Sometimes we all need a push.With Barbara’s permission, I snapped a hospital selfie. Couldn’t resist the high
fashion hospital gown look. C’mon…we’re rocking the look, right?

Sometimes we all need a push.

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

If you know me at all, you know I really like “my space.” I’m not a loner, but I am one who likes alone time. Typically, I room alone at retreats and conferences. I like to think of myself as an extroverted introvert—people fuel me and drain me, all at the same time. Don’t judge me. It’s just the truth.

So when I found out that I was not going to have a private room in the hospital, I sort of panicked. My mind went into a tailspin of what if’s and oh no’s and ughs.

Sometimes we all need a push.

I wanted space to heal all by myself. That is the way I do things.

Like a precarious preschooler wrestling to gain control of a toy, I wanted to stand up, hands on hips, and yell, “No. I will not share!”

Sometimes God gives us a little push.

To push is to ‘exert force on (someone or something), typically with one’s hand, in order to move them away from oneself or the origin of the force.”

I didn’t get my way. I had to share.

For a few hours, I did have the room to myself, but about 2am, my nurse came in and said, “Your roommate is on her way…” So hours after my own surgery, the hustle and bustle started.

Silently, I prayed. Honestly, it was a selfish prayer but I prayed anyway. I talk to God about everything. Lord, you know how I am. I like my space. So, here we go. I am going to trust you with this very little struggle.

The transition team pulled the curtain and turned on the lights.

A few hours later, after everything settled down, a voice from the other side of the curtain, whispered a hello.

“I’m sorry about disturbing your night,” she said.

 “Oh, I couldn’t sleep anyway,” I said.

“I’m Barbara.”

Sometimes complete strangers become fast friends.

It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.”
Donald Miller

Sometimes God, who sees and knows way more than I do, decides two women’s lives need to come together. Over the course of the next day, Barbara shared her story of having been admitted to three hospitals in the course of the last six days…ending up in UVA Medical, Room 5167.

Sometimes we all need a push.

Sometimes we get exactly what we need.

In the three days Barbara (and Mike, her husband) and I (and Rob, my husband) shared in the hospital, we got to know each other very well. There was absolutely no privacy. Only a curtain separated us from one another’s business. And there was a great deal of “business” going on—much of which I would like to have spared her. I’m pretty sure she would agree.

But, in hindsight, which is always 20/20, I am glad she was there.

When I was down and out, Barbara pushed me, in the best sense of the word. Her gentle way helped me know I wasn’t alone. She prayed me through a dark Tuesday night/early morning. And, it was really good to have her company.

When she was down and out, I’d like to think I pushed her, in the best sense of the word. During her long post-surgery night/early morning, I prayed. And I witnessed a couple on the brink of their 40th wedding anniversary exemplify the “for better or worse” part of their vows. Mike tirelessly served her without ever losing patience or loving kindness. It was a gift to see that kind of commitment.

Do you need a gentle “push” today? Or maybe there is someone you know that needs one. Push gently. Most of the time it just takes a nudge.

P.S. Right before I clicked “Publish,” my phone lit up. It was a dear friend—one that has “the gift of push,” I like to say. She pushes me in all the right ways:

  • Out of my comfort zones.
  • Out of my pity parties.
  • Out of my isolating behavior(s).
  • Out of my self-defeating ways.
  • Towards God
  • Towards spiritual authenticity
  • Towards all things healthy.

Oh how thankful I am that she called. Today, I needed her.

Go ahead…pick up your phone. Someone is waiting on the other end to hear your voice.