The June I Don't Remember: Part V
I hung up the phone next to my hospital bed after another disappointing conversation with Sherry. She was the lady handling my transition from leaving the hospital to a home-health service. After a month-long stay in the hospital, I had finally been given the green light to go home. Unfortunately, my efforts were in vain because I had a few more days before I’d begin to get insurance coverage from my new employer. Nothing seemed to go my way unless I was ready to pay a huge out-of-pocket expense. One of my favorite nurses, Maria, came into my room expecting me to be frustrated as I usually was when things didn’t go my way in the hospital. Can you say Diva?
“We will try again tomorrow if you really can’t wait until Wednesday,” she muttered in her soft, crisp voice, referring to my attempt to apply for some financial assistance that would allow me to go home before my insurance was activated Wednesday, July 1st. “But you might be better off staying until your insurance takes over billing. We will still take good care of you until Wednesday.”
Maria was in for a surprise. Unknowing to her, I was content. I was okay lying in my hospital bed for a few more days, asking for free mini cans of Sprite every hour, having random conversations with Maria and occasionally blurting out the words to Santana’s popular song “Maria, Maria” when she wasn’t in the room.
I could now see the big picture—the work God was doing in my life through this entire process.
“I’ll just wait until Wednesday,” I said with a smirk on my face. “What’s a couple more days in the hospital?”
Maria looked at me with a slightly confused look. She didn’t expect that response, and it came as a little bit of a surprise. I had made life a little easier on her, and to be honest, she was excited to spend a few more days with her favorite patient. Who wouldn’t?
I had learned to be patient. It was the final area of my life God had asked me to work on during my month-long stay in the hospital. It was not easy for someone like me who was so eager to go home. But by day 27, I had finally learned to let go and trust God.
Sure enough, I walked out of the Hospital on Wednesday, July 1st, and as I rode shotgun in my girlfriend’s car, It became clear how God had worked on me since the beginning of the year.
This is where the story begins:
I was in church in Ghana ushering in the New Year when I promised God I was going to accomplish the task he had assigned me late last year. I had been trying to figure out how to use the talents He blessed me with to make an impact on others. When I eventually got serious about reading His word and praying, He spoke to me and told me to begin by sharing my experiences with others while being sure to tell the world about His love, faithfulness and power. Once He placed the idea of launching a blog (Rich Honesty) on my heart, it was up to me to take action.
I got back to the U.S. January 7, and of course, instead of sticking to the promise I made God on New Year’s Eve, I began making excuses. First, it was work. Two weeks later, it was fatigue.
You see, God is so merciful that sometimes, we try to test our limits with Him without doing what is required of us. Well, if you keep giving God excuses, He will take matters into His own hands.
I gave God so many excuses using my job—a job that probably wasn’t paying me enough for all the work I was doing. God took away that job on February 19.
It was like the story of Jonah. God sent Him to go minister to others, but instead, Jonah ran from God. As many of you know, the Bible tells us Jonah was swallowed by a whale and was in the mammal’s belly until He made a decision to do what God had called him to do. Once the whale spat him out three days later, Jonah went directly to the land God had sent him to begin ministering. Jonah didn’t have to be swallowed by a whale, but that’s how God got His point across when Jonah tried to run. That’s exactly what God was doing to me. He didn’t have to take my job away, but He sure did get my attention.
Similarly to the Jonah story, I immediately got to work and launched my blog as soon as I got laid off. I had finally gotten the message. God was tired of my excuses.
Fortunately, I had gotten stronger in my faith and understood the test I was facing—a test I had brought upon myself. How I would respond to adversity would determine how my story would end. I got to work on what I had promised God I would do and left the rest to Him.
God blessed me with a new job that has been the perfect fit for me.
He also unlocked other blessings upon my life after I launched Rich Honesty, but each blessing came with a test and a lesson.
As I reminisce about the things I have been through this year already, I realize there are five areas of my life God has made me work on since the beginning of the year. Here they are:
- He took away my job after I had used it as an excuse as to why I couldn’t do what I had a passion to do. Once I actually obeyed Him, He blessed me with a better job. (1 Samuel 15:22 - But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice…)
- He put me in the hospital for an entire month. Trust me, it took all 30 days to finally learn that I had to let go and let God work. That hopeless feeling of not being at work and not getting paid, quickly taught me to let go and trust God to provide. (Psalm 37:5 - Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.)
- I became ill at a time when I didn’t have insurance. Again, my worry immediately was how I was going to pay a huge medical bill once I was discharged. But His plan the whole time was to teach me I couldn’t control everything. Even when I couldn’t fathom a way out of the debt, He already knew how He was going to give me financial freedom. (Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.)
- He blessed me with an amazing team at work and colleagues who made my stay in the hospital much easier than it would have been had I been working somewhere else. God was teaching me to learn to reciprocate the same love and support I received from my team at work and from around the world while in the hospital. (John 13:34 - A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.)
- Last but not least, I had learned to be patient. It was the final area of my life God had taught me to work on throughout the entire process. As I shared at the beginning of this post, by day 27 of my stay in the hospital, I had finally learned to let go and wait on the Lord. (James 1:4 - But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.)
“I’ll just wait until July 1st,” I said with a smirk on my face. “What’s a couple more days in the hospital?”
Maria looked at me with a slightly confused look. She didn’t expect that response, and it came as a little bit of a surprise. I had finally learned to be patient and to allow God to complete the work He begun in me.
I wouldn't trade the experiences I had this year for anything. They've made me who I am today.
Thank you all for following this series. To God be the Glory, great things He has done!