Three days. That’s how long it took me to talk to God. On day four of my hospital confinement, I reached out to Him, and He was waiting with open arms. I simply began to talk to Him and speak what was on my heart and mind - my fears, my anger, my frustrations, the injustice, my hopelessness and sadness. Did He condemn me for these feelings? Did He chastise for me not turning to Him immediately? No. Never. Not even once. Instead, He spoke words of comfort to me. He brought Scriptures to my mind that uplifted me and challenged my faith and trust in God. He used others to minister to me in the midst of my pain. Through it all, He loved me and He never left me. He allowed me to be broken so He could mend me.
My newborn was able to spend the night with me after that first night. Thankfully, I got to spend some sweet time with him that second week of his life, and I was able to see my 2 year old for about an hour a day. Since I couldn’t walk, I was not allowed to keep the baby with me without having another adult with me. So, during the days I was left by myself. I was left in silence with my thoughts and my fears. It was during this solitude that I grappled with my faith. It was here that depression overwhelmed me, but it was also here that God’s light broke through in the midst of my pain. Remember the planned-out quiet times I talked about a few weeks ago? Well, I was in the middle of Priscilla Shirer's Gideon study at the time I was going through the blood clot incident. I'll admit, when I first started the study I didn't think I needed it. I almost put it away for another time because I just wasn't "feeling it." How many times do we walk away from something we need because we just aren't "feeling it?" Feelings are created by God, but they aren't God and should never dictate our actions. So, I kept with it, and I'm glad I did! I'm continually amazed at how the Master Weaver orchestrates even the most minor details of our lives to create this beautiful and complete story that points everyone back to Him. I had been asking God to show me how to operate out of His strength and not my own. I've written on my struggle with this very issue many times and I was still muddling through it at the time. So, as I was sitting there in my hospital bed I finally pick up the Gideon study that had been sitting next to my bed for three days; and, there it was right on the cover of the book - "your weakness, God's strength." God began to show me that He was answering my prayers and how my current circumstance was an opportunity to rely on His strength, to turn to Him; and, all I had done was turn away. He gently beckoned me back to Him without chastisement or shame. I love what I heard Beth Moore say in one of her many Bible studies - that God is never disappointed with us when we don't choose Him because He knows exactly how many times it's going to take us to turn to Him; so, each time we're given an opportunity is one step closer to that moment when we finally reach out and grab hold of Him. God brought Psalms 91 to my mind that day. The very psalm my mom drilled into my head from the time I was a little girl. The psalm I memorized at an early age. It was now alive and real to me, jumping off the pages and reminding me that God's got this and He's got me. [Psalms 91]
After a week, I was finally discharged from the hospital. Physically healing, spiritually still learning and emotionally very broken. I had never been so undone in my entire life. Friends would ask how I was doing and I would burst into tears. That's not like me - at all! I prefer to do my crying by myself, usually in the shower when I can pass off my wet face as shower water instead of tears. I like to give the image that I have it all together....I'm pretty sure the only one I'm fooling is me, but that's another story for another day.... What I want to tell you right now is how much God loves you and me - His unconditional love that chases us down and envelopes us when we're so completely unworthy of it all. On the night I was admitted to the hospital, I texted my close friends. One of them didn't see it or respond until the next morning, but when she did I was blown away. She said she had been up the night before with a feeling in her gut that someone she knew had a blood clot. She had been praying for whoever it was - for me. A week later, another close friend told me she had a friend at a previous church with whom she was speaking and catching up with over the phone. During their conversation, she told my friend how she had had a dream about a woman who had just given birth and was diagnosed with a blood clot and had to stay in the hospital away from her newborn baby. She had been praying for whoever this person was for a week - for me. Not only did God call on others to pray for me when I couldn't pray for myself, but then He went above and beyond and showed me how many people were petitioning Him on my behalf. He didn't have to do any of that. But, He did. He lavished His love on me in a time of darkness and grief. He showed me His faithfulness at a time when I was faithless. He encouraged me when I was discouraged. He brought Scripture to mind at a time I couldn't bring myself to open up His Word. He allowed me to be broken, so He could mend me like only He can do.
He longs to do the same for you. He is there with you in the dark places. He is waiting with open arms for you to turn to Him. He loves you. He is for you. He is with you. Embrace Him and let Him begin to mend the broken places of your heart [Psalms 34].