Hospital Scrubs and My Mother

I’ve gotten to know the emergency room at the hospital pretty well this week it seems. I am sitting in it as I type this, and was just here a week before as well.

I was here last week because I have a lovely little thing called diverticulitis. It’s actually not as fun as it sounds. Very painful actually, and I would not recommend it to anyone at all. And I don’t get to eat anything I like for the next few weeks. But it’s always fun to be on tons of medication that has crazy side effects, like hearing voices for example. That was not on the warning label (seriously, I heard voices. Strong stuff).

Anywho, I now find myself right across the hall from the room I was in a week ago. What are the odds? And strangely enough, this whole situation leads nicely into what I was going to write about anyway, which is the thing that I alluded to in my last post.

In my last post I kind of talked about how God puts us in places and situations that we don’t really like, but turns out to be part of the plan He has for us. We may never even see the outcome of what God is doing, which is where I am in the situation with my mom. I do not understand why or what good things could possibly come from it, and I don’t really think I ever will.

It’s a terribly long story so I’ll try and spare as many details as I can. A little over two years ago, my mom fell down a flight of stairs that left her badly injured. I was at a summer camp at the time but came home to spend the next few nights on the ICU waiting room floor, where we were woken up by the janitor each morning so he could mop, all the while waiting to find out the outcome of my mom. It was all too surreal. She was in ICU for a few weeks, all of which was a blur of different doctors and hospital hallways we chose to explore in our free time to distract ourselves since the magazines weren’t enough. Eventually my mom had to have brain surgery to save her life, which meant they had to take out part of her brain. I had no idea that was even possible. Throughout this whole time we did not have any guarantee she would even survive. We were told there was a 50% chance of her surviving. The doc said she would probably never walk or talk again, but praise God she is doing both fairly well! I distinctly remember the doctor coming into the room after her surgery and saying she was a “living miracle,” just that she made it through surgery. Since that time she has had to undergo a few other things, like another surgery, for the same thing I have now. Except hers was much worse. She was still very much recovering when she got hit with a completely different illness that put her in the hospital for another week and left a month and a half of recovery time on top of her brain injury. She was already in a wheelchair and the outcome of this surgery only made things much more complicated to deal with. She has also had to put up with a life-long struggle with migraines, which literally paralyze her. But it’s not only extreme physical pain I have seen my mom endure, but also emotional. She has had intense battles with a large number of emotionally stressful things, including a painful divorce. The things I have seen my mother go through are astonishing, and from what I can tell, she is completely innocent. All I can ask is “why?” Or at least can’t it be just the migraines, or just one surgery?

I don’t tell you this to make you sad or so you’ll sympathize. There are numerous stories of bad things happening to good people. But again, the question I cannot help but ask is “why?” Why must this happen to my mom? And not just the head thing, but the surgery on top of that? The headaches? The stress? The pain and suffering? Spending so much of her life in doctors offices and hospital beds doesn’t seem fair. I hate that doctors are such a huge necessity in her life. I hate that she can’t live a normal life. I hate seeing her completely broken because she can’t perform a task that is simple to ordinary people. I hate seeing the handicap sign in the car. I even selfishly hate all the time it takes away from my life and my family’s life. But I cannot tell you how much I love my mom. Feel free to call me a momma’s boy. Truth is, I probably am. She has gotten me through many tough times myself, even literally saving my life. I can honestly say I would not be here if it wasn’t for my mother. She has always encouraged me. Despite all of her struggles and pain, she still gave herself, and still does even today. She can even still drive me up the wall with her “momness.”

So how do we see the good in things when it seems like we are surrounded with so much bad? How do still believe in a good and loving God?

That’s a loaded question, but I’ll give you the reason why I am still crazy about God.

God is sovereign. Even in the bad. We can always go to the book of Job and see that His purposes are so much greater than out own (Isaiah 55:8). I may never know the reason for my mom’s injury, but I have trust in a God who knows exactly what is going on, the God who created her, the God who sustains her, the God who separated the water from the land, the God who created the very universe, the God who spoke the earth into motion, the God who gave himself as a ransom for many, the God who creation constantly praises, the God who’s glory the heavens scream, the God who has no beginning and no end, the God who is beautiful, the God who holds everything together, the God who by his grace gives me and you each and every breath, the God who satisfies our restless hearts. I trust Him. I know he can heal my mom instantly, but trust that He will be more glorified otherwise. I know He could come back right now and destroy all the evil in the world, but He has a plan for his glorification and the redemption of His people. For these reasons I can still call His name blessed. And I will praise Him still, because He is on His throne. Even though He surraounds me will evil, He is still good. He will never cease to become worthy of my everything, whether I choose to recognize that or not.

I do believe that God uses these times so much to mold who we are. That concept is all over scripture. I can look at this situation from a practical level and already see so much good. For one, my mom is alive. She still keeps a large part of my life from being chaotic just by her being around. I learn something from this situation everyday. I still get to buy a present for Mother’s Day. I am learning to love in sickness and in health.

I could go on and on about this, so I guess this is a good stopping point. But I hope this encourages people to let God work in their lives. Let God work through your loneliness, depression, crappy job, broken family, broken hearts- whatever. It has been my experience that not trusting God leads nowhere pretty fast, even though I’ve been taught that so many times. Each time I am faced with a difficulty I run away from God. So I guess I can be taught something over and over but not really know it’s significance until it becomes such a reality.