Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"When"...Not "If"

If you're reading this blog, you know that my site is called "From the Heart "...a place for me to share what's on my heart on this journey called "life". As I write today, my heart is heavy and I am crying out for God's peace, His presence, and His healing power to be evident in my life and in the lives of those I love so dearly.

Before I get to the present, I need to go back a few months to July 9, 2011. This was to be a day of celebration - celebration of my dad's birthday and celebration of church friends saying their wedding vows. While I was providing music for the ceremony, my husband received word that my sister's life was hanging in the balance- she was unresponsive, had been placed on a ventilator and was having emergency surgery. As soon as the service was over, we made the hour long drive to the hospital not knowing what news we would arrive to hear. Even in the midst of fear and anxious thoughts, my heart was singing out to God - "You are good". I sensed His nearness as we drove and as we waited...and waited...and waited. My sister's splenic artery had ruptured as a result of complications from surgery earlier that week and she lost enough blood that she should not have survived. I believe God worked a miracle in her life. We were able to celebrate that day after all!

A couple days prior to this, Dave's dad had been admitted to the hospital after failing to pass a stress test and was waiting to hear what the next step was going to be. On July 8th, he was transferred to another hospital and would need to have open-heart surgery. So on July 12th, we found ourselves waiting...again...as his dad had surgery. After many hours of waiting, the rest of the family went to get something to eat and I stayed behind. The emotions of the past few days were taking a toll and I longed for some quiet time. While sitting in the now quiet waiting area, the hospital chaplain came over the intercom system and offered a prayer up for the patients and also read from Isaiah 43 - "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name: you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up: the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Tears flowed as I knew these words ,which I've known and read so many times before, were spoken just for me that night, straight from God's heart to mine.

Dave's dad ended up with five bypasses that day and has done well in his recovery. My sister has had numerous complications and setbacks over the months since we nearly lost her, but I believe God had a purpose in sparing her life and that He has a future of hope and promise for her.

So, now we find ourselves in the place of uncertainty again. I've been facing some health issues of my own and last week, my mom received an unsettling report from her doctor. As I was processing what I had been told and trying unsuccessfully to keep my fears at bay, I heard a clear voice speak to my heart - "This has not come as surprise to me. It's not catching me off guard. I am God and I am still on My throne. I am in control of what's going on even now. Remember that I've promised to be with you."

I am holding onto the promise in Isaiah 43 that my Lord, my God, my Savior will be with me...with us...when- not "if" - but WHEN we walk through the deep waters of this life.

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