is this what normal feels like?


its funny, at times we get so used to the “abnormal” that when things settle down to “normal” again, it seems weird.  (who defines normal, anyways?)

i’ve spent the last several years struggling with insomnia and other major health issues.  typically the way it looked for me is one month i would sleep no more than 2 -3 hours a night, and then the next month i would sleep on average 5-6.  and about once a month i’d spend a day or two in bed too exhausted and sick to even move.  it was really to the point that i could anticipate… “i’m not gonna sleep much for the next month” and then i’d mentally prepare myself for this. 

well over the past 2 years, and especially the past 8 months or so, the doctors have been trying to get to the root cause of many of the health issues i’ve been having.  and slowly, i’ve begun to see some pretty major improvement. 

i’m not on seizure meds anymore. i’m not having to take migraine meds as often, and i’m able to control most of the migraines by very carefully watching my diet (aka no wheat, barley, rye, gluten, oats, dairy, artificial color, artificial flavor, etc).  i’ve got the energy to exercise again on a consistent basis and am able to concentrate during the day.  and over the past 3 months, i’ve slept on average nearly 6 hours a night! (for me, that’s pretty amazing!)

but the weird thing is this… i feel like i NEVER have enough time now.  i’ve gone from having approximately 21 hours a day to do things and now i’ve only got about 17.  I thank God for the extra 4 hours of sleep i’ve been getting but its crazy…  

is this how “normal” people feel??? :)  never enough time?  too much to do?  does this mean i’m “normal” now? (haha!)  :)

its just a new and weird experience for me and i’m having to learn how to adjust.  i’m not reading as much anymore.  that makes me sad.  but i’m wondering when to do it… my typical reading time is from 12 – 3 or 4 am!  i miss my 2 am facebook chats with the other insomniacs.  seriously, when is there time now for a bubble bath?  or to organize your sock drawer? 


all these important questions in my mind as i’m readjusting to a new “normal.”  praise God for His gift of sleep!  now I just need to learn the gift of managing time.  :)


3 responses »

  1. It’s funny – I know EXACTLY what you mean, Emily! When I have had those rare (and WONDERFUL) times of near-normalcy with less pain and more energy, I’ve found that because I CAN do more things, I DO do more things. It’s a struggle to organize and wisely use my time when I feel good. I want to do it all – clean the house top to bottom as well as rake/leaf blow the entire front and back yard and wash the driveway; go out with friends and invite people over; over commit myself to every church activity and service opportunity possible….

    The positive side to the ironic chaos of being ABLE to do things that I always want to do is that it’s an opportunity for me to really lay all my dirty laundry (that I want to go clean right now) on the table before God and ask Him “What do you want me to do with YOUR day today, God? What tasks do You want me to take on or leave aside, for Your glory and my good? Help me to glorify You in all I think, say, and do.” When we see “our” day as “HIS” day, it changes our whole perspective.

    Though I can’t say for sure, because I’ve rarely felt “normal,” I think a lot of “normal” people do daily run into that overwhelming feeling of “There’s never enough time to do all I want to do!” (Note the “I” in that.) One of the blessings of a disability that slows us down is that we are limited in what we can do. In fact, we can rarely think about doing, much less do, everything we want to. So God puts those boundaries there alongside the trials to draw us to Himself in dependence.

    When we feel “good” and “normal,” it’s time for us to heed the call of our Shepherd. He calls us to depend on Him in ways we are not used to. We are His sheep, and we know His voice. The temptation is there to listen to our own voices and the voices of the culture around us to zip through the day with activity, work, diversion, entertainment (even sometimes “hanging out”), pleasure- and thrill-seeking from the time we hit the floor in the morning until we crash the hay cart at night. Instead of serving our own interests that war within us, God wants us to use this gift of energy, life, and health to serve Him even more fully. In a strange way, the “normalcy” is a trial to us because we are tempted in new ways by our sinfulness and the evil lure of self-reliance; a scary place to be.

    Whether we find ourselves in sickness or in health, the Lord is still working on the same issues in our hearts that need refining. As long as we live in this life, a constant refresher-course of dependence on Him will be necessary. Sometimes it comes through our need for Him in our sickness. Other times it come through our (less obvious??) need for Him in our health.

    But God gives grace to the humble! As we seek Him, He will be found. (Jeremiah 29:13-14) He delights in revealing Himself to us. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) May the following also be true of us! “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment [affliction] is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment [affliction], are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14) Lord, help us to encourage others as we walk with you through BOTH the sickness AND the health in a way that brings You glory!


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