Sleep is underrated, my friend just told me in an email. I had written her to say I had not slept well last night, waking up twice due to a massive headache. I had gone to bed quite early because I had had a super busy day and was tired, but I lay awake for a long while before drifting off. This is not my usual pattern. I sleep solidly most nights.
The first time I woke up, I wondered why my head felt like it was in a vise grip. I managed to fall back asleep after a short time. The next time I could feel worry knocking at my door, tormenting me. Psst, it is a blood clot. Poke, go to the hospital. You better do something because this could be serious. I could only toss and turn. What can I safely take for this headache? How come I do not know the answer to that question? Should I call one of the people who has offered to be there if I need someone in the middle of the night? Why does my head hurt this much? What kind of headache is this? Am I going to die?
Ok, deep breath. These questions are not from God. Pray, do not fret.
St. Michael, enfold me in your wings and protect me against all danger.
St. Rafael, heal me and restore me to health.
St. Gabriel, bring good news.
Sleep. I awake five hours later and the headache is gone. The fears have vanished too. The night is not always my friend when I cannot sleep. The hungry hounds of fear that cannot get in during the light of day, chomp their jaws and gnash their teeth in the darkness. If I can find my centre again quickly enough, no damage is done.
I sometimes am disappointed that I do not always go to the place of prayer immediately at moments like this. Today as I sat before the Blessed Sacrament I felt such peace. For a brief period, I was no longer here but somewhere beyond lovely and serene. I was resting and could barely open my eyes to return to this time and place. I was here and yet not. If I can learn the secret of going there as my default, I will have gained a treasure more magnificent than anything.