Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday's Trust - Insomnia and Self-Blasting Amidst Child-Loss Grief

Tuesday's Trust

Insomnia and Self-Blasting

Amidst Child-Loss Grief

Confusion and restlessness along with attacks on self and all else that's good are an indicator of the Evil One attacking.

~St. Teresa of Avila

Lately, I have been plagued with insomnia. After a few hours of sleep, I am wide awake. And that's when the war begins. There is an onslaught against myself that leaves me restless and agitated, yet paralyzed to do anything about it. But it won't leave me alone; it keeps swirling around in my head, keeping me trapped and despondent. ...AND Sleep-Deprived. It is downright maddening. I had chalked it up to,

"Whew...this grief process is something else! Why won't my mind stop racing when it needs to be resting?"

So when I read St. Teresa of Avila's quote, it was such a RELIEF!

I suddenly realized, "So it's not just

  • GRIEF and
  • TRAUMA and a
  • TRANSFORMATION PROCESS into "a new normal" (or more likely "a new creation") I am in (which is really quite enough, thank you), but also
  • EVIL ATTACKS that, with God's help and in the name of Jesus, I can stand against.

My, what a complicated mess we're in... amazing, overwhelming at times.

I guess that's why they call Child-Loss Grief "Complicated" Grief...and Trauma!

Such Complicated Grief is depressing and traumatizing, and its accompanying extreme vulnerability leaves one open to the denigrating attacks of the Vile One.

Here is the full quote from St. Teresa:

Recognizing the devil's hand

I have had so much experience of the devil's doings by now that he knows I can recognize him and therefore torments me less in these ways than he once did.

You can detect his part in an experience by the restlessness and discomfort at the beginning and the confusion he causes in the soul while the experience lasts, as well as by the darkness and affliction into which he plunges the soul and its subsequent aridity and lack of zeal for prayer or any other good thing.

He seems to stifle the soul and squeeze the body, rendering both useless. True humility is quite different. The soul knows it is wretched . . . but there is no accompanying confusion or restlessness.

~St. Teresa of Avila

The following devotional proved to be extremely helpful to me amidst one of these middle-of-the-night agitated states I had recently. I could not sleep. My mind wouldn't stop racing, with my heart feeling the familiar chill that creeps in, filling it and surrounding it when I feel taunted by my grief, wondering,

"Where is my deep grief going to leave me if I can't overcome its traumatic impact and function any better than this?"

I pulled out the flashlight I keep under my bed in case of electricity-squelching storms. I began to read Amy Carmichael's devotional:

"Dr. F. B. Meyer once told me that when he was young he was very irritable, and an old man told him that he had found relief from this very thing by looking up the moment he felt it coming, and saying, 'Thy sweetness, Lord.'

{Just reading this one tender phrase brought my sweet Lord's tender presence into my deep agitation, and I burst into tears, the kind that renders your body shaking along with the tears. I hoped I was not going to awaken Tommy amidst my wracking tears... I continued to read...}

"...'Thy sweetness, Lord.' By telling this, that old man greatly helped Dr. Meyer, and he told it to tens of thousands. I pass it on to you because I have found it a certain and a quick way of escape. Take the opposite of your temptation and look up inwardly, naming that opposite;

Untruth--Thy truth, Lord;

Unkindness--Thy kindness, Lord;

Impatience--Thy patience, Lord;

Selfishness--Thy unselfishness, Lord;

Roughness--Thy gentleness, Lord;

Discourtesy--Thy courtesy, Lord;

Resentment, inward heat, fuss -- Thy sweetness, Lord, Thy calmness, Thy peacefulness.

"I think that no one who tries this very simple plan will ever give it up. (It takes it for granted, of course, that all is yielded--the ' I ' dethroned.) Will all to whom it is new try it for a day, a week, a month, and test it?"

~Amy Carmichael

This devotional ministered so deeply to my hurting soul that I was able to quiet my spirit, blow my nose, close my eyes, and fall into the deepest, most peaceful sleep. Fortunately, none of this awakened Tommy. God is good.

Picture thanks to Fan photos from Beautiful Quotes And Inspirational Wallpapers

St. Teresa of Avila quotes from God Seekers: Twenty Centuries of Christian Spiritualities by Richard H. Schmidt (2008)

Amy Carmichael devotional from Edges of His Ways by Amy Carmichael (1955, 1970, 1975)


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