I laid there in that lonely hospital room. Staring at a blank, beige wall, with the only sounds the occasional drips from my iv, and the incessant beeping when I moved the wrong way. The overhead light was off because it gave me a headache. My husband had left to spend the night at home with our four kids, and I was left alone to stare at that wall and think.
When I asked for healing, God, I didn’t mean this.
I didn’t mean a hospital room with all of its beigeness and beeping. I didn’t mean strangers poking at me with sharp things and telling me what to do. I didn’t mean missing my family or scaring my children so much that my six year old thought I was going to die.
I looked down at my wrist and saw, next to my hospital tags, a blue rubber bracelet I had slipped on that morning at our church’s Vacation Bible School. “Watch for God.”
Ok, God, I’m watching. Where are you?
I’d like to say that suddenly the doctor came in, unhooked me from that iv and declared me miraculously healed. I’d like to say that I didn’t have to go in to surgery the next day, and that I didn’t lay on another table staring up at even brighter lights while a nurse fit an oxygen mask over my face. I’d like to say all of that, but that’s not how it worked. That’s not how God showed up.
Instead, He showed up in a completely different way. Not in the miraculous healing I had prayed for, not in a zero balance hospital bill I can afford, and not in a clean bill of health that doesn’t include words like “chronic” and “manage the symptoms” in it.
No, He showed up in a way that I didn’t think I wanted, but it turns out I really needed. Because although God knew my problem, and my husband of course, no one else really did (you could say I have privacy issues).
But God chose to show up in people.
He showed up in the doctors and nurses who smiled, talked with me and rubbed my feet. He showed up in my husband who thought to bring me my favorite fuzzy blanket, prayed with me before surgery, and I’m sure prayed during and after. He showed up in my mom who walked in that beige room at 6am the morning of surgery to make sure she would be there when the doctor made his rounds.
He showed up in my sister, in-laws and friends who came to parent my kids when my husband and I couldn’t be there. He showed up with every call, text and email from people asking how I was feeling and what I needed. He showed up when a friend brought me lunch and when my daughters gave me their homemade cards.
He showed up with every single person who reached out and said, “You’re not alone.”
God’s provision wasn’t what I had asked for. It wasn’t what I thought I needed.
Instead, it was an abundant love poured out on me by people he had provided.
And while I still wouldn’t mind a showering of dollar bills to pay this hospital bill (just kidding, not really kidding), He showered me with something infinitely better and longer lasting.
People who love me and love my kids.
People who prayed, cared and reached out.
People who will hold my hand and walk this path with me.
There you are, God, I see you now.
Thank you for your provision.