See Part 1 here.
See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.
See Part 13 here.
See Part 14 here.
See Part 15 here.
See Part 16 here.
See Part 17 here.
See Part 18 here.
See Part 19 here.
See Part 20 here.
See Part 21 here.
See Part 22 here.
See Part 23 here.
The Fateful Appointment
Being on the other side of a country from a loved one who’s sick is no fun. I’m three hours ahead (at the time of this writing), so I have to wait before I call. I went to work knowing that. I wasn’t at my best. I was distracted. I got pretty irritated with the most minor student issues. I don’t think I was horrifically off my game, but I found myself stepping out to pray or remind myself that I shouldn’t be focused on myself; rather, I should have been focused on God.
Those thoughts got me through the day. I hoped my mom went to her appointment and was willing to take on the next treatment and move forward.
I called my sister, but didn’t get an answer (she was dealing with the fallout). I called around and eventually got ahold of my Dad.
“I suppose you know how that went,” he said.
That meant the news was already bad. One of the things our family was dealing with was conflict among family members. As I’ve said before, people were all processing, and sometimes those emotions caused disagreements. My dad’s answer meant the appointment didn’t go well, and that emotions were high.
I explained that he was the first person I’d managed to get ahold of. I already knew the appointment didn’t go as we’d hoped, but I had no idea how poorly it went.
Mom didn’t just walk into the hospital and say, “No thanks.” She was in pain, tired, and angry. I’m of the opinion the steroids didn’t help either. She lashed out. I wasn’t there, so I can’t go into much detail, but I know that she was visibly and physically acting out.
What made me feel a little better was that the hospital wasn’t quite giving up. With the most recent issue with my mom’s throat, it was expected that she just might not be physically up to going through treatments.
The new plan (which I always love) was that we’d let mom rest, get her some care, and, hopefully, she’d be willing to restart treatment in time.
I’m pretty sure Dad was driving mom home to Yuma during that conversation. Mom was asleep, so I said I’d try to call back later.
Later that day, my sister called. She’d decided to relinquish her role in the power of attorney form. She called to tell me that. We talked a bit more. I focused on trying to be encouraging.
To be honest, things looked dark. All I could really focus on was getting a chance to call and talk to my mom, which wouldn’t happen for a few more days.
Questions and Revelations
I thought you said God would fix it?
God isn’t a genie. He doesn’t grant wishes, and acts aren’t the cause of our salvation. Good acts are the fruit of our salvation and sanctified life, or at least they can be. This question is one I expect, but the better question would be, how did I respond to my fear? Besides, I still hoped God would bless my mom’s health.
The answer is I prayed. I pray every night before bed, and then I read the Bible before I close my eyes. I pray to God, and I ask him things. I confess to him my heart’s desires, but, since my greatest desire is truly to glorify him, I understand that he does what is in line for his great design, which no human can rightfully fathom. “Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33).
I worked very hard to combat my fear with scripture. I failed miserably in that I never failed to fear or wonder if my mom would make it, but I succeeded in that I always remembered to turn to God’s word and glorify him.
I didn’t do this like some person in credit fraud trying to make some form of payment to appease a bank. I did it because I know that faith in God is always the answer.
I don’t think it’s the answer to wealth or human measurements of happiness. I think it’s the answer to a contented heart.
This work, to remind myself to trust in God and seek his word for comfort, would be critical as this trial continued.
If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog. I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.
Thanks for reading