Living in Awe
“How long will he be in the hospital?” I asked the cardiologist after he explained the procedure he did on my husband to open the vessel that was blocked in his heart. It was all a bit surreal. Twelve hours before Jeff and I were celebrating our son getting his driver’s license. Eight hours before the four of us sat around the kitchen table enjoying lunch as a family. Six hours before I was taking a picture of him as he drove to work in his new convertible. I told him not to call me on his lunch break because I’d be teaching my Bible study on Depression and Anxiety. An hour and a half later his boss called to say the paramedics took him from work to the hospital for severe upper back pain…
“All day tomorrow for observation,” the doctor said. “He’ll probably be released Saturday.”
I nodded. “And how long should he be off work?”
“I tell my heart attack patients they should be off at least a week.” That’s when his eyes locked with mine. “He had a heart attack.”
The words didn’t hit me until four hours later, after two a.m. We were in Jeff’s hospital room. For the first time since the procedure, he was awake. I sat on his bed, holding his hand, listening to him recall what happened.
“The pain started on the way to work. I broke out in a cold sweat and felt nauseous. My upper back hurt. I just prayed God would get me to work.”
He made barely made it. As soon as he walked into the backroom, he asked his boss to call the EMTs and laid down on the floor because the pain was unbearable. Minutes later they were rushing him to the hospital.
I told him about the procedure they did and prayed for him. When he drifted back to sleep, I returned to my recliner bed and cried. I wept at the realization of all I almost lost in the past two weeks…first my best friend to cancer and then my husband to a heart attack. The two people I love most in this world. The two people who have walked with me through so much and truly know everything about me. My favorite days are hanging out with both of them, laughing, talking, laughing until we cry. The weight of it all hit me, but it didn’t crush me. Gratitude for another hour, another day, with them, grew inside me.
Slipping in my earbuds, I chose my worship playlist. I started with In Awe by Hollyn. I cried while I worshipped, amazed by the peace that surpasses all understanding in my heart. Last week when I went to see my best friend in the hospital, I cried in the bathroom stall before going to see her because hospitals are one of my triggers for anxiety. Since my daughter’s hospitalization a year and a half ago, I have anxiety whenever I pass one. Five days I visited my friend, breaking down after but keeping it together while there. And here I was, in the hospital with my man who just had a heart attack worshipping God. It’s not where I want to be, but it’s where God’s brought us. He’s here with us. I see Him in the sweet nurses, caring doctors, and paramedics. I feel Him in the prayers of our friends and family. I hear His voice in the texts and comments of friends, telling me to breathe, be strong, trust in Him and His timing.
I wanted to be at a writer’s conference in Texas this week. Oh how I prayed I could go, but God kept telling me ‘no.’ I thought it was because it was my son’s 16th birthday. Now I realize He knew this was going to happen. I’m so glad I chose to submit to His will and not push my own.
It’s almost four in the morning. I’ve had little sleep, but that’s okay. In a few hours there will be another EKG, more blood work. After three weeks on an emotional roller coaster, my heart longs for a day of peace. Now I realize that doesn’t come with lack of drama but in the presence of my King. I should know this because it’s the basis of my next novel, Angel Resolved. Peace comes when we rest in our heavenly Father’s arms and trust Him.
How is that possible in the midst of trials? Through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.
I’m thankful for good nurses and doctors.
I’m thankful that I was able to be next to him, holding his hand, when his pain was off the charts.
I’m thankful for the sound of Jeff snoring because it means he’s asleep and no longer in pain.
I’m thankful for the prayers of saints, the offers of so many to do whatever.
I’m thankful for one more day.
Life is but a mist, my friend. Take nothing for granted. Not your relationships with family, friends, or God. Especially not God because He will be consistent in every uncertainty, comfort in each trial, shelter in every storm.
Thank You, God, for Your unfailing love. I am living in awe of You. Carry us through this time, this season, for Your glory and our good.