Psalm 41:3 NLT
The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.
Isaiah 53:5 NLT
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
This day began early. Before the alarm went off I was wide awake. I heard across the room a sigh from our daughter. She was awake. Then behind me stirring was my precious wife of almost 20 years. It is before 4am in Richmond, Virginia as we are headed to the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University as Rebecca is having surgery on her jaws today.
Now the memories begin to flood my mind. It was about 15 years ago that we found ourselves in a Savannah, Georgia hospital where Rebecca had not one but three surgeries. Those days were trying in a big way. I still look at the pictures and the tears begin to fill my eyes as the memories flood my mind and heart and even my throat, as it seems, with waves of emotion. She is healed from those first surgeries and has never had any trouble with that stuff. We were blessed.
Now we are headed for the same blessings of healing from the hand of God. This is our fourth visit to Richmond preparing for this surgery, and Richmond is almost four hours from our home. All through the 12 months of preparation for this surgery Rebecca has been steady and not stressed at all. That isn’t true for her mom and dad. We’ve shed some tears, and the tears aren’t through yet.
The phone rang just a few minutes ago (8:30am as we sit in the pediatric surgery waiting area) to let us know the surgery has begun, and my eyes again begin to water. I tell people it’s allergies. But it’s not. This dad has a tender heart when it comes to my kids and family.
I can’t tell you how awesome the feeling as our church family gathered around us and in specific around Rebecca at the end of yesterday’s worship service. It was awesome listening to our church family pray for her and watch them love on our daughter and on our family.
The last week we have gathered around Rebecca each night as a family. We would place our hands on her shoulder, and I would put my hand on her chin. Each of us would pray for Rebecca’s healing. Ryan. Ruth. Mom. Me. Even Ryan would pray for her complete healing. This is another one of those memories I will not forget. What an incredible way that we as a family act like a family as God intended for us to act. I am proud of each of them.
Our worship service yesterday was so different and a blessing. We joined our hearts, words and worship to celebrate the fact that Leon White walked into heaven this past Wednesday. At this service were several new friends and old friends visiting with us. It was almost overwhelming for me in such great ways. Ruth had a friend with her. Rebecca had a friend join us as well, and just so you know that friend with Rebecca is now her boyfriend (her first boyfriend; pray for Matthew who I will now refer to as “the boy” and he seems to be a great young man). I shared a message from 1 John 2 about the facts we need to remember and what we ought share with others. God says, “we are forgiven”. God says, “we are winners”. God says, “we are loved”. God says, “we belong to Him”. Even as I preached it was obvious that God was moving.
Back to the present moment. We are 30 minutes into a 7 or 8 hour surgery. Rebecca’s doctor and medical staff seem to be well skilled and wonderful. I am grateful for each of them. We are waiting. We are praying. But really there are people all over the place praying. Virginia. Georgia. California. Oklahoma. England. Colorado. Pakistan. And that is just the places that I have heard from this morning. I am grateful.
Thank you for praying. Be who God made you to be. Celebrate the gifts and healing and strength of God by telling others and living strong. Great days are ahead!
1 John 2:8 NLT
Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.