What Happened in the Waiting Room

When Randy was having his heart procedure last week, I had big plans for my time in the waiting room.

I was going to get a good jump start on writing one or two blog posts that I’ve been pondering lately. Catch up on some email, peruse a magazine I had been saving just for this morning, maybe even read a book for a while.

What’s that they say about the best-laid plans again?

Randy’s heart had been doing its typical misfiring while he was being prepped for the procedure, so we had good reason to think this wouldn’t be like one of those days when you take your malfunctioning car to the shop and it refuses to act up for the mechanic. Plus, the nurse promised to call me every hour or so with updates.

Now all I had to do was wait. And be productive.

I got some coffee and sat down in a quiet corner. Shortly after discovering the hospital’s guest wi-fi wasn’t working on my laptop, an older man and his friend sat down next to me. The man’s wife was having a test run on her heart and the sweet woman with him was there “to pray” (she said).

It seems she also was there to talk to me, because that’s exactly what she did. I spent the next hour or two (I lost track of time) mostly listening and nodding while she discussed the widest range of topics I’ve ever heard in one sitting.

Although I’m an introvert, I rather enjoy talking to strangers. I’ve been known to strike up (or at least participate in) conversations at the grocery store, the DMV, in lines at amusement parks, at crowded polling places on election day, standing outside in the rain at the local Five Below store waiting to buy a Fidget Spinner—you know, all the usual scenarios where people might chat casually.

But this conversation stretched even me. She covered everything from vasectomies, the nasty sounding concoction she drank to relieve kidney stones and whether I’ve ever had a colonoscopy to how she can’t take Benadryl, how putting up mirrors in your bedroom helps to reduce anger and how her sister still holds a grudge against her ex-husband.

The nurse called me with her first hourly update (everything was going well so far), but I didn’t note the time because my neighbor started chatting again as soon as I got off the phone. At one point, I got out my Traditional Home magazine and started flipping through pages, hoping that maybe we could pause the conversation for awhile.

It didn’t work.

At last, the man and lady left and I was left alone in the quiet. It was only mid morning, but after all that, I didn’t have much energy left to write. So I just texted my friends, sisters and mother-in law, read my book and marveled at how calm I felt.

It’s true. While Randy’s heart was getting “zapped” with radio energy, mine was at peace. And I know it was because people were praying.

(Much later, it occurred to me that talking to the lady in the waiting room also may have contributed to my lack of anxiety. While the conversation was at times bizarre and even a bit uncomfortable, it did take my mind off what was happening in the cath lab. And I’m very grateful for that.)

As time went on, though, I started to wonder when I was going to get another update from the nurse.

It has to have been at least an hour and a half since I heard from her, I thought. I’m sure she’ll call anytime now.

And,

It’s been more than two hours. They must have run into complications of some sort.

Then,

Why hasn’t the nurse called me yet? What’s going on in there?

I wasn’t in panic mode yet, but I was getting antsy and impatient. When I start feeling this way, I usually text Randy and ask him to pray for me. Since I couldn’t do that this time, I decided to put some of these thoughts in writing. And when I opened the notes feature on my phone, this is what popped up on the screen:

“The Lord will fight my battles for me; I need only be still.”

Apparently, a personalized version of Exodus 14:14 was the last thing I had jotted down in my phone notes awhile back, and now here it was—just when I needed it.

I wrote about the conversation I’d had with the talkative lady, my earlier expectations about my waiting-room experience, and how the verse I just read had “hit me right in the feels,” as Randy likes to say. Finally, this:

“Whatever is going on in the cath lab, God is with me. He is with Randy. He will fight the battle for us. We need only be still. I feel at peace. I just want to hear from the nurse.

That was around 11:30 a.m. At noon, the doctor (not the nurse) came into the waiting room to tell me he was done. The job was more extensive than expected, but it went well, he said.

Randy came home the next day. While the procedure seems to have worked, there a few lingering issues that need to be addressed. But that’s OK.

We ain’t scared, remember?

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



38 Responses to What Happened in the Waiting Room

  1. So happy it went well and is over! That has been my favorite verse for a few years. It is just what an anxious heart needs.

  2. Heather says:

    Aww Lois, He always shows up just when we need Him! Anything that happens in hospitals with our family usually finds the waiting room full of brothers and uncles cracking jokes and passing the time- no matter how mundane or serious! Prayers for you and your husband and he makes his way through recovery. ♥

  3. Oh, Lois, praying for continued good results from the procedure! And I have to say the notes feature–and all the Scriptures I can record there–is my absolute favorite perk of having finally upgraded from my “dumb phone” to my smarter model. 😉 Honestly, I’m not sure how I got this far in life without it. Blessings on your weekend! #Grace&Truth

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Ha … I’m with you about this particular perk of the “smarter” phone, Elizabeth! It’s so much more convenient and organized than trying to write things down on the back of receipts or whatever else I can find in my purse. Thanks for your prayers!

  4. Oh, friend – I think I might have pulled out my hair with your little waiting room friend. But, I bet she was blessed by the listening ear she found in you. Perhaps you were there to bless her?! I’m so glad you had peace in your heart and that your husband is on the mend. You are a treasure. xo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I got close to hair-pulling stage a time or two, Tiffany! She was a sweet lady, though, and so was the man who was waiting on his wife. He told me some of his life experiences that nearly broke my heart … everyone has a story, don’t they? Hugs, friend!

  5. Isn’t it amazing how God knows what we need better than we do?! It sounds like He gave you exactly what you needed in that waiting room (crazy conversations and all!)

    So grateful your husband is ok. My hubby is a cath lab nurse and I know that anything with the heart can be so worrisome, especially for family. Glad it all went well!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I think you’re right about what I needed in that waiting room, Becky! Thank you for your kind words … yes, I’m sure you have a much better knowledge than most of what goes on in the cath lab and perhaps even with those in the waiting room!

  6. Brenda says:

    I’m glad he’s doing well, Lois. I love that verse — and I love that God knew the time and place you’d need it next and had it waiting for you. Wonder how often we do things under the impetus of the Spirit — all the while thinking we’re just doing our own thing. Prayer and peace seem to walk together often, don’t they? Continued prayers for health, recovery and peace. ((Hug))

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you so much, my friend. 🙂 I have a feeling the Holy Spirit is involved in far more of what we do than we realize … what do you think? Hugs right back to you!

  7. sandy says:

    I really enjoyed your story of the lady in the waiting room 🙂 And of course the truth behind your whole post was a blessing. Thanks!

  8. Lois, while Randy was having his heart “zapped” it sounds as if you were, too — and this fellow introverts heart has been zapped with the idea that I need to be more available to people, even when their talk and their neediness get in the way of my do-list.

  9. Love this story of learning to focus our mind on Christ in times of waiting!

  10. Lisa notes says:

    So glad to hear that Randy made it okay and that his condition is better! Praying all the other kinks will be worked out easily. I laughed hearing about the woman in the waiting room. I’m an introvert, too, and although I also can enjoy those kind of conversations, they do wear me out after awhile. 🙂

  11. Lois,
    So glad to hear that your husband’s procedure went well! And I can so relate to being interrupted from the quiet space I’d planned, especially by a conversation that wandered so wildly as yours did with your chatty waiting room neighbor! But I think your perspective was on target that it possibly was God-purposed after all! xo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Valerie, I admit I was on the verge of being very annoyed a few times, but then I started to see the humor in what was going on and almost had to force myself not to laugh when the conversation took another sharp turn! I guess God really does have a sense of humor, huh? 🙂

  12. Awww, Lois, that whole waiting for news thing is never easy, is it? For me, it’s those phone calls when my husband travels internationally. I always insist on having his updated itinerary, because I just have to know. I work not to be anxious as I wait for the calls, but there are times when I struggle with this.

    I LOVE how God orchestarated your morning. He does have creative ways of meeting our needs, doesn’t He? 🙂

    I’m glad the procedure was a success, and I hope the residual issues get worked out soon. Thank you for sharing how God showed up and helped you so you ain’t scared! 😉

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Jeanne, I can imagine it’s hard not to worry when your husband is traveling overseas and you haven’t heard from him when you thought you would … I would want frequent updates and regular calls too! Yes, God’s ways of meeting our needs definitely are creative, aren’t they? I wondered beforehand if I should ask someone to wait with me, but then sensed the Still Small Voice saying, “I will be with you.” He is always enough, isn’t He? 🙂

  13. Tammy Winter Sheetz says:

    So glad that Randy is doing well! Please tell him hello from me and I’ll continue praying for all of you. Tammy

  14. Liz says:

    Love this! So glad the procedure went well! Waiting rooms can be strange places! Blessings!

  15. Trudy says:

    It’s amazing how God led you to your notes and you were reminded of your personalized version of that verse, Lois. I’m so grateful Randy’s procedure went well, and I hope the remaining issues will be resolved. I love that plaque in the photo! Love and hugs to you!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I know, Trudy … I couldn’t believe that verse was right there when I opened my notes. I don’t even remember when I last looked at it! One of my favorite things to do at Hobby Lobby is find artsy decor with sayings that I like and take pictures of them. Molly is always willing to hold up plaques for me! Thanks for your care and prayers … hugs back!

  16. Thanks for updating, Lois! Praising the Lord for the peace He has given you, the success of the procedure, and His faithfulness as you both continue with the lingering issues. Love to you all!

  17. Lesley says:

    I’m so glad the procedure went well, Lois, and that you felt at peace as you waited. I love how you had the sense that God was working things together with the lady’s conversation distracting you from what was happening and exactly the verse you needed popping up on your phone. Praying that Randy’s recovery is going well and that the issues that remain can be dealt with.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you, Lesley. I’m counting on the truth of Ex. 14:14 in several areas of my life right now … and praying for wisdom to know when to be still and when to move!

  18. Linda Stoll says:

    Dear Lois … thank you for the update … God has kept you on my mind all week and I have lifted you and Randy back up to Him.

    I love that Exodus verse. It certainly recalibrates our reactions into restful responses. Takes the pressure off to perform and fix and figure every last detail out.

    Being in the waiting room is tough stuff, especially when we sit there alone. But He gave you some beauties to share in the process …

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Yes, He did, Linda! Many thanks for your prayers … we been encouraged and strengthened by them so much! And the verse … it remains on my heart AND my refrigerator door!

  19. Anita Felzke says:

    So glad to hear-prayers answered.

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