This is one of those real and raw posts. But I know it’s a post that is part of the greater story, so that’s why I want to share it. A story that I don’t quite understand, and yes, even at times struggle to trust in every twist and turn, but in the end, this ole heart of mine is not in my hands, but in the very palm of the potter. His fingertips are working and reworking this heart (not just my physical one), into something sanctifying and purifying.
This past Wednesday I had another routine heart check up, but unfortunately I didn’t hear what we’d been hoping and praying for – that my heart was getting better. I heard quite the opposite.
I honestly feel like I am back to square one and back to where I was a year ago. Except I am 2 more open heart surgeries in, have a replaced valve, and another repaired. And scars to prove that it was quite a battle! Tired, feeling off, wondering how the day is going to go, and just wishing for all of this to go away. But don’t we all have moments in our life like this? Wishing for circumstances to change, wishing for a miracle, but God isn’t quite done molding, transforming, rebuilding, and strengthening us?
My recent ECHO has showed that my ejection fraction, which basically is how well your heart pumps blood with each beat, is only at 25%. A normal range is considered higher than 55%. Last May it was at 20% when I was hospitalized and jumped up to 34, but now it’s back down to 25%, which is not good. A kick to the stomach.
So what does this mean? Well, due to my high frequency of PVCs (premature ventricular contractions), high fluid levels, and high heart rate, I have been referred to an electro-physiologist. There they will determine what the next steps will be. Some ideas they had – have a pacemaker put in, or an internal defibrillator, or have ablations. At this point, I am up for any and all procedures that will just help this girl feel better again!
In May, these options were talked about, but they first wanted to see if they could hit it with medication. Well, the medication is proving to not be helping as of yet, but that isn’t out of the question either. The only thing is, changing up medication isn’t always a quick fix and can be hard on the body.
What’s hard to sometimes remember is that a miracle could happen. At any time, really! And of course we pray that God would heal my heart, but the older I get, and the more God has taken me through, I find myself praying, “God, YOUR will be done.” I surely know that if my heart was healed the first time, I would not be who I am and be able to share of His goodness through my story, in the way I am able to now.
But I’m not going to lie, it sometimes stinks to go through tough stuff, doesn’t it? I don’t always get it. Do I get frustrated, down, disheartened, and cry? Oh yes, I do! I hit my breaking point Thursday night when Dan asked how I was doing with all of this “heart stuff.” I couldn’t help but shed a few tears and just wish it all away! I told him that it’s just getting old. It’s getting old hearing the same ole thing over and over again. I feel like it’s this disease that will just never go away.
And essentially that is what heart failure is. When you look at me, I look perfectly fine, but the very organ that is keeping my body going, is failing. That is a hard pill to swallow at times. It amazes me how much the heart effects! Knowing that this will be something I will forever live with, unless a miracle happens, doesn’t always make me jump for joy.
But then there is this switch in my spiritual heart that I have to choose daily to turn on. This switch of faith, that says, “God, I don’t understand, I don’t like it, and it’s not easy, but I’m choosing to trust, rely, and love you still.”
And that very choice, is my game-changer. My life-changer. My faith-changer.
When I was younger, I used to think that after someone wrote a book, that they must feel like they “arrived” in life, ya know? It’s like accomplishing a huge dream and they must feel so much contentment. But I have to admit, after writing “A Heartbeat of Grace,” I feel like there is so much more to this story that is to be told – a story that is yet unfolding. I’m a bit fearful, yet incredibly eager to see what God has in store for my life. A story that I’m glad I do not know the full chapters to because some of them, I probably am not going to like – just like some of the chapters in “A Heartbeat of Grace.” Some of those chapters are filled with so much pain and heartache, but they are ALL part of the story. And they all, point me back to God.
They point me back to a God who promises to never leave me. A God who promises to always love me. A God who promises to work for the good. A God who sings over me, yet nuzzles me under His wing. A God who goes before me, walks besides, and cheers me on from behind. That’s a God sure worth serving in my mind – a God who never fails me; even when my heart may.
God, I want to daily choose to trust you. Thank you for taking me back, time after time, when I waver in that trust!
I don’t know what you are going through in life, but God sure is worth trusting, folks!