When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”John 5:6 NIV
As I type on my dimly lit phone, I’m at the emergency room with my 11-year-old son. It’s almost midnight and we’ve been here for a few hours. Around 8:30 pm he came into my bedroom and said, “Mom, will you take me to the doctor? My head hurts too bad.” At 9 pm the urgent care center sent us to the ER to be tested for meningitis. (Thank God he doesn’t have that.) He also tested negative for strep, flu, and mono, but his white blood count is elevated.
But when we got back into a room at the ER, and they were about to start an IV, he absolutely panicked. Suddenly fear took over and he began to shake and hold his arm against his chest so the nurse couldn’t get the IV in. He sat up in the bed, buried his face in my chest, and sobbed.
I reasoned with him. Reminded him he’d had an IV years ago when he broke his arm and he was fine. Nothing I said made it any better.
Sometimes our minds are our worst enemies.
Finally I put my hand under his chin, tipped his face up to look at me, and said, “Son, do you want to get well?”
“Yes. My head hurts so bad. Please make it stop.” He sobbed. “This will make it stop?” I nodded.
Then he relaxed and allowed the nurse to give him an IV. In the end he said it wasn’t so bad.
An hour later, with headache meds coursing through his veins and his quiet snoring filling the room, it hit me – today I panicked just like this over something else.
I had been afraid of losing both someone and the dream of something and it caused me to sob and hold my heart in my chest where it couldn’t be touched and lash out at whomever said that letting go was the best thing for me. The fear of abandonment and loneliness and being unloved forever washed over me. I feared feeling unworthy and unlovable and useless and embarrassed and rejected and unwanted. The fear to me was just as real as the needle was to Gavin. Letting myself feel the sting of letting go that would ultimately heal me was just too scary in the moment.
It reminded me of when Jesus healed a man in the Bible, but first he asked the man, “Do you want to get well?”
Of course I want to get well. But just like my son, I have to get past the fear of the pain that will ultimately allow healing to flow through me.