Walking into the hospital, a multitude of memories rush in, swept in with the breeze from the revolving doors. The dimly lit hallway leads to large corridors that snake through the building, paths to different centers in the building. All lead to places of help, healing and birth.
I’ve been here twice before, both times years ago. But the memories are fresh. Both of my children entered the world in this place. Twelve years ago, my son was born here. My husband and I walked through this same entrance and down the long hall to the birthing center. Much emotion surrounded his birth; anticipation, excitement and to be honest, dread. I was afraid. There’s no getting around it, I was terrified.
Fear stuck in my heart from the moment we pulled into the parking lot. The changing of life from what I knew to the unknown, with the entrance of this child, was nearly more than I could bear. I clutched my fear so tight, it took divine strength to pry my fingers off it, as I brought my son home. The fear left when I finally began to trust. I’d prayed alright, but my trust was lacking. Somehow it had seeped out of me. Like a boat with a leaky hull, quickly taking on water, I’d allowed fear to fill up the space meant for trust. When I began trusting in the little things, I learned I could trust more and more. As my son took baby steps in his development, I took baby steps of trust. Trust was built and fear receded.
Six years later we walked through these same doors for the second time, when my daughter was born. This time I walked in surrounded by a peace bubble. Of the two scenarios, any onlooker would’ve thought the situation would naturally be in reverse. You see, my daughter was born with Down syndrome. My husband and I already knew our precious daughter came complete with an extra chromosome. Early on there was fear to battle, till trust prevailed. So much time was spent in prayer preparing for the day to arrive, when we’d get to hold her in our arms and meet her face to face. We were ready to welcome her into our family. When the day arrived, fear was nowhere in sight. Peace and happiness filled both my heart and that rosy hued hospital room.
Today, I’m here with my father. He’s been diagnosed with something unwanted, but his prognosis is good. We’re here for the outpatient surgery that will kick off his treatment. We walk through the lobby and take the elevators to the second floor. The doors open and the aroma of coffee mixed with cleanser greets us; chemically imbued roasted beans. Peace is here again. I gratefully rest in it. Divine peace that transcends human understanding. There is no explanation, no logic to it. Just the knowledge and experience of a God who has always been faithful. I trust and open the door to the surgical waiting room for my dad to check in.
I smile inwardly, knowing that all these years later, I’ve learned something. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve learned I’m not enough. I never have been and I never will be. I don’t need to be. I was never meant to carry it all alone, but to lay it — all of it — in the hands of the One strong enough to carry it; strong enough to hold my heart secure and peaceful. And He does.
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Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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