This is a follow-up post from Rachel Barnette’s last post, ‘Scriptures About Healing – Blah Blah Blah!’
‘So am I safe to fly?’
‘We need to do some tests first.’
There I stand. In yet another hospital in Thailand, with two Thai nurses sticking stuff all over my chest and around my heart. Speaking to each other in Thai.
Shirt wide open. I’m cold. Weak. And exhausted.
It’s been a month almost of me being sick in another country. And the last 7 months as well…
I thought I had already broke down in this situation. I thought I had already given it all up to God. But God’s funny like that.
He wants all of you. Every single ounce of you. Even when you feel like you have nothing left, He knows you do. And He wants it.
About 20 minutes, an EKG, Stress Test, and an Echo later, we’re done. I see the nurse add the word ‘abnormal’ to my report. Then erase it. And there I sat.
Trying to wait patiently for the Cardiologist to give me the results.
Am I safe to fly? But first, let me explain how I got here.
After the last blog I wrote, I have flown from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to come to an international hospital. On Monday, I had a kidney infection that I had been battling for 2 weeks. That is why we flew me to Bangkok. 2 days after that test result, my kidney infection was gone. Nowhere to be found.
By His stripes, we are healed.
But I’m still tired, exhausted, having trouble breathing, and not able to do much.
‘You’re going home, Rachel.’
It was that clear, still, silent voice.
I had so much peace about it…
I’m fighting this!
I’m gonna be strong!
I’m a fighter.
I always have been.
I’m staying until I’m healthy and meeting my team in Cambodia.
I’m not leaving this race.
This is not what I want.
I don’t want to go home.
I was just made team leader.
And I have so much growing left to do!
GOD! This isn’t fair!
WHY CAN’T I JUST BE BETTER ALREADY?!
But here’s the thing, sometimes our plans and God’s plans don’t align.
It’s His plan, not mine.
And He knows what’s best, not me.
Do I understand? No.
But I don’t have to.
I just have to trust and keep faith.
So there I am, FaceTiming with my best friends dad, who is a cardiologist, explaining everything that’s going on. And then her mom starts talking to me, tears streaming down her face.
And I lost it, again.
And the consultation he gave me through the phone was finally answers.
Answers to what’s been going on.
Answers that no doctor in these other countries have been giving me.
Answers that meant I must leave the race to go home and get proper medical treatment and rest.
And then there was that small, still, silent voice again…
‘Rachel, going home isn’t giving up.
It’s actually the harder thing to do right now for you.
But I need you to be strong; I need you to go home.’
So I prayed.
‘God, I need you right now. Bad. If you want me to go home, I need you to please make it clear. I need you to make it so clear that I wake up with no question in my mind which path you want me to take. Make it so obvious that I can’t ignore it. Give Lauren a dream tonight regarding which path you want me to take. Please, God, I need you to direct me.’
I woke up this morning with so much peace.
Lauren looks at me once she awoke, ‘Rachel, I had a dream you were going home.’
How about that for clear and direct…
So there I am. At the hospital again, waiting to get cleared to fly back to America. And they’re running tests. I’m trying not to freak out. It’s just your heart, no big deal, right?
I’ve learned a lot through this last month of being sick. I’ve learned that I was afraid of sickness, because I was afraid of death.
I love life. I have a passion for life and I want everyone I come in contact with to have a love for their life as well. Why would I want that to end? Being a new Christian, I had never fully grasped the belief and concept of eternal life. Not until now.
This sickness made me grow so much deeper into His word and His promises for us.
And I grew so much stronger in my faith in Him.
You see, I am nothing without Him.
And I am not invincible [contrary to my prior beliefs]
And I am not at full health.
And sometimes, the hardest thing and the right thing really are the same.
It’s His plan, not mine.
It’s His timing, not mine.
And His timing, His timing really is perfect.
I need to go home and see a Doctor who knows me. Who speaks English as a first language. To be with my family, rest, and recover to full health. But I cannot be on the field helping people when I am in need of medical attention myself.
Do I want to go home? No. But for my health, I need to go home. So, I am flying back to America this week.
I am saying goodbye to my life on the race and getting the medical attention I need. But I know that this is not the end of my race. God just has something else in store for me at this moment. My heart’s desire is to meet back up with my team in August in Vietnam.