Life can flip on you in a second.
Friday morning I had just walked in the door from a routine spin class. I had pre-paked lunches and laid out clothes for a much anticipated day at Dollywood. Much antipicated by me, I confess, more than anyone else. Dollywood is one of my happiest places – do you know this about me?
But before my sweat even had time to dry, my cell phone starts to ring. And elderly care or not, a phone call before 8am is rarely good.
It was my grandomther , who is 92 and lives 2 miles up the street in a retirement community. I fumbled my phone out of my gym bag, but was a second too late. I called back to her distressed voice on the other end of the line.
“Becky, I’ve been sick for hours, I think you should come up here.”
Que call to 911, jump in the car and drive.
I find Mamaw laid out on her bed, rubbing her chest with tears falling out the corners of her eyes.
Note: I am really no good at being “fake-calm”. I am sure she read right through my hand-patting and hair-petting. I was scared. She looked b-a-d.
But God’s adminstering angels showed up, dressed in EMT costumes, carrying heart rate monitors and pushing a big rolly bed.
Tests were showing she had gone into Atrofibulation. A new thing for her.
I sunk my teeth deeply into the Fruit of the Spirit, “Self-Control” and did not bother these nice gentlemen-slash-angels with my accruing list of questions. I waited. And believe it or not, listening works! (Who knew!?) Many of my questions answered before I could ask them.
So off we go to the ER. Friday am. 7:30. The beginning of what has now become “Day 4” of her hospital stay. Room 330.
“Hurry up and wait.” The motto of the weekend.
If I have said it once, I have said it 100 times. That’s what you do in the hospital… “Hurry up and wait.”
She has undergone test after test and seen one amazing doctor after another. No big conclustions yet. Gall stones are apparent. Diverticulosis has been thrown around. Her heart flipped back into a normal rhythm (Praise the Lord) so the focus has gone from chest to belly and we, well, hurry up and wait some more.
I have chuckled to myself a few times over the weekend, because you know your house is completely chaotic when you find a hospital room a bit serene. Mamaw and I enjoyed self-enduced manis/pedis yesterday afternoon, the cafeteria sells Starbucks, I have blown through the book 7, by Jen Hatmaker and even dozed off a couple of times.
But of course, we would all rather be home in our environment, Mamaw would prefer no IVs or hospital food, I know. Brent and sitters have saved my life this weekend (Katie Redd – I love you). But God has been sweet to us… taylor-making this weekend for her with the best team of docs. She was sick for two weeks prior to this. And it is sad that three phone calls to her primary care physician did no good. Must one go into Afib to be taken seriously? Geez.
So… we “hurry up and wait” some more today. Further testing. More Starbucks and boo-coos more intentionality.
Because the days are short and our time together is limited. And I am not talking just about Ethel anymore.
I look around at my life and am overly aware of how quickly twelve years of marriage has flown and how tall my boys have grown.
I wore my 10-year-old’s squishy pants the other night, for Heaven’s sake. Yep. They fit. He is that big now.
And I get all crazy sitting in a quiet room for too long. And not straight-jacket crazy, either. Jesus crazy.
Thinking about His Word and obedience and what I really need to be doing in my life. What matters most? I have spent a good amount of time evaluating the time clock of my days and making sure I am spending my coins well.
And my answer has been “not really.”
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in worthless deeds… Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5:10-11, 15-17
What pleases you, Lord? How can I make the most of everyday… not for my own good, but for yours. Help me understand what YOU WANT ME TO DO!
Oh friends, I have to imagine you relate to this. What is it that He wants us to do? Today. What pleases Him? Today.
I know that it is impossible to please Him without Faith. So that is where we begin. Faith in God. The God-kind-of-Faith. Believing He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
But how does that play out in our lives… today?
Sit with this questions this morning, as I do, as well.
Lord, today… let me be careful how I live. Not as fools, but like those who are wise. Let us make the most of every opportunity today. Let us not act thoughtlessly, but let us UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT US TO DO. At work. At home. In ministry. In our neighborhood. With our loved ones. With our enemies. Let us please you today.
These words from Isaiah encouraged me deeply today, as well. I claim them over the next few days, as Mamaw and I “hurry up and wait” some more. Be blessed this Monday.
Isaiah 41:8-16 The Message
8–10 “But you, Israel, are my servant.
You’re Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
11–13 “Count on it: Everyone who had it in for you
will end up out in the cold—
Those who worked against you
will end up empty-handed—
nothing to show for their lives.
When you go out looking for your old adversaries
you won’t find them—
Not a trace of your old enemies,
not even a memory.
That’s right. Because I, your GOD,
have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.’
14–16 “Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob?
Don’t be afraid.
Feel like a fragile insect, Israel?
I’ll help you.
I, GOD, want to reassure you.
The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.
I’m transforming you from worm to harrow,
from insect to iron.
As a sharp-toothed harrow you’ll smooth out the mountains,
turn those tough old hills into loamy soil.
You’ll open the rough ground to the weather,
to the blasts of sun and wind and rain.
But you’ll be confident and exuberant,
expansive in The Holy of Israel!
And if you think of it… Pray for Ethel. Thanks. 🙂