As I sat in my hospital bed that summer day in late June, I was so incredibly angry. I pressed the number on my phone that I knew needed to be dialed and prayed hard for voicemail. This was a conversation that could not be resolved over email, although in this moment I was considering alternative arrangements.
“Hi, this is Bethany and I just wanted to return your call…”
“Oh yea, about the job offer we extended to you. I was hoping we could talk about moving arrangements” the voice continued.
I know the gentlemen from the church I had been offered a position at was still talking but my mind stopped. My heart stopped. My mouth opened but nothing would come up and out to make any sort of noise.
So, I just sat there. Motionless. Questioning why I was even trying to attempt this call in the first place. Why I couldn’t just send an email.
“I need to be truthful with you,” I said to the gentleman on the other end. “I called today to tell you that I can’t take the position. I was taken to the hospital after returning home from the interview and I’ve lost use of my legs. The doctors are advising that I not accept employment or do any more interviews right now.”
What the gentleman didn’t know is just yesterday we signed the closing documents on our first-ever Florida home. We were, as of that date, homeless. We had a temporary housing worked out, but not permanent. I wasn’t working. My husband was looking for a job – any job really that paid income for our family of 5.
As I hung up the phone, my older roommate, who did not come accessorized with an “off” button, looked over at me and said, “I know you may not see anything right now, but God is blessing you through this. Go ahead, write a list.” As she handed me a piece of paper and gave me that “If you don’t attempt to write something I’ll just stare at you through the night” look, I did what any Criminal Minds fan would do – I started writing.
Funny things occur when you force yourself to write a list when, deep down, you feel like you have nothing left to be thankful for. You begin to realize that there are a few things you may not have added to the list. Maybe a few basics that your current situation made you completely ignore.
My list started out with three items –
- I’m not dead (that’s a start)
- My family is alive (getting better)
- We have shelter (true)
And after a few hours, my listen began to start growing…
- I have a great church family.
- I received 8 calls from friends today.
- I got to see my kids today!
- I got a shower today.
- I made it a few more steps in physical therapy.
- I could now eat dinner without it coming back up.
…Well, you get the idea. It’s simply looking for God in the little things that simply add up to revealing a very big thing that He is doing in our lives. Sometimes, we expect God to move in such a big way, we miss so many everyday opportunities to see Him in our here and now, actively blessing us in so many ways. I was too focused on what He wasn’t doing, I missed to see His hand present everyday in my life – in my family’s lives.
Later that night, I ended up trying to complete my devotional reading and I turned to a verse that I later changed into a whisper to Abba.
You see, He speaks to us when we look for His hand in our everyday. We can always whisper back to Him too.
My whisper to my Abba:
My old self has been crucified with You (Christ). It is no longer I who live, but You live in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in You (the Son of God), who loved me and gave Yourself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
This simple task of writing down my blessings helped me see God’s healing hand from a hospital bed. Did He answer my questions? No. Did He provide instant healing? No. Instead, I discovered looking for His hand helps me see Him in new ways I never thought possible.
*** Ahead tomorrow “Thriving With Disabilities” A 4 day mini-series! Don’t miss it!
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever literally started a thankfulness list from your rock-bottom moment? I’d love to hear your story!