This year has had us on our toes, but even more so, on our knees.
It really should have come as no shock when we learned that my heart had taken a decline this year. After learning that heart surgery was imminent, it brought some relief, knowing that the waiting period was ending. Since I was 17, I was told I may eventually need another open heart surgery and now here we are, 16 years later.
We accepted the news with relative peace, knowing that this too, is all part of God’s plan. That this too, is all to spread the name and grace of Jesus Christ. But woven within that relative peace was the lurking fear that what if, things did not go as planned? Just what if, I did not make it?
I would love to sit here and say that I have been free of the fear of not dying from my heart failing. I’d love to sit here and say that my faith has always had me flying and that I have had 100% trust in God. I’d love to sit here and say that my mind has been clear of thinking about moving on to eternity, while leaving my family behind. But it hasn’t. It’s just hard to not have it go there when dealing with a heart condition.
I know that we have been beyond blessed in all the changes and happenings in our life this past year. God’s love, grace, compassion, care, and sovereignty screams at us. But even through the screams, I still listen to the whispering voice of fear. Maybe it’s also a voice of reality, but it’s not an easy voice to listen to, but I choose to tune in.
On the way to my heart test and appointment this week, Dan and I once again, had “the talk.” The talk about what if I did not make it through the surgery? We have had this conversation in the past – on our drive to the hospital, before I gave birth to Mazy. A situation that proved that life and death truly are not in our hands. A situation that has us where we are today, but a situation I would do over again, 100 times. After retaining an incredible amount of fluid after giving birth, my heart went into severe failure and has never fully recovered. It has had it’s ups and downs, but as of today, my mitral valve is completely toast and my tricuspid valve is on the brink.
We’ve been in this scenario before, but on that drive yesterday, it hit me again – what if?
A few weeks ago, I had told a friend to pray because one day I was overwhelmed with the thought of leaving Mazy behind. I typed it via text because I didn’t feel comfortable saying it in person. But I needed to express my fear. Her response was definitely of God, as she reminded me to not fear and not let it creep in. And she was so right.
And then yesterday we received yet some more life-changing news. That the risk level of my surgery by this surgeon would only be 1%. I did not forget to put a zero in there. ONE PERCENT.
I once again, started to tear up after the surgeon gave us the statistics. My how far heart surgeries have come! God KNEW the conversation we had on the way to the doctor/surgeon yesterday. God KNEW I needed to be given verbal confidence. God KNEW what I needed to hear. Outside of possibly being told that they could go through the rib cage instead of the sternum, that was the second best news we could have heard.
Though really, the percentage should not matter. My trust in God shouldn’t be contingent on statistics. I can’t think about Mazy wondering where mommy is, if I don’t make it. I’ve let my mind go there and it only brings me into a deep level of fear. That night after meeting with the surgeon, when she woke up a few times due to nightmares (she once thought bugs were in her bed), I stepped into her room with a little more speed, knowing I just treasure that little girl, so much more, thanks to the reality of our life’s situation. Trust me, those long nights are NOT always easy. I do not always walk in with joy; sometimes with frustration! Just friend request me on Facebook and you will hear me telling the story of the night before my TEE, as I was coming out of sedation, and how Mazy woke up a few times that night. Dan videotaped some absolutely hilarious moments of me expressing my life via sedation – you will learn more about me than you ever care to know! If you need a good laugh, I guarantee these videos won’t disappoint.
I am not void of having fear, but God continually sends me small and big reminders that I am not the holder of my life, but the sovereign King is. And truthfully speaking, our prayer is that however God is most glorified, that is what we want with our life. But fear is not of God, so therefore it should not be of me either.
The what ifs in life will always loom for every person on this earth. It’s choosing to not give into the fear of them, that is the key. I want God’s word to scream all the more, that HE has a good and perfect plan for our life. I feel He is not done with me, but that is not for me to decide. What I DO know is that today, I have the chance to live for Him. God could take any one of us at any time, in any way. But that should not cause me to fear, but cause me to fall on my knees all the more, in surrender to Him. HE’S GOT THIS. He has proven His faithfulness to our family time and time again.
So I am going to keep running full force towards November 30 and keep running full force for a life after too. With no fear of the what ifs, but with confidence in God’s perfect plan for our life.
For HIS will be done alone, not mine. For His will, is of far greater worth and glory, than mine!