Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recently, I experienced being seriously ill. So far God has used that horror to teach me. He has also used those six scary days to give me something to write about. I might add here, my children and grandchildren were scared. Through the whole experience I was so calm it took my nurse/daughter four days to convince me that I was critical.

I wrote about this in my column, Every Now and Then, in the four weekly newspapers I edit. Hopefully, some reader was blessed by that column.

Every Now and Then
By Pat Radaker
Editor, Indiana Newspaper Group

Every now and then something happens to remind me that God desires to bring good out of the bad things that happen in my life. As his word tells us in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

I had the opportunity this past week to see how that applies to my life. Blacking out at work, going to the hospital by ambulance, and staying on a hospital floor that is one step down from ICU gave me time to think and pray as I waited, trying to avoid emergency surgery.

I have seen so many good things come from the experience already. First, had it happened a day later, Rachel would not have been there to call 911 when she found me, head on folded arms at my desk -- unresponsive. I thank God that he prevented the mail carrier from finding me dead at my desk -- something that could have easily happened.

Secondly, many people prayed for me. I believe had they not prayed I would have been rushed into a life or death situation demanding surgery.

Thirdly, those six days in PCU gave me many opportunities to practice patience. Sometimes I'm a little short in that department.

I still wear several multi-colored bruises on arms and hands where blood was drawn or IVs inserted. This experience had me in the hospital during Holy Week. As I meditated on the events between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, memories focused on the fact that my Lord was bruised for my sin, tortured, crucified to give me new life. My suffering did not compare with his.

After drinking my meals for four days, I really appreciated tasting, chewing, and swallowing food that was surprisingly good for hospital food.

I realized a deeper appreciation for my family -- a daughter who drove back and forth from Lafayette to Muncie to spend a night with me, go home to work the next day and drive back to Muncie the next day. When she took me home, she had done some cleaning in my apartment, allowing me to enjoy coming home all the more.

My 17-year-old granddaughter, who hopes to attend Ball State University in another year to study nursing, stayed with me when her mother had to go to work in Lafayette. She did dirty work while caring for me that most teens wouldn't even consider.

My sister stayed with me at times, relieving the others. Friends from church drove to Muncie to visit and pray with me. My pastor kept in close contact. And now I am home and anticipating a wonderful Easter service on Sunday.

By the time this column's published, Easter weekend will have gone by, but every now and then I'll gladly remember why we have so much to celebrate.

(Used by permission from my employers at Kentucky Publishing, Paducah, Kentucky.)

How has God used trouble in your life to enhance your writing life? Are you learning, as I am, to look for the good in those times of trouble, and to use them in fulfilling your calling to write? We'd like to hear from you.


  1. What an amazing story! God certainly blessed you in the midst of trial!

  2. Pat, wow...thanks for sharing your story. I'm thankful how the Lord worked in your life through various people and situations, and so glad you're okay! I haven't had a health scare, but I did have a job layoff that might have devastated some. I never shed a tear, and in fact, credit that time off from full-time work with giving me the gift of time the Lord knew I needed in order to get THE manuscript in front of the publisher who would publish it. There are blessings abundant sometimes in situations and experiences we never expect. And that's what makes it so miraculously wonderful! Blessings and good health to you!

  3. thanks for sharing your story, Pat. So amazing how God carried you through this experience. I've often found my best writing emerges from pain, and it amazes me how God uses those pieces to encourage others.


  4. Thank you very much for sharing this story with us, Pat. I'll keep you up in prayer.