It’s been a long month. I’ve spent more than 4 weeks in a hospital setting, and many days laying in the ICU. As a quadriplegic, I am unable to move in the bed or get up and walk around, so lying completely still for days and days causes a lot of anxiety and depression. I feel like I want to jump out of my skin because I get so crazy. I was finally transferred out of the hospital but into another long-term acute care facility (LTAC). An LTAC is basically a step down hospital for people who are too sick to return home or back to a facility, but can’t stay in a real hospital.
Last week I finally reached my breaking point since all this happened. I felt like my sanity, my faith, and my emotional well-being had snapped. I couldn’t think straight. I found it difficult to pay attention to what people were saying and sometimes felt at a loss of how to respond. It scared me and I wondered if I was losing my mind. Thankfully I had friends and family visit with me every day, many who spent time praying with me and for me.
James 5: 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.
The good news: since I’ve been in this LTAC, my lungs have gotten better. They are not completely healed but at least I don’t have to get suctioned every day just to breathe. I’m still on oxygen for now, but they will be weaning me off of that soon. So as good as this news may seem, now I have to leave this place because I’m not sick enough to be here! It’s on to another long-term care (LTC) facility and I am terrified of a new place with new staff and new challenges. There is a long shot chance I can go back to my former facility, but it looks like a super long shot right now.
I feel so lost right now. I’m researching different LTCs and finding someone has something negative to say about all of them, despite how they are rated on the government websites. This situation is so discouraging at times and yet I know God will lead me to the place I should go.
Isaiah 30: 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
After the long hospitalization and now having to start over with a new LTC, I am faced with things not turning out the way I hoped and prayed they would. I’ve had some serious frustrations and doubts over the last month or so. Most of the time, I like to think that everything is for God’s good purpose (Roman 8:28) and so it should have a rosy ending. Sometimes I look at scriptures like Psalm 18 and wonder, where are you God?
Psalm 18: 6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.
But we all know from other scriptures that there is no insulation from pain and heartache. Job, Joseph, Moses, John the Baptist, Paul, and countless others felt it. Most importantly, Jesus felt it. It’s all about how we react to it that shares a message with those around us.
I’m asking God to help me to stay faithful and prayerful and walk as Jesus walked in times of hardship. I want this mess to become a message. I want these difficulties to build my character.
Romans 5: 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
I look forward to these trials allowing me to experience pure joy. It may come in this lifetime or maybe even the next, but I know it’s waiting for me and I look forward to it with eager anticipation.
James 1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.