“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” (Psalm 3:5, NIV)
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24
It’s amazing how God can lead us through thick and thin. All of my life I have slept on my side. That’s how I like to sleep. There have been consequences, however: often my right shoulder would hurt for days, and the pain never dissipated completely. The chiropractor predicted I would be a chronic right shoulder sufferer for life.
This all changed when I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and a CPAP became my night’s companion. The problem with CPAP machines is that air leaks from the mask. No matter what I did and no matter how many times I brought this up to the doctor, it continually leaked, waking me up at odd times of the night.
Eventually my body acclimated itself to this obstructive “alarm clock” (That’s how I perceived it at that time), and ultimately I found myself sleeping on my back. At least now, no air was leaking from my mask, and my right shoulder pain was gone as well! Yahoo!
This didn’t solve the problem of waking up at night, however. In fact, my sleep apnea got worse due to my new sleeping position, and I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, gasping for air.
After my first anxiety attack (See part 1 of this series), I was determined to avoid CPAPs at all cost. Thanks to Dr. Parker who gave me a lot of insights online, I learned that the best way to avoid apnea according to my specific case, was to sleep on my side. But what about my right shoulder pain and my current habit of sleeping on my back?
I had to condition my body to sleep on my side once again, and to avoid inadvertently sleeping on my back, I took a long pillow case, and attaching a tennis ball to the middle, I tied it around my waist. This sure did the trick!
As soon as I tried this method, shoulder pain immediately resurfaced. I had no idea what to do about it. I prayed and gave my worries to my Heavenly Father. He encouraged me to go online where He led me to a site that taught me how to sleep on my side. A pillow between the legs would align my vertebrae perfectly, and no shoulder pain should ever occur again. Since then, I am no longer a chronic right shoulder sufferer. I can finally sleep without any pain from the shoulder. And without the terrors of a leaking CPAP mask, either! For the first time in my life I am able to sleep peacefully!
Why hadn’t I approached my Father early on about this? I could have avoided the entire ordeal!
My friends, you can never go wrong when you leave all your burdens in God’s hands. As soon as you leave them there, He will guide you to victory, just like He did for me. Don’t wait. You don’t need to suffer aimlessly, He will be your shelter and your guide. Trust Him, He will see you through!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” (Ps 91:1-2, NIV)
(To access the entire, “Flying Like an Eagle” devotional series, please click here.)