We were pretty fortunate that our kids weren’t very sickly during their early years, so we didn’t have to spend a whole lot of time at the doctor, but there are some standout memories that still make me a little queasy thinking about them. I remember my two-month old daughter spending the days right before Christmas in a croup tent in the hospital and me crawling in there with her, frizzy hair and all, to hold her and cry with her. I recall my grade school son fracturing his thumb at a Labor Day picnic, which resulted in surgery and an overnight stay in the hospital when my husband was away on a rare business trip. I won’t forget rushing to the ER with a couple of concussions for him or with appendicitis for her. I guess thinking back there were more emergency incidents than I had previously remembered. But some of the trips to the doctor I remember most were the ones when we received the dreaded diagnosis of “it’s viral”, which is code for, “he’s going to be sick for days and there is no medicine to fix it.” I still hate when my kids are sick, even as adults.
The reason I’ve been thinking about doctor’s visits today is that I broke down and went to my doctor yesterday. My symptoms were losing my voice, a sore throat that had me in tears, and a low-grade fever. I’ll be honest and admit that when I go to the doctor, which is fairly rare, it is usually only because I have exhausted all my resources and am hoping for a magic shot or pill that would have me back at work within the hour. This was certainly what I hoped for yesterday; however, I left with the dreaded diagnosis….”it’s viral and has to run its course.” Bed rest and fluids…for a few days. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
I mean I guess I should have been thrilled it wasn’t the flu or strep or bronchitis, but at least then I may have been prescribed a steroid or antibiotic or both. I might have felt like I was actively making progress towards getting better. Instead I’ve spent my day today moving from the bed to the couch and back to bed again, drinking all the fluids I can stand and binging on Party of Five on Netflix. It turns out you can watch a whole season in one day. I’ve generally felt lousy. All the while, super important things have had to be handled by my co-workers or have just gone undone. I have a dishwasher full of clean dishes while dirty ones cover the counter and I can’t muster the energy to do anything about it. I hate being sick.
I don’t like to be uncomfortable. Not physically, not mentally, not socially, not emotionally, not spiritually….not at all. It frustrates me to be in any kind of distress and my typical reaction is to figure out how to fix it or avoid the situation all together. I’ve joked that I wouldn’t last one day on the reality show “Survivor” because I hate to be cold, tired, hungry or wet and I tend to be a tad bossy. I would for sure be the loser going home at the first tribal council. If a problem can be solved, I am doing all I can to try to fix it without having to feel any kind of discomfort or at least as little as possible.
All of this time lying around has had me thinking more than ever about so many situations in my life right now that have no quick fix or immediate solution. As I’ve alluded to in recent blogs, God has me right in the middle of what I can only describe as a season of discomfort. It seems that with each day there is some new “problem” that comes onto my radar for which I have no solution and no control, but have to weigh in on nonetheless. Some of these are work related, some are situations with my children, and some are very personal to me. None are life threatening or terminal, but each has me feeling more than slightly uncomfortable. It seems that the more I try to find a solution, the crazier or more intense the situation becomes. It’s as if God is putting up roadblocks just so I have to feel the “uncomfortable” with more and more intensity. And I hate that feeling. Just sitting in it. I want to move forward, put all of this behind me and know how it all turns out – good or bad. But He wants me to feel it.
I thought a lot today that just like there are illnesses for which the doctor sends us home with the prescription of "rest", I believe that God sometimes leaves us in a season where we feel pretty bad and he just wants us to “be still.” He wants us to wait, watch and pray. If I’m being completely honest, often I view prayer as a “rest and fluids” kind of remedy. A solution that will take far too long and won’t result in the outcome I’m looking for when in actuality, if my faith is what it needs to be, I should consider prayer as powerful as the strongest medicine my doctor could prescribe. It is often in those times that I don’t get the quick fix I’m seeking that my faith grows the most and He gets the most glory in the end. Prayer changes things but more importantly, prayer changes me.
I would love to wake up tomorrow feeling completely well and I would love to be through with this uncomfortable season, but I have to trust that He is working all things together for good, because that’s what I believe about God. I will trust Him even when it doesn’t feel good and I’ll patiently wait on better days to come. I can’t imagine doing life without Him.