I am writing with an especially grateful heart. Last Wednesday my son was experiencing some intense abdominal pain which eased after awhile. His wife, Becca, tried to get him a medical appointment–but the nurse did not call him as they requested. So as it subsided mostly, they went about their lives. We knew it couldn’t have been his appendix because he had an emergency appendectomy a few years ago. This time we were suspicious it was his gall bladder. They have three sweet children–almost 6, 3 and a sweet baby girl who turns 11 months tomorrow. So when the pain began again Saturday evening, his wife Becca texted his sister and myself asking if either of us were awake! They needed help so they did not have to wake the children and deal with them! I quickly got ready and headed over to their home in the pouring rain–which took me about 15 minutes or so.
Andrew was in extreme pain. The children were asleep and I prayed as Becca and Andrew drove the 40 minute drive to the hospital for wisdom, safety and grace. I was concerned for that drive because it was so dark and rainy during my trip–but as they were heading north, things subsided weather wise. My daughter Elizabeth and I got on the phone and prayed that he would be seen quickly and get some relief. Both those things happened. His labs came back “normal” but with a tentative diagnosis of gall bladder issues like we thought. However no scans were done. He was sent home with anti-nausea and pain meds and instructions to see his primary care doctor on Monday. We assumed at that time that this “gall bladder attack” had passed, and he would be good to go until they could get him a doctor’s appointment.
By God’s grace the storm was not headed the hospital way–so they made it fine. We discovered once again that having “issues” on the week end bring delays. They had to wait for the tech to come in and do the needed scan. At first his lab work was fine–no fever etc. But within twenty minutes his temp was 102+! His gall bladder was infected. It needed to come out right away. Finally the on call surgeon arrived and he agreed surgery was needed. Becca was encouraged to learn his reputation was well thought of–which brought some added peace and trust. This amazing woman had very little sleep on Saturday night and here she was at the hospital again. A mayday call to family (my niece and nephew brought her food!) And another dear friend also came with coffee and sandwich. I am at their house watching the snow fall, wondering if she was going to be able to make it back home.
I had to tell the children why their folks weren’t home. It was amazing as I shared as easily and carefully as I could about their dad needing the sick part of his body removed, the three year old said “Can we pray?” I said of course! It was precious for the three children and I to pray sitting on the floor in his bedroom entrusting their father into our God’s care. A precious memory for sure! I am so grateful they have taught their children to turn to the Lord when troubles hit. The surgery was successful. The needed antibiotics cleared his blood stream and later on that day they released him and they were able to drive home between storms.
So grateful for God’s faithfulness, peace and strength. Few hours of sleep on Saturday and Sunday nights left both Becca and I very tired. As I was helping with the children I told the Lord, I am so tired, I am not sure how I can do this. Then, I said, I only have to do the next thing–I don’t have to live and do the whole day–just one thing at a time. I can do that. You will give me the strength I need. Peace came along with a deep breath and it was about 20 minutes later that we saw a light next door in her parents home! They drove six hours from Portland and arrived at 6:00 a.m. on Monday. We tagged teamed with the kids while Becca went back to the hospital. (Her mom is working in Portland, OR currently–we were blessed her boss gave her the time off.) We were so snowed in nobody else could come! School was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday–so we had about 5 inches of snow for the kids to play in. Cousins had given them outgrown snowsuits–so they were warm and dry. Small things like snow pants and gloves just make life easier in the middle of other concerns.
Other amazing things I am so grateful for–We were all there to see Adiana take her first steps. I found out my kindergartener Carabella could read! I also discovered our little Tobi boy has quite a sense of humor and vocabulary. Father God, I thank you for your faithfulness in getting this problem solved for Andrew–that the roads were clear when they traveled. I thank you for all the people praying for us and sending words of encouragement. I am grateful for your love. I don’t know why his gall bladder became inflamed and infected. I wish he did not have to go through that much pain–but I am grateful for the doctors and their care. I am grateful for a loving wife that is taking great care of him. I am thankful for our family who knows how to pray and ask for others to pray and for a God who answers in His Way and His Time.
I pray for each of us as we go “through the fire and storms of life” that we will have the grace and faith to look for Him in the midst. It is not easy. Not once did anyone say “why do we have to go through this?” We just walked it by faith. I know others have storms come with bigger waves and longer lasting affects (like autism, cancer or financial crisis) but I am grateful for His faithfulness to get us through this storm victoriously. We raise a hallelujah to you Jesus once again. We trust you.