Tuesday night, I spent the hours between 8pm and midnight in an anxious, doubtful frenzy.
I’ve officially started my postgrad job search. I thought I knew what to expect based on the stories I’ve heard from my friends who jumped right into it right after college. I, who took a short break on the other hand, didn’t realize how intimidating and stressful it was going to be.
I had a friend of mine critique my resumé for me because I’ll take whatever constructive feedback and differing opinions I can get if it means it’ll help me put together the absolute best possible document and representation of myself to present to prospective employers.
He had brought up several good points and suggestions. It wasn’t before long that I decided on a whim to scrap the entire thing and start over because the notion that my existing document was terrible (it wasn’t) and in desperate need of revamping took up residence in my mind and refused to leave until I had successfully produced the best resumé possible. And so the spiral began.
The anxious and negative feelings started to set in. I wasn’t good enough compared to other candidates in my field. I was stupid for even sending out the earlier draft of my resumé to anyone. No wonder I hadn’t even heard anything back from anybody. It was hard to imagine anyone wanting me. The imposter syndrome was so intense and the doubtful voice in my mind was so loud it was deafening. And it wouldn’t let me sleep that night.
I tossed and turned as my brain raced a mile per minute around all of these intrusive and untrue thoughts, and I couldn’t help myself. And I sure as hell couldn’t fall asleep.
And then I had an idea. Or maybe it was a feeling. Or both? I thought to myself that maybe I should pick up my Bible and read it. I knew it would bring me a peace that only Jesus truly can. I felt compelled and if nothing else, the act of reading might be enough to relax me.
Earlier this year, I had started a one year plan on the Bible app to try and read the whole thing in 365 days. This isn’t the first year I have attempted this, and it isn’t the first year I failed either.
The truth is, I had only finished about a week’s worth of reading in January once I started to struggle with keeping up the routine.
I finally had decided to not put pressure on myself to read X amount of chapters per day, every single day because it was unrealistic for me and only going to set myself up to fail. I needed to set a more tangible goal and go at my own pace. Even making that decision though, with all of the traveling I’ve been doing lately, I still hadn’t picked the Book up in a few weeks.
But I picked it up that night, right where I last left off on my one-year reading plan that would surely take more than a year at this point. I was uncertain of myself and anxious for my future (all things God tells us we don’t need to be when we choose to walk with Him), and I sought out comfort and an answer to my insomnia in those pages.
I was reading Proverbs 3 because that was up next, which was already kind of ironic because that chapter contains one of my favorite verses of all time. That could just be chalked up to a coincidence though, sure, but what happened next was no coincidence.
I got to Proverbs 3:24. I gasped, stopped right in my tracks, and my eyes went wide. The verse reads:
“You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.”
I couldn’t tell if I wanted to cry or laugh. I think I was mostly shocked though, but not surprised one bit. Sometimes it’s hard to hear God because we as people do a pretty crappy job of listening, but it seriously doesn’t get anymore literal and in your face than that.
I made the decision to read that night because my thoughts had made me exhausted and I just wanted to relax enough to finally fall asleep.
And here God was. It felt like He really said, not only can you sleep but you’re going to do it without any worry or fear and it’s going to be peaceful for you because I am here.
The chapter continues:
“You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security.”
He says that disaster and destruction are not things that should bring fear because God is security.
So, not only did He say “sleep”, but He explained why I could do so in peace. Liberating is the only word to describe the feeling of knowing God is your security.
The scary things that were keeping me awake that night are no match for the Lord who protects us and keeps good on His Word.
I was in awe. And I still wanted to giggle. This was God’s funny way of saying, “Girl go to bed, I gotchu. You ain’t gotta worry when you’re kickin’ it with Me.”
Needless to say, I slept soundly that night.