Last week, I mentioned to you that I was going to share with you some stories of the real people angels and heavenly angels that ministered to us during my time of illness.
This weekend, my mind has been flooded with circumstances that I experienced during this 50 days of my life. I had mentioned with my husband about how I would like to share these experiences with you, my friends. He smiled…and gently noted that I only remember portions of some of the stories because they are the ones that my family has shared with me since I was significantly drugged during most of my time due to pain from the pancreatitis.
So I decided to let you hear from the those story tellers in these next couple of posts…from their perspective (the less drug-induced ones). Stayed tuned for those treasures!
It is going to be good, I am confidant of that because for some reason even after 9 years post illness, they can still come up with memories that they haven’t share with me before. The funny ones, where I have laughed till tears were rolling down my cheeks, (those are the good ones) and serious ones when God was with them and things looked tough.
Both are important in the scheme of life!
I did have many, many memories of times when I believe God encountered me when no one else was around. These were good talks that I had with Jesus…whether I was drugged or not! *smile*
This weekend, God reminded me of one angel in particular. She was a human one. Actually, she probably wouldn’t sit at the top of my “memorable experiences list” but I believe God wanted me to remember her to humble me in my place in life no matter what is going on around me.
This girl was in her early 20’s. I don’t remember her name, but she arrived like clockwork for the night shift for the last two weeks I was at Shands. (the days when I wasn’t on much pain medication) Let’s call her “Kristen” for the sake of me telling this story. (She actually reminded of a girl in my church named Kristen.)
She is probably one of those people I wouldn’t have gravitated to at any other time in my life. She didn’t stand out but her servant’s heart did.
Kristin, who was a nurse tech, would bounce into the room with a smile on her face letting me know that she had arrived to make my evening special.
Special?? Special would be to go HOME! By this time, in my journey, my patience was running thin. I was ready to go on with my life. This “interruption” that God was using to teach me so many truths was good and all…but really?? I had already been in this place 6 weeks. (Lasting a total of 7 1/2).
Now, don’t let me confuse you, I was still very sick. They had JUST begun after 5 weeks of nothing passing through my lips as far as nourishment; water/ice included, to allow me to start with the very basics of liquids. I had also during this time begun to learn how to walk again. A quite amazing feat that I now do quite regularly.
I was also receiving respiratory therapy as the medical term was to remove the fluid that had accumulated in massive amounts on my lungs. I called it beating therapy. They would literally HIT my back to get the “stuff” to release from my lungs.
The doctor’s were using lasix in incredible heavy doses to pull the fluid off my body. So everyone was concerned hourly how much I had put into my “bag”. So much so, that I was being awaken every morning at 5am to be weighed. (I guess before that 6am shift change.) That is just an ungodly hour in my opinion.
My feet and hands were terrifically in pain. A luxury for me would be to have someone massage them.
Kristen would come in and make sure I everything that I needed to get me ready for bed. Extra pillows were a frequent request. and foot massages were a nightly ritual with her.
She would gladly, rub my feet with some kind of hand held massager. I didn’t even know her. She didn’t have to do this at all. It wasn’t in her job description. But she did it. Without hesitation and smiling the whole time.
Another thing that Kristen did was out of the ordinary too. Usually, it is against some kind of law in the hospital to have a fan, but special arrangements were made for me to have one because even though my body had just walked through fire on the insides with Pancreatitis, I had still managed to not miss the post-partum phase of night sweats.
I could time them down to 9pm on the dot…crazy… but oh, Kristen, was right there. She would have several wet hand towels ready to go for my face and arms. She would turn the fan on and make sure I had everything I needed until it passed.
Nights were in particularly lonely in the hospital. Kevin didn’t stay with me he needed his time too. God gave me grace to understand that. He also didn’t want to eat in front of me. The smell of food at this time would make me want to vomit.
Kristen would talk with me about her life. She would ask me about my daughters. I would cry because I missed them so terribly, but somehow those talks helped me remember what I was fighting for.
I needed strength to remember why I was there. God had a purpose. He had a very good reason for using ME in this journey.
Watching Kristen humbled me as well. She spent so much time making sure my needs were met. But all the while had joy in her heart.
Her life wasn’t easy. She was in school, living at home, so desperately wanting to make a living on her own. She didn’t have much at all! But God allowed my time with her to tell her about my story and Jesus. The miracle in the making that I knew God was doing. I believe it gave her hope.
She showed me how blessed others are when we have a servant’s heart attitude toward life.
Right now, today in life I am reminded over and over the scripture that was so ingrained in me during those days…
James 1:2-4 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Boy Howdy, I could go on and on with this scripture – Believe me, I have looked on it from every angle but it doesn’t matter which version you read it from – that JOY word is still in there.
No matter how HARD things get, when everything looks like you are at the end of your rope…we are to have JOY! I have mentioned before that this word in the Hebrew means to literally “jump up and down.”
All things in life grow us up to a place of matured faith and endurance…both are important. But when we ARE at the end of your rope and your endurance is fully developed as the word says, you do not need A THING!
I think I am still working on the faith part as well as the endurance part! It’s a daily thing.
Thank you Lord for “Kristen”, you know her real name. Jesus, bless her with your Love and Comfort just as she did as your servant those last days for me at Shands. Help her to know that she was my angel during those late night shifts 9 years ago.
Help me to reach out of my comfort zone to bless others, even when I don’t want to or even have time in my schedule to.
Bless my family as we jump in JOY when things go good but also when things don’t look so promising. For we know, that through all of these hard times, they have a purpose and plan to grow us up in our FAITH and our ENDURANCE to that we don’t even need anything else but YOU.
In Jesus name,
Watch THIS VIDEO by Jeremy Camp from his song “The Way”. I think you will be amazed at the end product! Oh Friends! This is my cry today! I have PRAISED His name with all the faith and endurance that is in me today! I pray you will see His angels as they are all around you today!