Last week our family went on a lovely camping trip. We played, went for walks, ate good food, roasted marshmallows, sat around the campfire, looked at bugs and watched deer, and had a wonderful quiet time as a family. But sometimes trips with 3 young children don’t go perfectly. We were off schedule (and our family thrives on schedules!), out of our normal comfort zone, and away from our beds.
The camper we were using had a nice set up with a master bed on one end and a bunk bed on the other. We also brought Cassidy’s pack n play. So the first night we put the older two kids to bed on the bottom bunk, baby in her crib, and Kenny and I shared the master. Everyone was exhausted from a long day with no nap, so things went smoothly at first. But then disaster struck (insert my dramatic gasp here)!
A little before midnight Avery woke up crying, and then fell back asleep. Then an hour later Zeke woke up crying and he wasn’t going to let us off that easily. Kenny and I took turns with him in his bottom bunk throughout the night and we both tried singing, praying, and rubbing his back. You know, all the normal stuff. But nothing worked. He was wide awake and wanted nothing to do with sleep. Eventually he became a bit delirious. He was seeing kitty cats, horses, thought that we were wearing masks, and talking all sorts of gibberish. A couple times he hid himself in the corner of the camper and screamed like a crazy person. Like he was really scared. It was horrible. We couldn’t help him and we hated every minute. He never did lay down or fall asleep.
That night was the worst night sleep I have ever had in my life (and I’ve nursed 3 babies through their infant stages, so that’s saying a lot). I had 2 distinct thoughts in between wanting to scream and help fix my boy: 1. Jet lag is going to suck. And 2. Please o please can it be morning right now? It was so dark and we had no where to go, short of getting in our car and driving home (which we might have done had the girls not been sleeping through most of this). There really was no relief in sight in the wee hours. We just had to wait. But if we could make it to morning’s first light, and the sun would finally rise, I knew that all would be ok.
I know we’ve all been in this place at one time or another, where life is dark and there is no light in sight. Where all hope is lost. But the Bible has a word about that. Our hope and our light is in Jesus. And He has made all ok.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” John 8:12
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
In that dark night and in the metaphorical dark nights of life I am so thankful for the truth that Jesus is light and that there is no darkness in Him. I’m also thankful that we had a beautiful day of rest and long naps after that hard night!
Now if we can just figure out how to manage the terrors of jet lag in a few weeks we’ll be set.