Jesus loves me this I know

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 knew.

God cared.

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 ~

Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
He gave His life in my place
to redeem me with His amazing grace.
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. WOW. I love the quote at the end. Being in Jesus' arms is the best place to be. I am so glad that you listened to Him. I tend to just react sometimes and I need to slow down and listen before I react. I also want you to know that I had to cancel my mammogram this summer. After reading your blog last week I called Monday morning and I had my mammogram yesterday. Your blog prompted me to do it. I called and they got me in the next day. That never happens. Praying for you and your whole family.
    Angela T Ramsey

  2. Dear Renee: Lifting you all up to Him continually.

    I love how you share your heart here about the conflicts you had about "being there" or your daddy. Sometimes being there is staying right where you are. God was so faithful to confirm that to you through family and friends.

    Often I find in the most difficult times where we want to "move and shake and do", He whispers quietly to our souls: "Be still. Be quiet. Wait on Me." Often we demonstrate our trust in His faithfulness more when we are still, quiet and waiting, rather than when we are moving and doing.

    Praying for good results tomorrow!
    Looking unto Him for you,
    Sharon

  3. Sweetheart, you have done so much for our family and we appreciate you!! I love you very much and am confident God will lead us through these difficulties as we trust Him!

    On the adventure with you…
    JJ

  4. Sweet Renee, Oh my, my, when I think of your plate right now, and how (in my mind) it's just over-flowing…God whispers to me, "She's my daughter, and I love her so, I would never give her more than she could handle." And, then I feel his warmth and love all over again! Just like you're doing, you focus on Him. His eyes see all, He's everywhere-right there with your precious family, and He has a perfect plan going on. We put all of our trust in Him alone. Glory to God.

    Thank you for blessing me time and time again with your beautiful and open-heart posts! What a blessing you are to so many of us!
    Hugs & prayers' coming your way,
    Lori – AZ

  5. I'm so glad your Dad is doing better. I love the simplicity of Jesus Loves Me. Sometimes we make faith so complicated, and that's all we need to know!

    Praying for you!

  6. I too love the quote at the end and when I think my plate is full….I think about you and yours! I especially love the comment from JJ! Praying for good results tomorrow and will be making an appointment for my annual mammogram which is over due!

  7. Great post friend,
    Glad to hear the news about your dad. Please know I'm praying for you as you wait to hear your results.
    Thanks for the reminder of the arms that holds us close.
    You are loved by many and we are here holding up your arms as you fight the battle that rage around you.

  8. Renee,
    You are indeed being lifted up by many. It is so hard for us to "be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him . . ." Psalm 37:7 All things happen, not in due time but in divine time. He has everything under control. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

  9. Praying Renee! God is using in such a mighty way. Rest in his peace. Sit in the lap of your Father. Blessings and PEACE too you!!!

  10. Not only is my heart filled with hope and assurance that God is surrounding you with His presence, but then I see JJ's post. *sigh* I just (heart) that. Seriously. My husband doesn't even know how to use a computer.LOL

    You are in my prayers, sister!

  11. Renee,
    ((((HUGS))). You have been trhough a lot. But what you said about the expectations we have of ourselves rang true for me. I also assume God wants me to show up. When, you're right, He doesn't need me at all. Why do I always assume I am there to be the rescuer? It could come from being the oldest child in the family. I was the one they relied on when Mom needed to find a surgeon, then oncologist, then other specialists, eventually the mortuary and funeral arrangements. My Dad also had a by-pass surgery, quintuple. But looking at him now 3 years after, you wouldn't even know he had one. I pray the same for your Dad.

    Continue to lean on Jesus. Continue on your child-like faith. Hold on to what you know instead of what you do not know.

  12. Jennifer Renee says:

    Renee, My heart is so full with prayer for you and your family. On Christmas Day I had time to just sit alone and think about you and I also thought about it being Aster's first Christmas. You are in my daily prayers.

  13. Renee, Jesus does LOVE you! You have shared your heart with us. I pray you feel the prayers you have received from your blog friends.May God give you peace and pour His blessing on you and your family in 2010. B in GB

  14. Good songs for getting through hard times:
    Even Now by Foolish Things

    Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns

  15. Here are links to those songs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReNjiLt54N8
    (Even Now by Foolish Things)
    "The feeling's gone, you're wondering
    If you heard Him wrong, if He's listening,
    The same old fear, the same old haze,
    Is God not here?
    Is His hand raised?
    Could this be part of any good plan?
    Seems to be you've fallen out of His hand, but
    He hasn't left you out to dry, even now.
    You haven't left His watching eye, even now…"

    Praise You In This Storm:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHdcyue0bSw

  16. Praying for you, you are such an encouragement and I appreciate how genuine you are.

  17. Sweet one, this could be a sermon.

    Prayers and blessings as you trust God through the coming days.

    Rebecca

  18. Renee, as I have been following your blog, I have been so blessed as I sense your faith inspite of some tough circumstances. Please know tha I am praying for all of your family through these challenging, yet faith-growing days!

  19. Renee,

    I am praying for you and your family. Thanks for reminding me how strong and comforting our beautiful Savior is. Keep leaning in His arms. . . .

    JD

  20. It does sound like a time for you to rest in sIS arms. Prayers

  21. Renee,

    I just started reading your blog today – a coincidence that could have only been divinely inspired. Exactly two weeks ago, I met with a surgeon to find out the results of a biopsy done on a lump in my right breast. Mine turned out to be benign; but I was so aware of how it could have gone the other way. I am praying for His peace for you, regardless of the outcome.

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