I’m reflecting today on goodness, mercy and all the things I am so grateful for. Three weeks ago, my husband received a phone call from a cardiologist following a routine cardiogram (he was born with a heart murmur). He was instructed to stop everything he was doing – we were at an event breakfast – and check himself into Emergency at the hospital. Unknown to us was how life-threatening his congenital heart condition had become! It was also the weekend we had planned to celebrate our anniversary. We were enjoying glorious summer weather with plans to catch up with friends at the lake. The timing couldn’t have been worse, or so we thought.
Goodness and mercy certainly followed us over the next two weeks as he waited on the surgery list, confined to the cardiology ward in the hospital. We began our research and set our hopes on the least invasive surgery, a plan B that isn’t often available. The typical open heart surgery has such a long recovery time. We started a prayer team for Jim that spanned the globe. People were praying everywhere for the many factors to line up to make it possible. Only two doctors performed this kind of surgery in our area. Hope grew through the messages of support we were receiving. Terror was dissolving into trust.
It’s now three weeks after his surgery and his recovery has been amazing. We are back cycling together! We now realize the timing couldn’t have been better. Taking time off work was a big concern for Jim but it was treated like summer vacation time (even though he was managing some affairs from his hospital bed). The innovative replacement valve that was used has only been recently developed. Any earlier and it wouldn’t have been available. The surgeon we had all been praying for was not yet away on his vacation. His hospital care-givers were completely committed to his well-being, to the necessary pre-op procedures and the following prevention of infection. Critical dots had connected!
This was the biggest health challenge we’d ever faced as a couple. In retrospect, we realize that this has been our most significant anniversary ever. We boldly shared with each other our deep love and devotion. We saw how we had become one life. His life was my life and mine his. There were some very BIG conversations, especially the ones we had right before his surgery, “If I don’t make it, …”
A loud and clear message for me during this time was not to lean on my own understanding. There have been and will continue to be many uncertainties in our lives. It’s impossible to chart the course. Prayer always seems to be the best choice whenever there is a lack of direction. Surrendering it to God builds in us both faith and strength. We must move forward with assurance. And we need to trust in His perfect timing!