Two years ago today I walked out of St. Mary's Hospital in Madison.
Actually, I rode out in a wheelchair but that's beside the point.
I'm so thankful to say that I haven't stepped foot in that hospital since.
It's not something that I take for granted. Crohn's is an unpredictable disease and really any day I could wind up with a medical emergency. I've come close to needing to walk back through those hospital doors a couple of times this year. But by God's mercy (and my stubbornness), I haven't.
Today is a little bittersweet because it is shadowed by an upcoming test tomorrow morning down in Madison to determine if I should have intestinal surgery this fall. Surgery is something I've fought so hard to avoid for the past few years. I'm grateful that the disease itself appears to be in remission, thanks to good nutrition, IV infusions, medications, and lots of prayer. Unfortunately, the damage done during my extra sick years appears irreparable, unless surgery is done.
This isn't something I like talking about. It's not something I love sharing with people. I don't like being broken and my instinct is to hide anything that hints at weakness. But so many of you have walked this path with me for several years now and I want you to know I'll never forget all the love, prayers, gifts, hospital visits, words of encouragement, hugs, phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages, financial assistance, and did I mention the love. Thank you. A thousand times, thank you.
For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
And today I'm thankful that God has kept me out of the hospital for two years and I trust Him for each step of the way in the months and years to come.