COVID19 – White Nights

The night before last I had insomnia. I was bug-eyed and wide awake until after 5:30 am. It reminded me of a bout of insomnia I experienced about 10 years ago when doctors discovered a growth on my thyroid. I tried to not think about it during the day and felt like I wasn’t freaking out with future tripping “what ifs”, but still experienced a four night insomnia storm leading up to my biopsy. I think it was a deep, subconscious anxiety about what they might find that kept me wound up and unable to sleep. Everything turned out fine; lots of people have benign growths on their thyroid, especially as they get older. But sometimes, it is malignant, hence the anxiety.

A friend of mine in Tennessee experienced insomnia last night and shared her frustration on Facebook. Sleeplessness is unusual for her. She works hard during the day and typically sleeps well all night. Many of her friends chimed in to her post, sharing that they, too, were experiencing insomnia. It must be something going around.

In retrospect, I can look back on my white nights prior to my biopsy and attribute the sleeplessness to anxiety created by the uncertainties of the thyroid growth. I couldn’t break it down to that at the time because I was caught up in the storm.


There is so much uncertainty about life and the future wrapped around this Global Pandemic and I suspect many of us are experiencing insomnia driven anxiety during this time of self quarantined isolation.

We can just try to soldier on and cope as best as possible, or we can take action when insomnia disturbs our sleep. I am not talking about taking sleeping pills. They didn’t work for me when I was in the thyroid insomnia storm. A sleep aid can sometimes force our bodies into an artificial sleep pattern but they don’t address the root of the problem. Looking back, I can see that I was afraid of what the biopsy might find. I refused to address the fear and pushed it down, out of my mind instead of releasing it to God.

When insomnia strikes there is usually something else going on beneath the surface that we are not surrendering to God.

Recognizing the attack and addressing the root cause is the first step to overcoming. Satan, the enemy of our soul, looks for these chinks in our spiritual armor and uses them to distract and derail us. He doesn’t fight fairly and never wastes an opportunity to keep our eyes off Jesus.

I have a suggestion if you are experiencing sleepless nights, or if you want to take some preemptive steps. Before you go to bed, set up a CD player, MP3 player, tablet, or other music playing device next to your bed. Load it with soothing worship songs. Have earphones handy if you share a bedroom and don’t want to disturb your partner.

When insomnia strikes, play this music softly and focus your mind on Jesus. Consciously relax and rest your body. Choose to relax your mind. Focus on the words of the song. Demonic forces flee when Jesus is worshiped and God is glorified.

Tell God what is bothering you. Be honest. He knows it already and is there to help you through this. He loves you and wants you to rest in Him and trust Him despite the circumstances swirling around you. Remember, God’s got this.

I pray that the peace of Christ floods your spirit, and floods the spirits of all who are dealing with many uncertainties in this season.

My “Fantasy Island”

I have a fantasy, which I visit when I feel I am being pulled in every direction and need a “Calgon Moment.” In my fantasy, I am spending the winter in a large summer “cottage” on the back-side of Michigan’s Mackinaw Island. The walls are made of golden pine logs, with original wood floors that are covered with worn Persian Rugs and hand-made rag rugs. The living room is furnished with a well-worn leather sofa and comfy over-stuffed chairs, complete with cozy red Native American wool blankets thrown over the sofa’s back. There is a wood-burning stove in the living room, topped with a simmering pot of soup.

In my fantasy, it is snowing outside, with big white, fluffy snowflakes drifting to earth, and the water of the lake outside the window is rough and grey, but inside the cottage, the light is golden and warm.

I am snowed in for the winter, armed with stacks of canvases and paints and I spend my days painting wonderful, artistic pictures. There is no television, no radio, and no internet. I am content to be snowed-in alone with my art.

This is totally a FANTASY! In reality, my cold-induced asthma would take me out the first time I had to reload the wood box. And, despite the pretty surroundings, they would become a lonely cage. I need to be involved with other people.

Nothing has brought that need for human interaction into crystal focus better than spending a few months in an RV park in northern Florida. Instead of being a “jeans and tee shirt” winter, it has been “sweater and jacket” weather. One night, the wind-chill was actually zero!

Winter weather here in the panhandle is cold and wet and people stay holed up inside their rigs most of the day. Temperatures may top out around 70 for about 30 minutes in the late afternoon, but quickly plummet once the sun start to set. Folks bundle up, walk the dog, and scurry back inside where it is warm. The best place for conversation and chance meetings seems to be the laundry facility.

There are only so many books one can read, so many pod-casts one can hear, and so many hours on Facebook before the need for human interaction drives you out. And rightly so! God created us for relationship, both with one another and with Him. We are called to be conduits of God’s blessings instead of reservoirs. Life is intended to be shared in fellowship.

Do you know people who are “shut-in” at home? It might be health issues, age, or a new baby in the home that confines a person to their house. When I was a young mom, at home with two little ones, I had a friend in a similar situation. When the Mr. Rogers television program came on, we had a scheduled daily thirty minute phone date that carried us through the rest of the day. Nearly thirty years later, and living in different states, we are still in contact and consider ourselves friends.

We are blessed when we bless others. Who is in your circle of influence that would be blessed by a visit, a phone call or a note? I encourage you to reach out, brighten someone’s day, and be a welcome blessing to someone else.