“So, can you be here on Monday?”
One part of my brain was struggling to absorb the information being thrown at me over the phone: “cardiac muscle compromised”, “partial hospitalization program”, “abnormal blood counts”, “dangerously low body weight”, while simultaneously trying to remember what day of the week it was and what would have to happen before I could relocate myself and my two youngest girls 180 miles north for God-only-knew-how-long.
I found my voice and inquired, “Is Tuesday a possibility?”
“Well, we normally do intake interviews on Mondays, but since this is Friday, we could arrange for a Tuesday arrival. Will you be the only family member accompanying your daughter?”
“No. My youngest will also be coming with us.”
“Fine. There are apartments directly across the street from our facility where you can stay for half of the normal monthly rent.
Surely she didn’t think we would be there an entire MONTH. I swallowed hard. “Do you rent by the week?”
“The minimum stay would be two weeks, and more likely closer to a month or more depending on the treatment plan.”
I decided to ignore the “or more” part and instead turn my whirling mind to the instructions being issued. I scribbled a few details down, promised to call if I had any questions, and thanked her for calling. As I hung up the phone, I whispered, “Dear Jesus, HELP.”
“Have you already forgotten about your purse?”
The unexpected question in that still, small voice stopped me in my tracks. No, I had NOT forgotten, but evidently I’d already forgotten the significance.
Just yesterday I decided to stop at Sam’s club after leaving Children’s Hospital where my daughter had undergone yet another round of tests. In my distracted state of mind, I’d proceeded to leave my purse in the grocery cart in the middle of the parking lot. By the time I realized it and returned 10 minutes later, my purse was nowhere to be found. My phone was in it (of course) and I fought off a rising panic as I headed inside to speak with the manager. Suddenly, one of my girls exclaimed, “Look, Mommy! There’s Katie!” Sure enough, a young woman from our church was headed our way and I almost cried in relief. She let me use her phone and proceeded to buy my girls pizza while I called my husband and poured out the story. Within minutes, he had my phone pinged (being in law enforcement has its advantages) and dispatched a unit to a local fast food restaurant where my purse was in plain view on a table with no sign of anyone! An employee said a couple had been sitting there but disappeared moments before. Miraculously, nothing was taken, but I'd already called my bank and cancelled my personal and business cards. It would be a week or more before new ones arrived. And now I was leaving town for an undetermined amount of time.
I was worried about admitting my 12 year old to an Eating Recovery Center while making life “normal” for my 10 year old who needed to be homeschooled. I was worried about what would happen at home while I was gone. Who would run the store? Who would pick up my 14 year old from school while my husband worked? How would life carry on without me here to do everything? How long would we be gone? My questions multiplied faster than my fears. But God’s question hovered over all of them.
“Yes, Lord. I remember. You returned my purse to me without anything being taken.”
“If I can take care of your purse, I am more than able to take care of your family and your business and your daughter.” Pause. “And I can take care of you as well.” Tears came and so did a sweet peace.
More than able...
To perfect that which concerns me - Psalm 138:8
To do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all I can imagine- Eph 3:20
To make all grace abound to me - 2 Corinthians 9:8
To establish me - Romans 16:25
To keep me from falling - Jude 24
I journaled my way through this season seven years ago. Today, I’m thankful for this written record of God’s faithfulness to rehearse as I unexpectedly find myself revisiting a battle I thought was won and done. But our pandemic- altered world has not been kind; it has isolated us, opened old wounds and exaggerated fears that some people are more vulnerable to than others. As we prepare our now college aged daughter to delay school, relocate, and seek treatment once again, I’m remembering “faithful He has been, faithful He will be.” I have a written record to remind me and my daughter that He is truly more than able.