Around this time one year ago I was sick. Really sick. The following is a short story of one of the many things I learned during that time. Since God faithfully brought me out of sickness and into light just in time for Easter Sunday last year, I decided it’d be fitting to share about the truth that still stirs my soul to this day.
I laid there on the thin, plastic mattress for what felt like hours. My arm was propped up on a pillow so as to not pull out the IV that the nurses already made a mess of trying to get it in place. My body was hot. My head was clogged. I couldn’t hear anything due to the ear infection. My heart was racing, my body was weak, and I couldn’t calm down due to the 103 degree temperature I was running.I remember lying their feeling numb to it all. I didn’t care anymore. I was desperate to get better but my body was too weak to fight it anymore. After the nurses started the emergency IV drip of medications and fluids, I had nothing left to do but lie there, helpless and alone. My mom was on her way to the hospital but it’d be two hours before she’d make it there. My friends were all at class and none of them even knew something horrible was raging through my body. I didn’t even have a computer or TV to keep me company.It was just me, in the room, alone with my thoughts.
And I was so scared.
At the time I thought for sure I was going to die. My mind started to panic about things like “What if my fevers never go down?” “What if they can’t figure out what’s wrong with me?” “What if I never feel what it’s like to be healthy again….what if this never goes away?”
It’s crazy how your mind can run wild at desperate times like that.
I remember at one point the IV fluids were running through my system so fast that I felt short of breath and dizzy. I happened to be talking to my mom on the phone at the time and I remember not being able to make complete sentences all of a sudden. My chest felt heavy and my speech was slurred. I didn’t know if it was a reaction to the medication or what, but feeling that way made me panic.
Every little thing was making me panic! I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t calm down. I could text or talk on the phone. I couldn’t do anything because I was so overwhelmed with sickness and fear. It was the first time I truly thought to myself that I could die. It was the first time I realized a sickness could take me and there was nothing I could do about it.
As a last resort to get myself to calm down, I grabbed my phone and turned up some christian music.
And then something happened to me that can only be described as a “Jesus moment”.
Have you ever some say they experienced a “peace beyond all understanding?”
It’s indescribable, really. I felt this peace settle into my heart. My body relaxed and my heart stopped racing. I didn’t feel dizzy. And I wasn’t focused on my current circumstances. As I laid there, now on my side facing a window, I began to smile. Somehow, in spite of all my pain and nervousness, I was able to find joy. I didn’t care so much about what was going to happen to me. I wasn’t concerned with my health issues and I was in a perfect state of peace.
So what was it exactly that caused me to feel this peaceful bliss?
I knew in that moment, if I were to die, I would finally get to be with Jesus.
It didn’t matter what the world did to my body. My soul has already been claimed. Even if the fevers kept spiking and the illness kept spreading, I knew that none of that could seperate me from Jesus. Knowing that I could be in a place with no more suffering or pain; in a place where joy runs rapid, my mind was at ease. I wasn’t afraid anymore.
After this “peace beyond all understanding” settled in my heart and mind, I was finally able to rest.
I can still hear the words of the song that got me through it:
If you go through the valley
and the shadow comes down from the hill.
If morning never comes to be
be still.. be still.. be still.
Be still and know that I’m with you.
Be still and know that I am here.
Be still and know that I’m with you.
Be still and know I am.
– The Fray
It’s easy to forget small, simple truths like this. It’s easy to say “I know where I’m going when I die” and yet live like Heaven isn’t in the picture. The fear and pain of our current circumstances tend to cloud out the simple fact that no matter what happens, I’ve got Jesus. I could lose everything: my health, my friends, my family, my career, my status, my money. But I still have Jesus. I still have eternity. I still have God.
Without this hope, we’ve got nothing.
Live in this hope, my friends.