Her name was Deloris, she was 4 1/2 feet tall.....and I had no idea how she would impact my life. As I waited in the emergency room for a bed to open up in the hospital.....I was not a happy camper. I did not want to go through yet another hospital adventure. 2011 was not supposed to begin this way! I was hooked up to so many wires that I felt like I was turning into the bionic woman. As I sat there alone in the E.R. I thought to myself....”OK, Lisa, find the humor in this, find the joy in this journey!” Hmmm, as hard as I tried....for some reason having a pity party sounded much better than laughing. All I could do was wimper out a frustrated whisper....”Jesus, help!” But somehow I knew that pathetic whimper of a prayer went straight to the heart of Jesus.
Did I feel instant joy and laughter after my prayer? No. But deep inside....I knew He was there...in the midst of my pity party....Jesus was there.
They wheeled me up to the second floor. As they got me settled into bed I heard from behind the curtain....a raspy voice yell ”I have the remote to this T.V. and I am the boss of it!” Hmm....I guess that was my welcome to this temporary humble abode I would be in for a few days. Yes, her name was Deloris. She was my roommate.
I could only ask the Lord “why”?.....no answer. At that point I only knew 2 things. #1 God had to know what He was doing. #2 Deloris was boss of the T.V. remote (She wasn’t kidding either)
Through the next several days I would go through many medical tests, and so would she. I got to know Deloris. Though that blue medical curtain separated us for the first few hours of our being introduced.....it didn’t stay up long. We became friends. I realized Deloris was the way she was, stubborn and headstrong, for a reason. Her life story brought me to tears in only a few minutes of her telling that story. It was filled with abandonment, abuse, lonliness, and sadness. She told me later that nobody had ever wanted to hear her story before.....this was a first for her.
Deloris was a severe diabetic. She had come close to death several times. I sat with her when the nurse from diabetic eduction came up to teach her about changes in her diet, and the severe consequences she would face if she didn’t make these changes. I learned a lot from sitting with Deloris that day.
It was my turn for tests, and as I left the room to head downstairs for a stress test...she thanked me for sitting with her and I saw her wipe a tear quickly from her face, not wanting me to see. She will never know what that tear did for my heart.
When I returned from my tests, Deloris was asleep. I got settled into bed and as soon as I lifted up my pillow.....there it was! THE T.V. REMOTE! She had given me the remote! I knew how much that remote meant to Deloris, and I knew this was huge for her. I have never been choked up over a remote before in my life, but today...I was. And you know what is funny.....I didn’t even want to watch t.v. anymore. I quietly reached over and put it back under her pillow. I saw her smile. (Again, she didn’t want me to see that smile, but I did)
On this visit to the hospital I met many people....and as I was wheeled down for tests, the hallway was lined with people waiting to be wheeled into their tests. I saw a lady crying....she was scared....I wanted to hop off of my wheelchair and hug her. It broke my heart to see her crying alone in the corner. It was then that I heard it....that still small voice that carries me through every single day of my life. That quiet voice of the Lord whispered to me....”Lisa, this is why you are here.” You will be ok....just pray.” These people were not put into my life by chance....they were layed deeply, and heavily on my heart to pray for. Could it be that certain things are allowed by the Lord so we are brought into situations that will not only change our lives but the lives of others? The longer I live, the more I find this to be true.
When Deloris was released, I prayed for her....she looked at me this time wiping tears from her face and said....”Lisa, if you ever come to my house to visit, you can always have the remote to my t.v......thank you for listening to my story and for being my friend.”
I was proud of myself for keeping it all together....until she left. Then I went through a box of kleenex. I don’t think I will ever look at our T.V. remote the same again.
With all the snow we just had in Tulsa, it was a time to be homebound. One day I was a little melancholy and feeling a little low. I was prompted by the Lord to pray for Deloris, for the others I met at the hospital that day. As I began to pray my spirits lifted....if a heart could smile, mine was smiling. One prayer led to another and before I knew it....those prayers brought a joy to my spirit. There is just something about prayer and praising.....you can’t stay low for long! That’s why the enemy tries so desperately to keep us focused on everything else! Deloris once again made my heart smile. God knew the day I was having my pity party in that E.R. room...that today...I would be praying for Deloris.....and all the others I met that day...and I would be blessed.
Life is filled with journeys. And the longer I live, going through difficult journeys.... I am realizing more and more that sometimes God’s answer and gift to us is the journey itself....not the final destination. That journey is what makes us appreciate and cherish the destination when we get there. It’s what gives us the maturity to see it the way God sees it. What I have learned this year has changed my life. The people I have met, have impacted me in ways I cannot describe. The Holy Spirit has shown me things, and taught me lessons....even in my pain. Each day is precious.
So as I stood in line for 4 hours for groceries before the blizzard of Tulsa hit, listening to angry people mad at the long lines. I felt such a peace as I stood there. When it’s all put into perspective.....it’s a blessing to be able to be standing...to not be in a hospital bed....to be able to buy groceries...to just have another day of life! I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for friends, for family, for another day to serve Jesus, and of course.....for my remote control! I think it’s time to go visit my friend....Deloris!