Moments of Rest in the Midst of the Storm

Tucked away in the pages of Exodus, there’s a little verse that describes a beautiful scene of respite.

Shortly after God miraculously delivered the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptian armies, the Bible says the people “came to Elim, where there were 12 springs of water and 70 date palms, and they camped there by the water.” (Exodus 15:27)

Doesn’t that sound delightful?

This verse has long been a favorite of mine, but it’s been on my mind more lately as my family and I have been working our way through a crisis that began when my mom fell in the shower a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a long, sad story—too much to tell right now. For now, just picture daily trips with my dad to a Kansas City hospital. Family meetings with medical teams comprised of plastic surgeons, internal medicine doctors, palliative care experts and all kinds of nurses.

Long and heavy phone and text conversations with siblings near and far. Surgeries that hold great risk for an 85-year-old woman with my mom’s particular set of issues. Restless nights filled with thoughts of what comes next for her.

It’s been a lot—let’s just put it that way.

People around the world have been praying for my mom and our family. God’s healing power is clearly at work, and I can honestly say I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when I have experienced more of His peace.

At the same time, I’ve felt like I’ve been carrying a weight that gets heavier and lighter, depending on the latest report from the doctors, the most recent news from whomever is in the hospital room with my mom, and how much sleep I got the previous night.

That’s why I’ve been quick to notice settings that offer respite, if only for a moment here and there. Like the long corridor that leads from the main lobby of the hospital to the parking garage. One day after the girls and I left my mom’s room, we got Krispy Kreme doughnuts from the cafeteria and ate them on a curvy bench in this hallway.

We were still at the hospital, but for a few peaceful minutes, it felt as if we were visiting an art museum instead (see picture above). In the midst of the stress, busyness and uncertainty, it was an oasis.

Then there was the day after my mom’s second surgery (following one of those nights of little sleep) that I sort of hit a wall. We had to be somewhere at 4 p.m. and we didn’t have enough time to go home first, so we stopped by the local Lifeway store to get a Father’s Day present for Randy.

Lilly and Molly took off into the store, but I spotted a little table with two chairs in the bargain book section right inside the front door. I was so tired, I couldn’t resist. I plopped down, pulled out my phone and started writing down my thoughts.

As I sat there, I slowly became aware of the music that was playing on the store’s intercom. One after another, the worship tunes reminded me of times in my life—and my mom’s life too—when God had made His presence known in special ways.

It was exactly what I needed to keep moving, which, at that point, was all I needed to do.

Now, we’ve entered a week of decisions for my family and transition for my mom. And I’m not there for it.

When you’re in an intense season like this, there’s no good time to leave. But sometimes, the worst time to leave is also the right time to go. So the girls and I packed up, and we went—just as we had planned to do before the accident.

Instead of 12 springs of water and 70 date palms, we are surrounded by rolling Iowa hills, corn fields and gravel roads. As I sit here typing this, I can hear mourning doves calling through the open window of an old country farmhouse.

I have nothing on my agenda for this week except long, relaxed conversations with my college roommate and watching my girls run around the farm with a batch of kids who are dear enough to us we might as well be related.

Back home, reinforcements have arrived, and capable, loving hands are helping my parents move through the next big steps.

Here, we’re getting refreshed for the long haul—however long that haul might be.

♥ Lois

Sometimes, the worst time to leave is also the right time to go. Click To Tweet

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community and Grace & Truth.

Photo by Lilly Flowers

28 Responses to Moments of Rest in the Midst of the Storm

  1. Brenda says:

    Hugs and prayers, friend. xoxo

  2. Lisa notes says:

    Krispy Kreme doughnuts can always make my day better. 🙂 Seriously, I’m praying for you and your mom and your family. I know this is a trying season for all of you. I’m glad that God is providing you with streams of grace along the way. Keep hanging in their, Lois.

  3. I am so sorry you are in this place but also glad that you are finding moments of rest. God knows what we need when we listen!

  4. Somer says:

    So glad you’re home. Like the thought here about what seems like worst time is right time. Sometimes that’s totally right!

  5. Susan Shipe says:

    Lois, it’s been ages since I’ve been here and I’m so sorry to hear all this news about your mum. Will you private msg me your mailing address or email it to me (xo)

  6. Linda Stoll says:

    God has kept you close to my heart and I am continuing to lift you right back up to Him. So grateful for those moments where you can catch your breath and regain your equilibrium and sanity …

    I guess we need to be aware that these lifesavers are around us if we just have eyes to see.

    Especially if there’s donuts involved.


    • Lois Flowers says:

      Oh yes, Linda … donuts do have a way of making things a bit better, don’t they? 🙂 Thank you for your prayers, my friend. I hope you have sensed God’s presence and comfort these past weeks too …

  7. Oh, Lois, prayers for you in this season of stress and sadness, but so thankful that you can steal away to Elim for a bit to recharge and maybe enjoy some of that oasis sunshine.
    Do keep us all posted on your mum’s progress.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you, Michele. My mom is now in a rehab hospital and long-term care is coming. Lots of changes but God is guiding and comforting … I’m so thankful for the peace that comes with knowing our lives are in His hands. I have a feeling you can relate … 🙂

  8. Oh, Lois, I pray you continue to find peace as you go through this difficult time. When my mom first entered the hospital two years ago, these words by John Bunyan were posted and gave me comfort: “In prayer it is better to have a prayer without words than words without a heart.” God hears the cries of your heart. I pray you know His peace and love in tangible ways as you continue to love and minister to your mom and dad. Debbie

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Love those words by John Bunyan … thank you so much for sharing them, Debbie. Comfort from those who have been there is so, well, comforting. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers!

  9. Kathy says:

    Hugs and prayers to you and your precious Mom, my Friend. Thank You, Jesus, for Your presence and grace in an oasis of rest in the midst of a hard and long journey. A big “Hi!” to Rachel and her family, too! Love you. XOXOX

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Kathy, my friend … you have been on my mind and heart a lot recently, so it was wonderful to see your name pop up here last week. Thank you for your encouragement … I passed your greeting along to Rachel too! Love you and miss you!

  10. Marilyn Horn says:

    Thinking and praying for you and your family. Hugs, Marilyn

  11. Continuing to pray, Lois! So glad you and the girls are getting the time away to rest and refresh!

  12. Lois,
    It’s so hard to find peace and rest when you’re facing heartache and difficult decisions, but sometimes that’s when God brings an unexplainable contentment in the middle of the storm and I’m hoping that this is where he’s filling you with his strength, joy and peace. Praying for you and your family. xoxo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Valerie, there are definitely ups and downs, but yes … the joy of the Lord is my strength, and I’m thankful for that! So grateful for your prayers and encouragement!

  13. Liz says:

    Oh, Lois, I’m so sorry you are going through this! Praying for your mom and you and you whole family. So thankful God is showing you how to rest in Him, even in the midst of hard!

  14. Lydia says:

    Amen, Lois!! Thank you for writing this. I’m posting it as our latest Facebook update this morning . . . 🙂

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