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Hospital Conversations & A Heart of Contradictions

Note: I realize this blog is pretty long, but it's worth it if you'll hang in there with me! 

 

It’s happened before-just a little stomach flu or food poisoning…nothing to worry about.

Little did I know that this seemingly harmless sickness was the beginning of a three day escapade in the hospital, followed by a yet to be determined amount of days resting at our guesthouse. Skipping the medical details (you’re welcome), suddenly Alys, Sarah, and I were walking to the main road to flag down a tuk-tuk in order to take us to the ER, where they took my vitals, asked what was wrong, and told me to sit down and wait until a doctor was able to see me.

In all my selflessness, I patiently waited.

What in the world is taking them so long?! Don’t they understand that throwing up blood is a BIG DEAL? Well, at least this will be a good story, right? Lord, what is happening right now?

I am with you.

After what seemed to me to be years of waiting to see a doctor, a nurse came to get me. Since I had been in earlier that day, they already had my medical information and I was able to get help right away. The doctor asked some questions, poked and prodded around my stomach, and gave me a few options as to where to go from here. At this point, I was in so much pain that I simply chose the option that seemed the least painful and a nurse begins to set up an IV for me. As she does this, I see my tattoo, which says “Amen”, with a lily to remind me not to worry and to seek first the Kingdom.

Amen, let it be so, Lord. But Jesus, I don’t understand.

Be strong and courageous, daughter. Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

The next few hours consisted first of my co-leaders praying for me and making the decision to stay the night in the hospital while they headed back to Lighthouse to be with the team. I was moved to a wheelchair and eventually taken up to a room, where I settled in, figured out some more paperwork with a nurse, and began journaling in an attempt to quiet my chaotic thoughts.

How long will I be in the hospital? What will the blood tests show? Why is this happening to me?

I’m taking you into deeper levels of trust and intimacy through this; don’t be afraid.

Eventually, I drifted off to sleep and awoke to the beginning of the medical process of figuring out what is wrong with me and how to treat it. I fade in and out of sleep, team members come to visit, tests are done, specialists talk to me… CT scans, vitals, blood draws, movies, journal entries, attempts to eat, podcasts, naps, skype sessions, etc. Basically, I was released on Saturday morning without a whole lot of answers, except that it’s not appendicitis (Praise the Lamb!) and it is some form of gastroenteritis “of unknown origin”. With my prescriptions in hand and frustrations in mind, I returned to Lighthouse and began to rest and recover.

I’m slowly, but definitely surely, getting better each and every day. Since being back, I’ve been around and around with the Lord as to the purpose in this. The battle between my flesh and spirit is raging; my heart is full of contradictions.

I don’t understand and am so frustrated and mad at The Lord.

Peace and trust transcends all my human understanding.

I feel like I’m missing out on our last two weeks in Thailand.

I'm glad to be released to rest and rejuvenate.

My faith is shaken.

I’ve never been so sure of being firmly rooted in Christ.

I’m all alone.

I’ve never been closer to Jesus or in greater human community.

There’s so much brokenness.

I’m experiencing complete healing.

All I see is dark valley surrounding me.

Everywhere I look, Your light and hope is breaking through.

 

Overall, a question lingers-

Am I worth it?

Yes, yes You are. It’s not easy though.

I never said it would be.  In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Amen, let it be so, Lord.

In addition to this, I have the most beautiful team. I’ve told them this but want everyone else to know as well: They are the only people I know who can one moment make me laugh so hard I throw up and the next immediately begin to pray for me when I do.  I’m in love with them.

Also, Praise God for international medical insurance! My hospital bill was around $1700, a significant portion of which was covered by insurance. However, I still have about $600 in medical expenses that I was not expecting, but fully trusting The Lord to provide for. If He lays in on your heart to bless me financially and help cover these bills, I’d be ever-grateful, so please let me know.  

I'm overwhelmed by the amount of prayer and support I've received over the past week- it's been a beautiful picture of the body loving each other well and gives me so much hope for us as a church. Thank you. 

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