The Garment of Humility – a Hospital Gown

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I spent nearly four days in a hospital gown and it gave me pause. It was uncomfortable, in the bed where it twisted around me, and even more so when I was out of bed, holding it tightly closed with one hand on the way to the bathroom. I felt vulnerable and exposed. One nurse suggested that I would sleep better if I just untied it while in bed – no thank you.

I had very little control of my life in the hospital. People came and went, putting medication into my IV’s, doing EKG’s, drawing blood. I was dependent on strangers to care for me; I wanted their help, but it felt odd. In real life, I spend my days being in charge of my little brood. I schedule the appointments, plan the meals, enforce the chore chart, and keep us moving along. In the hospital, I was reduced to a fraction of my normal self.

Matthew 11:29 says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,  for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus was humble in heart, so clearly it is a good thing for me to be humble too. The hospital gave me this opportunity. My natural inclinations to be efficient, move the day along, manage my kids and surroundings were all stripped away.

I wanted to complain and grumble, and I know I did at times.  I found myself thinking, “I hate being in the hospital,” then I would remind myself to be thankful. How ridiculous to complain about having good medical care.

It was not a pretty experience. My hair was dirty, my clothing a hospital gown, I was in bed much of the time, and there were tubes and wires attached to me. All I could do was wait, pray, try not to let fear run amuck in my mind, and know that I was right where the Lord wanted me to be.

This is what I want to focus on today,

If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we’ll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention-deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner.
― Beth Moore

Today, I don’t want to settle for bearable – I’m searching for beauty. Perhaps that hospital gown, which  made me feel weak and ashamed, was a garment of humility that is leading me into something beautiful with Christ.

You might like to read: My Slightly Broken Heart

Let’s encourage one another

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

10 Comments

  1. Luann Yarrow Doman
    April 17, 2014

    How insightful. And I love Beth Moore's quote. Very wise.

    Reply
  2. Ann
    April 17, 2014

    Cf the Buddhist saying that the most difficult person in your life is your best teacher. It's true of experiences too, but so hard to keep in mind when you're actually undergoing the experience. Especially in a hospital gown! Good post.

    Reply
  3. Lisa H.
    April 17, 2014

    Wow! I miss the blog for a few days and find this! I was in Sp. on Tues. and thought of you, but I had no idea what you were going through. I"m so sorry and I hope you're quickly recovered, with a new story to tell of Jesus' faithfulness. I got lost in the hills coming home and had my own weird little experience of trusting Jesus! I'll call soon and we'll compare notes. One question. So was it the aneurysm that caused the pressure/pain?

    A hug to you, friend!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 17, 2014

      We'll never know for certain what caused the pain. There is a school of thought that the type of aneurysm I have shouldn't cause pain, but others disagree. My surgeon and family doctor both think it was the cause and I think so too.

      Reply
  4. Kristine Sorensen
    April 17, 2014

    Hi Lisa,

    I don't think I've commented before, but I read your posts:) Anyway…I just celebrated being 10 years post open heart surgery for the repair of a bicuspid aorta valve, and developing aneurysm…as just a reminder of our wonderful God works, on the same day (when I opened my eyes for the first time after surgery) I celebrate seeing my a picture of my beautiful daughter from China for the first time. It's my story and reminder of how much He cares for us, and knows our needs. "Heart stuff" is very scary…I will pray…

    Kristine

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 17, 2014

      Kristine, wow, that's exactly what I'm dealing with. I would love to connect more with you. Was it odd to read my posts and know what I was going to say?

      Reply
  5. adventisthomemaker
    April 17, 2014

    Beautiful thought. I'm so glad that you're ok!

    Reply
  6. DFNY
    April 17, 2014

    Lisa, I read your previous posts with my hand over my mouth. Thank God you sought help and that Mimi (and the doctors) were so close by. Praying for your healing and for your peace.

    Blessings being sent your way,
    Damaris

    Reply
  7. linedancergal
    April 17, 2014

    Oh dear, hospital gowns! I can feel your discomfort. Horrible things. Have never figured out why good medical care means no showers and uncomfortable gowns. I know occasionally you have something that can't get wet or they need to be able to access part of you for a surgery or something, but it seems to be standard even when it's not necessary. Glad you're taking it as a lesson. God teaches us something in every experience if we just listen. Just make sure you learn the lesson well so He doesn't have to teach it again lol!

    Reply
  8. Emily
    April 19, 2014

    What a beautiful meditation–thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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