The Day God Stepped In
by Chris T.
Sweat drew little trails down my back as I was working so hard to do something that I had no idea I was doing in the first place. This same dark feeling was there and I seemed to be trying much harder to claw my way to the surface of my consciousness. Was I dead and in Heaven? No, I’d be seeing Jesus right now. Was I in the other place? Ugh, I know I am not there! For one, I have made a conscious choice to serve God several years back, so I know He wouldn’t leave me behind. Number two, way too quiet. You know, no wailing and gnashing of teeth and such. Boy, if I could just figure out where I am. Then, I started to hear a familiar voice, the voice of my lovely wife Michelle. I tried again to snap out of the silent mental graveyard I seemed to be in and once again it worked. I realized that people were asking me questions again like: “Chris, do you know where you are?” …No…. ” Can you tell us what happened?”.. Strike two… It was then that I figured out on my own that my short termed memory was a little out of whack. I mean, I knew I was hurt, I , but for the life of me, couldn’t tell you what happened or where I was right then. Out of nowhere, an annoying flashlight was being shined in my eyes with what felt like a pretty erratic pattern. A strange feeling was boiling below my belly button. Uh, there it was again in the pit of my stomach. Man, now it is in the middle of my throat. Something is filling up the inside of my mouth. Oh no, time to release the contents of my stomach again. I started to vomit again with a gusto that would make a spring-breaker proud. After trying to remove the plastic tube that seemed to be growing right out of my arm, I could see someone giving me a shot in that tube and I grew much more tired than earlier and I drifted off to that blackness once again.
Bang bang. What the heck is that? Boom boom. I slowly begin to wake from my slumber. Ouch ouch, man, that really hurts. Now, I am fully awake. Clutching my head with my hands I realize I am in intense pain in three main areas of my head. Simultaneously, my head is pounding like a jack hammer on my forehead, the top of my head and the back right of my skull. Holy moly, I can’t take this pain. My nurse, an older and very experienced one, instantly noticed what I was going on and delivered an anti-vomit medicine first and some pain killers next. After a while of the horrendous battering ram slamming against the walls of my skull continuing its onslaught, it stopped its siege and the pain calmed down to a lesser throbbing. Questions started swirling around in my head like: “Why do I hurt so bad? Why do I have no strength? How come I seem to hear people talking to me way better on my left than my right side?” And the weirdest thing of all; nothing smells right in this room. Sterile equipment doesn’t seem to smell right. This Jello sitting in front of me seems extremely bland. Even my wife and son don’t seem to have the same odor that I remember. “Is my mind not right? Am I now damaged; the kind of brain damage that you never recover from and you will need constant treatment for the rest of your life?” These frenetic maelstrom of questions continued to swirl around in my mind as I was slowly piecing together what brought me to lie in this hospital bed in such agony. I was scared, very scared, but I knew I had to keep it together in case my son and wife were in the room. I will be totally honest with you, I wear my emotions on my sleeve; but this time they were all over me like a long fur coat. A couple of tears welled up in the corners of my eyes and rolled down my cheeks but I knew I was going to live. I just knew it. God spoke to me and just told me two specific things as He cut through the pain and confusion. The Lord said simply: “You are going to live…You will be okay.” That was all I needed to hear right then. God has comforted me so many times in my life and this time was no different. I knew it was a miracle I was alive, with no cognitive damage and with the ability to move my legs, arms and neck. So, I wiggled toes, flailed arms and rolled my neck; through the pain, through the fear and smack dab in front of the new mountain in my life that I needed to climb.
One of the benefits of having a brain trauma is that you get to catch up on your sleep. As I drifted and relaxed, I knew I was about to succumb to sleep again; but not naturally like you are tired from a hard days work. I could feel the dulling of senses and the unmistakable drowsiness that only comes from pain medications and their effects. I fully surrendered to their power and gently fell asleep closing day 2…………I think?
I couldn’t understand what God was doing. I was just delivered from another medical situation a few months earlier. So, I was confused and not connected with God’s plan for my life at this moment. So in my quiet time with Him; through the pain and medication I cried out. His word to me was trust in my “unfailing love”. I was moved to tears again as he gave me another verse to hold on to:Psalm 32:10 “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.”
Amen. I can say no more. The Lord just completed the puzzle I was working so hard to complete. All I need is God’s unfailing love which is imparted to those who trust Him.
So, I leaned on Him a lot harder; much stronger than I ever have in my entire life. I knew, from this point on, I was going to need the LORD’s strength, and not my own, because for the first time in my life, I was not able to fix this on my own.
Thus began the latest chapter of my life; a life given over fully to the Lord and one that lives for Him and through Him.
Thereafter, as I stayed in that cold hospital room for about five and a half weeks, I drew closer and closer to the Lord; learning ever day just how deeply God’s “Unfailing Love” went. Deeply indeed, I found that well was inexhaustible, uncontainable, and always refreshing.
I took each foot. Made a small step and believed, with all my heart, that God would make solid the ground underneath my feet.
The Great Plains Poet. A target for the enemy and an overcomer through Him.