Thursday and Friday were a whirlwind. Clay went to Louisville for yet another scope on his stomach, trying to figure out the situation with his ulcers and the best treatment. Supposed to be a fairly routine procedure. I didn’t go because his cousins were gracious enough to offer to pick him up and let him crash with them until he could safely drive home the next morning.
His first appointment was at 11:20 our time, and the test was supposed to immediately follow. He was never out of my thoughts, but as 3:00 neared and I hadn’t heard from him, I was growing concerned. Then my phone rang.
When I noticed that it wasn’t his number, I thought that was strange. But when the voice on the other end said it was the surgeon, my heart skipped a few beats and my hands started shaking like crazy. Surgeons don’t make a habit of calling wives to say all is well, I don’t think. So it was hard for me to focus on what he was actually saying. I heard “blood clot,” “lungs,” “admitted,” and “couple days.” Then he started talking and talking about what they saw in his stomach, of which I didn’t hear a word, when I finally had the presence of mind to ask which hospital.
I hung up and just sat shaking for a minute, then started making phone calls, kicking myself the whole time for not working it out to go with him in the first place. It’s amazing, really, how quickly I was able to get my kids taken care of, thanks to my mom and a good friend. So within an hour and a half of answering the phone, Lydia and I were on our way.
I never wanted 3 1/2 hours to pass more quickly, but they were a blessing in disguise, because I had 3 1/2 hours to process all that was happening so quickly. The Holy Spirit was good to whisper truth to me, the job He usually uses Clay to do. But Clay wasn’t with me, and I desperately needed someone to remind me of all that was true, and my Comforter was ever faithful. Here is the truth I needed to hear:
** As far as unexpected phone calls from surgeons go, it could have been much worse. A blood clot in the lung is not to be trifled with, to be sure, but, in this case, it was a weekend-changer, not necessarily a life-changer. I was not driving in fear for my husband’s life.
** God is faithful. The worrywart in me was already wanting to worry about the bills that were about to amass. The worrywart in me was definitely worried about my husband, and scared that it was going to turn out to be worse than it sounded. The worrywart in me was worried about the kids I was leaving, the kid I was taking, and the people I was inconveniencing to help me care for them. But the Spirit of God reminded me that He is faithful. He can and should be trusted with my husband. He can and should be trusted with my children. He can and should be trusted to provide for our financial needs. He can and should be trusted to use His children to help me in my time of need. God is faithful.
** Then He started digging down very deep, in the raw places of my soul, and started whispering that even if the news had been worse, even if the unthinkable had happened and I was driving toward something that brings tears to my eyes just imagining it, then He would still be there. He would still be my strength. He would still pour out grace. He would still be good. I couldn’t dwell long on this one, and I was just so thankful that I didn’t have to. But it was truth, and it was comforting.
Well, as events played out, I made it to the hospital, hugged my husband as best I could, dancing around the IV’s, and we started our wait for answers. It wasn’t until Friday afternoon, after a second CT scan, that we found out that there never had been a clot. He was good to go. All was well. Our emotions were all over the map. Overjoyed. Thankful. Excited. Quickly followed by disbelief. Frustration. Even some anger. He had been over 24 hours in the hospital, over 24 hours on unnecessary blood thinners, over 24 hours on a liquid diet and no one knew why that had been ordered in the first place. And there had never been anything wrong. We had two vans to drive home, so I had my second 3 1/2 hour drive in two days, again with my thoughts and emotions swirling crazily around and around. Again, I didn’t have my husband with me to preach the truth to me. Again, I needed my Father to whisper to me.
And this is what He told me: He is in control. Yes, it was a “mistake.” Yes, we were there for “nothing.” Yes, we will now have probably thousands of dollars of medical bills for “no reason.” But ultimately, nothing is for no reason. Mistakes have a purpose. There was absolutely grace in that second scan, that showed a healthy husband. But there was also grace in the first one, when a doctor erred, either accidentally or out of caution, leading to our crazy ride. I have no idea why God let us go through all that worry and stress and inconvenience and expense when there was nothing wrong with Clay. I have no idea what He was doing. And quite frankly, a day later I’m still fighting back some frustration at the whole crazy situation. But not only is He in control, He is good. He has good reasons for what He does and what He allows, even if what He allows doesn’t look good. And His good reasons always mean good for me.
That is what He whispered to me on the way home last night. And that is something that applies to every roller coaster life brings us. Next time it probably won’t be a misread CT scan that triggers this kind of chaos in our lives. But just as there was grace in that misread CT scan, there will be grace for the next journey as well. All that He asks, His grace will provide.
As I’m home tonight with my healthy, blood-clot-less husband, I am so thankful for His grace.