We have much to be thankful for today! Derek made it thru his open heart surgery like a champ... the surgeon said it went as well as it possibly could. He is in a lot of pain and has had his own pharmacist mixing him some custom cocktails (no joke). With all of he's been thru, he's somewhat immune to pain meds...so they called in the big dogs. He's doing well though, hopefully we'll be home in a week. He has some recovery ahead of him; it will be months yet until he's himself. But we'll gladly take it. We feel like this is a new start for us, and we have SO MUCH to look forward to. It's freeing really. We're on our 9th hospital room and month 4 of this madness, so bring it on.
Truly we are all breathing a LONG and SLOW sigh of relief. This road has had it's share of peaks and valleys, and both Derek and I just weren't sure where this big surgery would land us. We absolutely believed God would see our family thru it, but we've learned that the landing spot is sometimes not what we would expect or ask for. I think that's been hard for a lot of people to understand. We ARE people of faith...but we still prepared for any outcome this surgery might have brought. It was completely different being able to see the hard coming this time; the first time around we were blind sided by it all. Talk about coming full circle...
And speaking of FAITH, one of my best friends reminded me of Mark 2... Remember those men who brought the sick man on the mat... and since they couldn't get thru the crowd to Jesus, they actually cut a hole and lowered him on his mat thru the roof? They didn't know if Jesus would heal their friend, but they believed in Jesus, that He alone had the power to really save and heal... so much so that in desperation they dangled the guy from the ceiling! That's what I believe we've all done with Derek thru prayer; continuously dangled him before our Savior without reservation. People have been repeatedly bringing Derek before the Lord and begging for His help over the last 3 or 4 months...and we are so THANKFUL for all your prayers. It's truly amazing how many people have been genuinely concerned for this guy and been brought to their knees in prayer. To God be the glory, for real. I've never seen anything like this, and we're humbled that everyday people like us could be on the receiving end of such love.
I've been reading Psalm 89 and 91 over the last few grueling days; so much speaks to what this whole journey has been for us.
"I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known... You rule over the surging sea; when it's waves mount up, you still them... Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and SHIELD..."
So many people have told me they don't understand how we've held up thru this with such faith. I have no idea "how" either...I'm surprised myself really. But I can tell you that Christ is our foundation, and when the storm came and life fell apart, THAT was all that was left and we clung to it with all we had. I cannot imagine walking this road without it. And honestly, we didn't have to fear the reality of these circumstances... we could sing thru the tears. We knew wherever we landed, He would be with us and somehow we could bear it...
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty... He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your SHIELD and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys by midday... If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the Lord, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent... He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."