I often wake up at 2am now. This is a new version of insomnia for me. I’ve had trouble going to sleep for as long as I can remember. But once asleep, I was able to stay asleep. This morning I was awake at 2:15.
I learned long ago that insomnia doesn’t have to be the worst thing that happens. I’ve read hundreds of interesting books. I finished my degree, gotten my masters and written four books. (Okay, I’ve written 11 books, but you only count the ones published.) I seem to be able to do everything during the night but housework.
During the dark hours, there is an unsettledness about life. Unanswered questions haunt my mind and rob my spirit. At the least expected moment, unfinished tasks, which lurk behind the closet doors, spring gleefully into my presence accusing me of woeful neglect. Eventually I must force my weary body up from the bed and begin the road back to faith-filled thoughts.
Insomnia isn’t considered a disability in any of the textbooks. Yet, I sometimes wonder how often people within the mentally challenged community would identify with my struggles. I cannot seem to find the key that unlocks sleep. It seems easy for so many others. Everyone else seems to know the secret. Why is it kept from me?
Then again, why can’t Brad read? He can take apart any piece of equipment, repair it and put it back together. Tom reads and is high functioning but he knows nothing about numbers. Can that be explained? Why does Carl struggle with normal conversation? He can recite every sports statistic known to man. Why can Tammy sing every word to a song, yet an interpreter is needed to decipher any sentence, she tries to put together?
The Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community and we work daily with persons with developmental disabilities. We do classic ministry of evangelism and discipleship. It is always a challenge to find and amplify the best in our members while attempting to minimize the deficits.
Sometimes the challenge keeps me awake. But then everything keeps me awake! What about you? What seems easy and natural to everyone else but hard for you? How does this make you identify with your members?