(This original blog post and prayer has turned into a book that will be released in October 2020. You can find out more here.)
I propped my feet on the ottoman and noticed my jeans had finally worn thin enough at the knee to actually be considered stylish.
Threadbare they are.
I picked at the string still holding on for dear life and thought how appropriate. I‘m feeling every bit threadbare myself.
My nap is worn off.
Worn to the naked thread.
I’m hanging on for dear life.
I closed my eyes and remembered the day I bought these jeans about 2 years ago. I was threadbare that day too.
My husband was in the ICU after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac death they called it. He lingered in a coma for over a week but much to the surprise of everyone had woke up a couple of days before. We spent the better part of those few days retelling him the story of what happened, meeting with doctors, and making plans for what came next.
On this particular day, the Tuesday following, I was torn in two. I needed to be with him bedside, but also at a different hospital in town with our 10 year old daughter. She had a treatment scheduled that day. Her illness had reared its ugly head in the days before her daddy landed in his own hospital bed. We could not postpone and I needed to be the one to take her.
And so, I stretched thin and took her. I left Mike across town with dear friends who promised to stand in for me. Between her pre-treatment doctor’s appointment and her hospital visit, we ran into my favorite clothing store and bought these jeans. A little bit of normal in a truly hard day.
My big brother had sent me a gift card saying, “This is for you to do something nice for yourself, sis. Don’t you dare spend it on groceries. Get something for you.” I picked out a much needed pair of jeans and a long pink cardigan. While waiting to check out, I alternately stuffed down my own weariness and amusement for letting him boss me around again after so many years.
Finally we settled in for her treatment, and as the day progressed, I received updates from Mike’s ICU nurses and friends. I did my best to be present with my daughter. This was the first time ever after a year’s worth of IV sticks she didn’t cry. “I’m not going to cry today mommy. I’m going to be brave like daddy.” And she was.
Around the four hour mark of her treatment the other hospital called me.
“We need to transfer your husband to a different hospital immediately. You need to come and sign the papers.”
That would be the 3rd hospital in my story.
I assured them I would be there as soon as I could, but heaven help us my daughter was still in her own hospital bed. They would have to wait for me and my signature.
I made it to my husband’s ICU room around dinner time and met with his doctors who were adamant he needed to have surgery early the next morning at the other hospital.
I signed the paper.
I assured him that he was going to be ok. (He doubted me.)
I snuck my 10 year old into the ICU so she could kiss her daddy. (That helped.)
And I watched as they wheeled him out the door.
I drove my exhausted brave girl home and sat down to a late dinner with my mom who was taking care of my other 3 girls.
“I need to go to the new hospital and check on Mike.”
My mom folded her arms and said, “Absolutely not.” You need to go to bed. Call the nurse. Make sure he is settled, and tell them you will be there tomorrow for surgery bright and early.” I resisted but only a little.
Threadbare doesn’t have much pushback.
When I think on that Tuesday I don’t just remember, it, I re-live it. My entire body feels the weight of it. I can see the hollow look in my eyes and the way I had to keep searching for a chair to sit down on because I was too exhausted to stand up.
But, looking back also reminds me that today’s hard has been filtered through my shepherd’s hands. The same ONE that walked me through that unbelievable ordeal 2 years ago is with me today.
When I don’t have answers.
When my daughter is still sick.
When my husband struggles this side of a miracle.
When I see a mountain in front of me.
When suffering is long.
And I realize once again, Jesus isn’t threadbare holding on for dear life.
He is holding on to me.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17