Just in case you are not a Med Student, let me take this time to explain how residency works (because having a team of them visiting me every day for 33 days straight makes me an expert 🙂 ). At the beginning of the month, a team of about 5 residents is assigned to a particular area of expertise. At the end of the month, poof!, they disappear and start over in a different area. So, since i arrived at the hospital at the beginning of February, I had the same team visiting me for the entire month. Each morning the Actual doctor made his/her rounds, and the team followed them from room to room. However, there are about 6 oncologists who took turns rounding, so, the ONLY consistent part of those visits, were these same residents. I grew to love their faces and anticipate their presence. I was so lost and scared that first month, that I grew very fond of, and dependent on, their daily “visit”. When I came back for my consolidation rounds of chemo a few weeks later, they were all gone (the nerve!). There was one of those residents who came to see me the day I left the hospital after those first 30 days, even though he had been reassigned. I think he knew that I needed that, based on how I had literally clung to their hands at various times, especially when I woke up in ICU. Well, this is a very wordy way to say thank you to him, and to all my resident friends, AND to tell you about how God “book-ended” my Leukemia journey. The day I was released from the hospital after my FINAL round of chemo, my mom and I decided to celebrate. We deliberated about what time and what restaurant and finally ended up at a local Mexican restaurant where we could eat lots of chips and have a Margarita. They led us to our table which was in the bar in the very back of the restaurant. There was only ONE other party eating in this area. As I got closer, my heart jumped when I recognized this SAME resident who had been on that initial team 4 months earlier (AND, he was sitting across from the new resident who had actually discharged my that same day….). We all hugged and they didn’t even reprimand me for having a Margarita the day after I finished pumping toxic chemo into my body! I was emotional about seeing him because I felt like God had given me a beautiful gift. He represented the beginning and the end of my Leukemia. There is no doubt in my mind that God set that up to let me know He is paying attention to the details, no matter how tiny and seemingly insignificant. Curing me was enough, but He went the extra mile to let ME know that HE knows that I care about these kinds of things (maybe He knew I would write about it…).
And speaking of this, I had another another “book-end” experience just the other day. I have mentioned before that I read from a few books everyday. They all have dated entries. Sometimes I will go back to significant dates in my life and see what the topics were for those days. Recently, I decided to check out the topic in the book “Jesus Calling” for February 6th ( D-Day for Leukemia diagnosis). Using scripture, the author talks to the reader as she believes God would if He was doing the writing Himself. Here is the just of what it said on that day:
“Come to Me and rest. I am all about you, to bless and restore. BREATHE Me in with each BREATH. The way just ahead of you is very steep. Slow down and cling tightly too My hand. I am teaching you a difficult lesson, learned only by hardship.” Whoa. Can’t say it any better than that. “The way just ahead of you is very steep”?. Ya think? And the part about BREATHING I find ironic, because the thing that landed me in ICU was the fact that I couldn’t BREATHE.
Because this was so poignant, I decided to check the reading for the day I was officially declared “Done”, July 2nd. The condensed version says, “Let Me show you My way for you this day….Do not fear My will, for through it I accomplish what is best for you. Take a deep BREATH and dive into the depths of absolute trust in Me.” More about BREATHING to wrap it all up. “Book-ends”. The beginning and the end. The front and the back, with all kinds of stories sandwiched in-between. It’ll take another blog for me to talk about the significance of the BREATHING part of it, (aside from the obvious fact that we all feel like we have been HOLDING OUR BREATH for 5 months) but for now, I just want to focus on how God packaged up this segment of my life. I don’t see it as one big even that is now over, because I believe that the beginning, the end, and all the in-between times will change my life forever. But, I do feel like God was showing me a couple specific things. 1. That He is paying attention to the details of my life and wants me to know it and 2. that He wrapped it all up like a sweet, thoughtful gift, so that I can open it and use it to help me and help others as I move on to write new stories. He knows you too. Down to your itty-bitty idiosyncrasies. He is trying to tell you that He’s there. He’s paying attention to your “seemingly insignificant” individual life. God is in the details. Now, take a deep breath, and let Him show you.