Unity is a healing ministry. Its teachings point us inward where, if we let go and listen to inner wisdom, our body-mind surrenders and heals into wholeness. I was reminded of this one Sunday morning in March 2015 when I doubled over in abdominal pain. My husband David and I had been out with friends the evening before, but I knew this was more than food poisoning.
I cried out to David and called a friend to cover our church service as David drove me to the hospital. At first, the emergency room doctor wanted to give me a prescription for pain and send me home. I knew that was not right. I told her scar tissue had formed before in my abdomen from previous trauma. As I rose from the bed, my blood pressure skyrocketed, and I suddenly collapsed. They called in a trauma surgeon and I felt relieved that I had trusted my inner wisdom, knowing I needed more than a prescription.
After CT scans showed a blockage, I had emergency exploratory surgery on Monday as my colon had ruptured and I had become septic. They cleaned my abdominal lining, wrapped me in bubble wrap, and gave me a paralytic and IV antibiotics to flush out the toxins. I was intubated, and I ballooned up from fluids. My husband, daughter Jill, and son Steve were with me. Seeing them gave me the courage to surrender to what was happening.
The surgery continued on Tuesday morning. My surgeon removed the part of my colon that had died, and I was given an ostomy bag and told a reverse ostomy could be performed once the colon healed in four to five months.
After 10 days on a ventilator, an attending physician suggested he would do a tracheotomy. My body reacted violently, and yet again I surrendered, thinking if that was what I had to do to see my children and grandchildren again, I was willing.
I felt at peace when a few hours later, a different doctor ordered a respiratory test that showed my numbers were good and the ventilator could be removed.
One of the requirements for leaving the ICU is that you must walk to a chair. Wanting to hasten my progress, I insisted on attempting this. A nurse came to assist me because I was weak. My heart pounded so hard I thought I was having a heart attack. I went deep into the stillness of my being, unable to communicate. My trauma surgeon tried to speak with me, and when I could not reply he ordered an electroencephalogram (EEG). In my mind I feared trying to walk had set me back.
After the scan, I was taken to a room on a regular floor where a nurse massaged my legs. In a soothing voice, she told me, “We can bring you back, but you have to want to live.” I remained still, and a revelation surfaced within me: The room, this hospital, the universe was a living, breathing organism.
I heard a voice within say, Stop and let me heal you. A comforting silence enfolded me, and I knew I would survive.
My family, friends, and congregants held the high watch and did what was needed to continue our ministry. They supported us with prayers, food, and visits. Guest speakers covered the 14 Sundays I was away. I returned to the pulpit in June and had a reverse ostomy in late July.
The entire experience was an intensive teaching about healing through surrender. What I rediscovered is that the first step to healing is to let go and let God. We do this through quitting the struggle and surrendering to what is. In the stillness of acceptance, we rise into a realization that we are a part of and surrounded by a universal energy whose nature is to heal.
In stillness we accept into us this continuous healing energy and experience the truth Rev. Mary Kupferle long ago wrote: God is healing you now.