This last year has been one with far too many turns in the road, too many to even begin to share. So, I will begin with what brought me to where I am today...What's in the heart?
Late one Saturday evening, at the end of Spring we received a phone call from our the management company we rented our home from, they were giving us less than 2 weeks to vacate the house because it sold. Rather than battle the legal timing, etc. we began packing and moving everything to a storage unit. With no where to live, we were then offered a room at a friend's and one at our son's home. We chose to stay at our son's.
We began the process of getting approved to buy a home rather than continue to rent...qualification went through, we then began the house hunt - can I just say that it looks much easier on the HGTV program! Yikes, what a process. During this time, which was really only a few weeks, we found the home we wanted and then the wait for the final approval from the bank began.
During this wait we discovered our storage unit had been robbed!!! Someone cut our lock off, stole over $4,000 worth of tools, plus our tv and a family "heirloom"..."my treasured camping box"!!! How could they?
Then on July 16th, we signed papers for our home and began the process of moving in! All of this was miraculous in so many ways, especially since we put an offer on the home May 30th - not even 2 months from start to finish!
BUT...a lot happened during that time and I don't want to bore you with a long list...result came to this:
9/13/14...Our son and his fiance got married in our backyard, it was a beautiful event. Just a simple country pasture style setting. The week after the event we began to talk about how now we could just slow down and start enjoying our new home and life here! We were ready for a break from 4 months of pure STRESS!
My life changed drastically on 9/25/14
I woke up in middle of the night with an urgency to pray, just knowing something was terribly wrong...perhaps one of my children were in trouble, or grandchildren! I rolled over to ask my husband to pray with me but he wasn't there!!! I called out in the dark...He was sitting at the end of our bed saying his chest hurt, I prayed over him then he said how his jaw and arm hurt also - I'm scared!!! RED FLAGS...this can't be happening. I got ready and we headed to the emergency room. This was just a few weeks before our 35th anniversary, and it was also the first time I have ever taken him to the ER for anything.
My husband was always so healthy, active: long bike rides, mountain hiker, etc., always doing something active. Not overweight, no high cholesterol, no family history of heart problems. As the cardiologist said there were no "RISK FACTORS" no red flags! In fact, when they ran the tests in the ER it did not even reflect a heart attack, but, the doctor said his gut told him to call a cardiologist because something was wrong.
5 days later my husband underwent a triple bypass open heart surgery!!! Nothing prepares you for this moment in life, and no one can communicate all the emotions, and changes that you are about to experience. The hurt in my heart that he may not be with me...fighting the fears and doubts was the hardest.
So, do I begin to stress through this whole process? What good will it do if we both end up with open heart surgery and unable to care for each other? Matt 6:33 tells us to not worry about any of these things, so while he was in the hospital prior to surgery I made a decision to just give it up to God. I didn't know how He could take care of everything but I needed to trust completely and just focus on my husband.
The doctors were struggling as much as I was because there were no answers to pin this too. They soon discovered once in there that he'd had multiple heart attacks recently - only key connecting point was one culprit: STRESS
It's so easy to tell ourselves we're doing ok and getting through each stress point that occurs; but, we lie to ourselves more than to others. Warning signs were there but we were blinded to them - why? Because they didn't fit the lifestyle he lived, they didn't apply to him...it wasn't a textbook case!
Thank God that He brought my husband through that surgery without complications. I brought him home 2 days before our anniversary - we didn't go out dancing this year - but we were together. This has given us both an entirely new perspective on life.
- John 3:16 means more than it ever did before to him, he already had a wonderful relationship with Christ but this changed it to a deeper revelation
- Love is what matters
- People matter - he said that he now understood how I've always felt about every life being valuable
- Not taking anything in life for granted
- Slow down and just live - stuff doesn't matter
- Reaffirmed that you never take anything in life for granted - it can all change in a split second
- Pay attention to the warning signs
- Enjoy my life with my husband and family
- I now have the most amazing God talks with my husband, these are worth more than anything else to me.
- Opening my heart to believe that others truly care...trust has always been a HUGE issue in my life
This healing journey is a hard one because I want to fix it all for him right now and I can't. It's been many sleepless nights, discomfort, renewing his mind to not being able to move or do some of the simplest actions we take for granted. Like opening a glass sliding door, reaching over his head, or just moving one arm at a time - these are all NOs in the healing process. Then my going back to work full time while he's still at home unable to do a lot of things has required even more trust in the Lord on my side. Financial concerns, daily needs, etc.
I have experienced one miracle after another since that moment in such various ways:
- Fuel gift cards given to me to cover my travel from hospital, work etc.
- 2 different people contacted me offering to pay my next 2 mortgage payments
- Co-workers took up donations that totaled multiple thousands of dollars!!! (I don't work with high paying execs. so this is HUGE in itself, the unselfish giving of others in this way)
- A friend from church came and blew my sprinkler system out
- My brother-in-law came and took care of tree branch issues, gutters and taught me how to cover my outdoor water faucets.
- My son brought out a hospital bed for his dad and set it up
- My son-in-law came and chopped kindling to be ready for the weather change
- Meals were brought to us
- There are so many other provisions...all from a "heart choosing to trust"!!!
But, here's the biggest miracle of all: not once have I asked God why? It's not about the why me in life, it's about the what do I need to do to walk through this and believe you will bring good out of a terrible event? There are a lot of good changes already occurring and right now we can't see what's on the other side of this; but, I know the One who does and He's got it all taken care of. I'm choosing to Trust In God with my whole heart - I'm not naive at all, I know it won't be easy, but it will be the safest place for me.
What's in your heart? Where do you want to be in your daily life? Think about it...remember, nothing is guaranteed in life except for the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. John 3:16 As my husband now says: it's that simple!