Christmas Eve, a doctor at the urgent care clinic ducked into the room where I was getting oxygen through tubes in my nostrils.

“The CT scan shows blood clots in your lungs,” the doctor said quickly. “We’re transferring you to the hospital—stat.”

Minutes later I showed up at the ER, coughing up blood. Once in a wheelchair, I was swept into an ER room and immediately had x-rays, an EKG, and oxygen tests.

Once admitted, I spent the next three days in the hospital and was diagnosed with life-threatening lung and leg clots. Yikes!

Friend, what are your thoughts on the following? Share them as comments below.

My friend Barbara knew I’d been sick for weeks and had encouraged me to see a doctor. I dragged my feet, feeling like the ups and downs of my upper respiratory illness couldn’t be all that bad. But when I found out about the clots, I beat myself up.

Q. How do I serve an eviction notice to the coulda shoulda wouldas in my head: “You are so slow! You’re in for it now!”

While most families were home chowing down on ham, pie, and candy canes, I was on my back in the hospital, sipping water from a blue bendy straw in a plastic hospital cup, hanging out with Tim and Emily.

Q. What’s the best way to frame a time of isolation away from fun events like Christmas Eve services and carols?

Remarkably, most of our gifts sit unopened beneath the Christmas tree in our living room. A series of medical appointments, long naps, and new insurance coverage paperwork gobbled up my days. Present-opening fell to the roadside.

Q. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual (1 Cor. 15: 46). I figure that the natural realm often reflects what’s happening in the supernatural. What prophetic image is the Holy Spirit releasing in this pile of unopened gifts?

This is my third round of blood clots. I had clots in my legs 23 years ago with a pregnancy and 4 years ago following a serious car accident. No event to blame this time. Medical evidence says that I’m now vulnerable to more life-threatening lung clots, a stroke, or a heart attack.

Q.  How do I silence the voices in my head that whisper, “What if . . . ?” And “What then . . . ?” And “Fear this!” What will displace them?

I’ve compiled emails and texts from friends into one document and am reading and rereading these prayers and Scriptures.

Q. What is the most important thing in stewarding these new prophetic words when discouragement tries to sneak in?

Update January 4,  2017: I saw doctors yesterday and today. The clots in my lungs and legs are continuing to gradually dissolve. Lung pain seems to spike in the evening. The coughing has gradually slowed and oxygen levels are good. I go for short walks and my appetite is slowly increasing. I welcome your prayers!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

(Photo courtesy of IStock)