Posted by: Kris Lindsey | January 31, 2011

Victory in Defeat

The midnight call two weeks ago knocked the wind out of me. My 82 year old mother had fallen, so my sister and I rushed to the hospital. I floated through the next five days in a nightmare of miscommunications and mistakes by hospital staff, while we sat watching Mother suffer. Taking on the role of advocate, I questioned, prodded and nagged in an attempt to get better, quicker service. But alas, the hospital system is hard to buck. In the end, the authorities won. I couldn’t bear to sit by and watch them hurt my mom. Powerless and broken, I retreated home in defeat.

Alarmed by my disheveled state, Bob suggested I read a book by a certain lady he knew (me). He was right. I needed to seek God for help. I thought back on my book topics. Chapter one says trying to control something I have little or no control over causes stress. That explained my burnout. Turning the situation over to the One who has ultimate control relieves stress, but how could I in this case? All patients need an advocate to look, listen and fight for their welfare when they are disabled. I felt an urgency to stay in the mix and do what I could. Only now, that wasn’t much. In my weakened state I could only sit on the sofa and mourn.

I rested, ate and requested prayer support. I listened for God’s voice as I read my Bible. I washed clothes and straightened cushions on the sofa, stalling off the inevitable wrestling match with God. Finally I forced myself into the front room and turned on my praise music. With hands and heart raised but clenched I let the music slowly sink in.

“But God, I hurt. This is too hard.”

“I know.”

“It’s my mom. I have to keep fighting, don’t I?”

The music pounded on.

“I know I need to release her to you, but I can’t.”

“I am here.”

“How can I know you’ll take care of her?”

“Because I love you, and I love her.”

Through tear-filled eyes I watched my fists struggle to open.

“I can’t let go. The stakes are too high. I need to make things happen. I have to save my mom.”

The song tugged at my heart, declaring God’s strength, God’s care.

In an anguished act of will, I forced my fingers to move a couple of inches, my hands now upraised cups. Then, with a final cry and God’s help, I uncurled my fingers and flattened my hands.

It was done. I was free.

Peace and strength replaced torment and fear. The painful ache inside me dissipated as a quiet confidence in God grew. Now I could return to Mother’s bedside, with my Lord leading the way.



  1. Kris, beautiful! Thanks for sharing this poignant snapshot of your life.

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