I have started and stopped this post many times over the past three weeks. Unsure of the “right” time to post. Uncertain of even what to say and how to say it.
And what is “it” that I don’t know when or how to say?
It is, thank You.
After going through the terrifying ordeal with my dad (see Daddy’s Girl), I find myself in uncharted waters of gratitude. Thoughts swim through my head, muddying the already murky waters—is he well enough now to tell people he’s ok? Is it too soon to thank God for saving my dad (ie is he really out of the woods? what if something happens during his recovery?).
Major illness, massive surgeries and other “big” life moments are tricky in that you don’t really know when it is “over,” or when you can come up for air. Ongoing treatments, doctor visits, hospital stays, home health care, fatigue, and all the unknowns create a web of confusion and uncertainty. There is no defined end-of-the-trial moment. No one gives you a cake that says, “Congratulations! It’s all over now!”
The intensity fades some, but the fear is still there. Always peaking from behind the curtain of calm. The what-ifs can drive you mad—stealing the joy of momentary peace.
Throughout my dad’s heath scare, I have seen God move and sustain in ways I never have before. From the day that I didn’t think I could face what was to come (see Peace), to the terror of seeing him hooked up to countless machines and looking so out of it (see Where We Are Now), God has held me and anchored me to Him over and over again.
God has shown me what it means to be my Strength and my Provider.
As I sat on an airplane fearful of what I was going to see and experience, He whispered His ancient yet timely words, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
God proved over and over that His peace is stronger than my fear.
Two days after surgery as I stared at my dad’s unresponsive face, fearing the worst and uncertain of the future, I felt fear circling my heart and mind—taunting me, growing ever closer. I cried out, “God help!” and instantly the fear was put under His authority. Fear was forced to retreat. His protective peace surrounded me.
God displayed His glory through His people.
Sitting in a waiting room for 8 hours is taxing. Fearing what every update will bring is exhausting. Yet having precious friends surprise you with visits, texts, and prayers, can only be seen as gifts from a very good Father. When the burden would start to feel too great, a friend would email a prayer. When the walls were blurring together, God sent two precious long-time friends to visit. He was continually providing for us.
Dad is home and is recovering—slowly but surely. The first days home were brutal for my parents, but God was with them. His recovery is a work in progress, but God is with him. I long to be there, but God is with us.
So I will not wait another second to publicly and wholeheartedly say thank You to the One who continues to see us through each day. I will not give into the fear that keeps me guarding my gratefulness for what God has done.
There are no guarantees for any of us at any point. Life is fragile. Bad things happen. But I refuse to give fear any more power over my thankfulness. God has given us more time with my daddy and I am so very thankful for every single second.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I will cling to the hand of the One who does and who will be with me always.
Thank you Lord Jesus!