crisis · doubt · faith · fear · scripture · sleep · theology

Crisis of Faith

I know this post is ill-timed, what with the celebration of the birth of Jesus right around the corner and all, but I have to “get this out.”

Many of you have followed along with my tale of our sleep deprivation over the past two years. (if you want to catch up, click “sleep” under “categories”) I feel like we have tried everything: cry it out, co-sleeping, no cry sleep solutions, benadryl, sleeping on the nursery floor. Little Man still wakes up multiple times each night; well, he cries out frequently, anyway, and whether or not he actually wakes up, I do. But most nights, he wakes up and screams until he gags. And nothing has worked.

Including prayer.

And this is where my crisis of faith comes in.

I have always believed that prayer works. I have always believed that God loves me. Even in the midst of my own angst-ridden twenties, when I wasn’t sure of anything about God, somewhere deep down I knew that He still loved me.

Today? I’m not so sure at all. I mean, the Bible says God grants sleep to those He loves (Psalm 127 – right in there when he mentions children are a reward.). And when you are extremely exhausted, your thoughts can easily spin out of control. Does He not love me, or does He not love my son? Is He trying to teach me something? Is this punishment? Is He going to take Little Man away from us (aka allow him to die) so He wants us to spend as much time as possible with him, including 3 am every single morning?

Does He even care? Does He notice how exhausted we are? Does He see us fight in our marriage because of exhaustion? Does He see how it is so hard to accomplish minimal daily tasks, on top of raising our incredibly active child, because we have no energy? Does He not hear our begging and pleading and asking for peace, for relief, for sleep for both us and our child? How can He truly understand since He never grows tired or weary?

And I know all the promises in Scripture. Intellectually – in my head – I know He sees us and hears us and cares.

But in reality? Where the rubber meets the road? At 11:37 pm, 1:13 am, 3:30 am and when the boy is up for good at 6 am? When I’ve had no more than two consecutive hours of sleep in months?

I’m not so sure.

It’s causing quite a crisis in my faith. And usually when faced with such a crisis in my faith, I can somewhat see where we are headed or what God is trying to teach me.

But this?

I just don’t know.

I just feel like we are being punished.

7 thoughts on “Crisis of Faith

  1. You (and I) are NOT being punished. I understand so well what it's like every night. I'm so sorry to have your company in the sleepless nights.

    Stay strong. The only thing that I've learned through this is to pay attention to what Isabel's love language is and try to fill her tank up. Her love language is quality time which she is not getting enough of which is likely why the last two nights she was up for 3 hours straight in the middle of the night getting that quality time with her daddy.

    And try melatonin if you haven't. Just try it for a week and see what it does and if you see a difference. We tried it with Isabel and it does not work well with her. Just makes her wide awake no matter what time she wakes up.

    Praying for you all.

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  2. I feel the same way about my infertility–and how I am THIS old without a child.

    hugs. and when you figure out a solution to this (faith) crisis…let me know how to overcome it, too.

    ~Lisa

    PS…melatonin. try that for LIttle Man. I work in sp. ed and many parents find relief with their kiddos sleep issues with it. Of course, so some research…talk with a doc, etc. but I hear good things….

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  3. I don't think you're being punished, my dear. I can say it's a “challenging season” or something like that, but it feels like longer than a season. I don't know. My friend hasn't slept in over a year because her now one-year-old son has had ear problems his entire first year and is up most of every night. I don't think she's being punished, either, despite how much her situation sucks (for her AND her pained son). I don't know what you're supposed to learn from this. I don't know what the solution is.

    But what I do know is that as LM gets older (and gets over this—because he totally will), this period will seem like a blip on the radar. You'll remember it, and you'll remember that it sucked, but it'll seem like so long ago and such a short time in the grand scheme of things. And you love him so much, that love will kind of put a gloss over the lousy parts. Later. Not right this second, but later. I promise it will.

    And God is listening. I don't know why he's not acting at this particular moment, but we never know that, do we? I've had to endure a lot in my life, wondering where God was and why he wasn't intervening. Took me years to be able to look back and see where he was, but I did have that hindsight, eventually. That's given me a peace about God—knowing that he's there and working even when I don't see it or feel it. So that's kind of prevented me from feeling disappointed in him for his seeming inaction.

    Don't try to figure out what God's trying to teach you this exact second. Maybe take LM to the doctor? Make sure it's nothing physical? Talk to Dana about her daughters and their growing pains that kept them up at night—she may have some insight. Maybe that's what he's dealing with. Or it's freakin' teeth. I hate teeth! Who needs to chew, anyway? Milkshakes all the way! Either there's a solution or it will pass. He won't be two forever. Trust me.

    I love you!

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  4. The only thing that helped us was the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child”. And that really only truly helped with one of my kids. The biggest point I got from it though is that if your child is waking frequently at night, they may be overtired and you should try putting them to bed a half an hour earlier. I thought that was crazy but I did it and my then six month old slept through the night for the first time. He eventually became a really good sleeper though I have to admit, this morning I awoke to find he had snuck into our bed to sleep after a nightmare…he's ten now so it is still not perfect.
    Also a crib aquarium toy helped my kids to self soothe. My six year old still sleeps with his and hits the button for music when he wakes at night. It is better than screaming.

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  5. Have you thought of doing a sleep study? My friend has a daughter (coincidently also adopted and biracial) who didn't sleep forever, she rec entry turned two as well, and found out she had obstructive sleep apnea and needed her tonsils / adenoids out…….just a thought…..

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  6. I am just catching up on your blog now that I am back from my 4 month blog break!
    We should really get together again soon. Sorry we cancelled so many times while waiting for Isaiah and then the sleepless nights set in and I didn't do much getting out and about. Now, I am feeling a little better and ready to get out! Text or email me sometime!

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