Bigger Than You

I remember the smell the most. You never forget that smell.

Next is the beeps. Slowly (but not too slowly) if all is normal, rapidly if all is not.

Lastly it's the sound of the curtain being pulled back. Once again, slowly if it's a friend dropping by to hold my hand, rapidly if it's a nurse rushing in to save the day.


I remember it all. I remember the day. I sat alone in an ICU by my husband's bedside, knees to my chest underneath layers and layers of sweatshirts. Because for some reason even when it's July it's freezing in a hospital. Or maybe I was just shivering in fear. Quite possible the latter.


I sat in that chair, gently rocking back and forth. Praying. Always praying.

Today I was asking the question I'd asked many times over. “God, we need a miracle. Please. Please heal my husband.”

Over and over again I asked. Most days feeling as if my prayers were hitting the ceiling, some days as if my prayers didn't matter at all.


Rarely did I receive many answers. Certainly not the answers I was searching for; the answers to the how's, the whys. It didn't keep me from asking…repeatedly.

But it's what you do, right? It's what you do when you're in the direst situation of your life. You ask. You pray. You believe. 


But I remember that day. The day I heard something back. Like the smallest whisper to my heart.


"Sarah, it's bigger than you. It's bigger than what is happening even in this room. Just trust me. It’s bigger than what your eyes can see."

My questions began.

“Ok...but what does that mean? Does it mean Joel will get better? Is everything going to be ok? That's really what I would like, some confirmation here.”


Silence. Nothing further.


All through the night I couldn't get it out of my head. "It's bigger than you."

I heard the phrase again many times from that moment on. Always like a whisper.


It came on the dreadful days.


My husband's death-it's bigger than you.

His memorial service-it's bigger than you.

Coming home to my Fatherless child-it's bigger than you.


It came on the happy ones.


The day I found out I was pregnant with Ellis-it's bigger than you.

The amazing day of her birth-it's bigger than you.


Yes, it even came when I was once again in an ICU, with that same beautiful baby girl; feeling the exact same doubt, questions, fears-it's bigger than you.


"Sarah, it's bigger than you. It's bigger than what is happening even in this room. Just trust me. It’s bigger than what your eyes can see."


When I was a little girl I loved to look at stars. There was something so magical about looking up, seeing the vastness of the universe. It made me seem as if I was so small, yet I never felt insignificant.

Because even though I believed there was ultimately some big, great plan God had for mankind, I always felt like I had a part to play in it.

The very feeling, under an umbrella of stars, that gave me so much comfort as a child is the same thing that gives me comfort now.

The belief there is a larger plan at work, that no matter how large it is I have a role to play in it all. In the grand scheme of things I’m not sure what that role will be. Yet even though it may be small, it’s not insignificant. It’s just more than I can see.

That is what keeps me moving forward, out of the muck and mire of doubt and uncertainty. It's somehow bigger than me.


I am surrounded by sad stories, daily. We all are. The stillborn child. The young man with cancer. The couple killed in a car accident. There are frequently horrific tales to be told. So much of it is hard to wrap my brain around.

In most ways I've stopped trying. It’s too much to reason or understand. My biggest breakthrough was when I started to trust that His thoughts and ways are so much higher than mine. Truly, trusting in who He is.

It’s not simple, but to me, the essence of my faith is just that-what I'm believing in is truly in faith. 


Remember your first true love? When everything was perfect. They were perfect. Life was perfect. Love is really easy in perfection. It's when it gets tested that things get tricky. It's when the hurtful moments happen-the things you don't quite understand, that reveal the true nature of love.

Same could be said of faith. True faith is tested in the fire. I'm not talking about faith that "believes" and "stands on" every easily quotable scripture.

I'm talking about the confidence and belief that still exists when the unthinkable happens.

When life doesn’t make sense. When you believed God’s word and it still doesn’t happen. When your heart is broken and your strength is failing, but you’re still willing to hold on. Because somehow, somehow there has got to be more to this picture than what I’m seeing.

I choose to believe it's bigger than me. It was bigger than a sickness. Bigger than a hospital room. Even bigger than death. All of it is bigger.


Faith is defined as confidence or trust in a person or thing. I can’t always have confidence in a situation, but I have found my only answer is confidence in the person at the helm of a situation. 

To some that may look like I'm taking the easy way out. I assure you it's not. To believe in spite of what I see, is actually the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

Because it doesn't make sense. So much of it just doesn't make sense.


That's because it's bigger than me. It's bigger than what I see. I only see a fragment, a piece. I'm only looking dimly through a mirror.

I choose to believe that one day I'll know, just as I'm known. I choose to believe one day all wrong things will be made right. I choose to believe. Sometimes with white-knuckle grip, I choose it. For me there is no other choice to be had.

At my core I believe not in something but in Someone. I believe in redemption, beautiful redemption.


Under galaxies and millions of stars, on the flat Oklahoma countryside, on this little planet called Earth, sits a little girl looking up at a great big sky.

There is a plan for her life, no doubt. She's got a part to play in all of this, somehow. She may be small but she's not insignificant.

She’s not writing the script but her role is bigger than she even knows.