I’m normally the one who jokes around and finds the humor during difficult situations. But recently I experienced a challenge in which I did very little laughing and a whole lot of weeping. I was hospitalized twice in one month with a systemic staph infection. The staph lodged itself in my backside, which prevented me from moving much. Man, talk about pain in the bum!
I was in constant and severe pain for weeks, and no medication sufficiently alleviated my agony. I hurt so bad for so long that I began to wonder if I would ever heal. There were so many medical tests, so many doctors, and so much pain that I didn’t think I could handle one more second of it all. My prayers were a continual, “Please, please help me!”
One night, when I was in tremendous pain, I lay on my hospital bed and wept. I was sweating like I was running a marathon, and it was hard to breathe. When I pushed the nurse’s call button, no one came in my room to assist me, and I pled with Father in Heaven for help.
In walked James, my husband, who immediately got someone in to administer some pain medication. My prayer had been answered.
But the trouble wasn’t over. When the nurse’s aide came in to take my vitals, I knew something was wrong. All of a sudden, the whole cardiac team was in my room. I had a gazillion leads placed on my chest and monitors displaying my heart activity. The crash cart was even there by my bed. I felt like I was in some TV medical drama. If I weren’t blind, I would have looked around for George Clooney.
When the doctor came in, he informed me that while my heart rate was usually in the 90s, it was now at 240 and showed no signs of slowing. He was going to administer some medication that would slow down and possibly stop my heart so that they could restart it to pump at a normal level.
Two nurses each held a syringe, ready to put into my IV. I truly wondered if I was going to die. If they stopped my heart, would it start again?
Before giving the order to administer the medication, the doctor asked me to try a certain muscle contraction, which can sometimes slow down the heart. I was able to follow his instructions, and my heart immediately slowed to a normal rate. There was an audible sigh of relief in my room from the whole medical team, but no one was as relieved as I was.
I was kept on monitors, and, at one point that evening, a nurse came in and introduced herself to me, saying, “I’ll be the one watching over your heart tonight.”
I almost cried at her words. She was the one monitoring my heart activity, but the Spirit let me know who was really watching over my heart that night. And every night. Heavenly Father was completely aware of my condition and watching over me.
Our circumstances are different. Our pains, trials, worries, sorrows, and other personal struggles may not be the same. But there is one thing each of us can be assured of. You and I have a Father who loves and knows us personally. He knows how much we hurt. He knows our longings and hears our desperate prayers. He may not always deliver us from the pain and heartbreak, but He always helps us through it.
When it feels like your heart is breaking, I invite you to turn to Him again and again to feel the peace and love you need. There is no other source for lasting healing.
Lead image from Getty Images
One of the greatest reassurances we receive when we embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ is to know that whatever happens to us in this life, we are in His hands. He knows us, each one of us, by name. He is aware of the circumstances of our lives. He stands ready to help us do things we thought we couldn't do.
In this uplifting collection, twenty-two Latter-day Saint Women share stories and insights illuminating what it means to place ourselves in the Lord's hands. As we learn to trust Him and to commune with Him in prayers, we receive guidance for our own discipleship and inspiration about how to serve. The fruits of love and peace will follow.
Sprinkled with inspirational photography, each of these brief, heart-touching messages is a moving reminder that we are not alone. We are continually in His hands.