It was one year ago this week that I was delivered from the horror of insomnia. The insomnia had begun in February 2011 when I began to fear that I wouldn't get a good night's sleep in the evenings when I went to bed. My second child had just been born, and my first was only 16 months old and waking up in the middle of the night with teething and ear pain. The combination of having a newborn plus a toddler waking up throughout the night made for a rough several weeks of it. Even though they weren't making any noise, I'd like awake at night listening - expecting - to hear something, and I'd be paralyzed with tension, imagining it'd be another awful night.
The sleeplessness was such that I'd have trouble falling asleep, but even when I'd eventually drift off, I'd wake up suddenly. This would happen over and over and over, so that entire nights I'd never sleep at all. Or, I might sleep for two hours, only to be wide awake again. It was like someone was jabbing at me again and again.
I read every article imaginable on insomnia and on sleep, consulted two physicians, and tried every remedy out there. Whether melatonin, tylenol pm, eating a banana, not eating anything, exercise, relaxation techniques, over the counter sleep aids, herbal treatments...you name it, I tried it. Nothing worked. I would have one horrendous night after another, then face a whole day of caring for two babies under the age of two.
Finally, as loathe as I was to do it, in May 2011 I realized that I had to go on a prescription sleeping pill. While it didn't work perfectly, the sleep medication certainly helped to knock me out at night. At the beach last year, my dad expressed his concern with the prescription.
"The longer you're on it, the harder it will be to get off," he'd warned.
"I know. But I have to sleep," I'd said.
Each time I'd tried to forego taking the sleeping pill, not only did I have a disastrous night of insomnia, I'd also get a severe migraine headache the next day. The prognosis was bleak.
In June of last year, the wife of one of my husband's employees out of the blue invited me to an evening service that her church was hosting to hear a guest speaker, Marlene Klepees, talk of her incredible life of being born with cerebral palsy, orphaned, then paralyzed after a series of seizures damaged her spinal cord. This was not the end of the story, though - God gave her a vision of herself riding a bicycle and told her the date she'd be healed - and she was. Now, she walks and talks as well as anyone else.
Listening to Marlene testify of God's faithfulness and goodness left me a puddle of tears the entire time. After she was finished, she gave an altar call. I was up there in a flash.
When Marlene prayed for me, she prophetically named how the sleeplessness began as a cycle several months before, and when she ministered to me, there was a sensation like a release - or a tremor - over my body.
That night, I knew I was healed. Standing in my bathroom, debating whether or not to throw away the whole bottle of sleeping pills as an act of faith, I heard the LORD speak. "That was the spirit of fear that left you," He said. It was the clearest that I had ever heard the voice of God.
Since that night, one year ago, I have been free of insomnia. I have slept better than I have since I was a little kid. I fall asleep more quickly and am able to go to bed earlier, which is an added blessing. What a joy it was when I went to see my doctor for a follow-up visit with a testimony that I no longer needed the sleeping medication! Now, I no longer take sleep for granted, but realize that it is a sweet gift of God. Praise the LORD for His goodness and for His miraculous healing!