We drove up to the hospital in what I hoped would be our last snowfall of the season. The snow was light and pretty and didn’t seem too committed to causing a fuss or sticking around too long. So that seemed to make it more bearable.
Before going to visit Michael, we stopped for lunch at Chipotle. It’s a favorite of ours and has been for some years. It’s probably something about their cilantro lime rice, or over all delicious combinations that keep us coming back. The chips and guacamole are pretty good as well. And it reminded me of the summer a few summers back when we took a group of our VBS helpers to Chipotle.
If I’m not mistaken, it was Michael’s first time eating there. I remember telling him how much I loved it and how much he would love it as well.
The chicken happened to be a bit spicy that day, so I think I mostly remember him commenting that while he did like it, it was just really hot. I think I offered him some guacamole to cool everything down.
And when that didn’t work, we just walked next door to Tutti Frutti for some frozen yogurt. For awhile, the Chipotle in Hauppague had the best fro-yo place ever right next door. Then one day, they closed their doors and that was that. We did enjoy it that day all together and it was another day of good memories to be thankful for.
While visiting with Michael today, we talked for a bit about a new crepe place in Patchogue (For those of you not local to Long Island, I apologize for how strange the names of our towns are… If you were wondering, Hauppague is pronounced like “Haw-Pog” and Patchogue is “Patch-og, so pretty easy when you break them down). While we talked about the food, his eyes widened a bit and it seemed as though he was pretty interested in our food talk. And it made me happy to see him respond to something familiar, but also a bit sad to think that it will probably be awhile before he’s able to enjoy a good crepe or two. As I’ve mentioned before, most days it’s easy to stay on the brighter side of things. But other on other days, it all seems like so very much to go through. Because in truth, it’s still just a very hard situation.
But did you know that God writes some beautiful words for us to know for those times that we are struggling. For those times when life or circumstances just seem overwhelming. Isaiah 43 has always been one of my favorite chapters of the Bible for times like these. There was a song called “Be Not Afraid” that Joshua Leffring, a dear friend of mine used to sing that came right from these words. He passed away when I was in college, but in my heart, I can still hear his voice singing this song and it’s such a comfort to know the truth of these words as they say:
“Be not afraid for I have redeemed you. Be not afraid I have called you by name. When you pass through the waters I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be consumed. You are mine, you are precious in my sight.”
God knows we will have difficult times. But He promises that He is right there with us.
We continue to pray that God will be with Michael. He came through his surgery well yesterday and looked good when we saw him today. He did experience a bit more storming after his surgery, but when we visited this afternoon, that seemed to have been more under control. It was good to see him today and good to see him with his eyes open and responding a bit to what we shared.
It’s a long road. But it’s not one that you have to walk alone. God’s made His promises and He is faithful to keep them. Please continue to pray, trusting and knowing that God will be right there with our dear friend.