A story from The Push

I ventured down the unfamiliar pathway to the doctor's office. A bad cold forced me to seek the appointment, and I deliberately chose a doctor I had never seen before. It was much easier to face strangers than friends.

My life had come to an abrupt halt a few months earlier. The man I was married to chose to walk away from the life he knew. He suddenly disappeared, abandoning everything in his life, including me. He left messages at his work, for his family, and at our home that he was taking his life in "a different direction." In spite of all efforts, including filing a national missing persons report, he could not be found. And over the years that followed, I realized that I would never see him again.

I felt I had to deal with the message in silence. A pattern of secrecy within my marriage led me to fear authenticity and I desperately try to hide the situation. This choice left me feeling totally alone and only increased my feelings of abandonment. Therefore, when I sought out medical attention for my minor health concern, I wanted to find a doctor who didn't know me.

The stranger in the white lab jacket had never seen me before, and that's exactly the way I wanted it.

"Just tell me what's wrong, give me medication, and I'll be out of here," I thought as I entered his office. I did not know I would find the real "medicine" I needed from a caring doctor who stepped outside the usual bounds of his profession to point the way toward healing.

My throat hurt, but the intense pain I felt was much deeper than that. This must have been obvious to Dr. LeCroy as he questioned me about my physical condition. Gently he probed, trying to determine exactly what was wrong. Suddenly I began crying and pouring my heart out to him, something I had not done with anyone. He listened; but more than that, because of something he experienced in his own childhood, he understood! He gave me many words of encouragement, but his last words were the most important, the ones I will never forget.

He took me by the shoulders and looked straight into my eyes. "Hold on to God through this, Amy. If you hold on to God you will look back in five years and be amazed at what He has done in your life!" Five years seemed like an eternity, and I certainly couldn't imagine what life would be like by then! He handed me a prescription and sent me on my way. After I got in my car, I read the scrawled notation on the prescription slip. It simply read "Jer. 29:11." I recognized it as a verse from the Bible, but I did not know what the verse said or why Dr. LeCroy had written it.

I rushed home and into my bedroom, grabbed my Bible, and turned to the 29th chapter of the book of Jeremiah. And there was my "prescription!" "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That was exactly what I didn't have in my life but so desperately needed: hope, no harm, a future, and a plan! As I read the verse over and over, I realized it addressed everything that was wrong with me.

Anything and everything could be taken from me in an instant, but God and His Word would still be there. Jeremiah 29:11 became my Life Verse.