All my life I’ve hated waking up. Something about being very nice and warm and accepted under the covers and the room being cold and the day foreboding and starting in-any-and-every case too early. Why not just stay asleep?
The unknown is strange and foreign, the best place is where we already are.
I sound like a poster-child for the agrarian movement with that last sentence. Stay rooted! Wrap yourself up in the comforter of contentment! Be Ok with Bed.
But that’s not where this post is going. You see, I always hated getting up in the morning until about seven months ago. Seven months ago my mornings changed—and with them each subsequent day.
Seven months ago I woke up the morning after my wedding and found to my utter and almost uncontainable delight that I wasn’t alone. And then, as the Someone whom I was with slowly woke and realized that he wasn’t alone either—he had me—suddenly our morning turned into rejoicing.
You’re still here. With me. My love.
Suddenly waking up became one of my favorite things—and falling asleep often delayed simply for the delight of being consciously in my beloved’s company.
Toe-touch. Are you still awake?
Hand-in-hand. I love you.
Kiss. We should probably go to sleep now.
One last hug. Ok.
Roll-over. Good morning.
How could I have known? That what I hated most about the first few moments of the day was not the loss of sleep but the fear of being awake. There I’d lay: alone in bed, dreading another day. I remember particularly depressed times in my life when I would delay going to sleep for as long as possible not because being awake was all that fun—but because waking up to face the next day was so overwhelmingly daunting. Sometimes the sheer knowledge of my waking consciousness in the first few moments of the day was enough to spark tears. Burying myself in the sleep and warmth of the covers was in a very real way a denial of the day. And no, I’m not saying that there aren’t still days when I truly am incredibly tired—or facing a day full of challenge—but I am saying that my dread of the morning has been wonderfully replaced by a joy in what the mornings bring.
You, my sweetest man. I look forward to the sleepy smile. The strong arms wrapping around and drawing me close. The struggle together to leave the wonderful comfort and start the day—eager for the work week to be done or the weekend together to begin. Love makes the difference.
Isn’t it strange that when love shines on even such a small corner of our lives morning turns to gladness? And isn’t that what Christ is at work at within us? Shining the light of the gospel on our marriages, our children, or home, our work, our passions and ambitions saying: Love makes the difference.
But we are slow to wake up, aren’t we? We’d rather cling to darkness—known and familiar.
And maybe this is just another way we’re being prepared for heaven. We’re still learning what it means to love as we are loved. For I imagine now that arriving in Heaven will be a bit like the moment I realized I no longer feared mornings. Sunlight, warm, accepted, with our Beloved. All our striving will be over. We’ll wake up and realize, “This! This is love.” We will walk in the glory of His Truth—in the Light of the Son—and we’ll realize the darkness is gone, and there is nothing left to fear.
Endnote: I feel compelled to add a caveat. I am quite sure that not everyone’s dislike of mornings drastically evaporates once married. My husband’s mornings have, in his words, gotten “much worse” since he now has the added trial of leaving ME ever morning to go to work—and leaving me he does not like at all.