Sleepless In New York


My doctor gave me some very bad news. I can’t even bring myself to talk about it. I’m so scared right now. I don’t know why God is doing all this to me. I am so angry with God right now. I hate God.



About 300 years ago, my wife and I were newlyweds, riding in the passenger seat of our crappy ‘88 Nissan Altima. My wife was driving.

My wife always drives. I’m pretty sure this was written in our wedding vows somewhere.

We were on our way home from Walmart, after buying groceries. And we were having an intense argument.

As newlyweds, we didn’t have much money. So buying groceries was a tedious ordeal for us. We would wander aisles, meticulously counting pennies, painstakingly deciding which products to forego, and which items were necessary for the success of our marriage.

On this particular shopping trip I was heavily in favor of buying a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon for our marriage.

My wife, however, said it would be a cold day in Hades before we wasted hard-earned cash on beer. She wanted instead to buy scented candles that were roughly the size of municipal fire hydrants which made our apartment smell like a brothel.

We got into an argument right in the middle of the store. It was the nuclear explosion of arguments. The kind of newlywed argument that lasted throughout the checkout line, the parking lot, and on the ride home.

So there we were, in the car. On the highway. We got so mad at each other that at some point my wife stopped the car and kicked me out onto the desolate two-lane road.

I was certain she was only trying to make her point. She wouldn’t actually leave me here on an empty highway, would she?

Yes, she would.

She slammed the door, stamped on the gas, and introduced me to the Florida state bird. She squealed off into the night like a bat out of Walmart. And I was all alone.

On my 11-mile walk home that evening, I began replaying our argument, play by play.

In the distance, I saw the neon glow of a beer joint, lighting up the darkness. I stopped inside to hydrate myself. I pulled up a stool and ordered an ice cold Ovaltine.

After about my third Ovaltine, I was feeling like a complete fool about our argument. I realized that I loved my wife. I was sorry I’d yelled. I was sorry I’d acted selfishly.

I asked the bartender where the payphone was and I called our apartment, ready to apologize.

But nobody answered. I called a few more times. Still, no answer. I kept calling and calling. Nothing.

Finally, I dialed our next-door neighbor, Miss Jeanne. Elderly Miss Jeanne answered the phone in a voice loud enough to fracture commercial porcelain.

“WHO IS THIS?” she shouted.

I asked Miss Jeanne if my wife had gotten home recently.


“Please, Miss Jean! This is your next door neighbor.”


Miss Jeanne had to mute “Matlock” on TV before she finally got the gist of what I was asking. Whereupon Miss Jeanne told me that, yes, my wife had come home briefly, but she’d left in a hurried rush.

“Where did she go?” I asked Miss Jeanne.

“She’s out looking for you,” said the old woman.

I hung up the phone. I ordered one more Ovaltine, then paid my tab.

“What’re you suddenly so happy about?” the bartender asked.

“She loves me,” I said.

I left the bar and started walking home along the highway shoulder again, trying very hard to look pitiful. Hoping she’d find me.

She did. When my wife pulled alongside me, she leapt out of the vehicle. We hugged and kissed right there on the shoulder of the highway. Random trucks whizzing by.

We cried a little. We pressed our foreheads together and apologized with tears and snot.

And finally, my wife withdrew and held my face tenderly in her hands. She looked at me with wet eyes and said, “Why do you smell like beer?”

I am not an eloquent man. I don’t know what kind of misery you’re going through. And truthfully, I think we can all agree that I don’t know much about God. I do, however, know this:

He’s out looking for you right now.


  1. PMc - October 2, 2022 8:51 am

    Dear Sleepless, I am so sorry about your bad news. I can say I know God loves you and is by your side or as he has done for me, carried me through some hard days. I pray the outcome of your bad news is much better than you can imagine now. And also know you are loved and you are in my prayers🙏
    Peace and Love from Birmingham ❣

  2. mccutchen52 - October 2, 2022 10:23 am

    Amen Sean.. Sometimes God is unable to find you till you wander your way home.

  3. Dolores - October 2, 2022 10:54 am

    “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot

    At the initial shock of a tragedy the enemy shoves his way in with fear and doubt. The Lord awaits you in peace and love; He who suffered much for you and me. He sees you.

    • Jan Walker - October 2, 2022 12:52 pm

      Thank you, Dolores. I was handed a devastating diagnosis this week too. And as I wrestle with that, I also know I cannot allow the enemy of my soul to plant those seeds of fear and doubt. If I let those in, I give him the advantage in this fight. I refuse to do that. I am standing firm. I trust God. He (not the doctor) has the final say.

      • Dolores - October 2, 2022 2:00 pm

        Prayers lifted for you, sister.

  4. Suellen - October 2, 2022 11:34 am

    We live in a fallen world and bad things will happen. I don’t believe that God makes them happen but he will there to help you through them. As Christians we know that bad news can be a way to draw you closer to God. To rely on him for the next breath even and when that doesn’t come He is waiting to welcome you with open arms. My husband always told his parishioners that we prayed for them to get well and if that happened we got to keep them a little longer but if it didn’t that meant they were in Heaven with our Creator. It’s a win win situation. I’m praying for you Sleepless.

  5. Peter Blay - October 2, 2022 11:55 am

    Well said! Even when we feel like giving up, the Lord does not give up on us. God bless you from Florida.

  6. Lisa - October 2, 2022 11:59 am

    One of my favorites! ! You have a gift

  7. Ed (Bear) - October 2, 2022 12:18 pm

    Go Braves!
    Go Sean!!
    Go sleep!!
    Go God!!!

  8. Priscilla Rodgers - October 2, 2022 12:34 pm

    Oh how you can get to the truth. I pray she stands still so she can find Him. He will never leave us or forsake us.

  9. BEX - October 2, 2022 12:55 pm


  10. VFH - October 2, 2022 12:59 pm

    Excellent! He is indeed out looking for us! Thank you for the reminder.

  11. Terri - October 2, 2022 1:02 pm

    Beautifully written reminder that life is hard…part of our human experience. I don’t believe God causes the bad things, but I do believe God is beside us for whatever comes. Sending peace.

  12. Pam - Muscle Shoals Alabama - October 2, 2022 1:11 pm

    We are created for and with purpose. My heart says to tell you to use this time in your life for meaningful purpose and the glory of God. My husband has survived 8 bad messages over the last 30 years. 3 of which have been since July of 2021. Blessings have always abounded in a midst of the storm. Praise God! Our Creator and our Heavenly Father.

    Exodus 14:14. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still and listen.

    And Psalm 139.

    Prayers being said…….

  13. Debbie - October 2, 2022 1:18 pm

    I don’t believe God causes the bad in this world. He is never removed from us. He never loses sight of us. His love sustains us as we move through this life ,and He is waiting with His strong arms open wide. God blesses and keeps every one of us as we travel towards home.

  14. Stacey Patton - October 2, 2022 1:43 pm

    You are right, Sean. And I sincerely hope that Sleepless in New York will realize that God holds us by our right hand through every terrible situation, and He NEVER lets go. We mess up when we let go. Love to you, Jamie, and Marigold.

  15. sjhl7 - October 2, 2022 2:19 pm

    “I know the one in whom I’ve placed my trust” and He is always with us whether we know it or not. He loves us without limits even though we don’t always recognize that love. Thank you for the beautiful story of the love you and Jamie share. It was a beautiful illustration of God’s love for us. May “Sleepless in New York” come to feel that love in every way.

  16. Patricia Gibson - October 2, 2022 3:21 pm

    Sean, that was a beautiful response 😢❤️Thank you

  17. Linnea - October 2, 2022 3:56 pm

    Thank you and thank the One out looking for me. This helped to comfort and fill that loud, scary void that keeps saying I don’t know what to do, how to be.

  18. mellenymunsell57 - October 2, 2022 4:46 pm

    Dear Sleepless, we all have so much going on…..
    best thing is to talk about it . Plesae talk about whatever is troubling you.I’Ive laerned the hard way just get it out. You will br glad you did.

  19. Thames Robinson - October 2, 2022 5:58 pm

    Knocked it out of the park yet again, dear man.

  20. Chasity Davis Ritter. - October 2, 2022 7:07 pm

    I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I work for Walmart. I have for 23 years. It’s kinda funny for me to read this today Sean. On Sunday. I’m at work too. Anyway I work a lot of Sundays but when I manage one off I do try to go to church with my mom. And over the years it’s never seemed to fail that the preacher tends to say a little something about Walmart in his service. Now I know you’re no preacher even if your blogs could rival a good sermon from time to time. But I feel like today maybe you WERE bringing the message to me when Walmart was sprinkled among the words. And I’m so glad that God is always out there looking for me. 💚🙏

  21. Tom - October 2, 2022 7:12 pm

    First of all, you should have known to NEVER argue with your wife- you gonna lose every time. And second of all, how do you know what the inside of a brothel smells like!!

  22. Sandy Messersmith - October 2, 2022 7:26 pm

    Sean, I, too, have received a disturbing diagnosis. Thankfully, I never ask “why me”. Why not me? There’s nothing so special about me that I should not suffer the same disease so many others have faced. What I know, without a doubt, is that whether I survive this disease to continue life here on this planet or He uses this disease to take me home—He loves me, cares for me and I am safe in His care!

  23. Karen - October 2, 2022 7:47 pm

    Yes, He is.

  24. Karen Snyder - October 2, 2022 8:14 pm

    Dear Sleepless, please don’t let fear and anger stand in the way of making a plan to deal with the news you were given. God didn’t cause the problem. That voice blaming Him is the devil at work in your head, taking advantage of your fear. People often defy medical pronouncements, but it’s easier to fight if you direct your anger at the problem. As Sean pointed out, God’s looking for you, wanting to help. I pray you’ll reach out and let Him. ❤️

  25. Lori - October 3, 2022 12:21 am

    Dear Sleepless in New York,
    God knows we get angry. It’s ok. Just don’t stay angry. He doesn’t. You need a distraction. Can I suggest binge watching The Chosen? It’s free, but you’ll have to stream it and it’s on a lot of platforms. It will be a good reminder on how loving He is. I’m off now to pray for you. I’m not worried that I don’t know your name. God knows who Sleepless in New York is and he’s listening to us all. Hugs from…
    Sleepless in Ohio

  26. Tina - October 3, 2022 3:16 am

    Wow… Another great one!

  27. Stephen Disney - October 3, 2022 2:59 pm

    The last line Made me tear up.

  28. Dennis P - October 3, 2022 8:07 pm

    I’m skipping church next Sunday. That was the best sermon I’ll hear this week.

  29. Diane McGinnis - October 4, 2022 11:46 pm

    Wow! You do know Him, buddy!

  30. Deanna Hindsley - October 5, 2022 6:45 pm

    Omigosh! Yes God is looking for me/you. This story made me laugh. Not just chuckle, but an out-and-out belly laugh. I needed that.


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