The last place I wanted to be was the hospital. But that’s exactly where I found myself.
In the wee morning hours, a pain started on the right side of my abdomen. As the day progressed, the pain got worse. My symptoms mirrored those of appendicitis. Reluctantly, I told my husband I needed to go to the hospital.
As I looked at the building, pangs of fear washed over me. Dare I enter? “It’s a germ magnet if there ever was one,” I muttered. I had second thoughts about going in, but the nausea and pain reminded me why I had to acquiesce.
Upon entering, I asked where my husband should wait. The staff told me he was welcome to wait outside, or in the car. Knowing how long this might take, I told him to go home. As he drove off, I stood there, alone–with no support, no comfort, and no peace.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.~Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
The staff signed me in and registered my information. The nurse came around and put bands on my wrist. Searching to find a seat, I looked at all the other people waiting to see a doctor. Young, old, male and female, even infants.
“Sickness,” I whispered, “sure doesn’t discriminate.”
Here we were in this place together, yet forced to sit alone.
No smiles. No talking. No acknowledgments.
No one glanced up as I passed by them; most stayed glued to their cell phones.
Loneliness followed me like a shadow.
Within ten minutes, the nurse called me back to check my vitals. Could it be this visit would go faster than I expected? She drew blood and took my vitals while a technician asked me questions.
“Okay,” the tech said, “You can go back to the lobby and sit down until we have a room for you.”
I should have known. The waiting had only begun.
More people arrived, yet few left. That told me some were being admitted. Having appendicitis, I would soon be admitted myself. The thought made me feel uneasy. I had no one there to help me make decisions.
No one would hold my hand. No one would pray with me.
I bowed my head to pray but saw my arm was swollen and bloody. When the tech finisned drawing blood from my arm, it had not stopped bleeding. The gauze and Band-aid were saturated, but I applied pressure anyway to stop the bleeding. After it stopped, I took the soaked gauze and Band-aid off. I couldn’t believe the bruising had already started. I rolled my eyes and shook my head.
Then I saw my blouse. Bloodstain splat marks covered one side.
“You’ve got to be kidding!” I said a bit loudly.
Though I felt anger rising, I knew it wouldn’t do any good. Instead, I bowed my head once again, and this time I prayed.
Three-and-a-half hours later, I still had not been called back. My aggravation level reached its peak. Some who came in after me got called, but here I was, waiting still, with what I felt was a life-threatening situation. I went to the desk and asked how much longer.
“They’re cleaning a room for you now,” the registrant politely answered.
After waiting for another half hour, a CNA called my name. She brought me to a room, handed me a gown, and told me to change. I didn’t think I was going to have an exam and then walk out with a prescription in my hand. Fear tried to grip me, but I dodged that arrow by turning again to prayer.
Jesus, I’m here all alone, I pleaded, my inner thoughts begging Him to take over. No one can be with me. What if I need surgery? I’m scared.
Immediately, inwardly, I heard, You are not alone. I AM here with you, and I will take care of you.
Sudden peace covered me like a blanket. I smiled, wanting to stay in this relational moment, but I was interrupted by the nurse who came to tell me I needed a cat scan. She also needed to draw more blood and start an IV. Ugh! This was another indication that I would not be going home. Within minutes of drawing my blood, the bruising started again. Two bruises on two arms. I hoped they wouldn’t need blood a third time because I’d run out of arms.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.~Matthew 28:20 NIV
A tech showed up within an hour and took me to get the scan. One look at the machine and panic set in.
“Jesus,” I whispered.
The tech injected a contrast through my IV which made my entire body warm. As the table glided into the machine, my panic intensified.
“Jesus!” I whispered with tears. I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked to see if it was the tech, but nobody was there. “Jesus! Is that You?” I whispered a third time.
I AM right here, He whispered back in my ear. I recognized this as my Savior’s audible voice. Family couldn’t be with me, although they wanted to be, but Jesus was by my side. He made sure I knew I was not abandoned.
Instantaneously the warmth dissipated, the bed slid out of the machine, and I was done.
“Wow, how long was I in that machine? Five minutes?” I asked the tech.
“Honey”, she replied, “That was over thirty minutes.”
I gulped, looked up, and thanked Jesus. The tech asked me if I was all right.
“Yes,” I answered with a smile. “I am all right. Very much so.”
She returned me to my room to wait for the doctor. After another hour, the doctor came in.
“Well, the good news is you don’t have appendicitis,” she said.
“That’s great. That means no surgery!” I said, feeling relieved. “So, what’s the bad news?”
“You have what’s called diverticulitis.”
She explained the diagnosis to me, but all I processed was that three of my favorite snacks–popcorn, seeds, and nuts–were off-limits. Many thoughts ran through my mind, and I battled anger, but a tug on my heart stopped me. I was reminded of who I am because of the great I AM’s embrace.
I am God’s child. Father God has the authority to bind up sickness and disease in Jesus’ name. Sickness comes from Satan, not from God, so I needed to put the devil and his sickness under my feet. And that is exactly what I did.
After six and a half hours I walked out of the hospital—with a prescription in my hand, and my Lord Jesus Christ, my Healer, by my side.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.~Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Friend, no matter what you face, remember that Jesus Christ is a whisper away. He is for you, He is with you, and it is He that will see you through. Just as the I AM was with me, and still is, the I AM is also with you. Truest love teaches us that He never abandons His loved ones. Press into the One who knows how to keep you through every trial.
Share an experience where you knew the Lord was with you.
Father God, when I feel alone, I receive the promise that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to see me through to victory regardless of the situation. I know He will never forsake me; therefore, I am never alone. Thank You that even now the Holy Spirit is beside me, comforting and guiding me. Thank You also for Your ever-present love. Amen.
Copyright 2021: Embraced by “I AM”: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved