Whilst I gather my thoughts together to write Part 3 of “Hell and Heaven all at once”, may I invite you to read an email I got this morning from a person on the other side of the Atlantic, whom I have never met. It really touched me and I hope it unearths something powerful in you too. Of course God hears and responds to the cries of His afflicted, but not always in the way we hoped or expected.
Email from this person read:
A friend forwarded your e-mail concerning your mother’s aneurysm. He thought that perhaps I could offer some of my experience and insight to you because I also was the victim of a brain aneurysm seven years ago. I underwent three surgeries to fix a burst brain aneurysm and the subsequent problems, six weeks in intensive care and 3 weeks in rehabilitation.
I must say that in the natural, I have no recollection of what took place concerning the operations and the recovery. It was only in my last two weeks in rehab that I started to mentally participate with the process. Regardless, I wanted to offer you part of my story.
I understand about how fear may hit you in the midst of a horrible experience. I had people in my church praying for me, I had family at various levels of emotions, trying to cope with the fact that their sister/daughter may be the first of the family to die. I can tell you that when those situations occur, and they occur for all of us, that I have amazing proof that the fear does not come from God but is a real additional attack from your and God’s enemy.
I remember when my recognition began to work again. I was sitting on the bed, my sister Anne was sitting on the extra spare bed in my room. I noticed my reflection in the mirror…a reflection of a bald head, 25 pounds lighter, and scars from surgeries. I had no clue, but although it shocked me, and I walked my iv stand to the bathroom so that I might take a better look at myself, I still remained in some level of peace. God’s peace kept tugging at me. I was upset at the initial shock of my reflection, but a greater Peace was walking me through my recovery. May I tell you one thing about about His greater Peace?
In the deepest part of the experience of icu, I had no recollection of anything that went on except that the Lord held me by my “weaker” hand. This is what I mean by that. I have a very strong, vivid memory where He stood in front of me (no recollection of his face), but behind Him were a great many people (later I was reminded of the great amount of witnesses in our lives who surround us). Anyway, He held my hand and told me that if I chose to go back (live) He would be with me, always holding me by my weaker hand so that with the other hand, I could bring someone to Him. He is not afraid of my weakness, as I was. When I brought someone to Him, He said that He would then hold their hand. You can’t come to Christ unless someone has first told you about Him. I told Him that I would come back, but when I was about to go back, I was struck with fear. I turned back to Him again.and He didn’t chastise me. He only told me it was ok because in those moments (every moment), when I turned to Him, He would hold me by both hands to strengthen me,not just one. I offer that encouragement to you. Let Him hold you.
Many times, as I end an e-mail, I will put one word that sums up His present help in time of need to me…to you….to all. Check it out when you finish. Receive, honey. He is all your strength. He is all you need. Yes, you have to walk it out, but no where does God wish for you to go without Him. He is the one who breaks your alone-ness in your worst moments. I speak His peace and health over all your family, and I encourage you that just because on the outside you see a weak frail body, don’t think that God is not still doing something amazing inside. He is.
In His Love,
(8 years later)
I will keep the author of this email anonymous to protect her identity. God knows who she is and that is all that matters.