Hey there, tired mama,

I see you lying awake in bed without a prayer of going to sleep anytime soon. The clock passed midnight hours ago, each tick reminding you of just how little sleep you are going to get tonight.

You can hear your husband’s deep, restful breathing as he slumbers by your side. Surely he has been snoozing soundly since the moment his head hit the pillow; any burden he has felt today, undoubtedly, has been left at the bedroom door. It won’t be touched until he wakes up tomorrow morning.

What you wouldn’t give to be able to do that very same thing. To simply turn off your thoughts as easily as you switch off your bedside lamp each night. But that is not how your mind works, is it?

You are a woman. You are a mother. And for some reason, no matter how unfair it may be, you always seem to fall victim to the inevitable sting of worry that is brought on the moment the lights go out.

By now, you have probably checked the video baby monitor 20 times, zooming in as close as you possibly can to make sure your little angel is breathing normally. Of course, technology is anything but reliable, so you decide to make a personal trip into their bedroom just for safety’s sake.

While you are up, a nagging thought hits you: did you remember to lock all of the doors? Of course you did, but you’d better make the rounds one final time, just to be sure.

After crawling back into bed, you catch sight of the date glowing brightly on your phone. The first of the month is approaching and the budget you have so carefully checked (and double checked) to make sure would be enough is suddenly looking pretty daunting. What if the car payment goes through before the next paycheck? Can your family cut back on groceries this month? The holidays are here—are there any part-time jobs you can take to make up for your extra spending?

No doubt, each thought now sets off a domino effect until every little problem you experienced throughout your day has somehow turned into a major catastrophe. What had started as a simple, loving contemplation about your household has amplified into a full-on anxiety attack. Your chest is tightening, you can feel the shortness of breath, all the usual symptoms—you know very well how it goes.

I know the questions that are rolling through your head. I know, because I have been there—many, many times. I understand what it’s like to worry for your family while, at the same time, being incredibly envious of them. After all, aren’t they all sleeping peacefully right now while you are stuck with the weight of all of their worlds resting on your feeble shoulders?

Why does every problem seem to be worse at night? What it is about the darkness that seems to turn all of life’s little problems into very big problems?

I wish I could tell you I know the secret to beating the darkness demons, but I don’t. In truth, I have struggled with this issue since I was a small child. While years of experience may not have given me a cure, they have certainly led me to discover a magnificent coping mechanism. How do I do it?

The answer is simple: I lay my worries down at the feet of Jesus, handing them over to the only One I know who can carry them properly. Though I am by no means an expert at this practice, I have gotten very good at being intentional about casting my worries on Him the moment I start to feel that awful burn of anxiety rise from the pit of my stomach.

I repeat the beautiful words of Sarah McMillan over and over again, “When the night is holding onto me, God is holding on.”

I know these nights are tough, mama, but hang in there, because tomorrow the sun will rise. And if there is one beautiful thing about stumbling through the darkness, it is finding the Light that can cast it out.

Sweet dreams.

Kayla Runkel

Kayla is a former marketer turned stay-at-home-mom to two sweet boys. You can follow her blog, The Rustic Hideaway, or her writing page, K.C. Runkel. When she is not writing, Kayla loves teaching fitness classes, reading books, and spending time with her husband and sons exploring her favorite place in the world, Wyoming. Or as she simply calls it: home.