What I Learned This Week: 15 Minutes with Papa Helps You Sleep

I had been having trouble sleeping – going to sleep and staying asleep.  My mind was on overload at night, trying to figure out things which were completely out of my control, as if brainstorming would suddenly make everything out of God’s timing and His will magically appear.  And then I started listening to a Christian counselor speak on Codependency.

The bottom line was that Codependency is our futile attempt to fill our very empty love tanks by doing more to please others, believing that who we are AS WE ARE is not enough for others to love us, and that includes God.  The only cure for Codependency is to realize that others cannot and will never be able to meet our needs for love, and that only God can.  If we redirected a fraction of the time we spent chasing love and validation from others into spending time simply being in the Father’s presence and letting Him love on us, we would experience a remarkable change in our lives.

Well, never one to back down from a spiritual challenge, I decided to try it – 15 minutes just spent in the Father’s presence before I go to sleep.  One of the things I have started imagining is the Father coming to my bedside to tuck me in, to love on me, to just let me know how happy He is that I am His daughter, and how proud He is of me, just as I am.

You see, a big breakthrough I have had in His presence is finally understanding that He can’t be disappointed in who I am because He made me, knowing full well what my problems would be, and how I would end up. He STILL decided to make me just as I am.  How I turned out is no surprise or disappointment to Him – only an apparent disappointment to me and some others in my life who don’t think I’m what they think I should be.  Simply soaking up unconditional love in His presence and His loving adoration of the person He created and the child He adopted has given me such peace that I am now able to drift away to sleep easily.

Have you ever had a long distance boyfriend?  After you’ve spoken with them on the phone, or had a loving email or text from them, don’t you feel like you are on cloud nine?  They don’t even have to be there with you – just knowing someone loves you as you are makes all the world right and gives you an assurance you always dreamed of.

It’s the same way with our relationship with Papa (I love using that name now after seeing “The Shack”). Just knowing that my Papa loves me just as I am, purposely made me this way, and is on my side, allowing only what is best for me, withholding what is not best for me, I can finally relax.  His timing is best, His provision is best, His direction is best, so I can rest instead of trying to figure everything out, as if it all depended on my provision, direction and timing.

We are so quick to take the world, our future, and even other people’s futures onto our shoulders that we completely forget that we are trapped in time, and nothing God has for us is going to happen faster than God has allowed in our lives.  We are always trying to “figure things out” when what God wants is for us to so implicitly trust in His timing, provision and direction (regardless of what the world would say about that) that we can float through the day knowing our Papa, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, will provide for whatever He knows we need whenever He knows we need it.

So I encourage you to spend just 15 minutes in His presence every day.  No lights, no sound, no worship music, no bible.  Just His presence and His rhema (spoken to you through the Spirit) words of love, His affirmations of His child and creation.   You don’t have peace because you don’t really believe He will take care of it.  You don’t trust Him to take care of it because you really don’t know how much He loves you, just as you are.

And once you KNOW you are loved just as you are by someone, everyone else’s opinion of you doesn’t matter any more.  I hated looking in the mirror before, but now He has encouraged me to say out loud to myself, “You are beautiful just as you are.  You are wonderful.”  And guess what, I’m coming to believe it, because He said it was true.  You can revolutionize every aspect of your life by just spending 15 minutes with Him alone before you go to bed.  Try it tonight.

Your sister in Christ,

Penny