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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Trusting the Father with My Father

Before I could leave Canada I had to come to terms with the reality that anything could happen.  Having lost our friend Rob Hall in Zambia after a construction accident, the reality that life can be so short struck me with a painful jolt of reality.

Little did I know how true that would become.  Just two months before we left my brother, only 49, died suddenly of a heart attack.  Less than a month after leaving for Brazil my 26 year old nephew died within a week of being admitted to the hospital because of blood clots, also of heart related issues.  Two months after that one of my dearest friends also died suddenly at only 42.

My Dad, this past summer
Throughout all of this my Dad has been struggling with immense pain due to a cracked vertebrae and a condition called spinal stenosis. He has been in and out of hospital.  He went from being a strong, vital 77 year old man who looked more like 67 to being bed ridden.  He has been on many pain killers all which cause loss of appetite and so his hearty frame has begun to shrink.  It breaks my heart to see my 'Daddy' suffering.  I was and always will be a Daddy's girl.

My Dad, last week
The other, newer issue we've been faced with is the fact that the heart condition that took my nephews life is genetic.  There is a 50% chance of first degree relatives having it.  We now have to find the source, was it his Dad, my brother?  Or his mother?  All of my brothers have had an issue with their hearts over the last number of years, these are all being looked at in a different light.  We all have to be tested, see cardiologists, there is a chance that my kids, or I could have this same condition which is life threatening. Breathe.

I knew we were getting on a roller coaster when we said yes to this journey.  I knew it wouldn't be easy, that troubles would come.  But the knowledge of trouble and the reality of living in it are two very different things.  I will admit there are days and sometimes weeks when I want to get on a plane and be back in Canada, at my fathers' side, doing whatever it is I can to ease his pain or just to simply be with him.  The feeling of helplessness is sometimes so overwhelming it hurts.

What do I do with those feelings?  The pain the confusion the hurt and yes, sometimes the anger?  I fall on my bed in a heap of tears and pour it out to my heavenly Father.  I can't carry this weight myself, and I was never meant to.

Some might say, 'maybe you should go home, maybe this is a sign that it's time to leave, to put family first.'

The truth is that NONE OF THIS IS A SURPRISE TO GOD.  He knew all of these things would happen before we left Canada, and in fact we were even given a bit of a heads up during prayer one night.  We had asked some friends to pray with us about timing for us leaving for Brazil.  At that time we were hoping to come in November of 2011.  After praying, one of the people felt they were given a few words for us.  Two of them I didn't like, not even one bit.

'Later rather than sooner' (with regards to us leaving-we ended up leaving almost a full year later than planned)
'Doctors and hospitals' That one gave me a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I didn't like even sort of.  I wanted to tell him to take it back, to rebuke it.

Now, however, I get it.  It was a message to the future me to remind me that God knew what was going to happen in my family (that at the time was perfectly healthy).  That when things started to unravel I was to remember that God was completely aware of the things that were about to happen, and yet he was still sending us.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not going to sugar coat it with rainbows and white doves, sometimes this walking with God and trusting Him completely is just down right painfully difficult.  It's hard, it hurts and it seems to go against everything the world says, but then again he tells us to be 'in the world but not of the world'.

There is a story in the bible that many of you are probably familiar with.  The disciples are with Jesus in a boat and a huge storm begins to rage around them, winds hurl the boat, waves crash, and Jesus lies peacefully sleeping in the boat, not a care in the world.  The disciples completely lose their cool and shake him, waking him up and asking him why is he just lying there when it looks as though they are about to perish??

To this Jesus replies, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

This means two things to me,  that when I get those urges to hop on a plane, I need to remember I'm in the boat with the one who can stop the wind and the waves, who has it all under control and that I need to remember to give him my fears, that he will in fact calm the waves.

My Dad has an appointment with a spine surgeon on April 11, please pray they are able to correct this issue with surgery.

We also can't do this without all of you out there reading this and praying for us, your prayers are felt and needed, keep em coming.  Thank you.


Shelley said...

With you Jenn. Very well said...'none of this is a surprise to God.' indeed.

This morning Scott said "God is with you, all the time." It reminded me of when Art used to say to us all "God is good, all the time". Also true.

I pray you will encounter His sweet love and companionship as you face these hard things.

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