Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Visitation

I visited Karen in the hospital today, and I'm here to report:

I was so full of something last night that I didn't sleep at all. I don't know what it was precisely that kept me up, maybe apprehension or amazement, fear or excitement, grief or gratitude. Whatever it was, I did not sleep a wink.

Because I was already awake, I woke the kids at 5:45 A.M. to prepare for the school day. (Generally, I wake them around 6:00, but they'd been asking to watch The Upside-Down Show before school, and there's usually never enough time. No time like the insomnia-stricken present, I always say.) I napped a little after they left for school, and called Karen around 9:45 A.M. to see if a visit was still okay. It was, and she seemed excited.

As I drove to the hospital, I reminded God continually that I was incapable of doing any of this on my own. I knew in my own strength, I could hardly even be in that particular hospital without my last meal wanting to resurface. In retrospect, something in Tara's blog, Think Out Loud, resonated true about my experience today:

"Trusting is risky business, because in trust we are not promised an easier road. Yet in some crazy way, when we decide to trust, God gives us the specific grace we need for the moment."

I arrived at the hospital around 10:30 with hands filled with flowers and a fruit basket, because one should never visit a bedridden stranger empty handed. I trusted God today to provide all that I needed, and that included the grace and strength to put one foot in front of the other. This has been a very hard road for us, these last many years, and there are days that I tear up in Target or sob in Starbucks. I knew God would make a way for me to go share hope with Karen, but intimately, I knew that was not guaranteed to be smooth, which is precisely what Tara said. God showed up in a big way today, calming all of my anxieties and making way for a new friendship to form.

Karen and I had a lovely conversation. We talked about church, life at home, how things were going with her pregnancy, along with much, much more. I felt blessed to be included in her life. After about an hour an a half, I left there feeling triumphant, and feeling a sense of completion. It was as if a shoot had burst into the sunlight after sitting seed-like and dormant under a cold, dark Earth. I have plans to visit again soon, and while I'm very excited to see her and to bear her burden as I may, I'm also very excited for the cultivation of whatever this new thing is now growing in me.


  • Elizabeth

    I am SO proud of you girl! You, too, are walking in great faith just to reach out and minister to this sweet woman. Wow, good stuff!

  • Amy

    I know that was hard and scary. I am proud of you... and God's work in you!!!

  • Jenny James

    Wow- I was nervous with you just reading this post. What a blessing you were to Karen. I'm sure it was a scary step to take personally, but God has so much bigger planned for you. Watching you trust Him gives us all a little more faith to do the same.

  • Someone Being Me

    I am so glad it went well and that you feel better after the visit. God works in mysterious ways. I am sure you were a blessing to her as well. I am very proud of you.

  • taralynn819

    It's funny how the most frightening situations produce the most satisfaction and joy.

  • Playful Professional

    You really are a great person. I need to start thinking more about others and taking them treats. Way to go.

  • Liz

    As hard as it is to go into a situation that you know makes your flesh scream and cry, at the same time it becomes the most precious time because you know God was in it, provided the grace, and directed you to that place in His sovereignty. He gets the glory because you know with absolute certainty He did it all. I am praising Him with you.

    Thank you for sharing. What an encouragement.

  • sjh

    Wow - what an encouragement you are to others! She will forever be grateful that you took that step. God is so good! He's using you to minister to her and that is so wonderful!

  • The Dukes Family

    How exciting! It's awesome to watch you go forward, trusting God, and then feel great about it after. You've had to bear painful burdens and you're allowing God to use that for His glory ... it shows great faith and great character!

  • Happy Mommy

    What a great experience! I think that thing growing in you just might be peace.

  • amy

    I'm proud of you, Amanda!

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