A friend went into the hospital this past week — a random symptom landing him in the emergency room and then a few hours later, he and his wife, both young twenty somethings, received life-changing, potentially life threatening news.
And the path they were walking suddenly curved.
I was in my patient’s room last week when the patient next door died. He wasn’t my patient that day, but all my nurse friends know that when you’re working the unit — they all may as well be your patients, it’s a team effort. We all rushed in, life saving measures commenced, but despite best efforts the patient probably didn’t make it but another day or so.
And the patient’s family’s path suddenly curved.
I’ve been overly emotional this week because of those events. Life never seems more precious then when a friend faces a life altering diagnosis and you see death swoop in and the cardiac monitor go flat all in a few days.
I hugged my husband tighter.
Breathed in the fall crispness a little deeper.
Texted friends how much they mean to me.
Focused on real life relationships instead of digital ones.
Jogged a little faster on my morning runs, grateful my heart still beats.
Laughed more easily at my dog’s antics, instead of losing my temper.
Tried to appreciate the alarm clock’s signal that I had another day of life, instead of hurling it across the room as usual.
And despite doing all these things, anxiety lingered at the edges of my consciousness, helplessness smirked at my attempts at control, and my tears threatened to drag my mascara down my face, an outward show of a grieving heart.
So, I let it — I let myself feel the weightiness of the week, reaccepting the knowledge that life’s path can curve at any moment. I took a deep breath, released it, and did it again, over and over appreciating the oxygen filling my lungs, acknowledging that life is not always beautiful or happy and that some things can’t be tied up in a pretty bow.
It’s ok to grieve.
Ok to wish for that straight paved life path again
Ok to let the tears flow
Ok to be angry
Ok to feel overwhelmed
Ok to just let the emotions win for a bit
Because I know my Jesus is big enough for all my questions, for my anxiety, for my grief. I know He’s in the hospital room with my friend, and I know He was with our medical team as we fought to save our patient. When Jesus walked the earth, He grieved for his friend too (John 11), He felt overwhelmed too (Matthew 26:39), He got angry too (Matthew 21:12-13), and He says nothing can ever separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
Whatever you are going through this week, friend, no matter how big or how small, He knows. He cares. And He’s not afraid or ashamed of your tears.
Bring it to Him.
He’s always listening.
And He loves you more than you could ever imagine.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:38-39