Spiritual Warfare and Sleep Deprivation

A few years ago Will and I met with a group of church planting families. They shared very real and scary accounts of spiritual warfare on their families during important times of their churches. Miscarriages, children being sick, troubles at home and in their marriages. It was the first time that spiritual warfare happened so tangibly to OUR friends and in a context that was eerily close to home. We talked about how the scriptures tell us that when we are doing God's work, to expect trouble here on earth, because this is not our home. We are not promised an easy life here on earth, but our reward is in Heaven, and we are faithful because God is faithful.

So... we're here in Brooklyn. Things are actually going really well. We love our church and really really like the people in it. We're making friends. We're bonding with people. Our small groups are doing well and I really feel fulfilled in a void that was in my heart now that my small group is meeting (Yay Tuesday night ladies... love you!). But with progress comes the enemy.

Our blind spot / weak area has always been Israel. We love our boy. I can't say enough that I am so thankful to be his mom. If I think about how crazy of a situation that is the fact that a boy was born in Ethiopia, and through a series of events and waitlists and specific days that we submitted paperwork and some people saying yes and some people saying no... we get to be his parents?! Well then I have to of course believe that God ordained him to be ours. And he's the best! But also, so, so difficult. He's not a typical kid. He has sensory issues. He doesn't sleep. Not in the annoying newborn baby stage. Not in a "just sleep train your kid already" way. In a night terrors, screaming for hours on end, nothing will calm him way. It's really truly awful and exhausting. He's always had sleep troubles, but there's kind of seasons where it is worse and seasons where he just kind of whimpers once or twice at night but pretty much sleeps a good 10-12 hours. We're lucky to get 5-6 hours of very interrupted sleep at this point.

Earlier this week we saw a neurologist (side note: getting any doctor appointments for him seems to require 5-6 phone calls, crying to strangers and dealing with insurance. New York is difficult.). At the appointment we basically begged for sleep medicine and got some (chlonidine) and it unfortunately has not worked. We have been so desperate and we hoped so much that medicine would be our answer. But it wasn't.

His not sleeping is not a simple thing, you guys. Several people have been like, "I get it, I had a newborn!" but this is not that. We've had newborns and babies. This is a 35 pound four year old who hits and thrashes and has night terrors and screams in your ear for hours, literally hours. It is so exhausting. It's physically draining. It's emotionally defeating. We've cried out to God, we've sought prayers from everyone we know. We've posted on social media and talked to specialists. We feel really hopeless about it right now.

Not sleeping affects all of us. It wakes Edith up. It affects our relationships with our neighbors who can hear our son screaming all night. It makes Will less productive. It makes us all cranky and Israel is distracted and lazy at school because he's so tired. I'm less likely to reach out to my neighbors and people I want to further relationships with because I'm so tired, and when I do have time with others, I'm distracted and zombie-ish. We're right where the enemy wants us. We're at the end of ourselves. We need grace by the coffee-cup-fulls. We need something! Lord, help!!

So... that's the latest and why there's been less posting here (there's so much good things that I do want to update on, but I think there's a sleep-deprived filter on everything in my life right now). On top of these things, I'll go ahead and throw in two other complaints, while I'm laying out my woes: we have had strep throat and there have been mice in our apartment. So there. Complaints laid out. And a huge thank you to the lovely people who have brought food and offered to help (although I really don't know how to help with the not-sleeping). Most of all we are thankful that there must be a bigger purpose to this because this is the most miserable and broken place we have ever been in. And there must be a mountain top to counter the valley. Anybody with me? Please Lord!

I really, really don't want to be a negative blogger... but I also want to be transparent and I know so many people are interested in our NYC life. This is what we need prayer for. (And while you're praying, you can add the "no more mice" to the list because I HATE MICE!!!).

So I'll end this post with a top 5 awesome things of the last few days, in no particular order:

1. I've had some quality girl-time lately, including a few play dates, trip to the Zoo with Edith, a subway meeting turned kindred spirit, and a Cinderella viewing with Stephanie.
2. Edith is awesome. She's my gift and she is the most accommodating toddler I know.
3. I've been drinking a lot of tea lately because of the strep throat and I have to admit that I feel slightly adult and/or British drinking all of this tea.
4. Israel loves the bus. He says "night night bus" every night and he gets so adorably excited for it every morning. He was calling it "bah" for a few weeks then suddenly it was "buS" with an S so clearly!
5. I got to visit Israel's school last week and had an awesome visit with his teachers, therapists, and social worker. I'm really pleased with his school and excited about his support team.
6. Will and I got to have a really awesome New York Day today, including walking the Brooklyn Bridge and taking the Staten Island Ferry for the first time, all with a perfect sidekick in Edith.

See... 6 things! And I could go on. God is good. Life is good... just hard right now. 


  1. Oh girl, I get it! Really I do, only with a 45lb 3 year old! 3 things that have helped us lessen the night terrors, a weighted blanket, essential oils on the bottom of his feet before bed, and teaching him to pray away "monsters" as he calls them. Praying you find something that works!!

  2. Praying for you all. Hang in there sweet friend.

  3. Praying for you all. Hang in there sweet friend.

  4. Praying for you all! Praying God's healing touch!

  5. http://childrensnyp.org/mschony/pulmonology-pediatric-sleep-disorders-center.html

  6. So sorry this is going on Rebekah. Please do reach out to us if there is ANYTHING we can do. I know you and Andrea have been chatting. I will be praying hard as well for you and the fam!!!

  7. praying Rebekah! i cant imagine the exhaustion!


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. I like to reply via email so make sure your email is connected to your Blogger account!