Weekend Experience. That’s what we just had. Once HECK of a weekend experience. Let me back up a little bit and tell you about it from the beginning. It’s long, but important.
Mr Darcy left last week to attend a conference in Nashville. He left on Wednesday morning, sick and on antibiotics from a virus/bacterial/sinus infection. We here at home soldiered on in his absence. Work. School. Football. Homework. Laundry. Dinner. Repeat.
On Thursday, I have a meeting at work called “Weekend Experience.” It’s basically a “What-All-Is-Going-On-This-Weekend-At-Church” meeting. Prior to this meeting, I had been e-mailed the announcement topics as I was the person giving the announcements during all of our services. I love LOVE getting to do announcements. I get a microphone. I get to talk. It’s live. I get to make eye contact with thousands of people. Did I already mention the part about getting to talk? It’s awesome. Anyhow, at the Weekend Experience meeting, our Creative Arts Head told me to make a segue between the last announcement and the worship song to follow. “Gotcha”, I said.
On Friday night, I sat in front of my announcement notes, waiting for Divine Inspiration. Within a few moments, I could see myself in my minds’ eye saying some things to the congregation for that song segue. I also saw myself saying a few other things to them as it related to one of the announcements. Thanking God for speaking to me in an easy way for me to understand, I wrote them down. I was feeling rather inspired. It had been a not-so-fabulous day and I was thankful for any break I could get. I decided I would drive to the Krogers and pick up a few things – not ready to commit to the serious grocery shopping I needed to do, but wanting a few treats for the boys on Saturday. At Krogers, I couldn’t stop thinking about red meat. Now, I am a carnivore. I love a great ribeye steak and all, but focused solely on red meat? That was a little weird, even for me! I pushed my buggy over the meat department and lo and behold! RED MEAT!! As a bonus, many, many packages with the “Reduced” sticker on them as it was nighttime. WooHOO! I was excited! I had $50.00 extra in my budget and I spent nearly all of it on red meat. Roasts, steaks, hamburger. Awesome.
Saturday afternoon, it was time to go to rehearsal. When I arrived, our Creative Arts Head informed me that I would need to cut out a lot of my “extras” as she was worried about time. Just stick to the bare bones, she requested. I had to cut out my great, revelatory stuff. Bummer. I wondered why I had had that inspiration when I wasn’t going to get to use it, but got over it and muddled through rehearsal and then service.
Later on that evening, it was time to pick up Mr Darcy from the airport. Insert Peaches and Herb song, “Reunited and It Feels So Good!” He was really not feeling well when I picked him up and said he was having trouble breathing. When we got home, I gave him a breathing treatment, using the nebulizer that belongs to our youngest. His back was bothering him from the long flight so he took a muscle relaxer.
Sunday morning, bright and early, it was time for me to head to church for rehearsal. 7:30 am. My van was STILL in the shop for transmission issues, so Mr Darcy had to give me a ride. We kissed in the parking lot and I told him I would see him later on that morning.
Just before the first service began, I saw him enter. Feet shuffling, hand on his back. I was sure his back was worse. Ugh. After I gave the announcements, I headed downstairs to his office. If you didn’t already know, we work at the same church. He’s one of the pastors and I oversee volunteers and assimilation. He works downstairs in the basement (sounds worse than it is) and I am on the main floor. (I have a window office, which is just as awesome as it sounds.) When I arrived in his office, he looked awful. I asked him about his back and he told me his back was fine but that he was so dizzy he could barely walk. His head was throbbing and he couldn’t catch his breath. He said he was pretty sure he was going to need to go to the doctor that afternoon – maybe after church? We made a plan that I would check on him in a little bit and I headed upstairs. Within a half hour, our youngest came upstairs and told me that “Daddy needs you downstairs, he is not okay.” I quickly walked downstairs to his office to find him pale, laboring for air and curled up on his loveseat. Now, my man is six foot eight. Curled on his loveseat is not a normal way to find him. He told me that he was worse and couldn’t get off of the loveseat at all. He thought I’d better take him to the doctor right after I did the next set of announcements. I asked him if maybe one of our first responder volunteers could take a look at him. He agreed. Our first responder volunteers are trained medical professionals who volunteer during a service as need arises. Need just arose. A coworker grabbed the first responder bag and I asked a nurse who just “happened” to be down the hall from my guy to take a look at him as we waited for first response to get there. Within minutes, life shifted a little.
The method we use to contact our first response team is walkie-talkies. This means that anyone with a walkie-talkie knows when the alert goes out. On this day, the alert was to go to Mr Darcy’s office. First responder and my nurse assessed that Mr Darcy was most certainly NOT ok and 911 was called. By now, my man was a color of pale I had never seen before. Before I knew it, the EMT crew was there and hooking my giant husband up to wires, leads, oxygen and more. The hallway was quiet as we watched, everyone with a walkie-talkie watching, anxiously. A pastor made me take off my mic and give it to him. I’ll have to admit, I put up a fight on that one. I was sure all was fine and I’d be able to do the announcements (which were about to begin in approximately 10 minutes) and join everyone at the hospital, everything hunky-dory. What does hunky-dory mean, I wonder?
So, to recap: My man is being loaded on a stretcher, he looks like he’s about to meet Jesus face-to-face, AND I have just had to give up my microphone. That’s where I was. I should have been crying. I should have been panic-stricken. But I wasn’t. I had peace. I had so much peace that I didn’t even realize I was supposed to NOT have peace at all. Crazy peaceful peace. My friend tells me she’ll get the boys home and I follow the ambulance that’s carrying my sweet husband.
All the way to the hospital, I was still rocking in that same peace. I was singing the songs in my mind that I had heard 4 times already that weekend. As we arrived, someone ushered me to a chair in the waiting room, telling me they’d get me later. I sat there, alone and quiet in that sterile room, waiting for them to call my name. I could hear them asking Mr Darcy questions. Questions like “when did this start?” “Are you usually this pale?” and more. I sat in that stillness – an extroverts’ nightmare – and felt peace. They finally called me back and asked me if he was usually that color of pale and some other questions. Doctors, nurses, and techs all rushed in and out. I heard one of them gasp as they said 3.9. I didn’t know what that meant. What is 3.9? More people in scrubs and lab coats, hurriedly moving around him. Touching, examining, asking. Finally, someone told us that they had done a test to determine what his red blood cell count was. Aha! That was 3.9! Well, 3.9 is apparently not so great when you are supposed to have 14-15. Anything under 7 means a blood transfusion, they say. They do another test, more accurate, they tell us. Now 3.9 has become 4.5. Higher, but not really better. They tell us he’s bleeding somewhere. Before I know it, hours have passed. They are trying to find a match for his blood and antibodies. More hours pass. More tests run. 8:30 pm and finally the nurse tells us they have found a match for his blood. I feel like I can leave and go home and hold my children. They need comfort. They need to see me and hear that Dad is going to be okay. Quite frankly, I need them. It’s not the same over the telephone lines. I wait until the nurse says the blood is there and I leave. Mr Darcy has been so weak, but they assure me he’ll be okay. I drive home, still filled with peace. I don’t sleep much, but I sleep a dreamless few hours and start our morning routine as normally as possible.
The next day and a half are filled with test results that give us no answers and hours sitting in a hospital recliner, looking at Pinterest on my iPad. As I sat there on that plastic recliner, I was recalling the weekend. The Weekend Experience. Did I do a good job on the announcements? What kind of outfit will make me look skinnier? Can I work these Pinterest fashion looks I keep pinning? Will I ever get that microphone again? Then finally…I wonder why I had that moment with God where I saw myself saying those things to the people sitting in the auditorium. Remember them, I will myself. Remember what you wrote on that paper, Janna.
Here’s what I wrote:
As you stand with me and continue to worship, I want you to be thinking about some phrases from our next song…I Trust: You can trust in the Almighty God who loves you. I Believe: You can believe everything He says and in His Word, the Bible. You Are All I Need: God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He is faithful! Nothing is Impossible: The God we are singing about spoke the Universe into existence. He breathed His breath into man and man became a touchable reality. If God can breathe and do that, we can believe He can meet us exactly where we are right now!
Oh. My. Goodness. It was for me. It was for ME. God had that moment with me because He knew what was to come. He knew I would need those words to coat my mind and my heart . He wrote me a most intimate love letter. He loves me so much that he prepared my flawed mind with these precious words that would repeat over and over again during the time in the hospital. He is so good to me. He loves me. He loves me.
Yesterday, Mr. Darcy was discharged from the hospital. He’s not out of the woods yet. His 4.5 has turned into a 7.7. Better, but not where it needs to be. Oh, and that red meat bonanza from the Krogers? Guess who has to eat LOTS of red meat and other iron-rich foods? Yep, you guessed it. We trust that he is going to make a full recovery. We don’t know why this happened. We might not ever know. All I know is that God knows and He is all about the Weekend Experience.