"My past, O Lord, to your mercy; my present, to your love; my future, to your providence."
—Saint Padre Pio
I'm just getting over a nasty flu (ergo the lack of blog post this past week), and boy did it freak me out.
The flu has always hit me hard. My personal record for upchucking is 14 times in one night—and I was only a few short of that this time around. In just a few hours I became very dehydrated, despite my best attempts to drink lots of water. Because of the nausea I was breathing fast and deep, and around midnight the tingling began.
It started in my hands, then I began to feel it in my face, then in my legs and feet. At first I ignored it—that is, until my hands started cramping.
I frantically nudged my husband awake, and showed him that I was barely able to move my fingers. The muscles in my hands spasmed, wrenching my fingers towards my wrists. The tingling became a buzzing, like a swarm of bees invading my body, and within a few minutes I was sitting on the side of the bed hyperventilating and panicking because it felt like I was going into a seizure. In desperation I cried out Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!
The calming effect of that name has been studied, and last night I experienced intensely. My poor husband was about to take me to the hospital, but I was flooded with peace, and as my breathing slowed the buzzing subsided.
According to Google, this strange experience was the combination of inflamed nerves from the virus infecting my body, dehydration, and hyperventilation. Of course, I had never even heard of it before. I had no idea if it was a symptom of something much serious, or if it was going to cause lasting damage, like paralysis. As I strained against the invisible force in my fingers, I thought to myself, What about my hands? So much of what I love to do requires my hands—art, music, sewing... What would my life be like if I didn't have my hands?
But as I repeated to myself, Jesus, I trust in you, I realized what it means to trust. It is not that everything will work out perfectly, nor how I want it to be, but that no matter what happens, God will work it to the good. That sometimes in our suffering he can bring about an even greater joy, an even deeper love than if we had never hurt at all.
I won't pretend like I would have been okay with being paralyzed or seriously sick... but I do know that whatever happens in my life, God is with me. That brings me great peace.