I’ve had the title of this post sitting in my “draft” folder for a few days. It is hard to come up with the words to describe what it is like to have your life on the line, but let me tell you, it sure has changed my life.
I will never forget the moment when the surgeon listened to my heart for just a few split seconds and said it was not the same heart that he had heard a week ago. I will never forget the moment when I was told my organs would start to fail if a medication did not start to work within the next hour or two. Things were not looking good. My vitals, my blood tests, everything, was not looking good. Do we call our parents? They wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time before they would have to put me under and leave me open until surgery. Would I make it to surgery? Though like Dan said to the nurse practitioner, we serve a sovereign God who knows what’s going to happen, so just do what you have to do. He agreed.
And I did too.
I was only 33. A wife. A mom. I did not realize the seriousness of what was going on, until now. This past weekend, I think it finally hit me, that though the journey has been long, it’s been long for a reason.
I asked my mom this week if it was common for someone to have two open heart surgeries in 2 weeks? I honestly didn’t know. Then she reminded me that the surgeon who was in the top 5 in the nation at doing my surgery, only had one other person, an old catholic priest, who had a valve repair fail, and it was 20 years ago.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t common. Though let me reiterate, it was NOT our surgeons fault. Even if it was, it still wouldn’t have mattered to us. We believe God allowed this for a reason. Reasons I am still discovering. Reasons that will probably take me a lifetime to realize. But it’s all been for a reason.
I get teary eyed often, thinking about the past month. It has been so much to take in. I’d love to say that it has been easy, but like I’ve said in earlier posts, it has been hard at times. One thing I have struggled and wrestled with is fearing that I am going to miss opportunities to share the love of God. When we were in the hospital, it was so easy to find our purpose there, as we went into there, wanting to share our love for God through our optimism, attitudes, and if it presented itself, through speaking about our faith in God. It was our mission field. I had nothing to do but heal and talk with people. And new nurses came in twice a day. It was easy.
Now coming home, after this spiritual high experience, after realizing that my life was on the line, it has been hard to find my purpose. When my sole goal right now is to just get healthy, what is my mission field? What do I do with this “life on the line” experience?
It has been hard to process. But as a dear friend told me, maybe it’s a furlough time and God is preparing me for the “next step,” whatever that may be.
And what this all has taught me, is that God sure has a greater purpose that I have no clue about. It may not be some grand event, but in small, small ways, each and every day. When I know that medically, God could have taken my life during any of those moments – through those uncertain days, through either open heart surgery – it has taught me that life is so fragile.
As my friend Laura said, when you are faced with those moments, you start to feel the “feels” more deeply. It’s that kiss from Mazy. It’s in seeing a beautiful moment. It’s in reflecting on the past and seeing God’s constant faithfulness. It’s in the help and support that people have given us. It just brings me to tears. All. Of. The. Time. I get what she means by feeling the “feels” more deeply. Folks, sometimes I just cannot hold it together! But it’s because I know that my life is so fragile.
And every one of our lives is.
At any moment, God could change our life. On October 31, I woke up not feeling great and not feeling great went to not feeling good AT ALL in a matter of an hour. I wasn’t even sure I could make it to the car to go to the hospital. Trust me, I thought I was on the road to a new “life” with a perfect heart, after my first surgery. God surely had different plans. And at any moment, God could change your life too.
Are you ready? Was I ready? I’ve had a lot to learn since all of this has happened. I don’t fear it happening again, (and if it does, it’s all part of God’s plan), but I just don’t want to miss those opportunities to share the love of God. I just so badly want everyone to see the glory of God and see that He is so worth following! The journey will NOT be easy. I can guarantee you that. But a life devoted to Him, will be life-changing, and eternally altering.
I can feel the fire that God is fueling inside of me and I’m excited to see what He has up His sleeve. Do you feel that fire? I know, I know, easy for me to say. I’m coming out of quite the situation. But truly though, do we wake up wondering how God can use us? Do we look for ways to share His love with others? You do not need a life and death situation to test that. I hope I don’t have too many more of those. Though that too, is in God’s hands.
Right now I’m home bound for the most part. But even today, even in the moments right now, God is not done with me. He has given me life today. And I want to live it to the fullest.
We ALL have a purpose. If God has given you another day, YOU HAVE A PURPOSE. Let’s live it out.