Sunday, November 30, 2014

Can God do more miracles than we hope for?

I want to continue what I promised. Filling you in on the things I remember, the fight for life and the fight to hold on to the one thing I person I did know held me in His hands, God. So this is the next two weeks or so of my adventure.

The next night was when my poor husband was told I needed a heart valve replacement. My heart valve had a bacteria on it and endocarditis. The blood was just sloshing around in my heart and not going out very well. My body was still in organ failure along with a high fever that wasn't coming down and surgery was not possible until they could get the infection under control. My blood pressure was rising and falling so they were constantly pushing medicine to keep it going. They were going to transfer me to another hospital for the surgery but there was yet another problem. I didn't have insurance. I was always the one who was mostly healthy, no real problems. Insurance had to wait. Our budget was too small. So without insurance they had to find a hospital and surgeon willing to take my case. Thankfully, and again an answer to prayer, the cardiologist at my hospital had a surgeon friend at another hospital that was willing. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Again they didn't know if I would survive. They had given me medicine to put me in a deep sleep, almost a state of coma so that my body would heal but it was still fighting that infection. They wanted me awake for surgery so they took me off the medicine to wake me up, but I wouldn't wake up. When they received me at the new hospital and I wouldn't wake up for three days, the Doctor asked for a CT Scan to see if maybe I had a stroke. Evidently stroke victims like to sleep. When the scan came back, it definitely showed a stroke but it also showed that my brain was completely swollen. As my neurologist later told me “Your brain was like mashed potatoes!”

This was another huge setback. The Doctor again explained for the second time that I might not make it. He was going to re-do the scan in a couple of days and if the brain was healing then we would go from there, if the brain didn’t heal we were talking about a completely different scenario because that meant the brain was dying. I can’t even imagine what my family and friends were going through and down the roller coaster we went.

But God! They took the CT scan again in three days and it was not what anyone expected. The Doctor came to my husband to tell him my brain was completely healed. In three days it had completely healed itself. He exclaimed “I had nothing to do with that, only God”.

God had now done three huge miracles in two weeks’ time but was another one possible?

My brain was cleared, the fever was finally going down and my organs were working again except my heart. I needed a heart valve replacement. The surgeon called the Cardiologist. He wasn't sure if he even needed to do the surgery.  My body was not ready to withstand the surgery and if I contracted an infection I would not make it through the event. The Cardiologist told him that either way the outcome would be the same, I would /could die. At least I had a small chance with the surgery and if I didn't survive, well, I wasn’t going to without the surgery.

If I were sitting on the other side of bed, I am not sure how I would feel. I am not sure if I would even have enough in me to ask God for one more miracle. My family and friends though stood vigil, they prayed, they held my husband’s hand, they held my daughter close to their heart. In the midst of all of this, my daughter was still in the hospital and my husband was going to both hospitals as much as he could. Thankfully she was finally released from her hospital in time for my surgery.

So, the day before my daughter’s eighteenth birthday that had so many other plans than being in a hospital, before all this happened, I had surgery. God was so gracious with His love and I made it through that surgery with flying colors and healing began.  But there was so much healing to be done. My body was so weak. According the Doctors, I was Septic the week before I went to the hospital and the infection had been in my body for a long time. I had been sick a lot longer than I even knew.

The recovery was very hard. When I woke up, really woke up, I was back at the original hospital and that is when it started. The things I remember before my eyes and brain finally caught up with each other is foggy and dreamy. There are so few things I do remember but I do remember finally waking up because that was so hard. The reality of everything that happened came crashing on me like being caught in an undertow. People around me were praising God about all those miracles they had witnessed but my miracle started when I woke up.

When I first woke up, I could talk but I couldn't read. I could think but I couldn't move any muscle in my body. I could want things, ice, food and other things but I could do nothing for myself. I was completely paralyzed. I had so many questions. I was so scared. I didn't know how I would be and what God had planned but I held on to hope and determination.

And today we have come to a new crossroad. A crossroad of Faith, Hope and knowing…..facing the good, the bad and the best in relationships and in my own heart. Watching God again take my heart and forge a new path in it.

Thank you for listening, the next few weeks were terribly hard. Recovery was the toughest place for me and I want to take my time through that.  So next time…we will laugh, cry and praise God for all that He is, He does, and the love He gives.
In His Loving Grip

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Being Thankful

It is amazing to me to see the seasons go by, they seem to flow one into another. I enjoy them all but now we are heading into the Holiday Season. What a precious blessing this year is to me. We don’t always stop and think, “I might not be here next Thanksgiving so let me make sure this is taking care of”.  The next big event.  We are all human, we know life is going to go from one day to the next. But what if it didn’t? What would life be without you in it? What would your family be doing without you in it?
As I start the decorating, the cooking, the cleaning, these things float through my mind. But also, why am I still here? What difference does it make? The struggles are harder now, not easier. I have burdened my family more now than ever before. The mountain of bills, the constant help they have to give me, the things I can’t do without them….some days it is so overwhelming. There seems to be no end.
Now before you start down the road of “Oh my goodness” you have to know, things happen in your life and those thoughts float through your mind. We don’t talk about it, we don’t look at it long, but there are thoughts that we all keep close to our hearts that tug on our faith, our heart, and honestly at times our hope. But as those dark, heavy clouds start covering the sky, I personally cry out and ask the God of all things for the rainbow.
This is why I love seasons, the Holiday season is here! The rainbow J Things are slowing down, Olivia is off for Thanksgiving break, Dean is happily working, he is really enjoying his new job as Minister of Music and I get to take my time this year.  This is the first time that I ever remember that I am not working. I get to take my time to cook and decorate. I have time to listen to my daughter.
She is growing into quite a young lady. It amazes me at what she endures and still is strong and loving and caring. This summer was quite hard on her and it has taken months for her to work through everything. I didn’t realize how much I impacted her life. How much she depended on me, or how much she truly loved me. But, I do now.
If this is the only reason God spared my life, it is worth it. On Friday, her last day of school, we were discussing things that had gone on at school. Things she wanted to talk about it. During the conversation she talks about this character she is developing in her book, how she finally believed God because she saw God heal this little girl. As she was regaling her story with all the drama I stopped and just looked at her. It occurred to me that she was talking about herself. The miracle that she was trying to talk about was the one about her Mom. So I just asked, “Is that story really about you and I?” She looked at me sheepishly at first but then bolder and said “yes”. Mom, I felt like you would be okay, but, when I had doubts I begged God to save you and He did. When you were getting better, I knew that God was big and was able. I knew then I could trust him with everything.
I just started crying. There are a lot of things that I was upset about, how many things that have gotten worse from all of this but at that moment it was all worth it. It was worth every minute for my child, if for no one else, had solidified her relationship with the Lord. I know that sounds a bit extreme but there is nothing in life as strong and solid as a relationship with the Lord. When life throws you for a loop, when you need the faith to move a mountain but you only have enough to get out of bed, when you lose all hope but hang on to God’s hand, when things are good and you know the reason why….this is the most important thing in life. Knowing God and knowing Grace. That is a thankful heart, one that knows those things that matter more than what we can see. Because Faith is what pleases God.