In the Waiting Room

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD. – Psalm 27:14 (NKJ)

The phone rang one Monday evening a few years ago while my husband and I were having a late supper. It was our youngest son, David.

“I’m on my way to the hospital,” he said. “I broke my arm playing first base.”

My heart sank. After enduring shoulder surgery and months of physical therapy a year and a half earlier, David, a pitcher, had worked hard to get back in form. The coach for his summer league team had been playing him on first and third bases for the games between his starts, planning to use him on the mound for the must-win games.

“Was it his right or left arm?” I asked my husband after he hung up.

“I don’t know.”

The news stunned him so much he hadn’t thought to ask.

Nearly three hours later, David called back. The bone just above the wrist on his left arm – not his pitching arm, thank heaven – was broken clear through and was out of place.

“I have to come back to the hospital tomorrow for surgery to put the bone back in place,” he said. “I might need pins.”

After we hung up, I packed my bag for the next day with plenty of reading material, a crossword puzzle book, fruit, and bottles of water and juice. I knew from experience it would be a long day sitting in hospital waiting room. There was nothing I could do but wait for the outcome – and worry how we would replace the income from his summer construction job, which he’d just started three days earlier.

Now, instead of playing in the big tournament or putting away money for school, he’d be nursing a broken arm, waiting for it to heal in time for fall ball.

“Well,” David said on the way to the hospital, “I can still work on strengthening my legs – and I can still throw with my pitching arm. I’ll get a bucket of balls and toss them to keep my arm in shape.”

Another setback. More waiting. More time is spent in life’s waiting rooms, I think, than on the field of play. Like the psalmist, I often cry, “How long, O LORD? How long? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1).

I don’t like being benched in a waiting room, but I’m learning to deal with it – and with the disappointment, confusion, frustration, and anger that accompany the waiting orders. Oh, the emotions aren’t as intense as they once were, but still they pop up, undermining the faith that’s the foundation of my life: “Do you really believe God protects you and those you love? Maybe you didn’t pray enough. Maybe it’s all a lie.”

That’s when I pull out my finger-worn Bible and do my faith-strengthening exercises. I like Psalms for low-faith times because the writer plumbs the depths of emotions that we, too, experience. Voicing his anguish and looking for answers that seem too long in coming, he reaches a turning point, where his questions collide head-on with faith: “But I trust in your unfailing love; and my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5–6).

Maybe waiting time isn’t wasting time, after all. For the lessons learned in the waiting room and the work God does in us while we wait are much more valuable than the answer we think we should have. For the harder a thing is to attain, the greater will be the triumph.

When the questions are hard and the answers don’t come, when my faith falters and my beliefs grow brittle, remind me, Lord, that it’s in the waiting room that faith grows best. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 13

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

The Heart Remembers re-released

Same wonderful love story, but with a new cover and a new publisher (me, now an independent author-publisher).  Available in Kindle and paperback. Click on the image to order your copy.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; 

bind them around your neck, 

write them on the tablet of your heart. 

~ Proverbs 3:3 (NIV)

Forty years after meeting, falling in love with, and marrying Dust Off pilot Seth Martin then losing him when he’s declared MIA during the Vietnam War, Evangeline “Vangie” Martin decides it’s time to move on. After having him declared dead, she heads to a mountain resort for her fortieth high school reunion, hoping to reconnect with her high school sweetheart. But fate has other plans. The resort caretaker is none other than her Seth, but with no memory of his life before being shot down. When he refuses to acknowledge his true identity, Vangie must make a decision: If she is to have the love she’s waited for so long, she must forget the past and accept Seth as he is now. But can she?

Reviews

“Wow! What a enthralling story by a most talented writer. The authors retelling of the Vietnam era, is so surreal, I felt like I was there, I even covered my head and ducked as the bombs exploded. The story is filled with suspense, compassion, and inbounding love. I find myself, still wishing I was going home to read this book. It is hard to find another read that is so engrossing as this one. It is one that you do not want to miss. I highly recommend this book to everyone.” – Amazon review by deha

“From the first sentence to the final words etched in granite, The Heart Remembers by Michele Huey grabs the reader and won’t let go. I can heartily recommend this incredibly well written, researched, and crafted novel about the Vietnam War, about love lost and remembered, about family and faith, and about never giving up hope.

Told in two parts, in two continents and in two eras, the first part rockets the reader into 1970 Vietnam’s PTSD generating war zone. The story pumps adrenaline through the reader’s body, and pummels war’s sights, sounds and stench into the mind. This must read book will not disappoint the reader seeking an action packed novel, nor will it disappoint the reader looking for a suspense riddled romance.

Told in the first person by nurse, Evangeline Blanchard, her tour of duty thrusts her into a bloody OR and dives her into a bunker beneath exploding rocket bombardment. She meets hero Seth Martin, a helicopter Dust Off pilot who romances her through hilly Vietnam’s gardenia dotted countryside, but leaves her fretting with each rescue mission. Will the sparks flying between these two, burst into love?

The second part opens in the year 2007 as snappy dialog between retired nurses Vange Blanchard and Michaelena Molinetti pepper the drive along I-80 to a class reunion. As these two best friends speed through the green hills of Pennsylvania to a peaceful cabin along the Clarion River, the past collides with the present. Among Cook Forest’s old growth trees, along the peaceful river, opportunities for love flow their way. Will their once-in-a-lifetime-love find them or will they leave their reunion, alone . . . and lonely?

 Michele Huey’s debut novel will keep you reading, cheering, nail biting, laughing, crying, rooting, and even praying for the characters to find their happily ever after. I give this novel five stars!” – Amazon review