A sudden, intense feeling of nausea swept over me and my vision began to blur. I realized I was nearly fainting, and tried to position myself in a way that would bring relief. The next moments seemed like forever as I waited for possible blackness to come.
Thankfully, the darkness didn’t come and I was able to stumble back to my bed. I was incredibly weak, shaking with cold. I reached for my phone once I was settled in bed and could make sense of what to do. I called my husband, Eric, who had just left for work and told him through tears that I had nearly fainted and didn’t feel well. His care and compassion meant so much; I was especially grateful for his prayer in my behalf. He assured me to please call if I needed anything; I tried to keep back the tears that didn’t seem to want to stop.
It seemed at that point that my season of health struggle wasn’t improving but only worsening. I stared at the ceiling from my horizontal position in bed. The never ending questions came back as I cried out to Jesus for some measure of relief and ability to hope in the midst of my dark night. The hours passed as I tossed and turned; eventually, sleep claimed my heavy eyelids. I awoke late in the afternoon, surprised at the time. I knew I should try to get up and put some things away from our recent trip.
I slowly pulled myself out of bed; I prayed for physical strength to do what needed to be done. I was grateful that I didn’t feel lightheaded anymore. I ambled through the house doing what I could, but soon sat down realizing I was still quite weak. It was a relief when my husband made it safely home from work.
The next several days weren’t easy physically. Our house was chaotic; my intentions of being a good housewife crumbled. I found doubt and worry beginning to clutch at my very soul; “Jesus, Son of David, please have mercy on me.”
The following afternoon while laying on the couch attempting to find some measure of relief from the severity of my pain, I received a text. It simply said, “I’m praying for you!” I didn’t even know who the text was from, but my pain soon began to subside and I was able to rest.
My dear friend and nearby neighbor called me later and said she would like to bring supper for my husband and I. I humbly accepted and felt overwhelmed at God’s provision. When she came, she brought more than a hearty supper! She brought items for my husband’s lunches and mentioned as she was walking out the door that she would like to do this again for us soon.
I wept. I did nothing to deserve her gracious gesture of love. I had nothing in return to give her but a humble thank you. I also thought about the countless times throughout my sickness that other people have showed us in tangible ways how much they care. I realized in a new and precious way the analogy of the Father’s gifts to me.
I don’t deserve salvation. I don’t deserve the lavish love of my heavenly Father. Yes, I have present difficulty, but I have a Father who knows all about it. He reaches for me and draws me to Himself. Sometimes I sense Him so near I can almost see Him gently reaching over and wiping my tears and whispering, “Joanne, I’m here; I haven’t forsaken you.”
I’ve done nothing. He’s done everything to make this present life worth living. Thank you, Jesus!
*Photo courtesy of Flickr user, Heather Katsoulis.