Giving thanks for deep sleep

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

By Jan Penton-Miller

On this crisp morning I burrow under the covers a little longer. Warm delight engulfs me as my mind slowly awakens from that sleepy state of moonbeams and mistletoe. 

I feel the chill on my nose and inwardly sigh with pleasure. Not so long ago sleep eluded me for many, many weeks, and that experience has multiplied my pleasure in awakening from a long winter’s nap. I begin to focus on the day ahead and think today may be a good day to share this story.    

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Several months ago when my routine mammogram results came back I was surprised to find that additional testing was needed. My doctor assured me that a biopsy was only a precautionary measure.

I really didn’t give it too much thought, but this report stated the cells looked suspicious and more tissue needed to be removed and tested. This time my mind gave in to worry.

My next appointment was with a surgeon. Everything happened so fast my brain could hardly keep up, and anxiety over the “what ifs” along with the necessity of going off hormone therapy disrupted my sleep.

With only minor recovery time and the lumpectomy results all clear I was thrilled and relieved, but sleep eluded me and had a profound affect on my day-to-day life. My doctor tried me on medication after medication to no avail. 

There were medications that made me sleep, but I felt like a zombie after. The sleep didn’t feel restorative or peaceful so I only took medication when I was so sleep deprived that it was absolutely necessary. 

After a while I thought I had to accept my difficulty sleeping as my new normal. One week my pastor encouraged our congregation to wear pink for breast cancer awareness day so I went out and bought a pretty pink sweater.

On “Pink Out Day” he taught the verse encouraging people to come before the elders of the church for healing prayer. At the end of the sermon he had people positioned at the front of the church to pray for those who would come. 

The service was very moving, but I didn’t plan on going down since I was never diagnosed with cancer. Then Tony said, “Don’t let pride stop you. If you need prayer, come down.”  

Well, I do have another checkup soon, I thought as I made my way to the front never even considering my sleep issues. The sweet girl I went to placed her hand on my shoulder and prayed that I would have God’s peace.  

I didn’t feel lightning bolts or a tingling moving over my body. I really didn’t feel anything at all, but I knew that I had been obedient. 

When I went to bed that night I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. What man couldn’t do, God did in an instant. Thank you, Jesus!