I have trouble sleeping. Call me a thinker, a worry wart, the queen of stressing out- they are all warranted nick names. I've tried taking nyquil, benadryl, hot showers, sleeping bundled up, sleeping naked, melatonin, sleepy time tea, eating before bed, not eating before bed, working out, meditation, falling asleep to the tv... you name it. And some of those things worked... for a while. However, with the risk of becoming a Benadryl junkie looming over my head, I have resorted to abandoning most of those strategies.
The winner lately has been reading. Yep! Reading. It's so simple. You read your kids a bedtime story to help them fall asleep, until they are old enough to read to themselves... and then they do. I remember going to bed with piles of books in my lap as a kid. As a teenager... HELL NO. I was more of a, "school, gymnastics, piano lessons, voice lessons, youth group, volleyball and drama club take up enough of my attention, and I'm going to laugh if you try to tell me I have to focus on one more thing" kind of girl.
I've been reading a lot of Nicholas Sparks lately. It's funny. He was the first author I remember really liking as a teen. When we got to choose a book to read for English class I picked, A Bend in the Road. Though, I don't really remember the book in any detail, I do remember loving it- and the way the author shared his words. Since then, I've read four of his books in the last two months, and I'm in Heaven! Call me a romantic, and there's not a chance in hell I'll deny it. This brilliant writer has words that give this single lady hope about life and love.
Not that I'm a cynic, because I'm not. And it's not that I don't have faith in love, because I do. In fact, I lived a long time with this cookie cutter idea of what "love" truly is. Imagining love as this wholesome, inspiring and somewhat perfect state of being. That's not real. Love is hard. And in that reality it's just nice to use your imagination (reading a story) to discover the human condition. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes I think that when I read stories about love and it's imperfection... I'm reminded of how perfect the imperfections can truly be.
There's a verse I love, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5-7
It's so important to remember this. (And I do forget from time to time) He has a plan. PERIOD. And no matter how you may try to finagle a situation... it's going to come out the way He wants it to... and that's okay, because that's exactly how it should be. It's not easy to trust faith with complete certainty... especially where your heart is concerned. But I can only assume, that if the imperfections outweigh everything else, there is a greater lesson to be learned.
What I've learned is that no matter what is going on in your life, the sun will come up tomorrow (cue the Annie theme song), and whether it's a cloudy day or a rainy day, a day is still a day... and as long as we continue to wake up to new days, it is our obligation to make the most of them. It may not be easy to see at times, but each day is a gift. Each opportunity to live is a privilege. The way you spend your days is up to you. You might have a few bad days mixed in with some great ones... but if you learned something from the bad days then they were most definitely worth it.
Walk by faith... not by sight. You don't need to see love right in front of you to know that it exists or receive love in order to give it. And you don't need to see God to know He has a plan. Love is there, He is there... and the faith will never let you down.