My brother recently told me his experience of doing an ‘Olympic’ Triathlon. This is where you do a 1 mile swim (1.5 km), a 24.8 mile bike ride (40 km) and a 6.2 mile run.
In our Family, we are runners. We tend to set high expectations, and go for it, even if we aren’t ready for it completely! It’s really just a competition against ourselves. Even if we think we are going to die, we will still get across that finish line, limp and all. He told me the story of that day, how he set out with expectations to get up to the starting line, adrenaline soaring, knowing that in the back of his mind, he hadn’t done the training in swimming that was most likely required. The horn went off, and bam, they were emerging into the ocean. People are kicking each other and moving about, trying to get the best place, but all along, he knew he was in over his head.
Trying to be smart, and pace himself, he began to feel the hopeless burn in his body of the pressure of experiencing a sport that could outdo him. He began to panic. He decided to get going through the long haul, he would have to swim on his back. Hey, no one ever said there was a ‘proper’ way of doing it, right? He suspects he was on his back for nearly 30 minutes, releasing the panic that was freezing his body. Soon, other contenders come into focus, and he inquired of them, “Do you know how much longer?” The man answered, “You’re nearly here.” He turned around and found himself at the head of the triangle. He began to swim hard. His timing brought him to the 175th, out of 200, but began to gain speed on the transition over from swimming to biking. By the time he was done with the 10 k run, which by the way, was one of the fastest transitions recorded from biking to running, he was around 100th place.
Isn’t this the battle of life? We begin with no training, but we learn by all of the trials and errors of life to keep going, and look up, because the one that carries us is leading us the whole way! Sometimes we tend to believe that there’s no one around, yet He is always there, holding us and guiding us. The closer we get to him, the less weight we feel, and the more he carries.
'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
He has been showing me lately that when a ‘weight’ concerns me, my first job is to give it to him. Because the circumstances look too big for me to handle, that if I even tried to handle these impossible problems on my own, it would be a big waste of time. I already see these life threatening problems as impossibilities. But not with God, With God all things are possible.
It reminds me of that secret place in my heart that says, ‘I wanna be the one,that even though people are dropping left and right,sadly- to circumstances, to choices, to rebellions, I wanna be the one that answers YES to Jesus.’ I wanna, not only be there, hearing him say, at the end of this race, “WELL DONE, Good and Faithful Servant”, but in my heart of hearts know that I tried not to grieve Him. I don’t wanna grieve God, with all of the pushing, and kicking and panic attacks that come upon each of us. I want my life to exemplify that He’s the most important thing. I wanna honor Him, by loving Him and serving him through tough times,encouraging others to keep swimming, all of my life! Even if I’m 40 billionth at the Finish line! I’m still finishing.
This has been a true test of my life. As I sit here in the hospital, IV pierced into my arm for the 11th time, I recognize, a little grudgingly, that this is where God sees fit for me Today. It’s a big mental thing. Physically, it is a test, because I am used to getting up and going, wherever I want to, but in the last 10 days, with nearly 16 more to go, I have been confined to a hospital bed, anxiously awaiting a vulnerable and critical experience. But knowing that He has said to me, “I AM with you”, I choose to not let any words of enemy’s criticism make me fall. I sense His Peace, Comfort and Promise.
...And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Last year, He took me through a lot of introspection and fears that I had to face on the mission field. You know those things you’d rather not unearth. But what with little faith I had, I gave him my hand, and I entrusted these fears, and as a gentleman, he took my hand firmly in his, and led me the whole way. This year is the year of tests. And now I sense in my heart of hearts, that if I truly trust Him, then I must act on it. Belief is ‘living by’ what you say. And I can honestly say that I am not afraid, but awaiting his design, so that He might be glorified. It reminds me of this quote I read from the Blue letter Bible while going through Daniel. It’s where these 3 guys, in the midst of many, said no to bowing down to the golden image.
‘We can imagine the enormous pressure on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego to compromise. Everything in front of them - the king, the furnace, the music, their compatriots, their competitors - all of it conspired to convince them to compromise. Yet God was more real to them than any of those things. “Do not judge the situation by the king’s threat and by the heat of the burning fiery furnace, but by the everlasting God and the eternal life which awaits you. Let not flute, harp, and sackbut fascinate you, but hearken to the music of the glorified. Men frown at you, but you can see God smiling on you, and so you are not moved.” (Spurgeon)’
I knew there was a reason while reading through the Bible that the book of Ezekiel was taking so long... All 48 chapters, I’m sure, took me more than a month! But then came the book of Daniel which has been such a tremendous encouragement to me!
It also teaches me when one looks at how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego replied ‘in the face’ of trial.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
They had already decided to not make an excuse, but rather submit to God’s will, no matter life or death.
The latest is that I will wait here in UCI Medical Center on bed rest until the surgery on August 29th, which will be ‘Little Champ’s' Birthday! Wow, He is originally due on October 10th, which coincidentally, October 11th is our 2nd, Hope’s 5th Birthday! But God had a different plan. I was thinking September, but now he will be an August Baby! I Always wanted a Summer Baby! (Caleb’s Birthday is September 5th!)
He will come 6 weeks early at 34 weeks, if all goes well. Today, I am 32 weeks 6 days.
To give a recap of what is going on, I have Placenta Accreta, which is one step closer to danger than Placenta Previa. Not only was it a complete Placenta Previa, which fully covers the cervix, the opening of where the baby can come out, but it moved on to an Accreta which actually moves into the lining of the Uterus where the baby is held. Now when it comes time to take the baby out via C-section, they cannot tug on the placenta, for fear of starting a rupture. (not a rapture!)
When you are pregnant, 60% of your blood is connected to this place in your body. So they have decided, which is pretty routine in Accreta’s, that they will just take the Uterus, and give me a Hysterectomy at age 35! They will leave my ovaries intact calling it a subtotal Hysterectomy and no menopause.
This ‘girl talk’ is now really ‘nothin’ to me these days, when all of these words used to make me cringe! Caleb and I laugh, because we hear that going through menopause this early would be giving us ‘more than we can handle’ right now, and that ain’t right! Not with 4 kids, one being a newborn. So I won’t. He likes to say, “Men-all-pause”, and I imagine a quiet scene-- with a dog-- with it’s ears back. Hilarity. Thank the Lord in Heaven.
The procedure itself can take anywhere from 2-6 hours. We have asked many questions so you’ll probably get a lot of info! On that day,There will most likely be about 5-7 doctors in the OR, including my doctor, neonatal, urology, anesthesiology, etc. Since they can’t cut me in the same place they have cut in previous C-sections, they will cut vertically, near my belly button. I will be awake when they quickly take the baby out, in order to give him a kiss, and then they will put me out. No, we have not announced the name, mainly because we aren’t sure completely!!
▪ They will then put clamps down on both sides and try their best to stop any bleeding or abruption. This is where I need prayer. I will be given a blood transfusion, and I will need anywhere from 2-6 units of blood. My prayer is that the blood will be clean. They are also going to most likely have to cut out a piece of my bladder because of the placenta being attached to it, but they assure us that it is a most forgiving organ. I can bounce back quickly.
▪ The prayer requests are precision, great decisions by the doctor on how to handle the bleeding,
▪ For the baby’s health with his lungs and possible jaundice.Also that he will be able to eat well.
▪ After the surgery, I will go up to the ICU and I won’t be able to see my baby until a day later :( .
▪ I ask for prayer with my other children while I am here in the hospital. For their emotional hearts, and for mine too, while being away!
▪ Pray for Caleb while he juggles all of the family, being a husband, doing work, and preparing for the Bible College Class that begins the Friday before the Surgery.
Right now, the hardest part is being away from my children. Those cute little brown eyes that look up to me for help are being put into other loving hands for awhile. I know that He is watching over them, and what better hands to be in, than the Lord’s? I am so grateful for family and friends who are so graciously loving them! I just miss them. Like I said before, It’s a mental thing. Every time I think about the events that are going on around me that they are experiencing, I get a tear in my eye, but knowing that it is only for a time! gets me through it!
...Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.
Thank You for reading. This is very long I know, but hey, I HAVE TIME! Thank You for continuing in prayer! You are family and I am blessed!
All in all, He is worth the Risk,