This past week may have been the worst of my life.
My dad was hospitalized last Monday as the result of a months long fight that began when one lung infection turned into pneumonia which turned into Covid which ended up as a staph infection that went septic.
Are you tired yet? I sure am. I’ve been back and forth to the hospital with my mom and brother and our pastor and several friends multiple times since the ambulance arrived last Monday. My husband is deployed; he’s been gone since May and won’t be back until March at the earliest. We have four young kids. We have a neurotic dog. I have a job at a school I love and ministries at a church I love and a house I dream might be clean some day. My life is stretched thin on the best of days, but seeing my dad intubated and sedated and fighting for his life – to see my mom trying to be brave and strong while terrified – my brother balancing his role as pastor and son – my 3 yo constantly asking why he can’t see Boobah – I’m beat. One well-wisher told me this week that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but true story: that phrase is *not* found in Scripture. God absolutely allows us more than we can handle. This sinful world can break us. When my dad who I look up to as my first pillar of strength isn’t there and my husband can’t be there and all my kids have pink eye, I am broken.
Last week we felt very defeated. There was a part of me that felt like I should only pray for peace because healing was looking less and less possible. Satan is working hard on my family. The only place left to turn is to God in faith. He promises us that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. He tells us that those who ask will receive and those who seek will find. He is the God of miracles.
Another true story: I’ve SEEN miracles. I know many people – including my dad – who were healed against all medical expectations. How can I, who have witnessed miraculous healing, doubt that I can ask for it now?
I am blown away by the love of The Church in our situation. I say The Church – not just my little congregation of Peace Lutheran, or our school community, or even Fort Wayne. The people of God are praying EVERYWHERE for our family. Last week I received a care package from the LWML ladies at a church in Wheat Ridge, CO. I got a card signed by a dozen or so members of a local adult Bible study group – I don’t know any of these people, but they all took the time to pray for me and my family.
If you’re reading this and you don’t have a church home – find one. I will help. Sit by me and my crazy progeny. Because there is no way in God’s creation I could do this without my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I don’t know God’s will here. But I know that my Grandma’s favorite hymn text was spoken by Job (who darn tootin was given more than he could handle): I know that my redeemer lives.
I pray to the God of miracles for physical healing, but I know my salvation is guaranteed through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Thanks for reading and thank you for your prayers. God listens when we pray.
When they put patients on a ventilator, doctors try to keep the sedation level as low as patients can tolerate. My dad needed a vent at about 3 AM last Wednesday. My mom and I saw him later that morning. He was awake and aware. Obviously very uncomfortable, but he could communicate in very small ways. He could squeeze our hands. He could use his eyes and nod slightly. He even could take a pen and write for my mom – “Dry.” Obviously vent patients can’t have solid food or water (he is on a IV fluids and liquid nutrition), but my mom could grab a wet swab to try to give him some comfort.
The doctor said they could up the sedation level to “Knock him out” – we asked him if that’s what he wanted, and he for sure nodded yes, please. Before he fell asleep from the medicine, he made motions with his hands to communicate to me. He looked toward my mom who was trying to find a nurse. I told him we were looking out for each other. He motioned with his hands, currently restrained to the bed (another vent precaution). I pulled out my phone and quickly took a pic of his sheet, then used the edit function. He drew me this heart.
It’s the last communication I’ve had with my dad. It’s small, but I will cherish it.