When faced with tragedy, our plea is for an answer to our desperate prayers for healing, a miracle.
But, what if the tragedy was itself an answer to prayer?
The past few weeks have been some of the most emotionally exhausting and painful in my life. After healing a broken leg for 5 months, my boyfriend drastically and quickly spiraled down a dark hole that is a severely infected leg. MRSA to be exact. And that MRSA got into his blood, which means it got into everything in his body. He was a severely sick boy. Death could have easily been around the corner.
The pain that I empathized myself into feeling was suffocating. The pain I saw him experiencing forced my eyes away from him, not in shame, but in helplessness.
While still in the hospital, but on the side of recovery, we started the process of grasping what we experienced the past two and a half weeks. It was spoken mostly in hushed tones, not because we feared being heard, but because his voice was so raspy from being intubated seven times in ten days.
“You know, in some strange way,” he said, “this whole thing was an answer to pray in some ways.” “This boy is crazy,” I thought, “Maybe there’s still some delirium hanging around in his brain.”
Here was a man, bound to an ICU bed for the past 17 days, having been through 7 surgeries and what felt like a lifetime of suffering and medications and catheters and respirators and IVs who was telling me this all was an answer to prayer.
But, then I thought back to the words and pleas that consumed my prayers the past few months. Peace, patience, the ability to be still, to listen, to slow down, to be present in the moment, for “signs” that he was the “right one”
He was absolutely and irrevocably right.
Every single one of those requests were granted fully in my life in the past 2 weeks. I can sit for hours upon and hours and simply be. I can patiently wait each day for the next because that means things will be healing and get better. I can barely think about the next few hours much less the future. I am more present in this situation than I have ever dreamed I would be. I have no question in my mind that I want Luke to be in my life.
He brought this beautiful part of my life through a man that I can’t even begin to express my gratitude and respect and love for. He made me strong enough to be strong enough.
God has created so much healing and growth in the midst of sickness and suffering. I am utterly blown away by the ways that He chooses to bring answers and fulfillment to my life. He never ceases to pursue me and in the most curious of ways, the only way, if I’m being honest, that I would have it.
It makes me wonder why I ever doubt that God has released me from his grip.
Suffering can be an answer, not just a means to an answer.