I Don’t Want to Be Fine

I was at a very low point.

It was November 5, 2012, the day after Charlotte fell and cut her ear, and the morning of the surgery to stitch up that ear. And I wasn’t there for her. Instead, I was at home, barely able to get out of bed, much less drive my car, and because the doctors thought I had C-diff, which is highly contagious, the hospital didn’t want me on the pediatric floor anyway. I felt terrible physically but also emotionally because I wanted so badly to be there for my baby. I was hopeful, however, that things would soon turn around because my doctor had called in a prescription for a stronger medication to treat the C-diff. I hoped that the medication would finally put me on the path to recovery so life could return to normal.

Then, I got a call from the pharmacy. They were out of the medicine and wouldn’t be able to get anymore until the following day. All the other area pharmacies were out of the drug as well. I would have to wait another day. I was crushed. In the grand scheme of things, one more day was not a long time, but in that moment, after weeks of feeling awful and on top of everything that had happened with Charlotte, it was too much. I burst into tears and just sat there in the dark in my living room. Stephen and my mom were both at the hospital with Charlotte, so I couldn’t talk to them. I felt so alone. I pleaded with God to speak to me, to show me His love because I was having a hard time seeing Him in the midst of all this.

Not a minute after I prayed, my phone rang. It was a sweet friend from church, calling to see when she could bring by a meal for us (as so many others in our church did during the time that I was sick). Instead of answering her question, though, I burst into fresh tears and asked her to pray for me because I was having a really hard time and felt like I was losing it. Without hesitation she prayed for me, and her words washed over me like a wave of peace. The prayer she offered didn’t change my situation, but it changed my perspective, like prayer is so apt to do. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit prompted Karie to call me at that exact moment, and I am so grateful that she was obedient to that prompting. Prayer is a powerful thing, not because of the person praying but because of the One being prayed to.

That moment from November will forever be etched in my memory as a turning point for me, a time when I realized that it does no good to keep struggles bottled up inside. It does no good to put on a mask and pretend to be fine. As Lisa-Jo Baker wrote in a beautiful post earlier this week, “Fine means the end of a conversation. The beginning of nothing.” If I had just pretended to be fine when Karie called me, I would have missed out on the blessing of having her speak truth into my life. I would have missed out on the Lord showing His love to me through one of His children.

Vulnerability is a hard thing, but isolation is even harder. None of us has to bear burdens alone unless we choose to. I choose not to. I don’t want to be fine. I want to be known. I want to be in community.

Slowly but surely, I am finding my way there.

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