I am sitting in the ER with my daughter. My first guess is kidney stones. I have had them since 2001, and am a self-proclaimed expert. Her pain is severe, and it always hurts to watch your child hurt. Now we wait for X-rays and answers. We overheard the front desk discussing the need to call the police in for a patient, so this could be interesting.
I have mixed feelings about hospitals. I appreciate the medical help, but there are bad memories, too. Things I wish I could not see or hear play on repeat in my mind. As I revisit some of those memories, I cringe. Whether it was an experience with me or one of my children, I always hope we could stay away forever.
When I was 11 or 12, I began having seizures. They said I had epilepsy. I only remember blacking out and the darkness. I went through tests, hospital stays, and drugs that kids shouldn’t have to take. What none of them knew back then was that I was being abused every night by a sick and evil monster. I lived in fear and never told one professional that could have helped me. I began having serious migraines. My personality changed before my eyes.
Fast forward 30 plus years.
A couple of years ago, following severe stress, including a child who attempted suicide and was fighting addiction, I collapsed. The pressure took its toll and began affecting my health. Stress isn’t just a description of life for me; it is a health risk. My doctor emphasized the need to reduce my stress levels.
This hasn’t been in my cards. My life has been one stress-filled chapter after another. I am not talking mild stress; this is life-impacting and changing type of troubles that seem to come nonstop. (If there were another word for stress, I’d use it, but it is what it is.)
I used to wonder why the world took a bat and kept swinging it at me, but there is no answer. Now, I focus on the presence of God through it all, instead of the bad. He loves me, and that love keeps him by my side through the chaos of my small life.
It may always be hard to look back. A brilliant man helped me understand the importance of looking back recently. It is when we see God’s deliverance from our painful past, we can embrace him in our present. I was never alone back then. He was already there in every circumstance I encountered. When we cry out, we are not calling for him to come. Crying out is the point we admit we need God, and he says, “I’m right here.”