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  • Juli Henderson

Best Hospital Stay


Growing up, I was often the sick one in our family. I seemed to have the ear infection and strep throat demon. I guess now it might have been allergies that were not diagnosed, but I was just sick a lot.


I believe I was in middle school when my throat and ear infection got so bad that I was admitted into the hospital for the weekend. I remember my ears ached terribly. I was afraid to tell my parents because I didn’t want to be a bother. Once I was admitted, I was given daily antibiotic injections because I was having trouble swallowing.


When I started to feel better in the hospital, I quietly snuck over into the other pediatric patients’ rooms to cheer them up. I didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to play with the other kids in their rooms. I wasn’t afraid of the hospital. It seemed like a place to make friends.


It seems strange that I would have that kind of experience so early in my life. That one hospital stay made a lasting impression. I do remember the earache, but I don’t remember being afraid. I don’t remember what the other kids had, but I do remember wanting to make them feel better.


However, this particular lingering memory sometimes haunts me today. Was that weekend the beginning of my longing to help sick children? I really do not know. But as I have been writing, that first hospital stay of my life still stirs something in me. I liked making children in the hospital smile. I was not afraid.


I was drawn to them. I couldn’t stay in my own hospital room because I wanted to be with them. I have often wondered if God set me up to feel for sick children in that military hospital room so that, as an adult, I would be ready for Robert. I wasn’t always ready, but I was not afraid of him. Sick children in hospitals do not scare me.


What are the things in your life that have set you up for the meaningful work you will do in your life? Could it be that you have a story of your own that now makes sense as you navigate the care of your child? Did you know before you knew? Did you have a desire to help special needs children? Did you seek a degree in speech therapy or music therapy? Did you graduate with a special education degree? What skills do you already have?


You may have a strange memory, too. I would love to hear yours.


Listening Library: “Faithful to Me” (Linda Adler, my dear friend)

https://youtu.be/wJSQ4Q2DUWU


“See that you do not despise one of these little ones... ” (Matthew 18:10 NIV)



Faithful to Me


All the chistles I've dulled carving idols of stone That have crumbled like sand 'neath the waves. I've recklessly built all my dreams in the sand just to watch, them all wash away.


Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile To one who sees past all I see. And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand You're the only one who's faithful to me.


All the pennies I've wasted in my wishing well I have thrown like stones to the sea. I have cast my lots, dropped my guard, searched aimlessly for a faith To be faithful to me.


Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile To one who sees past all I see. And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand You're the only one who's faithful to me.

You're the only one who's faithful to me.


Songwriters: Jennifer Knapp / Jennifer Lynn Knapp

Faithful to Me (Prelude) lyrics © Universal Music - Brentwood Benson Songs, West Hudson Music


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