When a Cough is Never Just a Cough

I know You're able and I know You can

Save through the fire with Your mighty hand

But even if You don't

My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt

Would all go away if You'd just say the word

But even if You don't

My hope is You alone

Even If - Mercy Me

Winter came and went. My kids brought home a total of 6 colds/viruses. We were uber-alert, wiping doorknobs and light switches nightly after the kids fell asleep. And it worked. I stayed healthy.


Then spring came and my allergies went into hyperdrive. I blame the allergies. I was off my game. Not as vigilant. And, so, I caught a bug. It went straight to my lungs, as bugs like to do. And I coughed.

We no longer have the luxury of assuming a cough is just a cough. Those days are over. Gone. A cough can always bring up more than just the usual junk. The next cough may be the beginning of another string of hospitalizations. Or the beginning of the end. It's always right there on the edge of our consciousness. Always. Always.

Sleep alludes as my lungs rattle and bubble. My mind wanders to realities not yet lived through. Horrors not yet imagined. I cannot stop the aimless wanderings. I can only acknowledge the truth of their possibility. Those realities are possible. If God does not intervene.

I know you understand. Some of my closest friends have similar fears forever threatening to take them captive. For them, a cough is simply a cough. However, maybe, like you, ...

  • a new spot on your husband's neck is never just a spot

  • a fever in your child with someone else's heart beating in her chest is never just a fever

  • an odd moment of fuzzy sight is never just an odd moment

  • a stuttered word is never just a stuttered word

  • a forgotten name is never just a forgotten name

  • an angry child is never just an angry child

My heart longs for the day when it can truly rest. When a cough can simply be a cough. Nothing more. I don't think I can have that completely in this life. But I do believe I can grow towards that rest. For me, that means getting to a place now, on this side of eternity, where a cough can indeed begin another nightmare but it cannot break me. Where Fear can ride in the car, but he doesn't get to drive. He certainly gets a seat. I acknowledge the fear that comes with every cough, but this week, I put him in the backseat. Or the trunk. He didn't get to have control.

I did what I always tell you to do when Fear comes knocking. I told my best friends. I admitted my fear that this cough may get ahold of me and ruin all kinds of graduation plans we have for Joshua. I asked them to pray for me. And I specifically asked them to pray for Fear to not take control. My friends can do that. They DID do that.

My lungs are broken and will never be whole until I see Jesus face-to-face. Could he heal me here on earth? YES, a resounding yes! He could do it in just a word. (See Genesis 1, Mark 4:39, Mark 8) We have prayed for him to heal my lungs and I know he could if he chose to. Wouldn't we throw a party to celebrate that?!! But even if he doesn't, I trust him because he could. I choose to hope in him and those are not just words I throw around. I hope for the day when a cough is simply a cough because one day, my lungs will be whole. It is a certainty.

So even if...