you force yourself to stay up, then you’ll be so tired at night that you’ll have a better chance of sleeping. At least that’s what I’ve found. Also, I find I get my second wind after I get up and do something and feel good that I did it too :). Hey, I’m not making light of sheer emotional/physical exhaustion from dealing with emotional stuff, just trying to help.
God bless and keep the posts coming our way!!
Hi Bonnie. Thank you for sharing your struggles and discoveries with us. Your story has helped me see I need to ask the Lord that I would accept myself, and see that it’s ok to be broken. Not to be ashamed. That something happened to me and it can be healed.
Your account of the man crippled and at the pool waiting 38 years on a mat, brought sudden tears. When I read it, suddenly a scene burst into my mind of myself, how I’ve defined myself… not what Jesus says about me, who I am… I saw that the cripple’s family must have carried him to the pool everyday. I saw that my family’s view of me and my past failures – and their rejection of me – their words and lack of love have carried me to a place I don’t need to stay. I can get up and leave, and depend on my Savior’s love to carry and empower me to follow Him. Lord make this real in our hearts and minds and souls…
Thank you, Cas, for sharing how Jesus is touching your heart, reaching into the very places He wants to let you know today — He is with you. He sees you and He loves you.
I am so joyful! You are getting better! Sleep allows healing of the body and soul. You are a blessing to all of us and your courage is a balm for the soul. Keeping you lifted in prayer. ~Cynthia
Thank you, Cynthia! How sweet is to share this moment as sisters in Him! *You* are a blessing.
Yaaaayyyy youre back! Every day from your last post Ive been hoping and praying for your next one. Wow just think Im one little person that your amazing journey has touched. God has a wonderful plan for you Bonnie. Bless you x
Oh the doors that you allow Jesus to open as you share your heart with mine. I am learning so much about myself and where I need to be. For the first time in a very, very long time I have been able to let go of the door that Jesus has just opened. Instead of wrestling the knob out of his hand, I have chosen to step back and allow him into the dark room.
Blessings to you in this Journey.
Same fight over a sleep pattern that is not health. Today as I was driving to work I asked God to forgive me and help me to be able to get rid of whatever is condusive to insommia. I want to be in bed by 11:30 at least. Help me God!
Thank you for continuing to share your story, Bonnie. Your space here, your story, the Faith Jam…all have become so close to my heart and important to me. I continue to pray for you and the freedom that comes with Jesus’ healing touch. Blessings, friend!
Hello Bonnie, I have followed your blog for well over a year now, and pray for you. I always keep my eyes open in case I see you around (I’m in the South Bay too), just to say “Hi” ;0)
Sleep deprivation is SO difficult. I don’t know how you managed the hours after your children came home from school and before they went to bed .
Oh how we all pray, Faith, that God bless you with a season of restoration and joy! And if that includes contacting your father, may he “bestow upon you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).
I can see God working a miracle of transformation in your life! Perhaps the sleepless nights were the birth pangs for this new work. Nothing would please your friends and “followers” more than to see you radiantly happy and peacefully reposed .
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Hi Bonnie, I just wanted to thank you again for being so open about all that you have been going through. It’s a blessing to see how God is gently leading you through this valley and helping you to heal! God bless!
Wow, again. I have nothing to add that hasn’t been said already and probably better than I ever could, but once again let me thank you for sharing, I can’t stay dry-eyed reading your posts and I find parallels in our journeys and lessons that I need to learn, and the crazy thing is I didn’t realize until reading here, what I needed. Wow, again. The word “blessing” can be used too easily I think, but the “blessing” I get here from you and your readers is just ….. , hmm, I’m not sure of the word I need here, but this isn’t angel wings and harp music, this is like hearing a gong that reasonates throughout your body and you really FEEL the vibrations deep within your body. Prayers and well wishes for continued healing.
Oh boy, Bonnie….going to find your father! That’s a tall order and a big step. I totally sympathize with you because I have had my share of emotional trauma as a child. I will be praying for you. I know what it is like to relive the past, too. I’ve done my share of that as well and it was not pleasant.
On the bright side, you have Jesus right there with you all the way. He’s coming along and will be holding your hand as you do this.
Dr. P telling you that it was your 17 year old self that was suffering, not the real you in front of him, was enlightening for me to read. I will keep that in mind when I go through some past event again.
I am so glad you have all this help and insight into things of your past because it is like cleaning house for the soul. Sometimes we have to get into the dark and dirty places and scrub them clean. Actually, it might be God doing the scrubbing as each event surfaces.
Boy, God must be preparing you for something special to have you go through all this. It will be exciting to find out what it is at the very end.
God bless you, Bonnie, and much love to you. You are in my prayers.
Bonnie, thank you for continuing to share. I am praying for you.
I am so blessed every time I read your blog, full of raw, real, unadulterated healing and remnants of hurting. You are such an inspiration — God is making you inspiring through the healing and through the vulnerable exposing of your real life in Him. I pray you will let the current carry you and that you will find strength in your weakness — His strength alive in you and that you will find that these shadows that haunt you are vapors and the truth is tangible in nail-pierced hands that carry you now. I have been meditating on this one passage lately: You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great ~ Ps 18:35. I pray His gentleness will continue to make you great as it is already. Not perfect, totally loved in the process — and made great.
~ Patty Scott
Dear sweet sweet bonnie. U r amazing. How u reached out to me in a personal email astounded me. It made me cry but as u know tears can b very healing, I have and am going thru some of the same things. Panic attacks and loss of sleep r terrifying & difficult to get thru. Praise God I no longer have the panic attacks. I still struggle w sleepless nights but I try to use them to pray for u & others God places on my heart. My sleepless nights now come from physical pain. I’ll take that over panic attacks anytime tho the pain is day & night every day. U r very brave &I always look forward to hearing from u. God is right there w u as he was w me &I know u will b delivered from the devastating effects of Ur past. Stay as strong as u can & know God & people like me r holding u up. Much love & grace you this week. I will b praying for u. Lori
Sometimes healing takes time. I am glad that the LORD never leaves or forsakes us no matter how long it takes. He’s there encouraging us, not blaming. Praise Jehovah Jireh that He provides all we need in Christ Jesus. God bless you and yours with sweet sleep and prayers in Christ Jesus in Whom we have a Tree of Life. God’s Word in Rev 22:2 states to the effect that there is healing in the leaves of the Tree of Life. May you take comfort and experience healing through our prayers for you in Christ Jesus’ Name, our Firm Foundation and Vine.
Love and Understanding in Christ,
Bonnie – I wondered if you have read One thousand gifts? It truly touched my heart and helped me turn my perspective in to a positive. Your writing does the same, thank you.
I found your blog last night at 1:00am.. It truly moved me and made me seek out God!! I struggle with my trust in him due to childhood abuse (and PTSD) & reading all you posts gave me hope.. It feels as though God directed me to you to give me comfort & understanding that his love is everlasting … Thank you for being so very brave to share your story. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God has us both and he won’t ever let go!!
Bonnie, praise God that you are sleeping again! Sleep is truly an incredible gift from God, and I’m glad for you that you’re able to rest and find restoration in it. I wrote some of this in response to a comment you left on my blog, but I wanted to tell you that your prompt for “follow” caused me to reflect on how Jesus asked me to follow Him toward healing in my own life. In my case it was through physical illness, but He left nothing untouched, including the emotional, mental, and spiritual wounds I had from an abusive past. When I prayed for healing, He answered fully in ways that I never expected and touched wounds I never knew were there. Since then it’s opened the door to an entire outline of things I want to remember and praise Him for, and I’m trying to obey His call to get back on that path to healing and keep walking it. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I know what you’re going through is so hard, but I know that Jesus is fully by your side and by sharing your experience God is using even this tough moment for good. I pray that you’re sleeping well every night and living in peace and freedom soon. God bless.
My “I said I’d never do that again” was go back to my husband after a seven year separation without it being somewhat at least healed. But God told me to go back with our three teen or almost teen boys. He gave me some basic ground rules, but it was one of the hardest things I ever did. However, the guys learned to live what I’d taught them while we were separated: to love their dad, forgive him and stand up to him with respect when emotional abuse was trying hard again. Also, I tried to see us get help during the six years I was back till I had to separate again.
I found out during that six years back that I was open to healing and restoration, though it didn’t happen then. It has since, however.
There is a lot to be gained by going back with the Lord to places I never could or would go on my own.
“Follow me. Downstream. Investigate.” What frightening words. I’m in the middle of some decisions that are making me realize just how scary this whole faith adventure is. Scary but exciting…..but mostly scary. Love reading your story, love that you are finally sleeping, praise the Lord!
I’ve been where you are right now and in the past but for different reasons. I know how hard you struggle, how very hard it is to sleep, and the deep fear of letting go to fall downward into Jesus’ arms. It’s so hard to trust He will really catch me or that I will be able to endure the fall.
Where is He calling me now to follow Him–into loss, into grief, and to let go of that which I believe would soothe my loss. I’m to hang onto Him only and trust Him to take me through the grief and to hopefully come out the other side healed. Besides my healing, I hope to find on the other side the real son, the loving one, the one who has torn my life apart in his drive to “be a man”.
This following of the Lord now is different from the one that I was asked to trust Him for 25 years ago that had left me with nights where I slept only 3 hours in the dawn before daylight–for 7 months. The anxieties, however, are very similar.
The Lord is faithful, and He will carry you through to the other side with healing!! It just takes time and trust. I will pray for you and perhaps share with you via email someday.
I will post here tomorrow, March 21, 2013.
God bless you, Bonnie,
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Your words, bring tears. How i wish i could wrap my arms around that beautiful, acting little seven year old. I see Jesus doing a beautiful thing through your brokeness.
Hugs, tears & prayers<3
I found you over on in courage and don’t know what to say after reading your post. I too have anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD. I am on sleeping medications which don’t always work, and it seems my mind just cannot stop spinning. Remembering the past exacerbates it all, and I only get out of bed to take care of people I love. I get it- I feel your struggle, and your words encourage me so much to see that there is hope beyond all of this. How wonderful you have a Christian counselor. I’ve struggled to find someone proficient enough to handle some of the unique, more “uncommon” issues I’ve been through. I pray God brings you through this with his grace and peace.
Sweet Amanda. Totally with you. Everyone letter of every word you typed here. Don’t give up looking for the right therapist. It is very hard to keep looking when we’re hardly keeping ourselves intact. It’s very painful to do. To try again. To tell the story, symptoms *again*. 😉 It took me a lot of failed tries. But, you. deserve. healing. No matter how “good” a therapist is, keep trying to find the one that is right for you. I had to find a PHd therapist who incorporated Jesus into the sessions. So glad you’re here and you shared your voice. You are not alone in your journey. xoxo.