In this episode:
Do you ever feel spiritually numb, as if you’re overloaded on crisis and you’re done with it? Does it feel as though the darkness is too much, and self-preservation is your only hope? This week, I want to talk about how we might be faith sleepwalkers when life stresses us out. Let’s flip on the light and wake up to what we might be missing.
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The podcast episode began with one of my sleepwalking stories, so you’ll want to tune in on the audio to get the full effect.
My troubles with sleepwalking and talking in my sleep started when I was a child. As an adult, the trouble shows up whenever I am under a lot of stress or when I’m wrestling with a big decision.
Have you ever had a similar hazy feeling to sleepwalking? Not in the sense of actual sleepwalking—although you may be a kindred sleepwalker—but a spiritual sense. Have you felt as though you were groping in confusion hoping someone would turn on a light?
When the everyday stuff consumes us and zaps our spiritual and physical energy, we become spiritually narcoleptic, dozing off without noticing exactly when it was that God faded into the background. Our conscience numbs.
I’ve had some sleepwalking seasons spiritually. I talk about that in chapter 14 of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life if you want to read the rest of that story (see link below)
There isn’t a magic formula for reawakening faith. There aren’t five, or eight, or ten surefire steps. It’s different for every one of us. The common factor is that it takes a conscious choice.
Sometimes our choice comes on the heels of a wake-up call from God.
Wake-up calls come in many forms. Health crisis. Family stress. Work situations. Loss. Years like 2020 and COVID-19. These are the shouting kind of wake-up calls.
Other times, the wake-up call comes more gently—like a whisper and a tender shake of the shoulder. It could be a sermon, or a speaker at a conference, or a book that gets us thinking and makes us notice that God is still there. It might be that we notice something in a new way.
When I’m sleepwalking or dreaming, I often have a sense that if I just turn on the light, I can wake up and the dream will end. I’ll walk down the hall to the bathroom in my sleep and turn on the light. It’s such a relief when that light comes on. Even in my sleeping state, it takes a deliberate decision to seek that light.
That’s how it is with spiritual sleepwalking too. We have to be deliberate about waking up. We need to turn on the light and look around us.
This week, I challenge us all to be more awake. (Listen to the episode for challenges questions.) Ask the Holy Spirit to tap you on the shoulder when you almost miss a light-switch moment.
Are there experiences you'd rather toss in the dumpster?
Discover the repurposed and upcycled life. With her laugh-out-loud way of looking at life, Michelle will help you see how some of your greatest disappointments, mistakes, and hurts can be beautiful treasures from God. Part memoir, part inspiration and self-help, this book will help you:
- Unpack emotional baggage and deal with the past
- Confront perfectionism and negative attitudes
- Change your perspective on your circumstances
- Let go of regret and shame
- Build positive healthy relationships
- Dream big and live with purpose
Through inspiration from God's Word and examples from everyday life, you'll discover the joy-filled, hope-rich way of viewing your past, present, and future.
(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. )
Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.
All blog content copyright MichelleRayburn.com
This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.