Can God Find Me Anywhere? Even in a Restroom?
By Lori Freeland –
I ran down the hall desperate for a quiet place to meet God. Around the corner, through an old wooden door, an alcove hid a tiny restroom in the north end of the hospital. I pushed through the door and locked myself in the cold, grey refuge of the single stall. A knot formed in my chest, tight and suffocating.
“Lord, please. I need to be alone. Don’t let anyone need to use this restroom.”I stared at the chipped, stained tiles. Would God meet me here? In a worn, broken down, dirty restroom?
Footsteps echoed outside the door. I held my breath as they paused, then continued on.
Unexpected laughter bubbled up and I sagged down onto the worn toilet seat, balancing over the oval shaped hole. Even if this was an odd venue to beg for Kyle’s life—it painted an accurate picture of the day.
Was it better to leap right into the begging or make a bunch of lame promises first? God knew it all anyway. And my time alone was limited. Straight to the begging seemed the best option.
“First, I need you to forgive me. For getting too busy for You. Please don’t be too busy for me.” I flexed my foot, moved my ankle in a circle. Fixated on my dirty shoes.
The air conditioner kicked on and I slid forward on the seat.
Shaky laughter escaped, echoing through the bathroom. “Lord, please. I don’t want to do this. I’m not strong enough. The whole concept of You only give what I can handle? Well, I can’t handle it.”
I rubbed my palms along the rough fabric of my jeans. “I don’t want to handle it. So maybe we could do something else instead? Something easier? I could get sick.”
I stared at my wedding ring. Watched the diamond sparkle under the fluorescent light. “Or Pat? He could get sick. What about a fire? Tornado?” My bitten off nails dug into my legs. “Pat could lose his job. That would be character building.”
I squeezed my eyes together. “Pick something else. Please. I’m begging from a toilet seat.”
I paused to give God time think it over. But there was no great booming voice.
“You could wave the last few days away.”
The air conditioner chugged louder. Tears escaped and I turned my face to wipe them against my shoulder. “This isn’t supposed to be my life.”
The shape of the hard porcelain indented the bottom of my thighs so I stood. “You’re not letting me out of this, are You?” I sagged against the smooth metal wall. Slid down to the floor.
“I guess we’re going with cancer then.” Goosebumps formed on my back where my tank top scooped down.
“I can’t do this alone. And I can’t waste time and energy wondering if You caused this, or allowed this, or could have stopped this. I need to feel Your love, Your goodness. Every day. You are my rock.”
Tears rolled down my face—no point in trying to stop them. As the tears flowed, the hard knot inside my chest stretched and softened.
Still no booming voice.
But for the first time in days, my shoulders relaxed. A verse filled my head. “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” (Psalm 139:8 NIV). God could find me anywhere. He could fill me anywhere.
That day, six years ago, God found me in the restroom of the Children’s Hospital. He heard my plea and answered. No, He didn’t take it away or swap it out for something else. But He met me where I was, in that dirty old broken down restroom, lifted me up and reminded me why He was my rock. Throughout the entire four-year journey, I walked alongside my son with God as the glue that held us together. And not for one minute did I question His love.