Lauren Michelle Dowler
I'M GOING TO BE OK
Upon waking up, I look at myself in the mirror and after taking a deep breath I say these five words: I’m going to be OK.
From contemplating a restraining order to tragedy and loss, to completing my first year of grad school, and for the first time in my life experiencing health issues due to long-COVID in sum- this year has been ROUGH! Headaches were never my norm, brain fog was a rarity, and the sensations that I’ve been experiencing in my body were previously nonexistent. To be completely transparent, one night while lying in bed, I didn’t know if I would wake up the following day. I began to dwell on heaven, thinking about what it would be like, knowing that Jesus had made a way and prepared a place for me hence there was nothing to fear. It wasn’t that I desired to die, it was that my body felt so strange I questioned if it was safe for me to be home alone, and even considered calling 911.
BUT I WOKE UP.
I WAS BREATHING.
A couple of weeks passed and it was the day before my birthday. Lying on my back in a hospital gown, the machine slowly ushered me into a narrow tunnel as sounds resembling a jackhammer drowned out the classical music playing in one of my ears. I was praying in the spirit believing -
I’m going to be OK.
YOU’RE GOING TO LOOK BACK AND LAUGH. These were the words that God repeated to me over and over again. YOU WILL GET SCUBA CERTIFIED. A promise that not only spoke of life but also that my body would be able to equalize and that I wouldn’t feel side heavy. YOU DO NOT HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR. YOU DID NOT HAVE A STROKE.
THESE SYMPTOMS WILL PASS.
These are light and momentary trials, I reminded myself. This will pass.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” -2 Corinthians 4:17
I GOT UP.
And I went to Disneyland right after with my best friend. I mean, you’ve still got to celebrate life right?
With another friend graciously at my side, I walked into the doctor’s office to get my results.
“Lauren, this is the imaging of your neck. Your vertebrae are equally spaced, everything looks absolutely normal.”
Well, that was a miracle seeing as how I had been in a car accident in China years prior and my previous MRI showed degeneration and discs out of place.
“And this is your brain. It’s perfectly normal.”
Relief washed over me.
I was OK.
While I didn't always feel OK, I was OK. And everything was going to be OK.
It’s been said many times before, but I'll say it again. My main takeaway from this momentary trial is that the breath in my lungs is a gift. We don’t typically focus on breathing, because our peripheral and central nervous systems seamlessly manage it all, but if those systems fail, life on this earth ceases. When my legs felt weighty and I struggled to lift them wondering if it would be my new normal, I learned to be thankful for the feet that transport me daily. When I lost my sense of smell I rejoiced when the first aroma that I recognized again was the trash that I desperately needed to take out. When I struggled to string words together, I learned to be thankful for the ability to communicate and the brain's capability to process information.
THE THINGS WE RARELY THINK ABOUT DUE TO THEIR INNATE NATURE ARE THE VERY THINGS THAT PROVIDE US WITH THE ABILITY TO ACCOMPLISH THE MORE ROBUST TASKS IN LIFE.
Another takeaway- never underestimate this phrase- THANK YOU. Two words that in my most desperate of times God has graciously motivated me to say. Thankfulness that supersedes victories, accomplishments, and circumstances that solely go our way is foundational when it comes to living a JOY-filled life. Gratitude actually safeguards our hearts in times of trial, and more than anything- it’s God’s will for us.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Whatever minefield you’re walking through today or trial that you’re facing, I pray that God would intervene and move on your behalf. That your attention would be drawn to things whether little or big that you're thankful for. That you would know, as you talk to God, He hears you and that it's going to be OK.
..."she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25
My anthems in this season have been In Jesus Name by Katy Nicole along with Breathe by Maverick City Music.
I speak the name of Jesus over you
In your hurting, in your sorrow
I will ask my God to move
I speak the name 'cause it's all that I can do
In desperation, I'll seek Heaven
And pray this for you
I pray for your healing
That circumstances would change
I pray that the fear inside would flee in Jesus name
I pray that a breakthrough would happen today
I pray miracles over your life in Jesus name, in Jesus name
'Cause it's a miracle we can breathe
There's power in the way that we breathe
Release your heavy burdens
And let everything that has breath, praise the Lord
This is why we have breath, so praise the Lord
IT'S A MIRACLE THAT WE CAN BREATHE. MUCH ♡, LAUREN MICHELLE