Faithfully Thinking: When All You Have Is God

It’s hard to write about something you don’t want to write about.

Over and over I heard this in my head when I start to write: “No one cares, Lisa. No one cares.”

And maybe no one does care about the time last year when I was in the hospital with Covid and I felt closer to God than I ever had before or since, but I’m going to write about it anyhow.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking a lot about how there was a time I thought I wouldn’t be here to enjoy the smallest joys in life.

I’ve been finding myself stopping in the middle of a frustrating moment with my child or pet or husband and taking a deep breath and letting it out again, my shoulders relaxing as I remember how lucky I am to be here with them, enjoying life.

When you think you might never come home again, you find yourself noticing the simplest things and smiling. You stop on your way in to the house after Thanksgiving dinner with your parents and look in the kitchen window and watch your daughter and your cat and your husband and smile.

You tip your head back and you look up at the sky and just sit for a few minutes in the silence, grateful for your feet on the ground and the breeze on your cheek, even if it is a cold winter breeze.

I’ve been interrupted, distracted, and thwarted every time I’ve tried to write this post.

I’ve typed, deleted, typed and deleted again.

I’ve reworded, taken it apart and put it back together again and then I deleted it all again.

Apparently, this post is something someone doesn’t want me to write, which is why I’m going to write it anyhow.

When I’m done, I won’t like how I wrote it and I’ll want to rewrite it again, or maybe even delete it, but I’m not going to. I’m writing this while the chaos of my house is going on around me and it may not make sense, but I’m writing it, posting it and hoping it encourages someone, shows them that God is with us in the small and big moments, even when we feel like he’s not.

On this day last year I was admitted to the hospital with Covid after my oxygen dropped. I didn’t feel like my oxygen was low while I had Covid. I was tired and weak, but I could take deep breaths. While I had Covid I read about oxygen dropping and some people not noticing it because of something called silent hypoxia.

 I had been reading too much about all the bad that can happen, quite frankly, partly because I’d had a fever for eight days and couldn’t get it to go away and partly because I was worried about the rest of my family.

My pulse ox was lower than it should be on the morning of Thanksgiving, but not super low. Just not coming up past 95, which I had read could mean that things might be getting bad. An ambulance ride and a visit to the ER confirmed my oxygen was even lower than what my home pulse ox was saying. I was hooked up to oxygen and transferred to a hospital 45 minutes north. I was relieved when I was transferred to that hospital because originally they had thought they might need to transfer me three hours south.

I knew if I was 45 minutes north my family would be able to visit me. Three hours? Yeah, that would have been a lot harder.

In the ER I was started on an anti-viral that would keep me in the hospital for five days. I didn’t want to do it or stay in the hospital, especially when it looked like my oxygen was responding well to a very small amount of supplemental oxygen.

Oddly, a sense of peace settled over me as if I knew God was going to be with me. I won’t say I was totally calm the entire time. I did wonder if I was going to die, but the nurses were very reassuring and my stats were doing well.

I started out my stay in the hospital in a private room but was later moved to a room with a roommate when they needed the room for a male patient.

I detailed a lot of this last year in a post I shared shortly after I was released from the hospital, but during my stay I found myself listening to worship music and praying not only for myself but for the woman next to me who was in much worse shape. There was more than once I thought the woman wouldn’t make it. At one point I stood and walked to her bed, laid my hand on her shoulder and prayed for her while she fitfully slept, fever and exhaustion overwhelming her.

The nurses and respiratory therapists had been trying to encourage her to use a cpap and had also been increasing her oxygen while decreasing mine.

When I laid my hand on her and prayed, the numbers on the monitor began to rise. Her oxygen level had been in the 60s at one point ,then the 80s and as I prayed it rose to 98 and the woman was able to rest some.

The night I was preparing to leave I was being given my last dose of antiviral when my blood pressure rose. The nurse in charge didn’t want to let me go home, which was a devastating thought to me. I knew that I needed to be home with my family to heal. I began to panic, which, of course, wasn’t helping my blood pressure.

I silently asked God why he was doing this to me. Why was he having this happen when my blood pressure had been doing so well while I was in the hospital?

My roommate was sitting on the edge of her bed behind the curtain, breathing hard, waiting for a nurse to come and help her to use the portable toilet next to her bed.

I felt like I needed to pray for her, tall her how she could talk to Jesus any time she needed to. I felt weird even thinking about it. I am not a bold Christian. I am not someone who walks up to someone and asks them if they know God. I had already prayed with the woman a couple of times and she had told me she appreciated it. This time I prayed over her and told her how she could talk to Jesus and ask him into her life while we waited to see if my blood pressure would come down.

It didn’t come down but the nurse finally agreed to let me go home if I would monitor it at home, call my primary care doctor the following day and return if it continued to rise. I agreed to all of this and was sent home.

Relying on Jesus to be with me when no one else could was what got me through those five days and it was what got me through the next two months while I recovered.

This Thanksgiving I couldn’t stop a giddy feeling bubbling up inside me as I remembered where I was last year. Before dinner I hugged my son several times, telling him how happy I was to be here with him, with the whole family.

I wished I could explain to them what it feels like to be handed your life back when you think you’re going to lose it. I wish I could explain it better even now. I wish I could convey to anyone who reads this what it is like to be dragged to the bottom of an ocean and just when you think you can’t hold on another moment you’re dragged up to the surface, bursting from the water, taking a deep breath and feeling the sun warm against your skin again.

I wish I could capture in a bottle that feeling of thinking you’re life will never be the same and then realizing that it never being the same isn’t actually a bad thing because it’s going to be even better now that you have been shown what it means to live again.

For the last year I have had many moments of fear. I have had many moments of questioning if I will catch Covid again and if my lungs were damaged or if my oxygen will drop again. I have questioned what is wrong with my health or what my future will mean. Each time the fear hits me, though, I try my best to remember the peace I felt those five days in the hospital. I remember a voice I’ve heard more than once saying, “I saved you then, I’ll do it again.

 I can’t stop the feeling that I’ve been given a gift, that God yanked me from my comfort on Thanksgiving Day of 2021, tossed me into one my biggest nightmares, held me close while there, then ushered me home and whispered, “Never forget how I was there for you in the hospital. It’s exactly how I am there for you now.”

Thanksgiving Day is to remember what we are thankful for. How fitting that God gave me an experience that will never let a Thanksgiving go by without me remembering one of the biggest reasons I have to be thankful.

16 thoughts on “Faithfully Thinking: When All You Have Is God

  1. I will always love reading this story. You can make this a tradition every Thanksgiving and it would never get old for me. God wants you to share this, as there are so many of us out here that need to hear that God is here, he loves us and is always by our sides.


  2. This was such a scary time! I remember you told me over chat that you thought you had Covid and had this fever that was lasting days and going and coming back – then, I didn’t hear from you for days. I was so worried and I had no idea how I was going to find out if you were ok! When you texted me from the hospital I was still nervous but also relieved to hear from you.

    I know exactly what you mean about feeling closer to God in this situation. I had a similar experience myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it was such a crazy time. I was a basketcase part of that time, as you know, and I do think that had a lot to do with me getting worse. I didn’t even remember who I messaged and didn’t until I was in the hospital. That’s when I had nothing else to do but sit and text I guess. lol.


  3. My friend, you were obedient and listened to God’s voice by posting this. Of course, “someone” didn’t want you to think it, write it, or post it because God would be honored and glorified in what you wrote. I’m thankful for you and your journey, so please know I’m one who does care.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. I’m thankful you posted this, Lisa. Satan hurls his lies against us but God is with us, for us, and so much bigger and uses even the hardest things to bring us closer to Him.

    I remember reading your post last year and being able to really relate as I was experiencing the similar. Thankful for God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. He turns what looks like graves into gardens for His glory.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Oh I’m so glad you persevered and hit publish on this post! Yes and yes to all you’ve said! There really are no adequate words to describe the mystery of God’s presence with us in a crisis, in those moments where a life is in the balance. But you’ve helped us all to experience a little bit of what He gave you then. Thank you so much for lifting our eyes back to what really matters. This world is getting darker around us every day, but the love of Christ is still beating strongly in our hearts!! Blessings to you dear Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is really hard to talk about matters of faith. (And this comment isn’t writing itself either! Talk about writing and rewriting and deleting…) Faith isn’t necessarily something you have, it’s something that is often developed and built over a long time. Of course, I want to share God with everyone, but most people aren’t interested in an in-your-face lecture at the drop of a hat. You can’t make a person have faith, but you can light a spark, and you can encourage it.

    I’ve had a number of religious “experiences” in my life. I converted to Orthodox Christianity at 23. One of the most intense ones was in 2004, when a friend’s grandmother had a stroke and lay in the hospital for three weeks before dying. I knew from the start that God was making me available to be with my friend and his family for the duration . (At the time, I lived almost 3 hours away.) I remember feeling that, despite the situation, God was near, and that the prayers “mattered”. (That’s probably a bad way of putting it, but I’m not thinking of a better word at the moment.) I had learned the Lord’s Prayer as a child, but in this situation, I felt like I was finally praying “Thy Will be done” in earnest; that my prayers weren’t supposed to be a yammering of a wishlist, that I had to trust Him in His Wisdom, and that in prayer, for truly “effective” prayer, my “job” was to work to align myself with Him in that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my friend… I know this walk! Both my husband and myself were hospitalized for Covid last November. Six days in isolation with the threat of a ventilator! We both were so very ill. They let him come sit in my room on the day he was sent home. I remained there another 2 days. I spent hours in prayer. It was the closest to God I have ever been. And I am grateful for the chance to still be here. God holds us closer than we think – in the hard, and in the every day. I am so grateful! Blessings….

    Liked by 2 people

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