Illness, particularly experienced in the hospital, often acts as a catalyst in pushing patients to question their beliefs, motivations and self-identity. One thing that many patients can agree on is that being in hospital “gives you a lot of time to think.” And taking a step back in order to think is not always something we do willingly. Why? Because in part, this act of stepping back also involves the process of stepping up and looking at our reflection in the mirror as we ask questions like: who am I, where am I at, and where am I going.
For some inpatients (and for us at different points in our lives) the choice as to our current circumstance feels as though it has been imposed on us. I can certainly remember the tears on my cheeks and that knot in my stomach as I drove away from the home where I knew every creaky floorboard. In moments of change we feel particularly vulnerable as we stand at the edge of the unknown. And as we gaze at this new bend in the road we realize that this is not the first time we have faced the unknown. It seems that change is a constant in our lives, whether it is voluntary or imposed, it feels as though we are often challenged to leave the ‘old’ behind and venture into the mysterious ‘new.’
Yet how do we face this certain and recurrent reality of standing at the edge of the unknown? Furthermore, in being invited to a personal relationship with God from the very first instance of our life, as we stand at this edge we must also ask ourselves: where is God in this for me?