The Broken, Steadfast Heart

“Adult Medical Emergency! Adult Medical Emergency!” I stared incredulously at the lady calling out these words over the PA system. Before I could regain my composure, a nurse was behind me compassionately commanding that I sit in the wheelchair she had parked and locked into place behind me. Seconds later I was flanked by another nurse who I could tell was making a hundred assessments as she sped toward me with defibrillator in tow. They showered me with a deluge of questions to which I could muster a few cogent answers. I tried to reassure them, and myself, that I was just coming in at the doctor’s request, but medical professionals tend to get right jumpy when you say words like chest pain and dizziness. Especially, when the last EKG came back abnormal.

They rushed me into a triage room and scrambled around me. Helpful, but strangers. I hadn’t told my husband I was going in, because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Now I wished I had. After leaving friends to care for my four children, I had driven myself.  I had no hand to hold but my Jesus was near; He always is.

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
-Isaiah 41:10

My children, and the dreams I dream for them were on my mind. Earlier that day, I had tried to teach my four-year-old how to dial 911. It wasn’t working, so I resorted to telling him, “If you can’t wake up Mommy, you run as fast as you can to the neighbors house, bang on the door, and tell them call 911.” A sick mama is not what I had anticipated for their childhood, but God—He sees. He knows. He cares. I am confident that no matter what, He’s got this. Even if I don’t get the answers I prefer.

The nurses in the room relaxed as my blood pressure cuff hissed its release and revealed the numbers they wanted to see. I was given some water and a tissue, because the breaking of the tension also set free a steady stream of silent tears. I wasn’t afraid when I walked in, but their panic made me question if I should be. It made it all too real. I am in my thirties, and there is something serious going on. I held tight to the verses the Lord had used to comfort me since the first tests came back:

“They will have no fear of bad news;
 their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear…”
Psalm 112:7-8 (NIV)

I still don’t have definite answers. They doctors have decided there is no immediate threat, which I am grateful for, but they have only given me possible explanations and more tests. Each new diagnostic is performed, and I pray they do not call back immediately. When the doctor calls, it is not usually due to excellent customer service. Yet even then, even if, it be the doc, the specialist, or the surgeon who calls, it is still news I need not fear. For I love and serve a God who binds up broken hearts, and in the end makes all things new. My hope is not shaken by the woes of this world or the weakness of this body. What waits ahead is unknown to me, but known to Him.

I will not cower from the fear that whispers lies filled with tragic tales. The enemy of my soul attempts to use the unknown to unravel the peace that passes understanding, but I will stand firm on the promises of God. Like Joshua I will be strong and courageous; like Esther I will look for the purpose in such a time as this; and like Jesus when the next day is daunting I will find solace in seeking help from the Father.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Luke 12:25 (NIV)

Being bound by worry is something I found freedom from when I began to follow Christ, but a new layer of awareness came into reality when my husband and I began to attempt to raise these little humans. The adventurer in me that swam with sharks and shared the gospel in closed countries now seeks wisdom before jumping. This does not mean I will not risk, but it does mean I listen carefully to make sure it is God who is doing the leading instead of my own predilection for adrenaline. I hold teeny hands, kiss little foreheads, and pray mighty prayers for these lives entrusted to my care, so placing myself in the path of unnecessary harm is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and our bodies are prone to unpredictable sickness and death.

I put my life into the hands of my Savior in my twenties. I believed He knew if I would or would not marry, and I was rest assured that He knew what work I would do. With each birth of my children I sought Him out and asked Him to watch over the new life He had given. I proclaim, “I trust God with my life. I trust God with the lives of my children.” What I don’t always like to remember is that this also means I trust Him with my death, with their deaths. His goodness covers all the days. He carefully planned the first beat of our hearts, and He knows the day each will beat its last.

“’Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?’

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55

It is abundantly clear to me that our time on this earth is limited and not decided by us, but this I know—heaven awaits. Jesus has already claimed victory over death and there will be a day with no more sickness. Though I hope for many more days, I cling to the word of God daily, so I can be reminded of who He says He is. Who He will always be. It is in those pages I meditate on my deepest hopes and present joy. When the fears for my children creep in. When I find myself holding to the things of this world. I turn my eyes to him and pray He makes me like the psalmist who proclaims, “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast…” -Psalm 57:7( NIV).

Readers, Where do you need to trust God more today? How can you take a step towards doing so?

e9d88-chara2bbio2bpic2bsquare2b600pxChara is a freelance writer, certified biblical counselor, and speaker. She holds a MSEd from Corban University and is passionate about seeing people set free through God’s truths. She loves to write about faith, culture,  and the deep truths that drive our fascinations with it. Chara is the founder and editor of  Anchored Voices and can be found on multiple social media platforms @CharaDonahue.

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