Please Don’t Let This Be Our New Normal!
The dreadful call
I answered the phone, expecting to hear a cheerful hello, but instead, I heard, “Mom, I hurt my back. I can’t move.” Ever the skeptic of my kids antics, I asked, “What were you doing?” I waited to hear that he’d tried to bench press a refrigerator or push start a semi-truck. “I was putting on my sock and something just popped. I don’t know what to do. Can you come over?”
Music to a mama’s ear. He still needs me.
“Of course I can. I’ll be right there.”
Jake’s frame was so out of whack, he drags one foot behind him, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, wincing with every jostle. He grits his teeth in pain as he inches his way to doctor and chiropractor appointments. He swallows pain relievers and I gently stuff ice packs under him. The pain will not yield.
Waiting without answers
Days turn into weeks and there is no relief. The doctor prescribes narcotic pain killers and orders an MRI. He is put on disability at his work.
We ask everyone we know to pray.
We pray and we wait.
“God, don’t let this be our new normal!” I cry out in fear. “Heal him!”
God is silent. More prayer. More waiting. More doctor visits.
Being sick or in pain is a full-time job.
It sucks your time as you wait on hold, wait in doctor offices and wait on God.
It derails your disposition as you explain your condition again and again to doctors, hospitals, clinics and insurance companies.
It chips away at your budget as you swipe your card to pay for time with specialists, prescriptions, therapy and gasoline.
It consumes your energy as you try to push back the pain or the effects of medicine or press against fears.
It can make you question God as your pain remains, your sickness lingers or your prayers seem to go unanswered.
We need to remember God never fails
He will be with us as we wait and as we navigate our new normal. He will bring peace and answers, even if healing eludes us.
In our waiting, our family thanks God that it’s not worse. We thank Him for meds and doctors and ice and the disability check. We worship from a place of sacrifice. We praise Him for the forthcoming solution that we cannot see and hope this is not our new normal forever.
Finally after watching Jake suffer for so long, there the tiniest bit of relief.
Relief from his pain. Relief from my fear. And it grows. Jake can stand. He can sit. He can go back to work. I’m so thankful. I’m so grateful.
As that time of waiting faded into the past and got filed away in my memory, I miss the intimacy of God’s face made necessary by the awful normal that was our life for that time.
How do you wait?
Friend, take courage! Do not forget all God has already done. Refuse to let fear dominate. Thank Him for what you do have and praise Him for who He is. Hold onto your hope for what He will do in the future. He’s never failing. He’s in the waiting.
How do you handle the fears and the grinding quiet from heaven? Leave me a comment cuz what works or helps you would be good for all of us.
Scripture: “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message (MSG)
Prayer: Oh my God, let me feel your nearness. Let me see you at work in this situation. Reveal your plan, or at least your love for me this day. I need your strength. I’m desperate. I’m desperate for new. I’m desperate for you.
This was a lesson I learned during a difficult season as a teenager when I was first confronted with the death of a loved one (there ended up being several deaths in that 18 month stretch). During that season, the Lord graciously showed me to Psalm 77. The first half of the Psalm, the writer is focused on the difficulty (i.e. How long will I be unable to sleep? etc.) But halfway through, the focus shifts to remembering what the Lord has done in the past. I really believe that was the key I needed to walk through that challenging season…and several others since then. When I am in one of those seasons, I go back and re-read Psalm 77. I am a list maker, so, though I don’t journal frequently, during those times, I grab a piece of paper and start writing out those things that God has done. And I find myself humming/singing songs that help me stay focused on His faithfulness and goodness as a result.
Thanks for posting. What wonderful advice.
I’m going to go read Ps. 77 again right now.