Out of the Blue by Anonymous
I opened the door to the bedroom, and that’s when I saw him—my husband. Lying on the bed. I thought he was sound asleep, but as I called to him, he didn’t stir. On the bedside table I saw the empty bottle of pills. And then the note. It was to our children. To them my husband had simply written, “Sorry, but this is no way to live.”
For years he had battled depression, and as seasons came and went, we both noticed how, when the winter weather set in, he oftentimes started to feel a little better. But as the days got longer and the sun rose higher in the sky, his depression would burn with a fiercer flame within him.
Standing by his still-breathing body, I looked outside the window. I saw nothing but blue skies and a bright shining sun. For most people weather like this is cause to celebrate life. For my husband, it led him to embrace death. I shook him, desperately trying to wake him, but it was no use. He was unconscious. In a daze, still clutching the empty pill bottle and the note, I wandered out to where my son was chopping wood in the forest. He took one look at me and took charge of the situation as he ran to the house, yelling for someone to call 911. He stayed with his dad until the medics arrived. Time was running out.
This story is not so much about the miracle of my husband’s survival. It is not about the fact that I heard God’s still, small voice urging me to go see if he wanted some breakfast rather than just leave him alone. It is not about the fact that the medics arrived in time to give him oxygen and whisk him away to the helicopter, which delivered him to the hospital. My story is about the miraculous way in which God provided for us as we both tried to recover.
“God will provide.”
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard those words. Preachers, singers, friends, and even random strangers—I have heard them all say it. Perhaps it is because I have Parkinson’s disease that I have found those words difficult to understand. I don’t know for sure, but I do think that it was not until my husband’s suicide attempt and the ensuing months of treatment and rebuilding of relationships that I finally understood what it is to really know that God provides.
As the ambulance disappeared down the road, we gathered our things together and set off for the next ferry that would take us to town. We found our way to the hospital waiting area, where, amid many hugs and tears, we waited for my husband to wake up. As the time passed by slowly, questions kept running through my mind. Why would anyone do this to his family? How was he going to feel when he woke up and found he had failed in his attempt? Would he be grateful? Disappointed? Embarrassed? Shamed? Angry?
As the hours passed, more and more family and friends gathered in the hallway outside the recovery room. When he finally woke up, he tearfully apologized to each person there. He was well loved during those next few hours.
The next five weeks would find me riding the ferry and visiting the hospital daily. My husband spent his time receiving shock treatments and counseling and experimenting with what would be the best antidepressant to use. The doctors would not release him until they felt he would be safe back home—that he would not hurt himself or anyone else. But all that takes time. Time to break through old habits and mind-sets and rebuild relationships damaged by the depression.
While we both understood the importance of keeping him hospitalized, with every week that passed, we knew the stack of medical bills was growing taller. Insurance would cover much of it, but not all. With bills as big as these, even the small percentage that we would have to pay was enough to leave me feeling overwhelmed. With me being unemployed, battling a serious illness myself, what hope did we have of making it out?
I shared my concerns with my best friend from high school. How was I going to pay for this? How were we going to get through it without going under? She asked if she could share my dilemma with other close friends from high school. I agreed. I needed all the prayers and support I could get. And, of course, she wanted me to remember one simple thing: God would provide.
A few days after we met, she called back. She told me that it was all taken care of; an old friend of ours who had been incredibly successful in business had agreed to cover all our medical expenses. She told me that he wanted to give something back to the people who had been important to him over the course of his life and that a check was in the mail.
I was blown away. I had never known such kindness. And when the check arrived, it was enough to cover all our medical expenses and help us through a further year and a half of unemployment. If ever I have doubted in my life about God’s love and provision, I could no longer deny it one bit. God had provided—and how!
This generosity changed our lives in so many ways and not just the obvious ones, like releasing the burden of worry and allowing me to care full-time for my husband as he worked toward recovery. It changed the way I react to others when they are in need as well. For instance, last week I heard of a friend who was having a hard time with his business, and I felt compelled by the Lord to send him a check to get him through this time, plus some extra. The joy and relief he expressed over my small gift were all I needed. It blessed my day as well. I now understand the old saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I have also learned not to be afraid or ashamed to share the difficult times, to share the struggles, to share the weaknesses in life. If I had kept those struggles to myself, I would have missed out on a couple of incredible blessings. I would not have learned firsthand that God really does provide. I would not have learned the truth of the words of James 4:2: “You do not have because you do not ask” (NKJV).
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If you start looking for God's activity in your life; if you start looking for "God moments;" it'll change the way you think of them. You start understanding that God is active, He's involved and He cares.