Tears rolled down my face as I was wheeled into my hospital room early on Sunday morning. I did not want to be there. Moments before, I’d come up from the Emergency Room where it was revealed that I had developed pneumonia.
As my husband and I sat in the ER late on Saturday night, I was processing the fact that I was going to be admitted to the hospital. I thought of past hospital and health experiences and preferred the comfort of my home again. But, along with my husband, the Lord had a little lady named “Grace” help settle my concerns. The hospital would not allow my husband to stay with me because of the visiting hours established within their COVID policy.
I suddenly felt lonely, although people were there in the room. But deep within myself, I considered that there must be some reason why God would want me here.
Then I thought of my mother-in-law, Lois. She had always made a big impression in the lives of people around her. Although she encountered many health storms of her own, she desired to make a difference, to share God’s love, and to let others know that they had beauty within. She often told doctors, nurses, technicians, and other patients and their family members that they were “beautiful” and that God loved them. In a hospital environment through pain of her own she was adamant about sharing the incredible love of God. And so, I decided that I would, too. I was discouraged about having to be admitted but decided that I would share those three words wherever and whenever I could: God loves you.
On the day that I thought I was to be discharged, no hospitalist came for me. Earlier in the day, one of my doctors asked me if I wanted to go home that day. I said, “I sure hope so!” But as the day drew to its end, I realized that I was going to be staying. After some uplifting from my husband, I settled in, watched some of my favorite digital TV shows, and soon fell fast asleep.
The next day, I realized why my discharge was delayed and why I had been sent to the hospital at all.
My roommate had a heart condition that had persisted since birth. Throughout her life, it resulted in much pain, discomfort, a host of surgeries, and more. But in this hospital stay, she and her caregiver, who happened to be her daughter, were faced with a great decision. It was one that caused them to reflect upon her past medical history, to review their storms they had previously encountered, and to consider where they were to go from here. The decision-making process stirred emotions and invoked tears – and love and concern for each other.
Over the course of a few days, she had earlier shared her story with me and my husband, but with this day’s news brought grief, and she began to share once again. As she continued to share, God gave song, scripture, and an invitation to experience renewal. The Lord’s Holy Spirit filled the room, and in a place where brokenness and hopelessness once abode, God gave restoral.
To the caregivers, you should know that your best efforts are always good enough. You are loved, valued, and appreciated. There are many battles that you fight that often go unnoticed. But you are a champion, an advocate, and a warrior, and God wants to bring restoral to you as well. You make sacrifices and are often left with the consequences of decisions, but you don’t have to carry that burden alone. Give the pieces to God and trust Him with your wholeness, because He wants to care for you the way that you have cared for your loved one.
I have come to realize that people in the hospital and their loved ones can often be at their lowest. People are broken, some are hopeless, and many are just seeking answers. But, one does not have to be lost within their brokenness, because it is God who writes the story, and it is He who will provide the answers.
We often view God’s restoral as a method of looking back in order to move forward. But, God says, “You are not bound to the brokenness, fears, or experiences of your past in order to experience My restoral.”
Perhaps you’re facing a decision in the healthcare in the life of a loved one. Perhaps you’re the one in the hospital bed. Maybe you’re hurting and pondering the broken places you have once encountered in your life. Perhaps you’ve questioned your ability to perform.
During this time of restoral, God will bring you reassurance and affirmation that you measure up. He put this path before you because He wants you to walk through the process. No longer tell yourself that you are not good enough, and no longer allow your confidence to be swayed by the winds of opinions, self-doubt, or insecurities. Be strong and courageous, and be full of confidence, because God is removing the debris and leading you into your destiny.
Grace – how fitting, that in this season, there have been many new blessings and things that God has placed before my husband and me. And He is doing this for you, too. It is not we ourselves who write the story, but it is God who positions us to play a part within it. God heals, He restores, and He makes whole. As He walks us into new territories, we will be at the appointed destination at the appointed time.