I walked down the hall of the hospital, the green-grey walls and fluorescent lighting sucking the life out of me. Heading toward a restaurant aptly named, “Au Bon Pain” which is supposed to mean, “The Good Bread” or something in French, I saw her.
The fourth or fifth crying woman I’d seen wandering the halls of the hospital, this one stood out to me. Young, dressed somewhat trendy with a vest and knit cap, skinny jeans and boots, she simply stood and leaned against the wall.
She tried to stop crying. But she couldn’t, so I named her, like the others, Crying Girl.
My husband had open heart surgery the day before. He still lay in pain in the ICU when I managed to make my way downstairs. Nearly every time I left him to get something to eat, I would see a crying woman.
I prayed for them.
I was blessed. I felt this crazy God-styled peace surpassing all understanding from the many of you praying for us. He blessed me with that. I got an extra bonus, too. I ended up staying in the lounge two nights after his surgery. I thought about doing the hotel, but it seemed to mean something to him to be closer by. A text away. Anyway, the extra blessing was the complete lack of pain upon waking – I slept in these ridiculous benchy-seat things from hades for two nights, and my connective tissue disorder and the arthritis seemed to be tamed for not just those two nights, but the entirety of the hospital stay.
Vegetable soup and a croissant on the tray, carrying my small meal in search of a table, I saw her again. She was still crying. She sat alone. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks. I wondered if I should speak to her. I prayed, and when I decided to walk over and invade her space, I looked up and she was gone.
I wondered if I would end up like her, crying and wandering the halls of a hospital.
I didn’t have to wait long for the answer.
We received news of a complication from surgery the next day. The nurses didn’t seem at all concerned, but put in a consult request to ophthalmology. Ten hours later, he came by. I had enough time to do enough research on the condition to either become annoying or ask intelligent questions, I still don’t know which.
After examining my husband, he went out into the hall and contacted someone else. I eavesdropped and heard him. “I need you to verify <BigScarySoundingMedicalWord>” Several minutes later, another doctor came in and proceeded to do all the same tests the first guy did.
Then they went into the hall to talk.
I stood close by and listened. I couldn’t hear much, but what I did hear didn’t make me happy.
They came in and explained to my husband what had happened, and how it might get better, might get worse, and might stay the same, but there was no treatment. He’d lost his peripheral vision in one eye. They handed me a note with a list of what it was and what it was not, knowing I would do more research on it.
The next day, the blindness had taken a bigger swath of his eyesight, and he was left with tunnel vision.
And I reflected on what they said – it could get better, it could get worse, it could stay the same, and there was no treatment.
I had read enough on the internet to know this was all seemingly true, and I went for a walk. Halfway down the hall, my mind started to race, as I remembered what one of the medical journals said – this almost always occurs bilaterally, meaning both eyes are affected – and sometimes not both at first. My brain revved the engine and sped out of control for a few moments… I thought about what this might mean. I played out possible outcomes. And pretty soon, I was Crying Girl.
And I knew I was being unproductive, knew we needed prayer, but I needed to get control.
I walked the halls. Tears streamed down my face. Strangers looked at me. It was dinner time, but I wasn’t hungry. I had to call our kids, too. UGH.
Instead, I called one of my best friends. “I don’t need you to help me solve this, I need you to help me get calm, because I can’t. He needs encouragement, the kids need to know so they can pray, and I need to get a hold of myself! I am thinking about the wrong things!”
She began to pray.
I kept crying.
And then His Presence wrapped itself around me, once again, washing away fear, replacing it with peace.
So then for several weeks He did the next things through me, in His strength, and we are still figuring things out. I managed to drive my husband nearly 8 hours each direction to a specialist and back within about 24 hours a day after we got home from the hospital. Those of you who know me well know the drive itself alone was miraculous. I hate driving. At heart, I’m a small town girl from Montana. Dirt roads not freeways are my style. Cows create traffic jams. But I felt privileged to do this interstate trip – and since he was either sleeping or trying to distract himself from pain with Audible books on the trip, I spent the entire time talking with the Lord.
We had a ton of conversation about many things. I would not trade that time for anything.
I did not, however, take all my thoughts captive over the last month, and the enemy managed to drag me down into his pit. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around how to talk about it… perhaps more on that in another post.
For now, please just continue to pray for healing for my husband, Jim, that his heart and eye heals completely. When we prayed together this morning, we talked to the Lord about how cool it would be to give Him credit for healing him in this way… but nonetheless, His will, not ours be done. Please also pray rest for me. I’m exhausted. I seriously haven’t been this tired… um… ever.
And the ministry has slowed way down since I’ve been focused on my husband and kids and Christmas. I had a few surprises over the holiday that also caught me off guard. So prayers of protection, life balance, and financial helps for the ministry would be appreciated greatly.
Which brings me to this:
Thank you for the donations. We had a number of people give to the ministry from the ONE email I managed to squeak out before New Year’s. THANK YOU!! We also have a new option, if you want to donate monthly, even if it is just $10 a month (a sacrifice of just TWO Starbucks) you have no idea how much that would help us! Having consistent income and being able to predict things financially would also help us grow. Here’s the link if you are interested: www.GreaterImpact.org/donate
I’m also REALLY SO SORRY I fell off the face of the planet for over a month.
I know we have people waiting on the updated eCourse to start, and this week we are working on it. We’ll have info out soon – I’m SO SO SORRY! I feel like I let you down in my absence – if you have messaged me on Facebook, left comments on other posts and got crickets (no response) or contacted the ministry and didn’t get a response, please try again – and know that I’m just so sorry to disappoint.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know going into this. I thought it would be like our two boys’ thoracic surgeries, and in some ways it was… but I didn’t realize how different it is to have my husband on the table. I didn’t expect it. I also didn’t expect to drive to Iowa. I think I was awake for nearly 24 hours during that. I still haven’t recovered.
I’m humbled to be on this journey with you. I can’t wait to share with you the many things God has taught me through this difficult and growthful time! And… I’ve missed you. I can’t wait to visit with you again!
Love to you,