This past week has been very challenging— emotionally, spiritually, and physically— to say the least.
It started off with news that one of my very best friends was in the hospital —my sweet and precious grandmother. When I had free time to offer, it all revolved around being with her. She was the only person I wanted to be with. I would drop anything for her.
Seeing people in pain—family especially— is so incredibly hard for me. For example, my twin brother once broke his jaw and I cried for 5 hours straight at the sight of him in pain. To put it simply, I'm an emotional person. My heart truly feels with the hearts of others. Seeing my grandmother in that hospital bed, knowing there was nothing I could do, tore me apart.
But every time I visited, my beautiful grandmother put that beautiful smile on her face and did what she could to make me happy. She didn't want my time with her to be just about her. The only thing she cared about was that I was there with her, and she made sure to let me know just how much it meant to her that I was there.
On the 5th day of her stay at the hospital, I called my grandfather to double check and make sure that I could still come and visit with my grandmother for the afternoon. Surprisingly, my grandmother picked up the phone and told me she was happily pulling into the driveway and could not wait to be back in her own comfy bed.
Finally, she was home sweet home.
Seeing my grandmother smile in the midst of her pain was a treasure I'll always hold on to and carry with me. My grandmother's smile is full of so much love for her family, happiness for her life, and gratitude for her many blessings. Her smile radiates her heart and Who it belongs to. It's not just her smile that is a treasure, it's all of who she is. My grandmother is a beautiful jewel, formed in the very Hands of the One who blessed me with her sweet spirit. And for that, I am above and beyond thankful.
One of my favorite Jesus Calling devotional's for this week is about hidden treasures that God strategically places along the path of our lives. Some of these treasures are trials, others are blessings that reveal His Presence. My grandmother was faced with a huge trial for almost a week in that hospital bed, yet she offered the treasure that revealed God's presence to me in the midst of it all.
I searched for God when my grandmother was hurting, hoping to receive a sign of His presence, and He gave me the glimpse that I was looking for through her. Someone who was suffering, yet someone who was still so happy to be where she was with the family she had.
Things took an unexpected twist on the day my grandmother came home from the hospital. You see, I ended up in the hospital later that night.
I was feeling really light-headed during the afternoon and getting really cold wherever I went. My head was also hurting pretty bad, so I took some medicine and laid down for a bit. I woke up feeling a lot better, went out to do some ministry outreach later that evening, and had to come home early because I started to feel worse than before. I decided to go to bed, hoping that I could sleep it off. Unfortunately, that's not what happened. I started having trouble breathing and ended up having to be rushed to the ER.
My heart rate was ridiculously high, my blood pressure ridiculously low, and I had a fever of 103.3. The hospital kept me overnight and gave me 4 liters of fluid. If I wouldn't have gone in when I did, I probably would have been admitted for multiple days. I can't even remember half of the night because I was so sick, but one thing I did think of was my grandmother's smile, and I'm so very glad I held on to it.
And now, 5 days later, the roles have reversed. My grandmother is hurting because she doesn't think there is anything she can do to help me get better. After I came home from the hospital Tuesday morning, I had another viral infection hit me and I'm still sick, and unfortunately highly contagious. It could be anywhere from between now and next week that I get better. But what my grandmother doesn't know is that the sound of the smile in her voice when she calls to check on me immediately shines light on my situation and through that, I experience God's love and know that He is here.
This week has slowed me down tremendously. I always go 10 miles a minute, and now I'm going 0. With having to rest so much, I've had so much time to just sit and think, and let me tell you, I've thought about a lot—including this treasure hunt that we're all on. And oddly enough, the Designer of our treasure maps is also the Ultimate jewel of the treasure chest that we're searching for. He's also the Author of your story and the Artist of creation; you and all living things that surround you.
God is the ultimate jewel, my friends, and He is richly present in this sin-wracked world. Even when you're at darkest, those treasures are still very-well lit. Open your eyes and search for them. You will find Him if you seek Him. You will hear Him if you listen for His voice. I promise.
Search for these God-given, beautiful treasures with each new day you open your eyes to. They are everywhere.
And hold on to what you find, you'll never know when you'll need it.
"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Written by Emily Townsend
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