It is outside of my norm to share in my blog a chapter from someone else’s book, but I was encouraged by this. And I hope you find encouragement as well.
Heather Sample suspected trouble the moment she saw the cut on her father’s hand. The two sat down for a quick lunch between surgical procedures. Heather spotted the wound and asked him about it. When Kyle explained that the injury had happened during an operation, a wave of nausea swept over her.
Both were doctors. Both knew the risk. Both understood the danger of treating AIDS patients in Zimbabwe. And now their fears were realized.
Kyle Sheets was a twelve-year veteran of medical mission trips. I knew Kyle when I was a college student. He married a delightful girl named Bernita and settled down in a small Texas town to raise a family and treat the needy. Turns out, they raised a family that treats the needy. Ten children in all. Each involved in works of compassion. As founder and chairman of Physicians Aiding Physicians Abroad, Kyle spent several weeks a year working in mission hospitals in developing countries. This trip to Zimbabwe was not his first.
Exposure to the AIDS virus was. Continue reading “Fear Dethroned”
Three months ago – it was also a Wednesday – God took my dad home to be with Him. I cannot believe it’s been three months, yet it feels oddly longer.
A watched pot never boils.
For thirty days we sat day after day in the hospital or by the phone, hanging on every word, watching my dad. Waiting for anything – answers, a miracle, death, something. We had hope, we had false hope, we had dashed hope, and then we had death. It felt like an eternity – just watching and waiting; unsure and unsettled about his future. Since his death, the days have just passed by. Time is the same – time never changes, but our view of it does. We’ve stopped waiting. Now that he’s gone we know he’s gone, and he’s not coming back. There’s no more uncertainty, no more waiting. We’ve been forced to stop hanging onto hope. We’ve been forced to move on. To keep on living.
If you’ve ever watched a pot boil – just like the idiom – it feels like it never happens. Yet the minute you walk away – get involved in something – not only has the water boiled, but it’s evaporated. Those thirty days felt like forever as we waited to hear the prognosis on my dad’s future. Yet these three months have slipped by.
The seconds tick s-l-o-w-l-y by as you put your whole focus on something, but as soon as you shift that focus onto something else, the seconds quickly become hours and days.
Life gets so busy, that we barely take time for each other, even the most important people. I spent more time in the hospital with my dad in his last thirty days than I have in the last few years. Had God not allowed dad to get sick and forced him (and us) to slow down and wait patiently, we would have missed so much irreplaceable time with him.
Mondays always seem to be a tough day in our home. Unfortunately yesterday felt like my whole world had been turned completely upside down. Not necessarily over one big incident, yet everything seemed to be falling apart. A chicken with its head cut off – have you ever heard someone use that expression? It is crazy to watch! The chicken keeps running around frantically, even after it has lost its head. Its world – its life really – has just abruptly crashed down with one quick hack to the neck. Well, that picture seemed to describe my day yesterday. Not the losing its neck part, but the running around frantically, and perhaps the crashing down part.
Parenting is no joke! But there’s nothing like a marriage, grief, or spiritual struggle, to make it even more difficult. The inner turmoil, hurt, feeling alone, confusion, worry; it left my head spinning. I was unsure of which way to turn or what to do – like a chicken with its head cut off. Had God even heard my desperate and constant prayers?
The high-pitched screaming coming from my three-and-a-half-year-old was more than I could handle. It pierced through my very soul and broke down any virtuousness left in me. As if his constant shrieking wasn’t enough, I was exhausted from having to play referee one more time to three little ones. And a weekend of little to no naps leaves a toddler a bit sulky. I’m not always quite sure the best way to handle these situations and I began to question my actions as a mother, and as a wife. My eyes were clouded with tears. My voice was quivering. It’s all too much. Everything was just too much. I was a disastrous mess inside.
As one child screamed upstairs in his room I collapsed on the floor into a ball of emotions. God, where are You? Can’t you see I’m drowning here? I cannot do this on my own; I need You! Please send someone or something to encourage me. Let me know You’re still here with me. Continue reading “Upside Down”