I had this whole Easter post planned out. I had the post ready to be published. I had the song ready to lead worship on Sunday. I had my dressed picked out. I was ready. I’d been praying for this service for weeks and weeks, I was so thrilled at what God would do there (I still am).
Who could have known I’d be spending Easter–my favorite holiday aside from Christmas–in the ICU?
When I went to the ER after experiencing bad side effects from a medication, I had no clue. But 6 days later, I’m still in an ICU bed, still experiencing seizure like episodes that aren’t actually seizures, every few hours, still unsure exactly what’s going on.
Putting together coherent thoughts is anything but easy at the moment. I want to be putting on my white dress and leading worship with my church that’s really more like family.
But instead, God has me here.
Once again in a hospital.
Why does God have me here? I don’t know, but I’m looking for the ways in which I can call others to Him while I am here.
I don’t really know why this is happening, after everything that has happened.
But this I do know:
The pain I feel was felt by Him as He made His way up to Calvary–where He bled and sighed and died for me. Where His holy head was wrapped in thorns and He breathed in all our exhaled scorn and He looked upon the ones that would take His life, and begged His Father, “Forgive them.” And with His dying breath He solemnly paid our debts and secured our places with Him. He ensured our final place of rest and peace for us.
This world is one of suffering.
I’ve felt that suffering to my core.
But in the midst of it all, I have felt a Savior who has never ceased to love on my behalf. He is the dawn that never stops breaking my night. He is the Father that never stops singing over me.
As I lay, flat on a hospital bed, tubes attaching me to a million moniters, my heart rate reaching nearly 300bpm, my vision and consciousness ebbing and flowing as every muscle contracts into searing pain, I’m barely aware of what’s going on, but the words play across my mind, and then my lips, in sputtered, broken praise.
“You are the voice that calms the storm inside me;
castle walls that stand around me; all this time my guardian was You. You are the light that shines in every tunnel; there in the past, You’ll be there tomorrow. All this time Your love was breaking through. It’s always been you.”
My favorite song by Phil Wickam.
And my vision blurs with streaks of the overhead lights, and I wonder why God is allowing this to happen to me again. The fear and pain is overwhelming and I find myself fumbling around in my mind for hope. The words are mumbled and the tune broken, the melody mingling with my tears as I try to reorient my mind to where I am and what is happening. And then there He is. With me. Always with me.
It’s always been Me, Beloved.
And you have never fallen beyond my reach. There is a purpose. There is a promise. And I am always with you.
Like a hand, finding mine in a sea of chaos. Like a steadying force that guides me along this way, even a way I didn’t want to go. He is the answer to all my questions, the One who comes running at my plea.
I see the rise of these waves that seem to just keep building and building, blocking the horizon. But He is there. A break in the storm. A light in the dark. Breaking meets blessing, hurting meets Healer, twisting and turning as the Healer envelops the hurt, takes on the hurt, crucifies the hurt, and resurrects what was hurt into something whole.
I don’t know where I am going, but I know with whom I go.
And I know He is the One who defeated death, who rose again, who resurrected with Himself all of His children and all of our broken hearts and bodies.
And I know that it has always been and will always be Him who sustains me.
And as strange as it sounds, I feel it coming. I don’t know what, but I feel a shifting somewhere. I know that this is going to be used for good–for glory–and I can’t wait to write it all down, one by one.
It’s still Holy Saturday.
And He is still holy.
He is holy when I am convulsing in pain.
He is holy when I’m passing out of hospital room floors.
He is holy when I’m terrified at what my body is doing.
He is holy when I wake up and don’t know where I am.
He is holy no matter what.
With every dawn and every waning moon, one truth will remain forever and always: He is holy.