Finding Jesus in the ER

Finding Jesus in the ERI watched the screen with its little zigzags going up … and then down. Like a comforting digital rabbit declaring that everything was going to be okay with each rhythmic hop.

This was not a planned visit to the Emergency Room. A mere 30 hours earlier I had passed out (for no apparent reason) while pouring a glass of water in our kitchen, the tiled floor becoming an impromptu (though rather hard) pillow for my dizzy head. What started as a minor accident in the middle of the night turned into major sickness and nausea the next day, making a trip to the hospital a necessary step of action.

But what overwhelmed me wasn’t the fear of what might actually be amiss (though normally I’d be a nervous wreck), but rather the fingerprints of God that were evident all the way through. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still had anxious thoughts — the what-ifs that sneak into our minds and hearts, beckoning unspoken worries and awakening fears. Yet somehow in that moment of uncertainty, trust was greater than uneasiness. Not because of some unexpected emotional strength, but because of the perfect love that drives out all fear.

For there will always be bumps in the road. God doesn’t promise us a life that will be easy-peasy and smooth sailing. But He does promise that He will be there with us. When life gets scary. When things seem bleak. When doctors rush about ordering EKGs and CTscans, speaking in terms we cannot understand.

For His hand will never leave us.

I will never leave you or forsake you… – Joshua 1:5

His faithfulness is without end.

For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. – Psalm 57:10

And His love is not only deep, but very very  wide. Wide enough to cover us. Wide enough to carry us.

…how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:18-19

When I walked through the front doors of the ER, I will admit, I was fearful. Like the word describes: filled full with fear. But as I looked up, right there in the entryway was a large wooden carving of Christ with His arms open wide. Like He was welcoming me, reminding me that even in the darkness, He was there.

ER bedAnd in those long drawn-out minutes, before all the lab work was back and the findings had been read, I took a miniature inventory of my life. (A little morbid, I know.) The first thing I asked myself was this: What is my most important responsibility here on this earth? And, If I died today, is there anything left undone?  The immediate answer that floated to my throbbing head was to love and serve God, bringing Him glory. I thought of my two precious kiddos and how much they love Jesus. I sighed deeply, knowing the spiritual legacy had effectively been passed on. I thought of this community and my desire to share God’s miraculous love through this craziness called Motherhood. (This one caused my heart to ache, but I knew my co-author, co-host, co-everything friend Amanda could and would continue to spread the message of hope.) Then I thought about my amazing perfect-for-me husband whom I love and share every bit of life with. The hill sized lump in my throat turned into an enormous mountain.

Okay Lord, if this is something long-term or fatal and You need to take me home with You, I’m okay with that. Not that I want to go. Or that it’s my wish to go. But I trust You and Your timing. I have loved and served You. Not perfectly. But whole-heartedly. — And if You choose to leave me here on earth for a while longer, I promise I will continue loving and serving You. Not perfectly. But whole-heartedly.

Now before you think I’ve gone all Pollyanna-ish and don’t have a clue what real pain looks like, I can assure you: I know that most likely this will not be the hardest road we will have to travel in this lifetime. But the truths and markers of faith that have been revealed will serve us well to remember in the future. To trust Him fully, giving all anxieties to Him, living with an open hand.

You see, when we hold things in this life loosely, we are telling God that He has freedom to move in and about our lives in whatever way He would choose. Not for our glory. But for His own.

I don’t want to beg God to change my circumstances. But rather, I WANT TO SEE HIM IN THE MIDST of my circumstances.

For our God is alive. Working. Moving. Transforming hearts and renewing minds.

He knows best. He does.

Just sometimes it takes a little trip to the ER to see Him more fully.


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you…  —  Isaiah 43:2


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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About Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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