Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hymns of Old

After spending some time last night reflecting on the religious aspect of this situation, reading Christian information/verses about spirits, talking to some people who's opinions I respect (& many times stubbornly resist), & listening to a podcast of a sermon that seemed to be exactly what I needed to hear, I approached my night last night in a totally different way. When my husband went to put in a scary movie, I explained that I couldn't be exposed to that & expect to break my streak of sleepless nights. He understood & to my surprise put the brand new freshly opened BluRay aside. I listened to the podcast twice & pondered the fact that both my sister's pastor & my own had preached on the spiritual realm the very day after I realized that my own home is a hub of spiritual activity. As the investigator told me Saturday night, there are no accidents. I listened attentively-- feeling that it was somehow directed right to me.  I sent out a text message to all of my friends from Church & family to ask for their prayers on the situation. I immediately felt lighter knowing that I could depend on God & that I was being lifted up to him in prayer.

The boys went to bed & after hugs & kisses I reminded them to say their prayers as well. It would soon be time for me to face the thing I had been dreading all day long-- my bedroom. On our way to bed, I stepped into the boys' room & saw that they were sound asleep. I used to love to watch them sleep, especially when they were toddlers that wouldn't slow down for a second. It was the one time that I could "enjoy" them without chasing after them & cleaning up behind them. This was another one of those moments, only a grown up version. There they were still & quiet. Not a video game in sight, not an "I'm bored" or "He's pinching me" to be heard, & not a single hint of fear in the air. I realized how thankful I was that the occurrences were heavier in my bedroom if it meant that they remained mostly oblivious to it all. I said a prayer for them before heading off to bed & knew that prayer would be the theme of the night for me. It was going to help me make it through.

I checked my facebook account one last time after crawling into bed & had two inboxes-- one saying that I was being prayed for & one with the lyrics to an old hymn & the reminder that I could sing it to comfort me when I felt afraid.  Armed & ready, I turned off the lamp, put my phone on silent, set it aside for the night, & said goodnight. My husband would not have to wake up for work thanks to the snow & I optimistically planned to sleep in without the whining alarm to wake me up at 5:15am again.

I felt tired & my mind was calmer than it had been in many nights. My husband was asleep already & all of these things (along with the prayers in my honor that were going up), felt like the perfect recipe for sleep. After a few minutes of prayer, I felt the room around me get heavy again. Like the other nights, I knew what was coming, but unlike the other nights, I felt prepared. When the first touch crept up my leg, I stayed still. I began to pray harder than I have ever prayed before. Instead of praying for it to stop, I prayed for protection. I remembered something that I had been told earlier that night, that if anything stood in between myself & God that I needed to repent of it in order to leave nothing in between us. I heard a loud banging sound from the window & began to ask for forgiveness for my sins. Not a blanket prayer that says "Forgive me for all of my sins," but a genuine plea-- a genuine confession. I searched every nook & cranny of myself & dug up things that I hadn't even realized were sins. Amidst the taps, pinches, & caresses, I had a renewed confidence because I was right with God. I prayed my way through the turmoil of the room that surrounded me.

After my mind was too tired to pray anymore, I searched myself for any memory verses that could help me stay focused on something other than the fear. I remembered a few, but soon realized that I had more songs memorized than verses. I thought back to the inbox that I received several hours before & began to sing "I've been washed, I've been washed, I've been washed in the blood of the lamb..." I felt something pounce on the bed at my feet like a cat & instead of sinking deeper under the covers, I kicked it away with my foot(we do not have any inside cats). The clock across the room read 4:13. I felt the bed indent & grow heavy like someone was lying beside me & I pushed them out. "I am fully trusting in his grace this hour, I've been washed in the blood of the lamb." I was taking back control. I didn't have to be afraid. Something as simple as singing inside my head was giving me the confidence to rise above the fear that had literally made me a prisoner in my own room. I sang & sang until the noises & touches faded away. I imagined myself a little girl again-- standing on the pew beside my Mama singing hymns. A long pony tail running down my back & her arm linked around my waist. I felt the warmth of the yellow summer sun sinking around the sanctuary & felt the carpeted pews beneath my bare feet. I saw the hymnal, a page of notes & words between our hands & remembered how I would try to read the words on the page until I realized that the tempo of the song was moving faster than I could read... Just as I had done all those years ago, I closed my eyes & let the songs take me away. I, through the comfort of familiar hymns of old, managed to do something that I was beginning to think was impossible-- I sang myself to sleep.

I cannot express what a big deal this is for me. Although I didn't get to sleep for long before I was disrupted, I now know how to handle the fear & how to feel safe & warm again.  At 5:15am the alarm clock that we had taken special care the night before NOT to set began to ring. I rolled over & went back to sleep after hearing my husband trudge across the room & turn it off. Sleep... Something I needed more than I knew. At 5:17am my phone rang (I know the time because I looked back in the call log this morning), but I ignored it. It was set on silent, but for some reason it rang. At 5:28am my phone rang again, but I decided to sleep instead of checking it & was able to block it out. Somehow amidst the mysteriously ringing phone, I managed to get a good night's sleep. When I finally woke up at 9:00am, I had 4 missed calls. The phone was still on silent. I called the numbers-- two of them were disconnected & two of them apologized & said that they must have had the wrong number. I also had a missed text message at 1:52am-- a text message that I hadn't heard because my phone had indeed been set on silent.  The text was from my Mama telling me that she was praying for me & to trust in God because he is in charge.

Amazingly, what I am taking away from last night is not the fact that my phone was "hi-jacked" again, or the fact that the touches & pounces grew more aggressive, but instead I am taking away the knowledge that I can do this! I can get through the night, I can sleep, I can trust in God, & I can make it if I keep the right attitude.  The investigators told me to focus on positive & to find things that comfort me & I truly believe that I have found it. Thanks to the guidance of family, the prayers of many, & the hymns of old, I am well-rested & optimistic today.


  1. Wow. HOw awesome.

  2. I'm so happy that you finally were able to sleep! I prayed for you every time I thought of you last night!I also wanted to let you know that you are an AMAZING writer. I am hanging on every word I read. (I know this is not how you wanted to write) I will continue to pray for protection and positivity for you and your family. Love you girl!!

  3. That is awesome! I am praying for you.

  4. That is Awesome Girl! I am still praying for you and the family. glad u got some sleep.