Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Iris, the host of Thankful Thursday, is so gracious to host this meme and remind us to express our gratitude to God. Be sure to visit her blog and the other participants. You will be blessed by reading the outpouring of love for the blessings our Savior has given us.
This week, I am focusing on thanking God for His being the Great Physician. He is the source of my strength and my comfort. I love Him so much and I praise Him for the works of His hands and how he works through doctors.
Momma called Monday morning and said my uncle was heading up for an MRI. He had brain cancer and although it was successfully removed, he has a history of malignant melanoma from 20 + years ago that has recurred twice within about a year and a half. He wasn't feeling well Monday so he headed to town for an MRI. I texted him, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8 and said I was praying for him. I did. At the end of the day, we found out he had great results. Just some meds needed to be adjusted. No cancer.
A little before 10:00, my earthly father called and told me he was on his way to the hospital. My husband and I work a 2 blocks apart from each other, so while I was waiting on him to come pick me up, I kept thinking of that verse. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
I met Daddy just as he was walking through the door. I had an idea that it was his heart, as I knew he was going for a routine stress test that morning, but he didn't want me to go with him. Daddy's like that. He teared up and said, "I don't know exactly what's wrong." I reassured him that he would be fine and later found out he was anything but fine. In my mind, I'm thinking, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
We checked in and got up to the room more quickly than I've ever seen anyone move before and they hooked him up to a heart monitor practically before he was undressed. I couldn't think. I couldn't pray, but that verse kept going through my mind. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
After he was hooked up to a heart monitor I was assured that I could run downstairs and get a bite to eat and they would watch him. The minute I stepped off the elevator, my phone rang. All they would say was that there had been an event and my father needed me. Do you know how long it takes for an elevator to get there when you're waiting on it? Me either. I ran up 3 flights of stairs in 2 minutes. Only adrenaline and God pushed me up those steps. Well, God drug me up those steps. People coming down the stairs were saying, "Good for you! Keep it up!" like I was walking for my health. Uh-huh. I'm a big girl, ya'll, and there's no way I could do that again if I just tried on my own. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8 I huffed this verse more than prayed it.
When I walked into the room, there were about 6 people around his bed, and they were all wearing uniforms. Daddy was crying, which is unusual. He kept saying, "I don't feel anything." I asked what was wrong and they said his heart had stopped for 6 seconds. They said he was okay but he wanted me. He wanted me. That's so sweet to be wanted. He said, "I don't know why I'm so emotional." I said, "Daddy, something's up with your heart - if it were me I would be doing a little more than crying!"
It kept doing this throughout the day Monday. It would alternate between racing and stopping. He didn't respond to the meds they gave him to try to regulate it so they just kept trying different things. They were watching him on a monitor and I finally had to tell them they were going to give him a heart attack if they kept rushing in like that. So every time it stopped just his nurse would come in and say, "You really didn't feel that?" He's working a word search puzzle and looks up and says, "What?"
I could not leave his side. My choice. I lost my verse. I was gripped by fear and was afraid that something would happen if I left. It did before, I reasoned. So Monday it was just me, Daddy, the heart monitor and the nurses. Monday afternoon the best cardiologist in the state walked through the door. I was so happy to see him. He is an expert in heart rhythm and is a good doctor. He's treated many of my family members and friends, including Momma and her mother.
The verse returned with the diagnosis. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8 But I still didn't leave him.
Tuesday Momma and Jenn came. Momma and Daddy have been divorced for about 12 years but with 35+ years of marriage and 3 children between them, the bond hasn't severed. I would venture to say that Momma loves Daddy still, she just can't live with him. (Good for her - she doesn't need to.) I was so glad. Jenn left her 3 week old baby with her mother-in-law and they were there for the duration. Daddy was a trooper! He did great and has had nothing stronger than an extra strength tylenol. I went to lunch with my sister, I think, or maybe my mother (I went down with both so neither would have to eat by themselves) and when I returned, Harriett was there. Oh, sweet Harriett! She's my sister by heart. She knows Daddy from work and Daddy loves him some Harriett. She also brought my birthday happy. It was so sweet. She is the best. a nutshell, Jimmy is fine, Daddy made it through his surgery fine and did not die on my birthday, no reaction to anesthesia, his pacemaker has him ticking at a normal rate, and my verse is back. I brought Daddy home from the hospital this morning and he called a while ago to tell me he was taking care of himself and was going to bed.
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
One thing I learned - when we lose our verse it's because we have started focusing on things at eye-level instead of on God, who is bigger than the things surrounding us. I was afraid and discouraged, but God removed the fear and encouraged me by the prayers of friends and by Jesus Himself when I couldn't pray on my own.
Thank you, Lord, for the promise of Your love. Thank you for the lessons learned this week, which include never to lose my verse. Thank you for taking such good care of Daddy, for sending Momma, Jenn and Harriett to the hospital, and for the love of family and friends. And thank you for rest. Sweet rest. And my bed. It has never felt so good. I feel so sorry for people who have no permanent place of rest. I cannot imagine, Lord. But You can. Show me how to help.


Lynn said...

Wow Laurie Ann,

I don't even know what to say to all these amazing events. I am so glad your Dad is okay and that the verse carried you. God is so very good.

Denise said...

God is still in the healing business, bless you my friend.

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

I knew something was going on. I was thinking it was your uncle. What a great birthday present you got!


Anonymous said...

great reminder about focus. while i was reading your post, i kept repeating to myself what happened next? i love your post and how God speaks to your heart through verses in the Bible. God bless you laurie ann.

Serendipity said...

This is so lovely! God is so good! Thank you for sharing this lovely post, Laurie Ann. God bless!

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

Made me cry...but happy tears. Love how the Lord gives us His Word to cling to! Thank you for sharing this with us!

Mary said...

I love that you kept the verse before you. No matter what, God's word is true and He was there for you, reminding you to not be afraid. Cause He's with you. He's so faithful. Thanks for sharing Laurie Ann. Blessings on your day.

Bogie said...

God is truly faithful. God Bless you!

Melanie said...

Oh, Laurie Ann, what a week you have had! I am so glad that both your uncle and your daddy are doing well!

I love this post.. such encouragement to look to God, a reminder of what happens when we shift our focus to fear, and then how God is still there when we change our focus back to Him.

The verse from Deuteronomy is such a great verse. I think I shall remember to keep this one close in times of fear and struggle and uncertainty.

I pray you have a chance to be quiet thru the weekend and relax and recover a bit from all the "excitement" earlier in the week. Blessing to you, my friend!

Denise said...

Our God is amazing! So glad that your daddy and uncle are doing well. Beautiful post.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh wow Wow WOW, this is an amazing post for eight thousand reasons. I cried through almost the whole thing. It is a very emotional day for me anyway, but you wrote this so well, I could picture being right beside you, running up the stairs with you, feeling your emotions. Another reason this is so powerful is that I have been looking for this verse for a week. I even did a Bible Gateway search and I could not find it. I kept telling a friend that the Lord would go before her, and I knew it was SCripture, but I couldn't find it, so I thought I made it up. Crazy how sometimes the Word gets so hidden in your heart that you can't find where it is. Anyway, Happy Birthday, and praise the Lord for your dad's health. Thank you for sharing this testimony of God's awesome power.

Nicole said...

There is something so special about your blog. When I came here I immediately started tasting, actually tasting, a grape taste, like a grape popcicle. I'm not quite sure if that will mean anything to you but I know I was to tell you. I believe it was from the Lord. You have a gift!

In His never ending Love,

Marsha said...

Wow! What a week! I will lift your family up in prayer. And happy birthday!

Have a blessed weekend.

Denise said...

Sweetie, I have an award for you over at my blog. I love you.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Oh Laurie ann
You've been through so much. It is so hard to see our parents go through tremendous health problems. I am so thankful your dad is okay and I am praying for you both!
God bless you sweet friend and happy belated birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! i AM SO GLAD YOU WERE CREATED AND I CELEBRATE YOU!
Love Lea

Dawn said...

Oh Lauri Ann what a week you've had. I'm so glad your dad is doing ok! Big ((((hug))) to you and one of these days we've got to do lunch so you can get your hug in person!

Susan said...

Oh Laurie Ann,

What a week! I'm just in awe on all that went on and how God literally carried you through, and your family as well.

So blessed things turned out the way they did.

Hope you get to rest now...

Blessings my sweet friend~

eph2810 said...

You are right. Sometimes we loose the sight of the Lord and we are gripped by fear...

I am glad that your dad made it through the surgery well and that his heart is not skipping a beat.

Thank you so much for sharing your grateful heart with us.

Be blessed today and always...