Though the mountains may be moved into the seaTasha Layton, “Into the Sea“
Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way
I can hear my Father singing over me
“It’s gonna be okay. It’s gonna be okay”
Many of you have followed our journey over the past year concerning my husband’s health. Steve was exposed to a concentrated amount of mold that landed him in the hospital last fall with double fungal pneumonia. Fast forward to 2020 and a pandemic. After many conversations with his pulmonologist and infectious diseases doctor, we knew COVID would be devastating, even deadly for Steve.
Under Steve’s doctors’ advice, we chose to quarantine before it was a thing, practiced social distancing if we had to make office visits, and masked up when getting out was a necessity. We did all the right things to protect Steve’s health. We thought we were safe until we weren’t.
On October 30, I received a call that we had been exposed to someone with a positive COVID test. Our world began to spin with questions, concerns, even fear. We immediately called Steve’s doctor to formulate a plan of action should things spiral down quickly. And they did.
By November 1, he was symptomatic, and by Nov 3, we were both full-blown COVID. We tried to battle it out at home, taking cues from the doctor. But when you can no longer breathe, your fever will not let up, and one small step leaves you laid out on the floor, it is time to acknowledge this is not something you can push through without help.
On November 9, we fell into our car and prayed our way to the ER. We said, “I love you,” a dozen times on the way to the hospital. When we arrived, I watched my sweetie labor to walk the long hospital corridor alone. I sat slumped over the steering wheel until I couldn’t see him any longer.
I took a breath and whispered, “Oh God. Take care of my sweetie. And get me home safely.” God must have sent a battalion of angels to usher me home. When I arrived, my head collapsed onto the steering wheel, and my body shook with sobs. Did I get him there on time? When will I see him again? Will I see him again?
As I wept, a song played gently on the radio, a song that forced me to look at our storm through the lens of eternity.
It’s easy to singMercyMe, “Even If”
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now?
I know You’re able, and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand.
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone.
In that sacred moment when eternity kisses the earth, and you see life for what it really is, God asks me a question. “Will you praise me no matter the outcome?” This was my “even if” moment. Do I really believe God is good? Can I trust Him when I cannot see the light for the next step? Is he working and moving in ways that are bigger than my temporary trials? Will His extravagant grace and holy love breathe life into hopeless situations?
By now, my tears flow uncontrollably as I find the strength to lift my hands and squeak out the words, “Even if you don’t, my hope is you alone.”
Steve was admitted to ICU that evening. The doctors said had I not brought him in, he would not be with us today. Three days later, another trip to the ER, and I was admitted with COVID induced pneumonia.
For several days Steve’s life teetered back and forth, while my oxygen levels prevented me from barely taking two steps. Both tethered to oxygen; we found hope in the truth that our very breath is not of our own making. It is in God that we live and move and have our being. Each step I was forced to take in the dark of night, I would clutch my hospital gown and pray, “Father, it is your breath in my lungs that moves me. So, I look to you to fill me with your breath, and I will pour out my praise to you only.”
Steve and I have weathered many storms. But both confess that this has been one of the darkest times. We have been stripped of all the securities we hold so tightly in this life and are being given the gift of learning that Christ is enough. All else pales in comparison to His glory.
After a week in the hospital, we are now home recovering. We have repeatedly been told it would be a long, slow, steady recovery that cannot be rushed. We are finding this to be true. Simple tasks that we once took for granted require so much effort. But we are finding God to be faithful, His grace more than sufficient, and His wrap-around presence healing balm for our tired souls.
I share this with you in hopes that you will find some comfort in knowing that the same God who is walking us through this is at work in your life as well. He loves His children and longs for us to know Him intimately. Unfortunately, the depths of His love are often revealed through the sorrows of life. We all encounter seasons when we are backed against the wall, with no escape plan in view, just darkness. That is when we feel His nail-scarred hand on our shoulder, hear Him whisper “I am with you,” and catch the unforced rhythm of His heartbeat gently guiding us along.
Hope for the Journey is a weekly devotional, sent out to my subscribers, and the space where I share my journey about finding God in the struggles of life. If you would like to join the journey of discovering hope no matter the circumstances, I would love to have you along. Just sign up here: Hope Journey.