“You need to understand that this is a life-threatening illness.”
“I’m sorry but removing the spleen has not brought the result we hoped.” “There have been two bleeds on the brain.” “Get a room in ICU. STAT!” “We’ll know more in the next six hours.” “He is on life support. The situation is very serious.”
Learning to Trust God
Those are just a few words from doctors now etched into my heart and mind. In May 2004, my husband Scott was diagnosed with ITP, an auto-immune blood disorder. His immune system attacks his platelets so his blood does not clot. Most of us have between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets. 50,000 is considered the lowest end of an acceptable count. Anything under 30,000 makes a person at risk for spontaneous hemorrhaging. Anything under 10,000 places a serious risk for spontaneous brain bleeds. Scott’s average platelet count for seven years —2,000.
The story of countless chemo treatments, surgical procedures, doctor visits, blood draws, transfusions, and research, well, that is his story. My story is a little different
My story is about God’s provision.
I’m one of those people that appears very independent. Note that I said appears. tThe truth is, all my life I have wanted someone to take care of me. Someone who would provide me with the security and safety that, for some reason, I just never completely felt as a child. I spent a lot of years looking for that in all the wrong places. And then I met Scott.
It’s such an honor to even know him. I say that because I have heard so many others say it as well … it’s not just flattering words on a page to make someone think I have such a great husband. It’s really the truth. People are drawn to Scott. He is, in a word, steady. He never wavers. He is solid and strong. And, for someone like me, whose emotional state can be erratic on a good day … Scott is level!
When I married Scott, it was as if, for the first time in my life, I could breathe a sigh of relief. I cannot explain how being his wife has opened up doors for me. Scott isn’t worried about me being perfect (though he would probably like a little less OCD in our world! LOL). He doesn’t care if I’m a size two or a size 22 (which is nice since I’m somewhere settled between them!). He doesn’t mind if my hair is blonde or red or brown, straight or curly, short or long (which comes in handy since in the past 13 years it has been all of the above). I am blessed to have a husband who really, deeply, passionately loves ME. And because of his love, I have been able to learn to love – myself and others.
So, that in mind, realize that when he got sick and then didn’t get better and then got sicker and then better and then almost died—my whole world was in pieces. I’m sure that most people who knew me or saw me THOUGHT I had it so together. I wanted to! I really did. But the reality is, I was scared, to the core of my soul I was afraid of losing Scott. I had a young child (four a the time he was diagnosed!). So, I said and did all of those things people who trust in the Lord are supposed to do. Because I was a pastor’s wife? Yes. Because I was a Christian? Yes. But most of all, because
I had no idea what else to do.
I couldn’t think of anything else but to open the Word of God and find comfort there. I couldn’t consider pouring out my heart to anyone but God – even though I was so very mad at Him. And somewhere along the way the Holy Spirit showed me that though I love my husband and desperately desire to have a VERY long life with him, I had finally learned—mostly through watching Scott live —to depend on the Lord.
So it is through that lens that I now read Romans 8:28 ~ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Did Scott get sick so God could teach me a lesson?
No, I believe Scott got sick because we live in a fallen world where there will be sickness and death.
But God most certainly has used Scott’s sickness to teach me so many things but above all how very much HE loves me and that no matter how dark the night, His sweet mercies are new every morning.
The one passage that has been my source of strength, that I have turned to again and again during these past five years is from Psalms.
Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will not be shaken.
My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock.
My refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts before him.
God is our refuge.