As my toes curled under the warm yet stiffly draped hospital blanket, I yearned desperately for a way out my ICU surroundings. It was now 3 days after my “routine” pacemaker procedure, which required a spontaneous deeper incision, complications, trade-off of medications and my own private hospital room…without a view I might add. A normal in and out procedure had me trapped for over a week.
I don’t sit well. Truthfully, stillness freaks me out. My mind turns way too fast and it literally begs for physical motion to follow its pace. As I sat there, alone, the same thought whirled around my head just screaming for motion that was just not possible.
That thought – I was ready to leave.
Unfortunately for me, my doctors were nowhere near confident enough in my condition to have me even attempt to walk, let alone handle life at home with two boys.
That’s when he showed up. A friend and church leader that literally clung to the doorway entrance to my room. After he swallowed, hard, he announced, “Deary, you need to know that I hate hospitals!”
“Yea,” I groaned. “I’m not too fond of them either.”
Ken met my eyes, smiled and slowly allowed his hand to loosen his tight grip on the door frame. As his feet slowly shuffled closer, our conversation changed, drastically. As I sat in my hospital bed, I felt my face form a mold that I had not encountered in such a long time. I had been sick for months and continually in and out of hospital rooms. When my face starts twitching, it rings an alarm instantly in my mind. My lips moved upward and the feeling literally scared me at first, but as I opened my mouth…I smiled and then laughed. In fact, our conversation had me laughing to the point I felt tears stream down my cheeks. At that moment I was so trapped, yet incredibly free.
Ken saw me in one of my most humbling defeats and showed me that this was not an end, but a beginning. He reminded me how it felt to smile and how incredibly vital friendship is in times of crisis. He showed me that it’s okay to let others see you at your worst, so that they can bring out your best.
…Even if our best caused my heart rate monitor to go off so many times during his visit, the nurses actually asked him to leave so that I could rest. The clingy doorman was actually being ushered out of the very room he didn’t want to enter. Yes, I’m smiling as I write this, even now.
I wasn’t ready for Ken’s visit, but he was prepared to make me smile. I will never forget his grin, his bear hugs, his compassion to help and his optimism regardless of the situation.
Ken went to be with Jesus suddenly a few short days ago on September 3rd, 2014. Ken, we were not ready to see you go so quickly, but I know an Abba that was preparing eagerly to meet with you face to face. Thank you for having such an amazing, deeply rooted impact on my life. More stories to be shared on this blog in your honor.
Life throws us events we may never be prepared to tackle, yet I’ve learned with God we can always be sure He is ready, able, strong and has already promised us victory through Him. You just got to smile as He holds you close. And laugh…yes, lots of laughter!
Now Bethany, it is I who makes you stand firm in Christ. I anointed you, set My seal of ownership on you, and put My Spirit in your heart as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22 NIVUK)
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