One month ago was when all the fun started – NOT!
I’ve actually been in the hospital twice in one month for two different things, but in this post I’m going to focus on the most recent event.
Someone recently blessed me with $200 and encouraged me to go on a special outing with Jesus. Well, she didn’t have to tell me that twice. I couldn’t think of anything better to do than that and I knew right away where I wanted to go. I decided to drive to Oklahoma to attend the final Women of Grace Conference for 2017.
This is the group of ladies I will be speaking with three times next year and I wanted to go and support them, get to know them even better and have some serious fun!
I kid you not, the second I arrived at the home where I was staying I developed a bladder infection that quickly turned into something worse. I was able to attend the conference and hear the first two awesome speakers Friday night, but by the time I went to bed I felt like I was getting chills. Next morning, more chills, and I did not have an appetite. Now, when Sandra McCollom does not have an appetite, something serious is wrong – ha.
I told the ladies that I wasn’t feeling great and I would drive my own car to the conference, but wanted to stop by Walgreens first to get some medicine. I picked up a thermometer too and found I had a fever of over 101 degrees. This didn’t surprise me because I was starting to feel pretty out of it.
I ended up having to go back to the house to lay down, but called my Urologist on their after hours number. Because of my history, which you can read about here in my blog post titled “My Two Year Health Nightmare,” the doctor on call said I needed to get on antibiotics right away.
Just about 1 hour after hanging up the phone, while trying to take a nap, my heart started beating very rapidly and it kept going higher and higher and higher. My head also started hurting so bad that it felt like it was gonna blow off and I started sobbing as a result of the pain. I truly wasn’t scared, which is the miraculous part of this story, but I was in a great deal of discomfort.
After taking my pulse a number of times and it getting as high as a resting heart-rate of 120 and because of the pain in my head (I very rarely even have a headache), I felt like I should call 911. Three firetrucks and 6 first responders pulled up in front of the house. Right before they opened the front door I was on the phone with one of the conference speakers, Tricia Gunn, and I remember saying to her in the middle of experiencing all these crazy symptoms, “Tricia, Jesus is helping me. He’s right here, right now.”
The first responders were awesome! At some point on my ride to the hospital between being stuck with a needle numerous times for them to try to get their IV installed, me beginning to shake violently and then vomiting (which actually helped), I said out loud, “First Responders Rock!” Ha! Well, they do and I know we all agree on this.
My blood pressure which is always, always, always low or normal had shot up to 160/180. No wonder my head hurt.
After some routine tests the ER doctor told me I had Pyelonephritis – a kidney infection – and would need to be on antibiotics for the next 7 days. The tachycardia, high blood pressure, fever, nausea…every symptom was being caused by the infection.
In fact, they did an EKG in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and another one at the hospital and there were no problems with my heart – Thank God! I told them there wouldn’t be. In fact, right there in the ambulance I told the first responders “I’ll be fine. Psalm 91:16 promises me a long, healthy life and that is exactly what is going to happen.”
One of them replied, “Well, there ya go.”
The entire time this drama was taking place, from the time my heart started pounding until I finally began to feel better, which was 4-5 days later, I had to make a choice to see past my circumstances (what was happening to me) to God’s promises.
I’m telling you right now, it was miraculous that I did not feel a moment of fear during any of this. I thank God for that. I give Him the glory for helping me. And by the way, I must’ve called on my Heavenly Daddy for help between 200-300 times the day this happened and the days following.
I was so sick, but…
I just kept saying,
“God, please help me.”
Here’s the promise I based this on:
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
– Psalm 46:1 (NASB)
“I receive your help, Jesus.”
Here’s the promise I based this on:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
– Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)
“You love me so much, God. Nothing can separate me from Your love.”
Here’s the promise I based this on:
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 (NASB)
“I know You’re taking care of me, Father”
Here’s the promise I based this on:
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
-1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)
Do you know what humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God looks like?
It’s choosing to trust Jesus in the midst of crazy circumstances that make your mind want to jump into let-me-save-myself mode.
Do you know what casting all your anxiety on Him looks like?
Picture yourself standing in an open space and someone handing you a trash bag filled with some kind of problem – physical, financial, mental, social…
Now picture God standing right next to you on the other side and every single time that other person or your circumstance hand you a problem, you don’t open the bag, you don’t inspect the contents, you don’t meditate on it and you don’t concoct a plan to fix it, but instead you simply take the bag, turn to God and say, “here ya go, Father,” and you let it go!
Just think, you can do this over and over and over and over again, every time life hands you a problem.
Now, am I saying you should deny you have a problem at all? For instance, should I go around after being told I have a kidney infection and totally refuse to discuss it with anyone? If someone sees me and I look super sick (which I did for days), should I say, “Nope, nothing is wrong with me. What kidney infection? I feel fine.”
No, I don’t recommend that. Being genuine is the best way to go. Just imagine what those First Responders would have thought of me if they would have arrived at the house and asked me how I was feeling and I said, “Oh, just fine.”
First Responders: “Wait, I thought you had an excessively fast heart rate?”
Me: “Nope, my heart beats in perfect rhythm.”
First Responders: “But our heart monitor is reading a resting heart rate of 145?”
Me: “I deny that in Jesus’ name.”
Seriously…the world thinks Christians are crazy enough as it is!
Do you know why I had a couple of different moments in the ambulance to speak into the lives of those First Responders? Because I was acting like a normal person. And even when I told them I believed I would live a long, healthy life I didn’t do it in Elizabethan English. It was very natural.
In fact, you wouldn’t believe the success I have in sharing the good news with people out in public in my everyday life and believe me, I know it is only by God’s grace, but His grace has changed me into who I am today.
Ministry is very natural when done through God’s grace because His grace changes our heart so much that ministry simply flows out naturally! I know many of you have experienced this as well!
Those promises I mentioned above were just a drop in the ocean of the promises that can be found in God’s Word and believe me, my friend, whatever it is that you may be going through today, there is most definitely a promise for you.
If it’s healing you need, google scriptures on healing.
If it’s peace you need, google scriptures on peace.
If it’s joy you need, google scriptures on joy.
And on and on you could go for days and days.
Remember too, that Jesus, your very best friend in the whole world, is everything you need. He is your healing. He is your peace. He is your joy….
Five days after I got sick I was well enough to drive my girls to school and was so happy to be feeling better that I was dancing to worship music in front of the bathroom mirror while getting ready. I was celebrating!
I called on my Heavenly Daddy in the middle of my pain and He helped me. He will do the same for you!
I’m thrilled to say I did not have one moment during those 4 days when I was feeling terrible where I even began to ask myself, “I wonder if I’m being punished my God for some sin?” “Maybe God is allowing this sickness so I will draw closer to Him.” Oh wow, I wonder if He caused me to have an infection so I could speak into peoples’ lives in a more profound way?”
No, No, No – to all 3 of these.
I was in perfect peace the entire time, knowing that my Father neither caused this, nor allowed it, but was right there beside me, helping me overcome it.
And here’s the deal, if I would have had fear during this trial, that would not have made me a terrible person. We all have fears sometimes, but one thing I’ve noticed on my grace journey (and I have a chapter on this in my book), is the more of God’s love I receive (this is a daily habit for me), the more fears I lose!
This is freedom living, my friend, and this is why my husband and I named our ministry Freedom Living Ministries – because it was for freedom that Christ set us free!
1 John 4:16-19
16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
By the way, if I needed confirmation that my new Women of Grace friends were the real deal (which I didn’t), I definitely got it through the care and concern they showed me while I was sick on this trip. One of them even offered to drive me home Sunday which was really amazing because I would not have been well enough to drive. Yep, thanks God, for my new sweet friends!
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!