All Through the Night

It was getting late ...

My body was limbered, but weary.

I could smell the oils I had rubbed on my aching feet with a prayer that I would get rest.

I had stayed up far too late the night previous, & I'd let my thoughts reign free.

Never a good life choice.

Things seemed so out of control, & I felt isolated.

There are nights where just going to bed is something I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do.

It requires that I turn the lights out.

That I lay next to my thoughts & I face them alone.

These are lies, but a friend once told me that nighttime always exacerbates things,

& it seems like it seldom exacerbates truth.

Especially when you haven't been entertaining truthful thoughts all day.

Let me speak this out: muffling the negative thoughts & the lies is not renouncing them, & it's not speaking truth.

Non-thought still lets the wound fester.

We cannot afford to merely stifle our pain.

Now that I have gotten that out, understand that I never ever speak as someone who has "made it," but as someone who is journeying.

Understand that I wasn't living that out on the night that I speak of.

I was living out its opposite.

& tonight, I am writing from a similar place, typing out this lesson to reestablish it in my head & heart.

I dared turn out the light as I crawled into bed.

I choked on a sob, & pulled the covers up.

It takes a minute each night for me to lay down my pride & remember that I can't sleep with empty arms.

I reach behind my head for my plush dog, & for the thousandth time, I wish he had a heartbeat, so I wouldn't feel so alone.

I squeeze him tight, bury my face, & pray that I could just please fall asleep.

Quick & painless.

& that these waves would have stilled by the time I woke.

My breath shudders.

A tear falls down my cheek.

& lyrics softly run through my mind.

"All through the night ...

Keep with me, all through the night."

(Sleeping At Last)

& He stills me.

Something quietly clicks into place in my heart.

The noises & smells around me, even my heartbeat, they steady into this rhythm that betokens safety & quiet.

The words repeat, & I can feel Him near me.

The waves don't stop, but, holding the hand of the One who governs their rise & their fall, I cease to be daunted.

Nothing that opposes me in the night hours can overcome the fact that He stays with me,

All through the night.

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