This, from May ’08:
“You know, I’m so thankful for the difficult times – for it’s not in the seemingly ‘easy’ times we see (or seek) God so readily or clearly as in the darker, more uncertain, times. The sweet thing about learning this is that when suddenly faced with calamity or trials it’s easier to see a testing of faith. I guess testings of faith are things we tend to want to avoid, but they’re the very things we will later see as sweet blessings — times we’ll later recall as ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’ sort of experiences. Blessings in disguise — that’s what most trials are.
Last Friday morning we had planned to head to the Oregon Coast for the annual Shield of Faith family conference at Twin Rocks. Thanks to our Hannah, plans were well underway; the van washed and vacuumed, filled with fuel and other necessary items for the eagerly anticipated long drive early the next morning. Our house was ship shape, top to bottom — everything neatly in place, the van completely packed and ready to go. Some sleeping in their ‘trip clothes,’ the children tucked all snug in their beds while visions of good friends, good food, singing, Bible teaching and beach play danced in their heads. We all snuggled into bed…
As we sat in the emergency room last Thursday night, I was consciously aware that the LORD had allowed the current ‘trail of my faith.’ It was one of those: ‘I’ve been this way before’ sort of moments and in those, ‘I’ve been this way before’ moments, because I saw the Hand of the LORD in the past, it’s easier to see His Hand in the present. I think if we miss seeing the Hand of the LORD in trials — or don’t acknowledge His presence, then it’s likely we’ll miss seeing or acknowledging Him in whatever trials we face — past or present.
Wes had been experiencing pain in his shoulder and chest and so we went to the ER and once there, we learned that ER visits by patients with cardiac history are treated very seriously (Only now do I fully understand that phrase: “serious as a heart attack.” My daddy used to say that when someone would ask him: …are you serious? and he’d reply: “serious as a heart attack.” ). Once in ER, Wes was quickly set up in a room, hooked up to monitors and the first of many tests were performed. It was apparent to both of us that he hadn’t had another heart attack — but still, the source of the pain was not known. Probably not quite as concerned as those administering the prompt and thorough medical attention, we were still concerned enough to have gone there. The tests that would be performed through the night and the next afternoon were tests that would give answers to questions we have had for several months: how do we know if the stents are functioning properly? how do we know if the meds are ‘working’ and how do we know the actual condition of his heart?
In addition to an ECG, blood tests and constant monitoring, the Cardiologist ordered a myocardial perfusion scan that gave very clear pictures of the condition of his heart — both at rest and maximum stress. This test, because of the lengthy imaging process, took a couple of hours — but it was in that time period that the LORD demonstrated His lovingkindess so sweetly to me. I was sitting in a waiting area and Wes’s ♥ Cardiologist walked by and exclaimed to me, “Well, yours is an unexpected face for me to see here today! How is Wes?” I told her he was down in nuclear medicine getting having that test done and she told me she’d be right back. Interestingly, providentially, coincidentally ( the Lord meeting us where we’re at = the vertical meeting the horizontal +_ ) she was there making rounds for her current patients and said she wouldn’t ordinarily have been there at that time. When she returned, she assured me that everything looked good — there were some final tests to do and then he’d be free to go home.
How gracious of the LORD to have her there that day, to have her recognize me as she was passing by. The Cardiologist that was treating him all day was happy to defer to Dr. Chung. What an amazing Doctor she is… I have such great respect and love for her and thank the LORD for her professional skill – for her care and concern. The reports continued to come back and the results brought more delight to
meus! No heart damage. Low BP. Low cholesterol… make that: Low, low cholesterol. His heart looks great, blood flow is great and stamina is great. The doc said to Wes, “Keep doing whatever you’re doing… this is good news.” I knew it was only bcz of The Good News.
It was getting late in the day and I knew all the children were anxious as anything to get going to the coast, but their concern and patience was so endearing as they repeatedly told me not to worry about a thing. It was now 12 hours past the time we had planned to leave. Wes was moved to another room where he continued to receive excellent care and monitoring. The time was ticking away. I thanked the LORD for the ‘inconvenience’ and for His great provision. When does anyone have time to go to the hospital, anyway? ;o)
Finally home again that evening, the faces that greeted us at the car never looked sweeter, and to Wes, I’m sure the shower never felt better… I know I never loved him more. Soon we were on our way. Skipping a few beats, the song was playing on. Everyone glad for papa’s health, glad to be going no matter what the hour, glad for the day…
One thing about driving through Seattle and then on through Tacoma and Olympia to Kelso and then over to the coast at night: traffic? what traffic? I could count on one hand the cars I saw in an hour. I thanked the LORD for His provision His protection and blessings… driving on very little sleep, I was singing all the way as everyone was sleeping… I had too much to sing about and it was, after all, the long anticipated trip! Every little while I would glance over to my precious husband… resting and looking so great. ♥ It had been a great day.
Blessings… many blessings in disguise.