Hello: a ramble from my bedroom oasis

Caring Bridge Journal Entry  — Feb 26, 2018

Hi there.  This is Nicole and I'm writing because I can't stop thinking of all of you who have been praying for me along this crazy journey.  I wanted to share what's been running through my head and heart and to say, "Thank you" for praying for me and my family.  We have been blessed beyond what mere words could express.  Thank you for being what we needed, when we needed it and sometimes before we knew we needed it.  That's crazy!

These past three weeks have been horrifying.  There really isn't a strong enough word to express the overwhelming emotions that have come rushing at us, uninvited.

Although we've known this day would come, we had no idea what it would look like.  This was NOT what we imagined.  Let me stop here and say, Yes, I thought I would die.  It was a very real possibility.  Multiple times.  But I was not (and I'm still not) afraid of death.  The overwhelming fears were all about what happens next, for my family and my friends.  How does life go on for my kids who have already experienced trauma in their lives?  How will Chris manage our busy lives by himself?  How will this affect their faith in God?  Or how much more will we have to endure?

I know, big scary thoughts.

And then there were so many decisions to make.  Physicians would come in and explain the situation as it now stood and the options as they now saw them.  It changed daily.  There was no space.  I wanted so desperately to ask everyone and everything to just slow down.  Let me think.  Let me breathe.  But THAT was not an option.In the end, it felt like we were in a one-way tunnel.  We didn't ask to be there, but that's where we were.  We had no option but to move forward and hope we came out on the other side.  In so many ways, there is comfort in that.  Our God works all things for the good of those who love him.  And we DO love him.  So, nothing to do but trust that truth and move forward in that one-way tunnel.  All other paths were closed.  Surgery was the only way forward.  So, step forward.  Put fears aside.  Trust.

That truth from the book of Romans also brought comfort because we could trust that whatever the result, it would be good.  If I lived, it would be good.  If I died, it would be good.  We don't have to understand HOW that would be good in order to trust that it would be good.  There is comfort in that.So, we set the date and had 2 days to plan.  It was exhausting to make lists of all that I do and find people to help get those tasks done.  But it brought me peace of mind.  If we could plan out 6 weeks of help, then we could plan out anything else.  Right?

Truly, I had peace for those 2 days.  Lots of emotions but peace in my mind.  That is a miracle and I know, I KNOW, that is was because you all were praying for me.  Thank you, specifically, for those 2 days of peace.I'm not sure how to recap the next several days. It's such a blur and mix of emotions.  I think Chris did a good job of journaling that for you so I'll skip to something else.In those 2 days, I journaled all that was running through my mind.  It was interesting to me which verses bubbled up during that time.  They were not verses I would connect together but each one renewed my faith in unique ways.  One verse came up more than others.

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the wearyand increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

- Isaiah 40:28-31

I felt so weak.  So utterly unable to rise to meet the task before me.  I worried I wouldn't have the strength to recover.  This verse reminded me that God is my strength.  He who created the whole universe with a spoken word, who raised Lazarus from the dead (without any energy mustered up from Lazarus), who calmed the storm...He could handle this.  This is nothing for Him.  This is not dependent on me and my ability to get the job done.  Big mental sigh of relief.

In the hospital, Chris would read me a scripture each day and we'd pray together.  When it felt as if our world had fractured and we were spinning untethered, reading God's word felt like an anchor.  A lifeline.  It settled us both so we could move on to the next task before us.  We have felt that way at least once before.  It didn't surprise us that we would feel that way again in this situation.  It is one thing to study God's love letter and enjoy the sanctifying challenges it brings.  It is another thing to feel the power of God's word hold us together when nothing, NOTHING, else can.

So, that's a ramble.  Actually, it's a good picture of my head right now.  Logical thoughts are few and far between.  The meds and the exhaustion make most of my thoughts a jumble.  But I wanted to send you a note to say, "I'm here."  I'm still here.  The journey is not over yet.  I have so much more recovery work to do. And more scans.  Possibly more IR procedures.  The fears are ever-present.  If I could be so bold, could I ask you to pray for a few specific things?

  • - Strength to recover completely

  • - that each little complication would not turn into a big complication (currently, my feet are swollen and that needs to go away)

  • - that I would NOT get Little #2's illness (she spiked a fever yesterday and is now quarantined to her room)

Thank you, friends.  I wish I could give each of you a big squeezy hug.  Words just don't feel adequate.