Thanks so much for praying for my dad, my mom and for my biopsy Monday. Last week I started to feel like I was making all this stuff up, but I promise it’s all true.
Many have asked about my dad so I thought I’d explain what happened. Last Monday night my younger brother, Brad, called. He’s my half brother but I love him like a “whole” brother. We share a dad but have different moms. Although we both love each others’ moms, too. We’re an odd family, but odd with God makes for some good stuff. Anyway, I digress.
Brad called to tell me that when my dad went to the hospital for outpatient surgery that day to have a stint put in, they discovered Dad had four blocked arteries. Two of them were 99% blocked. So Dad was immediately scheduled for quadruple bypass open heart surgery in two days – which ended up being Wednesday before Christmas.
My head started spinning with questions: How could I be a good daughter and sister and not jump in the car with my whole family and drive 12 hours to see my dad before surgery started? How can I call myself a Christian and not lay down my life for those I love? What if my dad dies and I don’t see him? I seriously didn’t know what to do.
JJ weighed it all out with me and started searching for flights online. But we also knew travelers were being stranded in airports for days due to bad weather. I suggested we all pile in the van and drive, but JJ has no time off work before the year ends and was assigned to a project launch he couldn’t miss.
The thought of driving by myself, or with my kids, all the way to FL without JJ was daunting. I posted a shout out for prayer on Facebook and to my P31 sisters. Soon after, JJ and I prayed and went to bed asking God to give us wisdom while we slept and direct our decisions in the morning.
When I woke up, I had a strong sense in my heart that God was telling me to wait. To slow down. To not assume I knew what it would look like to walk out my “faith” in this crisis. To listen to Him and talk to my brother.
I had assumed Brad expected me to come. But he didnt’. It was the opposite. When I talked to Brad, he encouraged me to stay home and wait until dad was out of the hospital. He told me he didn’t sense the Dr.’s concern at all about Dad making it through surgery. He thought it would be best for me to have a simple Christmas at home with my family and take care of myself and my mom.
Sometimes I get ahead of God. I think I know what would make Him more real to people. I assume it needs me to show up – when maybe He doesn’t need me at all. I think I know what He expects of me – but a lot of time it’s because I expect a little too much of myself.
A few friends, whose wise counsel I treasure, emailed me privately to encourage me to consider what all we’d be through in the past few weeks. All I could see was this crisis in front of me. But their emails helped me remember how much turmoil my kids had endured. Their words gave me permission to not be it all and do it all for everyone. I can’t. And if I don’t take care of me – then who will be here to take care of them?
I knew this was God’s answer to my cry for wisdom. My dad didn’t expect me to come. My brother didn’t expect me to come, and in my heart I truly believe God didn’t expect or want me to go. He wanted me to stay home and enjoy a quiet, peaceful, laced-with-laughter, restful day celebrating our first Christmas with Aster.
And you know what, my dad’s surgery went great. His heart is doing well, but he was having bad reactions to some of the meds and he was not himself at all. He became very belligerent and even had to be restrained for a few days.
God directed our steps.
And I believe He protected me from having to endure that.
My dad is doing much better, although still a little confused. But he’s in a normal room recovering now. And the time will come for me to go. I am looking forward to seeing my dad when he is home and able to visit with me and his grandkids for while without interruptions and irritations.
As far as me and my mom, we’re doing okay. We’re taking turns taking care of each other and Aster. Sadly, I can’t hold Aster until Weds night due to my incision from the biopsy. My procedure Monday was a little more complicated than they expected and upset me a little more than I anticipated. But we’re getting through.
I am resting in the arms of Jesus, letting Him comfort my heart when it feels sad and blanket my mind with peace when questions begin to tumble around.
My results should come back by Thursday and I’ll be sure to let you guys know when I know. I also take my mom to the Dr that morning to look into some severe pain and swelling she still has in her left leg. We think she may have torn her meniscus so she might need surgery soon.
Nothing in life is simple, but there is one truth that is ~
for the Bible tells me so.
He gave His life in my place
to redeem me with His amazing grace.