I took another glance at the clock. Still have about ten more minutes for the baby to finish breakfast before we take Cayla to school. We were chatting as we ate, and I teetered the balance of enjoying this moment with my girls, yet feeling the rush to get out the door. Clearing plates, I heard the phone. Its ring from the other room sounded like any other call I’ve ever answered. Its tone did not shout of pain, anguish, or grief. So, I smiled as I answered. Then my heart sank.
“He’s been hurt. I’m going to the hospital. You need to come.”
I flew to the hospital, only to find I had to wait. I had to wait to see my husband’s lifeless body. Wait to learn he needed a ventilator to keep him alive. Wait to discover every one of his shattered bones and understand what his head and brain were enduring. Wait to see every device supporting his body. While I waited, I read a Bible found in the hospital chapel. The words I read called out for life, despite the threat of death.
Ten weeks later, the calendar said Thanksgiving, but the hospital was still our home.
We gathered around three folding tables the staff had pieced together. We sat yards away from where he was relearning to brush his teeth, dress himself. A quick right down the hallway was the cafeteria where his new friends gathered around the table in wheelchairs until they learned how to walk again. Many wouldn’t. Trying to mask the weight of all of this was fruitless, but still, we laid out tablecloths, lit candles, and ate turkey.
I felt wordless with this husband-miracle before me, and only obvious words came from my mouth. I’m thankful for Kenny’s life. That God saw fit to spare him, and he is here with us.
What I said was true, yet felt incomplete. My Thanksgiving table utterance lacked a certain depth that occurs when you walk through fire with someone, as Jesus and I had. As I processed, I couldn’t shake the thought: Why do I miss that first awful room at the hospital? Why when I think back on the sterile walls and the tubes and the crying out to the Lord on my knees on the cold floor – all the quiet suffering that happened there — do I feel a longing reminiscence?
I had been thrust into a world where “stability” vanished, and had gone on an all-out search for something constant. My hope couldn’t be in the ventilator numbers saying what I wanted them to. My hope could not be found in the assurance that “kids are resilient” and my four year old wouldn’t be forever hardened by her experience.
Riding the roller coaster was getting exhausting and leaving my soul empty. The doctor would say his breathing improved. Upward swing of hope. Or, another CAT scan was necessary for fear of a stroke. My stomach would flip from the drop. The roller coaster had to stop.
I had to ask myself: In what am I hoping? Because when I would ask for healing, He would say, I am your refuge (Psalm 46:1).
When I’d plead for a miracle, do you know how He would answer me? I am your strength (Psalm 46:1).
When I would beg for some indicator that everything would be alright, I heard, Be still. Why? Just because I am God. (Psalm 46:10).
These were not promises of what would come tomorrow, or how our family would be ten years from now. They were promises of the One who ordains it all. I had to recognize that the Lord does come through, but He comes through on our behalf, not on behalf of our circumstances.
We can ask Jesus for help in believing from the depths of our souls that He is enough.
We search His Word for Truth. We refuse to take what the circumstance is speaking to us – screaming at us – as the final word. When we need His miraculous power, when we are crying out for the pain to end, when answers shrivel before our eyes, the heart of our Father is at work. He sees it all. He sees you, and says, Her health may fail. Her spirit may grow weak, but I will be her Strength (Psalm 73:26, paraphrase).
And He will stop at nothing to settle your spirit under the gaze of His eyes.Leave a Comment