Because God Said So!

On March 26, 2015, my husband had a heart attack. While the paramedics worked to revive him, I prayed.

Lord, if it is his time, I don’t want him to suffer. If it is not, please heal him completely.

At that moment, he was revived and breathing on his own. God said it wasn’t his time. The scripture God gave me was Psalm 91.

It basically says, the one who sits down in the hiding place of the most High God shall stop and remain in the shade of protection that He provides. David, the writer, lists benefits of being in the shade of the Almighty. Conditions and the outcome of fulfilling those conditions are given. This is the part I felt was speaking of Carl.

Because he (Carl) has set his love on Me (God), I will deliver and protect Him.

When he calls me I will answer.

When he is in trouble I will rescue him and honor him

With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation (deliverance, victory and prosperity)

I was and am determined to believe if God allowed David to experience that, he was telling me that Carl would also. You may think I am crazy but I believe God. He Said So!

As the days went by I held on to that belief and accepted every small progress toward healing as confirmation and then he acquired pneumonia. I wasn’t shaken, it was just a delay. It turned out to be a long, intensely trying, delay.

On April 16 there was another cardiac attack. I watched as the team in ICU worked on him. I couldn’t believe all those people and machines got in that already filled room. The quickness and precision with which they moved was mind-blowing. It was a very organized, efficient, chaos. After he was revived, I sat wondering if I heard God wrong because this was not looking so good. Somewhere in there I realized Psalm 91 applied to me also. I asked God to clear up my confusion. The next day, Carl had another attack. I watched the team go into action. Suddenly the Code Blue light and alarm went off. One of the nurses said they were not needed. He had revived himself. They were amazed because they knew his heart was too weak to do that.

Many of you would say he was lucky. I say God answered my prayer. He showed me that he was doing a healing work in Carl and to trust him. To confirm this, one of my church sisters came to visit that Saturday and she read a scripture that she felt strongly was given to her regarding Carl. It was Psalm 41. Again a condition and a promise.

Psalm 41:1-3 (NKJV)
1  Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2  The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
3  The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed

Carl slept. I fought a different kind of battle while he slept. I talked about it in The Battle post. I will just say here that it was hard and hard fought. However, I learned a lot. A day or so passed and I prayed another prayer. This time it was Lord, how long should I let him stay on these machines. He doesn’t want to live like this. Is he still with us and will he have a good quality of life after it is all over? All these things I cried out to God about because he promised to answer me. When I got to the hospital, Carl was sitting up, eyes wide open and smiling at the nurse. God answered.

So here we are, almost a month later, with him still on the ventilator but there is no arterial blockage. The doctors’ plan of attack is to make his heart strong enough to get a defibrilator implanted. My plan is to watch God restore his heart completely to newness. That was what I asked for in the first place, complete healing. I had another lesson to learn during all of this. It is not enough to see God work and believe while looking at your circumstance. Walking by faith in its purest state is not seeing the circumstance but seeing beyond it. Seeing only what God said regardless of what everything looks like around you. God defies our reasoning.

Has Carl been healed? Not according to the doctors. BUT… I see a perfectly pumping heart in the chest of the man I love and it is simply because

God said so!

I Was Wrong!

About midnight I posted The Battle. I talked a little about the struggle I was having between my Faith and my Sight.This morning about 3:15 I realized I was not doing my assignment correctly. I was all wrong. What do you mean, Pat? Are you saying God can’t heal your husband? Are you saying that you don’t believe anymore? Are you saying it is too hard to have faith in this circumstance. Absolutely not! I was doing my homework from the wrong perspective.

At 3:15 am, I realized I was still focusing on what I saw. What I saw dictated my prayer, my attitude, my fatigue. I wondered why I no longer had peace like I did in the beginning of this journey. I couldn’t give up; Too stubborn for that and too many people watching my behavior and my words. I was tormented by thoughts of final plans and insurance policies. Would Deborah get here in time? How did this line up with “I am trusting God to heal him?” It didn’t. I really want to see through the eyes of faith. I wanted and still want God to reverse the situation because only He can do it. I want Him to be glorified. believers strengthened and people drawn.  I thought I was really standing on His word. I was doing some kind of hybrid. I saw, I believed what I saw was reality and then I tried to have the faith that God could change it if He wanted to.

I realized I was just like Job and the lesson I was to learn was his lesson. God wanted me to know who He is. My attention should have been on the abilities of God. It should have been on the character and power of God. What I saw did not matter.

Job 42:1-6 (God’s Word translation)
1  Then Job answered the LORD,
2  “I know that you can do everything and that your plans are unstoppable.
3  “{You said,} ‘Who is this that belittles my advice without having any knowledge {about it}?’ Yes, I have stated things I didn’t understand, things too mysterious for me to know.
4  “{You said,} ‘Listen now, and I will speak. I will ask you, and you will teach me.’
5  I had heard about you with my own ears, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
6  That is why I take back what I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show that I am sorry.”

Job 42:1-6 (New KJV)
1  Then Job answered the LORD and said:
2  “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
3  You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4  Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
5  “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
6  Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

I submit myself, my  mind and sight to you Lord. Help me see You and Your plan. 

The Battle

It is the end of a very long and hard day. I must keep you informed but I may make some grammatical errors. I hope I make sense. I am falling asleep as I type this.

Today was a very hard day in the fight between Faith and Sight. I woke up this morning feeling very antsy. I felt in my spirit that something was going to happen today. I didn’t have any indication if it was good or bad. I got up and got dressed to go to the hospital. As I drove, I began to calm down until I got in front of the hospital. I had that sensation again. I prayed and took a deep breath. I felt whatever it was I was ready.

My first stop was the nurse’s station. The shift had changed and I didn’t know who my husband’s nurse was but I knew the respiratory therapist. She said everything went well in the night. I was then introduced to the nurse. She told be that she had taken him off the sedatives and he should be waking up. Hallelujah! Is this the source of the feelings I had. At about 12:15 things changed. His blood pressure dropped and his heart rhythm went crazy. They had to shock him to bring him back. Sight jumped up and said, “It doesn’t look good. The doctor came over to talk with me. He said what was equivalent to “It doesn’t look good.” Friends came in the afternoon. They were full of support and faith. We laughed and talked and we prayed. One of the sisters was impressed to read Psalm 41. Verses 2 and 3 specifically said the Lord would preserve and keep alive the subject of the Psalm and give him strength while he was sick. Faith fought back strong. The battle roared on all day. Later in the evening Carl coded again. The Code Blue team went into action. Then Carl came back on his own. His heart began to sufficiently pump his blood. Faith took that victory from Sight. It just occurred to me that he had never come back on his own before. God are you speaking?

This walk by faith, not by sight thing is a battle. You have moments of complete faith and strength and then you have moments where you are overpowered by what you see. I am growing in my understanding and in my warfare skills. I am trusting God to what is best. My desire is my husband restored. I go to bed tonight fighting still with my own moments of distrust and unbelief. I go to bed knowing my God has this and that I have to believe.

It is irrational, but I have decided to sleep in the peace of

Faith or Sight? Choose!

7  For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7  NKJV

I have heard that scripture cited so very much over my life. I even thought I knew what it meant. I thought….

On Friday, April 10, 2015 I realized I didn’t get it before. God said to me “Your behavior does not match your words. Are you really walking by faith or are you really walking by sight wrapped in limited faith.”

Let me give you some context.

At Eagles Wings Christian Church, we have been focusing a lot lately on “Walking by Faith, Not by Sight.”  There are new activities that we want to accomplish and it will require faith to do it.

On Sunday, March 1, 2015, God spoke through our praise leader that everything would be alright. She uncontrollably kept repeating “everything will be alright.” We said Amen. What we didn’t understand that a few short minutes later, the pastor, my husband, would pass out just before taking the pulpit. Apparently, his blood pressure dropped and so did he. The emergency response team was called and he was revived and taken to the hospital. That morning the believers swarmed him with prayer. I felt no fear just prayerful power. After all we had been told “everything would be alright.”

The teachings continued and we as a church expected every week for a miracle. Little did we know God had an object lesson planned. On March 26th, God’s lesson began. “In That Moment” and “After the First Moment” tell the story so I invite you to read those posts.

This is where the Friday conversation becomes relevant.  We talked about walking by faith and not by sight at church and among believers. That basically means we live, make decisions based on the faith that we have in some thing or someone not by what we observe in the circumstance. The scripture that was laid on my mind when my husband had his heart attack was Psalm 91 especially verses 14-16. I told everyone that I was standing in faith on this scripture for my husband’s recovery.

Here was my contradiction.

Sight said

He had a loss of oxygen. Brain damage

His heart has a 10-20% refraction – doesn’t pump blood strongly enough

Needs a defibrillator or other surgery

Prognosis is not so good.

The practical and realistic thinking person says let’s do what is medically necessary to save and improve his life. I mean it is reasonable right?

Faith says Psalm 91

Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)
14  “Because he has set his love upon Me,

therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will deliver him

and honor him.
16  With long life I will satisfy him,

And show him My salvation.”

God said “You said Psalm 91 was your faith anchor while you make preparations to satisfy sight.” His question was clear. “Will you totally and  completely  trust me and my word? Choose.”

Do I listen to faith or sight? I chose faith. In that choice, I signed up to behave or live according to faith not what I see. Yes, I gather all the information from the doctors. I ask questions to understand what the doctors are doing. I then turn all that over to God and remind Him what He said.

Until God says something different, I am expecting everything that He said in Psalm 91. My husband fulfills the conditions and I choose to trust God’s Word. It is my choice to  live, walk, behave according to faith not just mentally believe.

After That First Moment

I sat in the hospital admissions office filling out paper.

“Of course I want you to treat him.

” Of course I want you to do whatever is necessary.

Why would I say no? My mind wondering who thinks up these questions to ask people in an emergency.   My reasonable, logical mind knows the answer. The hospital must ask for liability reason but in that moment I thought it was asinine.

I wanted answers to my questions and I wanted them now!

“Where is my husband and what are they doing?”

“‘Why want they come and get me?”

I waited almost two hours and I still don’t know why. Finally the admissions clerk got tired of waiting and went to check. The emergency room team had stabilized him but didn’t remember to come and get me. I managed to stay calm during the two hours of not knowing. Oh how I wanted so badly to have him transferred from that hospital to my home hospital. It didn’t happened. God what are you teaching me?

He was admitted and moved to ICU. I waited almost 24 hours before I saw a doctor. Supposedly he communicated with the staff but not me. I was calm but felt the rage rising. When he came I felt the ice cold chill emanating from me. I can only guess what he felt. (I must say the nursing staff was really nice and tried to be as helpful as possible.) The only good thing he accomplished as far as I was concerned was getting my husband transferred to Kaiser Permanente-Fontana.

I decided in that moment that I would not wait for doctors for my answers. I would assert myself into their rounds discussions and ask my questions. I would listen to orders verbally given to the nurses. I would ask the nurses what they were doing and why they were doing it. God gave me favor with the doctors, nurses and therapists. He gave me the correct way to approach them. Amazingly, it was with the gentleness of a lamb and the shrewdness of the serpent. Only His Spirit could do that. I watched myself operate in His humility and kindness. It feels good and it is powerful. I hope I never lose this. I better understand

“The meek shall inherit the earth.”

 

 

In That Moment

Almost three weeks ago I faced the death of my husband. There had not been any signs that this could come so quickly. We were getting ready for bed. He had just walked into the bathroom to take his shower. I was lying across the bed playing Angry Birds awaiting my turn. Suddenly there was this loud rumbling noise. I thought he had slipped in the shower. As I ran to him, I realized I didn’t hear any water running. When I entered the bathroom, I saw my tall, beautiful husband lying against the shower door gasping for air and in a contorted position.

In that moment

I came face to face with the reality of losing him;

with loneliness;

 with an empty space that should have been occupied;

with losing my best friend;

with the pain of telling our children and feeling their pain;

with a change in living conditions;

with that question of “what do I do now?”

All in that moment.

I called 911 and did chest compression as best I could in the position he was in. The paramedics arrived and took over. Somewhere after they first assessed him and then moved him to a flat position, he died. As I watched them an amazing calm overcame me. I found myself praying “Lord, if it is his time, I don’t want him to suffer. If it isn’t, please heal him.” After three shocks to his heart, he began to breath again. They quickly moved him to a gurney and then out the door.

I will never forget that moment when it felt time stopped. I encountered myself, death and my faith all clashing into that single point of time. My new journey began in that moment.