Ellee and I drove up to Stony Brook Hospital today. And when I went to check in at the front desk, I gave the two different names of the two different patients that we were visiting. The first, was Michael Einfeldt. I found out through a friend yesterday that he was having more complications and that he was back at the hospital again.
When we walked into his room, my heart dropped. Because it’s just so difficult to see someone that you care about hurting. And I have to be honest, it’s hard. It’s hard because it’s been 18 months since Michael’s accident. And it continues to be a long and difficult and heartbreaking journey.
Amidst the sadness of knowing that Michael was struggling today, there was goodness. Goodness in being able to see and to talk with Sally. Goodness in having our friend Lisa be together with us as well. And in between the the hard conversations, there were good conversations as well. Conversations sprinkled with truth and with encouragement and with hope. And thankfully, over the few hours that we spent together, by the end of our time, Michael had gotten some of the medical help that he needed and was resting much easier.
After visiting with Michael, we took the elevator up to the 18th floor. Which brought back so many memories because that was where Michael had spent three solid months. I dropped Ellee off to the waiting room and then walked down the hall to visit our dear friend Jim Curto. Earlier this month, Jim suffered a terrible head injury from a really bad fall and today was the first time I was able to go and see him.
When I walked into the room, I saw his beautiful wife Barb sitting by his side. We’ve known Barb and Jim for many years from Eastport Bible Church. A few years ago, Barb came to our home to give Ellee sewing lessons once a week and our friendship deepened over that time. Barb and Jim have been an incredible couple and an encouragement to so many for many, many years and we have a deep love and appreciation for them both.
Jim has been through so much since his fall. Barb shared how in many ways, the doctors have been amazed by his progress. But many challenges are still to come for Jim and as we visited these also brought sadness to my heart.
When we walked out of the hospital after our visits, my heart was so burdened for our friends. I wondered how the future would be for both of them and again, discouragement flooded my heart. But even as I let myself soak in the sadness of the day, I knew in my heart that there was still hope. And it’s amazing the powerful thing that hope is. Little by little, hope really helped to change my perspective from the negative to the truth.
And the truth for both Michael and Jim is that God very much loves them both and He is indeed weaving and working goodness into both of their situations.
Sally was very burdened when she arrived at the hospital. But I got to be a firsthand witness of seeing how prayers were answered, even over the course of the visit. Sally stayed at a hotel by the hospital last night to be close to Michael and she shared how she had met another woman at the hotel and how they were able to have a conversation about God and faith. I could see the light in her eyes as she shared and it gave me hope in knowing that God is working in her heart so beautifully. I also saw prayers being answered as most of the medical staff that came in the room while we were there were willing to listen to Sally’s concerns and take the course of action that she felt was best for Michael.
And as I walked out of Jim’s room, I couldn’t help but be touched by how beautiful it was to see Barb showing such strong but tender love and encouragement for her husband. Quite a few times she leaned over and spoke with conviction about knowing that God was with her and her husband. Seeing her strength and he determination was a beautiful blessing amidst a difficult time. It was good and it again, brought just that much more hope to their situation.
Friends, I’d love to share that life is easy. But you and I both know, that that is far from the truth. I will however, continue to do my best to share what I’ve learned through the difficult times. And today, my encouragement was seeing hope shine through even the most difficult of days. In Job 11:18, it says, “You will be secure because there is hope.” And it was a great reminder that no matter the circumstance, God gives us security and encouragement that there is always hope. Hope in knowing Him. And hope in knowing that He will work good no matter how bad things may seem.
Please continue to pray for Michael. As of now, they are working to figure out what is causing him discomfort and we pray that they will be able to figure it out quickly. And please pray for our friend Jim Curto as well. He’s made enough progress that there is talk about what will be the next steps. Please pray for wisdom for his wife Barb and that he would be able to get to the best place to help him as he continues to recover.