Fathom Mag

Published on:
July 16, 2019
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2 min.
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We leave our bedroom curtains half open in the summer at night, so our clunky old AC window unit can try its best to relieve the heat. When I can’t fall asleep, I stare out the window and watch the fireflies flicker on and off. Their courtship ritual looks like stars winking. 

In California, I would fall asleep to the sound of crickets playing their bodies like musical instruments. They were so loud - a midnight concert in the park. And for some reason their music comforted me. I liked knowing that my house was surrounded by tall grass and happy bugs. No city traffic or rowdy neighbors. Just crickets and foxes and owls. 

Were we closer when I couldn’t sleep?
Rachel Joy Welcher

Night is a strange time. My thoughts settle like sand, heavy, and shifting. I often feel that I must sort them out before I can really rest. Why did it bother me when she said that? What is happening tomorrow that I’m worried about? Who did I make plans with and did I put it on the calendar? Did I miss his birthday?  Do I pray as often as I used to? Did I set my phone alarm? Did I switch over the laundry? Lord, help me. Help me to calm down. To be okay with stillness. To remember that I do not hold this world in my hands.

Still, there is something I’m forgetting. And do I pray enough? I still haven’t answered that question. I used to pray more when I was single. Didn’t I? Maybe that was just loneliness. Or maybe I am putting my marriage ahead of God. That’s not good. Or maybe I just feel less alone now, and it’s easier to fall asleep. That is good. It used to take me hours to fall asleep. I was so sad. But we were close. Are we still close? 

Is it wrong to be happy? Were we closer when I couldn’t sleep? God, this feels silly. Am I convicted over the right things? And have I confessed all my sins from today? I know I am forgetting something. That is probably pride. If I were more humble, I would be able to recall all my failings. In the Old Testament, they could present you with an offering for sins of ignorance. Sometimes I wish I could just do that. It would be easier. Easier that just accepting that Jesus did it already. That He is enough. That it is finished. That I can go to sleep. 

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Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine and an Acquisitions Editor for Lexham Press. She earned her MLitt. from The University of St. Andrews. She is the author of two collections of poetry: Two Funerals, Then Easter and Blue Tarp, and the book, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality (InterVarsity Press, 2020). You can follow her on Twitter @racheljwelcher.

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