As many of you know I was in the hospital recently for Covid.
I mentioned in previous posts that it was a very traumatic experience. The whole might die thing was traumatic, of course, but being away from my family and thrown in the midst of the chaos of a hospital where they are treating very sick patients was also very traumatic.
I’ve been a Christian since I was five-years old. I’d like to say I’ve trusted God through every moment of my life and never doubted but that would be a lie. I am a human with human doubts.
Over the years I’ve tried to build my faith through saying familiar verses over and over or relying on God’s promises from the Bible. My mom has helped me do this more than anyone.
Sitting in the emergency room Thanksgiving night, hooked up to oxygen and an IV, I tried to remember the verses my mom had recited to me over the years:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
My husband played music and sermons while we waited to see what treatment they would give me. We both tried to stay calm even as my mind raced.
In the midst of it all, while I thought of the worst (imagined myself being intubated like they talk about on the news), there did seem to be an odd sense of peace settling over me. I wanted to scream and run away more than once but something in me said to stay in place and God was going to walk me through it if not deliver me from it. He wanted to give me peace even as the chaos was swirling around me.
Peace settled over me again and again throughout the next five days. That doesn’t mean that I was cool as a cucumber or never had a breakdown because I definitely did. I cried more than once, I begged God to send me home with my family, I wondered if I would get worse and never make it home. I had the incessant trembling in my body which still remains.
God sent me a roommate on my second day there. I was moved from a private room to a new room in another wing at 3 a.m. with a roommate and I was terrified. I had gotten used to my cozy room and the nurses and aids on their 12 hour shifts. I had met Phil and Lisa and they were amazing and wonderful and reassuring. They were my safety nets, and they were being taken away. I was terrified again.
I wanted to be sure my oxygen was going with me too. That was my physical lifeline. I needed to keep remembering that God was my real lifeline though. He had to keep reminding me and he did that when they began to turn the oxygen I was on down until they took it off me only a day and a half after they’d put me on it.
I needed to pray for even more peace when I was taken to a room with a roommate, but then I needed to pray for peace for her too. Her situation was much worse. Her oxygen was dropping every time she tried to sit up or use the bathroom. The staff was monitoring her blood oxygen 24/7. They had stopped doing that for me which was another source of fear I had to overcome. Every time they came into the room to check my pulse ox I tensed up. What if it was low again? What if I had a setback? Obviously they thought I didn’t need to be monitored constantly, so that should calm me, right?
And it did most of the time, but it also worried me because what if my oxygen dropped when they weren’t checking?
What if they didn’t get there fast enough and I couldn’t breathe?
What if was my favorite two words, as you can see.
Then a nurse said to me, “what if everything turns out fine? What if you are doing great, because you are? Sometimes we need to focus on the good what-ifs.”
I knew she was right and that I needed to be focused on the good what-if’s even as I struggled with the bad what-ifs.
My mom and others sent a ton of encouraging verses on to me over my five-day stay and even over this last week and I held on to one of them as my prayer: that God would give me the peace that passes all understanding throughout my ordeal.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I did my best to focus on the good things each day. I focused on the times the trembling was better or the times my head was a little more clear than the day, or hour (ha), before. I focused on the meals I could eat and taste. I focused on how I could talk to my family even in the hospital. I would also focus on the good moments with my roommate, the times her breathing was better or she could rest.
There were many times during my ordeal that peace settled over me and there are many times that peace settles on me now as I recover. There are days, though, I have to pray for that peace, ask God again to give it to me as he did in the hospital. I will never stop asking for it and claiming it in his name.
I will keep praying for it until it is manifest in my life.
I have a small book that a friend gave to me years ago and one thing it says in the book is to call upon the healing we want until that healing comes and that is what I am doing right now. I am declaring healing for my body but especially for my mind and my spirit. And I am declaring internal peace.