I love looking back at events and realizing their significance. It's even better if I am able to see significance in progress, you know, before the actual "ah ha!" moment. Sometimes waiting for the "ah ha" means you missed out on the process.
In February, I went to the emergency room with severe abdominal pains. I was almost positive that it was an allergic reaction. The ER doctor and nurses told me that what I was proposing was not possible and they decided it was appendicitis. All tests confirmed it was not appendicitis so I was sent home. Later, it was proven that it was indeed an allergic reaction.
My new benefits plan at work is a high deductible high premium plan with a health spending account. I voted for this plan thinking that if I had enough in my HSA account, when something medical did come up, I could pay for it with pre-tax dollars set aside specifically for that purpose. I expected to use it no sooner than August maybe, but here I was in the ER in February with a brand new HSA account with very little funds set aside in it. Meanwhile, I had been saving for a trip to Honduras and knew that the hospital expense would wipe it out so I chose to realize two things: 1) I needed to get over it and just pay the bill and 2) if I was supposed to go to Honduras I would need to exercise my faith and trust that a way would be made. So, I did. The bill came, I paid it in full with my tax return and Honduras money and prayed that God's will would be done.
The good news? My deductible had been met for the year with that one visit to the ER. Cool.
I also felt a real peace about Honduras and decided not to stress about it even though it seemed as if my plans were failing. It is well.
In April, I gave a testimony in church about when I was baptized 12 years ago. The congregation had just sang "It Is Well", which was also the song I chose to have sung as I entered the waters of baptism. I explained that the meaning of the song, even at 13, really stood out to me and I wanted it to be the theme for my life. A man, who had learned by telegram that his four young daughters had drown after a shipwreck, and who was on his way, by ship, to be with his devastated wife (who tried to save the children) was able to look down into the same sea that took his children and say, "It is well with my soul." Of course he was devastated, but he had faith enough to know that God would hold him. [The man that wrote the song was also a personal friend of my family (years after this incident) when my family, the Leighton-Floyds, and his family lived in Israel.] So the song was special to me in many ways.
I was thankful on this day and hoped that others could see and hear past my nervousness to the heart of what I was expressing: thankfulness, joy, and finally being at a point in my life that when in the midst of trouble I could say, "it is well" instead of first hitting rock bottom.
This past Saturday I was playing capture the flag with the youth group. The group of kids consisted mainly of boys 11-19 years old, the median age being 15. We played hard at capture the flag but started noticing that many people (mainly girls) were sitting out. One of the members of the youth group suggested we play red rover so that everyone could be included. I learned very quickly that by red rover they meant "let's run into each other as hard as we can to see who's stronger without actually killing anyone...." or something like that. I was in! My competitive nature kicked in. Of course, I couldn't break through any of the guys when they had their arms linked, because lets face it....they are giants and I am not. I was determined not to let them break through my line. I was successful. I knew how to brace myself so that I took most of the blows rather than the person (usually a girl) linking arms with me. People fell, tripped, we had two people hit their heads together so I stepped in, as the adult voice of reason ( ha ha ha) to remind everyone that the goal was not to injure anyone and we needed to take it down a notch since we had all ages playing. So basically they took it easier on the younger members and most of the girls.
Toward the end of the game, I was standing between two guys: Adrian (15) and Robert (17) and we had successfully kept everyone from breaking through, boy or girl. Our line called Jose (18) over. I knew he would run toward me since I should have been the weakest link. Jose ran toward us and, I think, jumped onto my and Adrian's arms...not sure of his exact method. I remember looking at Adrian and yelling, "Don't let goooooo!" The next and only thing I remember is flipping, still holding onto Adrian and Robert's hands. Jose would not win!! and then I blacked out for probably 5 seconds. Next, I remember doing some sort of somersault on the ground and landing on my back and then seeing Robert and Adrian stumble and then land on me. I still had a hold of Adrian's hand....which means Jose had been unsuccessful!! This account could be wrong, by the way. I don't think I was conscious for most of it. It is a culmination of stories from the people standing around at the time and my blurred memories in the moment. When I got up I knew something was wrong with my shoulder but did not want to show any type of weakness. I played through to the end of the game, trying to protect my left shoulder.
Afterward, I asked Nanette for some ibuprofen and sat out while everyone played hide and go seek. I struggled through the rest of the night, went home and tried adjusting my shoulder. By Monday, the pain was excruciating and my arm was stiff and going numb so I went to the doctor who confirmed that I had some pinched nerves and who also put my shoulder back in place. I fainted in the process....good times. Xrays were taken and a follow up appointment was made. I was a little concerned about the cost of these appointments and thought immediately of my Honduras fund.
Yesterday at 8:42 PM Sadi posted three little words on her facebook status It is well.....
I thought, you know what? It is! 1) someone had heard what I was trying to express in my testimony and GOT it! 2) I didn't need to worry.
Today, I saw really disturbing xrays of my neck, shoulder and hip. After seeing those xrays, and talking to my doctor I realized how much worse it could have been and maybe should have been. He determined that I probably landed on my neck and head before falling flat based on the xrays. Scary. I also knew that I would be spending the next several weeks receiving chiropractic treatments and physcial therapy. $$$$$ I prayed silently, "you know what I need" and let it go. The receptionist walked in right after that and said, "Jess I don't what you did this year but you're deductible has already been met!" I told her I knew that but chiropractic appointments probably didn't qualify for full coverage....and she exclaimed, "sure they do! Your treatments won't cost you a dime!"
Today, I've been thinking a lot about that visit to the ER in February and how mad I was at first. It ended up working out for the best. My tax return and Honduras fund were the exact amount I needed to pay for it. Since my deductible was met I don't have to pay for my current treatments. A testimony on my heart became a testimony to someone else who posted it on a social networking site right at the time when my faith needed a boost. And this recent accident? I am in a lot of pain and I feel like an old lady, but I had so much fun with the youth group! The new Honduras fund? It's still in tact. I am always taken care of. Not once have I had any type of anxiety through this process. When I started to worry, I remembered that I knew better than to stop trusting God.
This verse has been going through my head all day:
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.