Day 5: Desperation

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Desperation; also known as one of the most humbling words in the vocabulary of human nature. It goes against every barricade that is our illusive sense of “Control.” Desperation is intolerable, leaving us with little or no hope for rejuvenation. Desperation is the spiritual “high point”. A realm where we can give and receive all things without fighting flaws of flesh we latch to. In the fullest extent of irony I yearn for the next opportunity for the kind of desperation I felt not only on Day 5, but also, throughout the week. As painful and uncomfortable and even maddening as it was at times, it provided a window of clarity that simply does not come in the comfort of everyday life. In the evening of Day 4 I was informed that my status was considered stable enough to move to an intermediate care floor. As I was wheeled through the hallways of the Hospital life met me. Though it had only been a few days in the ICU, it felt like a lifetime. Thomas wheeled me, smiling big as life. “Anna you are going down a floor which means you don’t need my expertise anymore. I’m not going to lie, everyone else may take a close 2nd to me, but you will definitely receive good care.” Now that the drugs were lessening I told Thomas what I really had wanted to say for some time. “Thank you Thomas. You should know that you helped me feel safe. That means more than you will ever know. I know you probably have days where you are tired of giving but try to remember that you are one of the few who aren’t afraid to look humanity in the face in the darkest of moments. Thank you for everything.” We had arrived on my new floor. Thomas spun me around quickly upon entering my new room and told me to hang tight. I looked around. The room was simple, peaceful, and far more comfortable. The far side of the room where a fourth wall would have been was an open wall made up of window from ceiling to floor. A change of scenery was something I did not take lightly at this point. Thomas flew around the corner, hugged me gently from behind, and handed me a flower. “Now I am not going to lie, I may have a friend in the florist department who tossed me an ‘at risk’ rose…but kind of like you… it’s ‘at risk’ but making a real comeback.” My eyes filled with tears and my heart sped with gratefulness. I’m not sure how many Disney movies Thomas watched as a young boy but he had this whole prince charming thing DOWN. Now for those of you wondering no I don’t have a crush on Thomas. After everything I’ve told you, trust me, I would tell you if I did. The reason he is so central to these blogs is merely because in many ways he was Christ to me. He was a safe place. He was a smile. He was a laugh…and…he didn’t judge my tornado of a hairdo. Instead he acted as if it was all normal and to him it probably was. As Thomas left I gathered myself and took in the new environment. My parents followed closely behind and let out a sigh of relief similar to mine at the significance of being in a new place. “Oh Honey, this is beautiful and what a view!” My mother would no longer be crammed in the corner. In true fashion my father carefully examined my new room, particularly intrigued that my view was in sight diagonally. While I wanted to be in high spirits my body had other plans. Grimacing I searched for the nurse call button. A few minutes later a small woman of Indian decent arrived smiling from ear to ear. After introducing herself she, along with my parents, helped me stand. Instantly I felt discouraged. My legs buckled slightly. Eyes blurry and back searing with pain it remains a mystery to me how my body stayed up. It’s fascinating really, how much our bodies fight for us. We are walking, talking, resilient beings. My father supports me as I sit on the edge of the bed. His face looks worn. In my 25 years of being their daughter, I’ve never witnessed the strain of their faces quite like i had this week. The nurse, in her sincerest attempt to help me get comfortable lying down, failed miserably. Correction: it was damn near impossible for anyone to make me comfortable. Before she could grab pillow 1 of 8 I was screaming in agony, begging for help, and ready for whatever medication may come next. About that, bad news; I no longer had a “push button” for pain control. Instead I would be on a strict 4 hour regimen of Oxycodone , Valium, Stool Softeners, and Anti-Nausea. Since I know you’re all wondering, no I have not pooped yet, and yes I did have a 6’2 nurse tower over me and proudly exclaim they were not afraid to bring out the “big guns” in the event I didn’t poop. Let me tell you, there is nothing weirder than being given an allotted “poop time” OR ELSE. Also since I know you now want to know, I stepped up and performed. No “big guns” came out. Like i said, prayers do matter. “Anna I need you to try breathing and relaxing”. If I heard ONE more person tell me that I was going to freak. My patience was wearing thin and the lack of control I have undergone was beginning to send me into an emotional tailspin. I would like to tell you a spiritual intervention happened here, but that isn’t so. Not because Christ has stopped pursuing me but because I had stopped pursuing him. I was in fact approaching stage one of desperation. Desperate, but not desperate enough to not be angry, and anger….well….anger is actually a product of fear. Consider a moment in your life when you have been terrified. I guarantee you’re emotions made waves. I called a good friend of mine, who answered the phone at all hours of the night God love her, and I told her I “couldn’t do it”. Not only was that unacceptable but I kind of felt afraid by her comeback. Not in an actual “I’m scared” kind of way but in an “oh wow this lady must love me, she’s speaking TRUTH kind of way.” She may have felt at the time that her words fell on deaf ears but little did she know her words served as a mental redirection. My roller coaster was off the rails and she picked the whole thing up and tossed it right back on. What a blessing it is to have friends liken that. As we hung up I decided to pray. I told God I was angry. I didn’t understand why this had happen. I essentially went into “pity party” mode and could have kicked I would have. Instead I just screamed. Then it happened, you know, IT. My father came in, took my hand and said “I hate seeing you in so much pain. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m going to stay with you until I know you’re okay.” This is why earthly fathers matter. I am convinced that my earthly father has time and time again treated me with as much grace and love as a human can deliver. My father, right there in the flesh, was my Gods best effort in that moment to show himself. It is important to realize, that God cannot be confined. If you put him in a box you will never get the actual gift. He is in CONSTANT pursuit of us. No church, no ritual, and no deed can undo his desire for our heart. In fact, I believe it is arrogant to believe otherwise. I believe that we are not to be motivated by what “Christians” are “supposed” to do but by WHO Christ is and what HE promised. So as I lay there, a 25 year old adult, crippled with fear…my father met me. He came to me and he promised that he would not leave me until my fear subsided. That is gods grace. Though my pride and pity had me undone and angry at my Heavenly Father, so God sent me an Earthly Father to persist in the place that in that moment I would not. I am undeserving but my father is unrelenting. If you had any shadow of a doubt I am here to tell you that MY God IS unrelenting. Call on him and he will come. It may not be in spirit as we are not always willing, but he will make his way to us. Somehow, some way…he will make his way to us.

Desperation; also known as one of the most humbling words in the vocabulary of human nature. It goes against every barricade that is our illusive sense of “Control.” Desperation is intolerable, leaving us with little or no hope for rejuvenation. Desperation is the spiritual “high point”. A realm where we can give and receive all things without fighting flaws of flesh we latch to. In the fullest extent of irony I yearn for the next opportunity for the kind of desperation I felt not only on Day 5, but also, throughout the week. As painful and uncomfortable and even maddening as it was at times, it provided a window of clarity that simply does not come in the comfort of everyday life. In the evening of Day 4 I was informed that my status was considered stable enough to move to an intermediate care floor. As I was wheeled through the hallways of the Hospital life met me. Though it had only been a few days in the ICU, it felt like a lifetime. Thomas wheeled me, smiling big as life. “Anna you are going down a floor which means you don’t need my expertise anymore. I’m not going to lie, everyone else may take a close 2nd to me, but you will definitely receive good care.” Now that the drugs were lessening I told Thomas what I really had wanted to say for some time. “Thank you Thomas. You should know that you helped me feel safe. That means more than you will ever know. I know you probably have days where you are tired of giving but try to remember that you are one of the few who aren’t afraid to look humanity in the face in the darkest of moments. Thank you for everything.” We had arrived on my new floor. Thomas spun me around quickly upon entering my new room and told me to hang tight. I looked around. The room was simple, peaceful, and far more comfortable. The far side of the room where a fourth wall would have been was an open wall made up of window from ceiling to floor. A change of scenery was something I did not take lightly at this point. Thomas flew around the corner, hugged me gently from behind, and handed me a flower. “Now I am not going to lie, I may have a friend in the florist department who tossed me an ‘at risk’ rose…but kind of like you… it’s ‘at risk’ but making a real comeback.” My eyes filled with tears and my heart sped with gratefulness. I’m not sure how many Disney movies Thomas watched as a young boy but he had this whole prince charming thing DOWN. Now for those of you wondering no I don’t have a crush on Thomas. After everything I’ve told you, trust me, I would tell you if I did. The reason he is so central to these blogs is merely because in many ways he was Christ to me. He was a safe place. He was a smile. He was a laugh…and…he didn’t judge my tornado of a hairdo. Instead he acted as if it was all normal and to him it probably was. As Thomas left I gathered myself and took in the new environment. My parents followed closely behind and let out a sigh of relief similar to mine at the significance of being in a new place. “Oh Honey, this is beautiful and what a view!” My mother would no longer be crammed in the corner. In true fashion my father carefully examined my new room, particularly intrigued that my view was in sight diagonally. While I wanted to be in high spirits my body had other plans. Grimacing I searched for the nurse call button. A few minutes later a small woman of Indian decent arrived smiling from ear to ear. After introducing herself she, along with my parents, helped me stand. Instantly I felt discouraged. My legs buckled slightly. Eyes blurry and back searing with pain it remains a mystery to me how my body stayed up. It’s fascinating really, how much our bodies fight for us. We are walking, talking, resilient beings. My father supports me as I sit on the edge of the bed. His face looks worn. In my 25 years of being their daughter, I’ve never witnessed the strain of their faces quite like i had this week. The nurse, in her sincerest attempt to help me get comfortable lying down, failed miserably. Correction: it was damn near impossible for anyone to make me comfortable. Before she could grab pillow 1 of 8 I was screaming in agony, begging for help, and ready for whatever medication may come next. About that, bad news; I no longer had a “push button” for pain control. Instead I would be on a strict 4 hour regimen of Oxycodone , Valium, Stool Softeners, and Anti-Nausea. Since I know you’re all wondering, no I have not pooped yet, and yes I did have a 6’2 nurse tower over me and proudly exclaim they were not afraid to bring out the “big guns” in the event I didn’t poop. Let me tell you, there is nothing weirder than being given an allotted “poop time” OR ELSE. Also since I know you now want to know, I stepped up and performed. No “big guns” came out. Like i said, prayers do matter. “Anna I need you to try breathing and relaxing”. If I heard ONE more person tell me that I was going to freak. My patience was wearing thin and the lack of control I have undergone was beginning to send me into an emotional tailspin. I would like to tell you a spiritual intervention happened here, but that isn’t so. Not because Christ has stopped pursuing me but because I had stopped pursuing him. I was in fact approaching stage one of desperation. Desperate, but not desperate enough to not be angry, and anger….well….anger is actually a product of fear. Consider a moment in your life when you have been terrified. I guarantee you’re emotions made waves. I called a good friend of mine, who answered the phone at all hours of the night God love her, and I told her I “couldn’t do it”. Not only was that unacceptable but I kind of felt afraid by her comeback. Not in an actual “I’m scared” kind of way but in an “oh wow this lady must love me, she’s speaking TRUTH kind of way.” She may have felt at the time that her words fell on deaf ears but little did she know her words served as a mental redirection. My roller coaster was off the rails and she picked the whole thing up and tossed it right back on. What a blessing it is to have friends liken that. As we hung up I decided to pray. I told God I was angry. I didn’t understand why this had happen. I essentially went into “pity party” mode and could have kicked I would have. Instead I just screamed. Then it happened, you know, IT. My father came in, took my hand and said “I hate seeing you in so much pain. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m going to stay with you until I know you’re okay.” This is why earthly fathers matter. I am convinced that my earthly father has time and time again treated me with as much grace and love as a human can deliver. My father, right there in the flesh, was my Gods best effort in that moment to show himself. It is important to realize, that God cannot be confined. If you put him in a box you will never get the actual gift. He is in CONSTANT pursuit of us. No church, no ritual, and no deed can undo his desire for our heart. In fact, I believe it is arrogant to believe otherwise. I believe that we are not to be motivated by what “Christians” are “supposed” to do but by WHO Christ is and what HE promised. So as I lay there, a 25 year old adult, crippled with fear…my father met me. He came to me and he promised that he would not leave me until my fear subsided. That is gods grace. Though my pride and pity had me undone and angry at my Heavenly Father, so God sent me an Earthly Father to persist in the place that in that moment I would not. I am undeserving but my father is unrelenting. If you had any shadow of a doubt I am here to tell you that MY God IS unrelenting. Call on him and he will come. It may not be in spirit as we are not always willing, but he will make his way to us. Somehow, some way…he will make his way to us.

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