Today was amazing. I am completely in awe that I can still move my fingers enough to type some letters of the alphabet. A year ago today, I was admitted to the hospital for what I call, “The long haul”. I had been able to wait at home on an IV medicine for my heart, but I finally reached the point that I could no longer be without hospital care. When my home nurse came that day he called the hospital to tell my doctor I needed to be there. I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to go back. I knew it would be my last day at home…until I received a heart. There are a lot of little details that went on this morning at home. They will be forever engraved in my mind, but I will not bore you with everything.
Mom and dad helped me off the bed to start towards the car and my legs were not cooperating. They were weak and had no strength as they kept giving out and buckling beneath me. When we reached the front door I admitted I could go no farther. Dad has always had a bad back, but with no hesitation he picked me up in his arms. Maybe it was adrenaline, maybe the ‘daddy’ in him, or maybe it was God granting him extra strength that day to carry me like his little baby girl again.
We headed to the hospital and I was put on the cardiac floor once again. Soon after, they carted me off to the cardiac care unit because they said I was too sick for their floor. I remember all this, but I didn’t really know what was all happening. I was sleeping a lot and pretty much in and out of it. My parents thought it was good that I was sleeping so much. However when a doctor told them, “She is sleeping so much because that is all her heart will allow her to do”, they thought differently. The evening is very hazy in my memory, but the night is a night that will stand out forever in my mind.
A lot of people call it a “rally”, when one all of the sudden gains strength enough to talk or interact with others. I hadn’t done this all day because of being so weak and sleeping most of the time. It was around 10 o’clock on the night of April 1st, and dad was getting ready to head home. He was praying with mom and me when my Aunt Sharon walked in. She had traveled almost 3 hours, just to see for herself on how I was doing. I don’t know what it was, but I “rallied” and the night was a night of prayer and worship. Yes, it sounds odd doing that in a hospital room for all to hear, but we didn’t care. Mom, Sharon and I shared our favorite verses of the Bible. I shared Jeremiah 29:11. I am sure most of y’all know it, but it promises plans to prosper us and not to harm us. It has always been one of my favorites, but I bet most people don’t read on from there. I had always loved verse 11, but years ago when I read more of the passage I was astonished by verse 13. It says, “You will seek me and FIND me when you seek me with all your heart.” I loved it! We can find the Lord Jesus, if we just seek. It’s so simple.
My mom and aunt didn’t know what verse 13 said and I was excited to be able to share. We conversed a while longer talking about my favorite hymn and other meaningful promises from the Bible. Once we all sang my song, “Sanctuary”, it was off to sleep.
I am so thankful I was able to gain enough strength to talk that evening, let alone sing a song. I believe that night was so special and it was something I truly needed. The next couple days went downhill fast. An emergency procedure to help save my kidneys and liver, and then I had my first open heart surgery because I was still continuing to fail. I remember bits and pieces of these days, but that is truly why I believe God gave me that one last ounce of strength to enjoy a Thursday night of praising him for whatever may come my way.
It is amazing to me to think about where I was a year ago. Right now I was sleeping with 11 IV bags hooked up to me and a grim diagnosis. Mom and Sharon were by my bed reading by the dim light. Dad was fervently praying for me at home. Today was way different than a year ago and I am so thankful. God is so good. Today, I was up at 7 to head into work. When I got off at 5 I hurried home so I could change and get to a ladies tea event by 6. Mom and I spoke and told about my story and now I am still up telling you all about my busy day! Last year at this time, I wouldn’t have even gotten out of bed by myself. Oh how things change.