I have had quite an adventurous few weeks.
Two weeks ago, I went into the hospital for a medical “procedure.” (I will try to walk the fine line between being transparent and honest with not over sharing.) Late last year I discovered I had developed uterine fibroids. Not cancer, not even a big health concern, but after discussions with my doctor we agreed it was best to have them dealt with at this time. Suffice to say it was not life threatening, nor was it a big deal. Rather, it was a fairly common procedure requiring a short overnight stay in the hospital and an easy two week recovery.
All went as expected. I had great care and was home by noon the following day. Recovery was nothing more tasking than rest and medicine; I am a fan of both. Five days later I was feeling fine and excited to see life close to normal around the corner, that is until I went to the grocery store.
It was Tuesday. I remember it well. I had stopped by the local grocer to pick up a few things. As I was checking out the kind cashier simply uttered , “Hello, how are you today?” Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was overcome with emotion. I wanted to crawl over the counter, throw myself into her arms and cry. I hurried out to my car, thankful I was able to fight such a crazy urge, and drove straight home, crying all the way. “WHAT WAS THAT?” I kept asking myself once I was safely home. All throughout that day, I kept having odd bouts of crying, no reason, and not long lasting. Something was not right. I admit I am an emotional person, but this was not normal even for me!
My husband was out of town, which may have been a good thing since I am certain my behavior would have worried him. The next day I continued to feel on the verge of tears throughout the day. Anytime someone asked how I was on the phone or in an e-mail, I had to fight back sobs. Yep, as if crying easily was not bad enough, now I was SOBBING at every kind word sent my way. I began to pray asking God to keep kind people out of my path.
I had to go to Target. I purposefully went to one further from my home in hopes of avoiding running into someone I knew who would ask, “Hey. How are you?” I knew this would trigger illogical sobbing in public. I even prayed asking God to place disconnected, stern faced people in my path this day. It almost worked. I was practically at the check out before a worse case scenario crossed my path. Not only did I run into someone I knew, but it was a couple I had not seen in some time, he, a compassionate local pastor and she, a typical kindhearted pastor’s wife complete with a sweet southern accent. Pastor: Hey Teri how are you? It is so good to see you! Wife: Oh my goodness, it is good to see you, HOW ARE YOU?(said with a sweet and very earnest tone)Me: I’m good.(do you get in extra trouble with God if you lie to a pastor?) I hold my shopping cart with white knuckles and we manage a brief surface exchange of pleasantries before I hurry back to the car. I am grumbling under my breath to God, “Seriously God? What were you thinking?”
By Thursday, it is safe to say the wheels were coming off the wagon. I was sure I was going crazy and convinced it had something to do with the afore mentioned procedure. Satan latched onto that and soon I was imagining all kinds of reasons why I no longer had control of my emotions, none of them good of course. That morning I had a previously scheduled doctor appointment, not at all related to the procedure. It was a simple check in with a doctor who has been working with me on my overall health and diet. On the way there, I prayed, pleaded, with God. “Please don’t let me cry in front of these people, please do not let them be too kind.” Felt fine, pleasant hellos in the waiting room, all seems good….yep, as the nurse is simply taking my blood pressure I begin to SOB, not cry, SOB. Confused and worried she held me and the dam broke. I am sure I got snot on her shirt as I fell heartbroken against her shoulder. No reason.
The doctor entered the room with the kind of caution one would use when approaching a crouching tiger. I cried as I tried to explain the events of the last few days. He encouraged me to see my other doctor and confirmed that yes, this was not normal. Before I left, he took my hand and prayed with me, that I would find an answer and peace. Yep, I cried.
I then went to the hospital where the procedure was done in hope of securing a follow up appointment so I could ask questions about this turn of events. As I walked up to the receptionist desk, the two ladies who handle registration and scheduling recognized me and greeted me with big smiles and a sweet refrain of my trigger phrase, “Hey! How are you?” Once again I fall apart. Who cries when someone asks how they are? Apparently, I do these days. It did not take long for one of the dear women to take me in her arms. Both of them uttered loving encouragement. “God has this.” ,“The Holy Spirit is here, you are here for a reason.” “We’ll figure this out.”
They had a nurse come and speak with me. Of course I cried as I told her about my problem, which was obvious I guess. She was kind and caring. Even though I did not have an appointment, one of the doctors agreed to see me. As I sat waiting for her, one of the nurses who remembered me from my procedure stopped in the midst of her busy day and asked how I was doing. Instead of hurrying away when I burst into tears once more, she gave me comfort and assurance. The doctor arrived and asked, “How are you?” (At this point I think everyone is saying that because they know I’ll cry.) Eventually, after listening to me and asking all the right questions, she confirmed I was not crazy, whew, but that my hormones were a mess in part due to the procedure and a change in medicine I had recently had.
Today the sun is shining and I am sooooooo much better. Things are leveling out and I no longer feel compelled to launch myself into the arms of unsuspecting kind people! God is GOOD!
During those days I spent considerable time asking God to KEEP kind people from me. Instead, God in His infinite mercy, put kind people in my path. His people, who would reflect His love to me.
I was surrounded by friends, medical professionals and even strangers who lived out Colossians 3:12 “…those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;” They were the hands and feet of our God.
I share this challenge with you, that we not only be the hands and feet of God to those He puts in our lives, but that we also welcome and recognize when God is using His people to love us….even when the wheels start coming off the wagon.
Holy moley! I’m glad I didn’t have any makeup on, Teri! I’m bawling my eyes out! I am SO SORRY you have been suffering! Even more, I am SO THANKFUL for our God. His care of us is so perfect, isn’t it?
Luving you Terri! A great reminder for us to be sensitive to where God is asking us to be His arms and hugs!
As i started reading your story, I was feeling like a bad friend because I did not call to see how you were doing after your procedure. (I did however get updates from Terri) Several days or so after your procedure I was going to text you to see how you were doing and for some reason I got distracted so I guess maybe that was the day you prayed for no kind words. Anyway I am sorry you had to go through that, but glad that God put such caring people in your path. I love you and am glad to have got to spend some time with you lately