“We did our best, but we couldn’t save him.”
This was the scene that played in my mind as I stood by my boyfriend, Vince’s hospital bedside. It was January 8, 2017 at 12:30am. We were in the emergency room waiting for the surgeon-on-duty to review Vince’s tests.
“The CT Scan is showing air bubbles in your abdominal cavity. This is an indication you could be septic. We’re preparing for emergency surgery,” the surgeon said.
Septic?! Oh God. People die when they’re septic. It means bile from their intestines are leaking into their body. Very. Bad. News.
At this point the staff cleared the room and it was just Vince and I. I wanted to be there for him, but I found myself getting lost in fear. What if he doesn’t make it? What if the doctors can’t save him? What if he dies?
I could feel the panic rise. Tears streamed down my face.
Amber, this is not helping. You have to stop crying. If Vince sees you crying he’ll know you’re scared.
The more I tried to control my tears, the more they flowed.
I took a deep breath, sat down in a chair, closed my eyes and did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed.
Dear God…Vince’s mom…my grandpa…Michelle (Bauman)—anyone who is on the other side—I need you. Please be with us right now. Help me to feel you and know I’m not alone.
I started to feel better. More centered. I stopped crying.
A rush of nurses and doctors came in. We were on the move, heading to the operating room. Vince was conscious, though clearly feeling the morphine. I was happy he wasn’t in pain.
We arrived at the second floor nurses station—just before the operating room. They asked us to wait there. I could feel my heartbeat increase. We were almost to the point where I had to leave Vince, step into the waiting room, and face the unknown.
I started to feel the fear rise again when the operating room nurse came out to greet us. In a gentle, loving tone, she said: “Hi. I’m Michelle. You must be Vince. I’ll be by your side throughout the entire surgery.”
I gasped slightly and welled with tears. Out of all the names in the world, Vince’s nurse, was Michelle. One of the most significant people in my life, my coach, Michelle Bauman, passed away from cancer the end of 2015. It felt like she was with us. This was, as she used to say, a cosmic wink—a message from above! In that moment, I knew we were going to be ok.
Thank you, Grace.
Vince made it through surgery. We spent a week in the hospital—and then, a period of about seven months working on his full recovery. Today, he’s back to his normal self (for better or worse!).
This was the most meaningful experience of Grace in my life. Given it’s this month’s theme in my monthly newsletter, it seemed fitting to share this story.
As I look back over all that occurred, one thing is clear: Grace is always available. It’s waiting for us to choose it.
Grace shows up in a million different ways every day. Sometimes it supports us through life and death situations. Sometimes it delivers us the perfect parking spot when we’re running late for a meeting. Sometimes it shows us the best next step in our creative path. Sometimes it helps us to say no and take time for ourselves. And, sometimes, it doesn’t feel like Grace at all—until years later when we see the learning more clearly.
January is often a month of doing. It’s a time where people go after their goals full force and head strong. I’m all for goal-setting and goal-getting; however, what I’ve learned is that the process tends to work best when I remember to invite in Grace, and remind myself that I don’t have to “do it” all on my own.
One way you can do this is by simply stating your intention to receive Grace each day. For example, say out loud, “I am willing to Let Life Love Me.” “I am open to receiving Grace in my life.”
Hollie Holden, Dr. Robert Holden’s wife, and I dive into this topic more fully—including additional ways to support yourself in experiencing Grace in your life. In our recent interview we get into questions like: What is Grace? How does one experience it? How can it help us reach our goals/intentions?
You can download this interview for free right here. You’ll also receive my Grace playlist. (Music is another form of supporting yourself in inviting in Grace.)
I’m curious about how you balance grit and Grace in your life. What are some practices that support you? Also, do you have your own personal story of Grace?
I invite you to share your answers to these questions below in the comments. It’s a joy to be inspired by one another.
Thank you for reading and being a part of this Soul-centered community.
Wishing you Fierce Loving (with a hearty dose of Grace)!
PS: I’ve created a new section on the blog called, The Four Marriages. This is a place where I’ll be sharing my vulnerable learnings as I walk the path to saying “I do.” You can see more here.