This is a great, great story and I hope I can tell it well.
I’ve told you some of what my husband has been dealing with physically and I hope I’ve given equal time to the amazing things that our generous God has been teaching and doing in us during the process. Well, last month, we were sent to a specialist in Portland to see if she could give us a definitive diagnosis. I probably didn’t mention it – because I don’t enjoy this part of the story – but the doctor we were sent to is the director of the ALS center at Providence Hospital. As nice as she is, I never imagined we would have a reason meet her. I just never, ever imagined.
I don’t want over dramatize but I’m telling you, if I live to be 1oo years old, I will never be able to articulate what the trip over the mountain was like on that rainy, gray October day with my husband driving and our oldest girl in the back, just like it used to be when she was little and yet…nothing at all like it used to be. Feelings, thoughts and prayers swirled through my head and heart in a hurricane of fear and hope and sorrow and peace and pain. Sometimes I think they made their way to some heavenly vault, where they are being stored until I can look at them again because right now that trip is just not easy to remember.
My sister and brother-in-law met us at the clinic for support and they stayed with Whitney in the waiting room while Steve and I went to check in. I can’t say enough about the staff at The Oregon Clinic. They deal with such deeply hurting people every day and they do it with genuine care and compassion. At no time did I feel like Steve was a number to them or – worse – a patient so sick that they had already determined to maintain a crisp, emotional distance. They’re good people there. And yet…it was so scary.
After filling out some paperwork, we went to take seats and wait and that’s when something amazing happened. It’s a moment that I have replayed on a tiny movie screen in my mind a thousand times since, just to remind myself that it was real. As we went to sit down, a lady came from the back office and approached me and I thought for a minute that she was the doctor. She came to me and smiled and said, “Hi Bo, you probably don’t remember me, but I heard you speak this summer. I’ve been reading your blog and then I saw your husband’s name come through on our schedule and I just want you to know – you’re being prayed for behind the scenes here.”
Maybe it sounds small or insignificant compared to the size of other miracles or compared to the miracle we’ve been praying for, but I still cry every time I tell the story – and tears are rolling now as I type it out. For me, on that day, it meant everything. Jesus had shown up in the form of Lisa. He used her to remind me that even though the furnace felt hot, we weren’t alone in there. It was a magical and miraculous moment that I will never forget and never stop telling, because it was what I needed on that dreadful day and I would never had known to ask Him for it.
So, thank you Lisa, for praying and encouraging and showing up for work that day. Never underestimate the work that God has called you to, even on the days when it seems less than divinely driven. On October 28, you helped us find the holy in the grit and grime of the fight.
And thank you, Jesus, for continuing to astound me with the bigness of Your presence and the depths of Your kindness. I remain overwhelmed and undeserving on every level, and yet You keep showing up.
And to you – whoever and wherever you are – I pray that you will catch a glimpse of Him hovering around your situation; not just out in the waiting room, but right in the middle of it – guiding and holding your shaky heart. You are not alone.
P.S. We didn’t get a diagnosis that day, but we did get some encouraging news and are still waiting on answers. This is the last I’ll write about this til we know more. Thanks for praying and caring.