Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Facing Death Head On

It is a weird thing to decide to write about the fact that you almost died.  It isn't a feeling that you can really put into words.  So, I am going to write about it in terms of the joy, the blessing, the praise that fills my heart because of the work of Almighty God in my life through this experience.

Let me start off by saying that an experience like I've gone through changes your life completely...for a little while, at least.  It can be a good change or a bad change.  It can be revolutionary or momentary.  I wish that I could say that it was a monumental change in this girl that changed the course of my life forever.  I wish that I could say that it made me a stronger, more passionate person about God and living for Him.  I wish I could say that it did away with some of my selfishness and sinfulness.

I felt the power of the "change" from this experience.  One night, I couldn't get to sleep because I couldn't stop praising God.  I couldn't stop singing His praises (don't worry...I was in my private room by now).  I couldn't stop talking to Him.  I couldn't focus on anything else.

Reality hit me somewhere between that night and the days ahead.  I went back to my old patterns.  I went back to putting me before Him.  I went back to being too "busy" to talk to Him incessantly.  I went back to life as I knew it before (only waaaay more tired and weak).

A near-death experience is a catalyst, sure.  It is a wake up call, as they say.  However, it is what you do with the days following that experience that really matter.  It is whether or not you hear, whether or not you listen, whether or not you act.  That is what matters.  That is where you learn what is truly in your heart.

I am choosing to shout from the mountains tops the glory of my GOD! I will do it in this moment and pray that I have enough of Him to be strong enough to do it in the next moment. 

I praise Him for choosing to keep me here a little longer and I pray that I may do the work that He has appointed for me to do.  I pray that I might love my husband a little better.  I pray that I might love my children a little better.  I pray that I may be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.  I choose to overcome my sinful nature to be what He wants me to be. 

Thank you, Lord, for the call...I heard, listened, and I choose to respond.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My First Skype

I don't really know how to begin to write about my first skype experience.  To say that it was touching is an understatement.  To say that it was a blessing and an encouragement falls short.

On May 18th, my home church held a prayer service on my behalf.  They've done this for many different occasions and people, but this one was for me...a very humbling thing. 

It was made even more special when I was asked to skype in to the prayer session.  After joking about my dreadful appearance (17 lbs lost, hair a mess, no make-up), I conceded that it would be worth it for the prayers.  BOY, was I right!  How amazing was it to not only hear what was being said, but to see the faces of those I love. I held on to the images of my brother, Derin, and my baby sister, Dani (Dustin lives out of state, so he wasn't there).  I just couldn't get enough of them!  My sis-in-law, nephews, and niece were precious sights to see, as well.  Also, my second family, the Dosseys (and Herrmans).  My sweet friends, which I will not name because I don't want to leave anyone out.  You know who you are and even if you weren't there in person, I know that you were all there in spirit.  I was just so blessed by the entire experience!

I just want to thank my sweet "sister," Carla, and my sweet friend, Kelly, for organizing the event.  You both know the power of prayer in different ways in your lives and I have been blessed to hold you both up in prayers.  I know you don't want thanks, but you have no idea what that 30 minutes did for me!  Well, maybe you DO understand.  ;)

Prayer works, my friends!  I am living proof.  I have faced death, or the possibility of it, head on (twice, actually).  If it weren't for the prayers that were flooding the gates of heaven, I believe that I would be there now.  While I have high aspirations of that being my eternal home, I was not ready to leave my husband, my babies, my family, and my friends behind.  I begged, I pleaded, and God heard my cries...OUR cries.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Upward Climb

Well, the rest is just a bunch of days with ups and downs...bright spots and gray spots.  Each day was a little better than the one before.  Each morning I woke up with a bit more energy.  I could now walk around the nurse's station a few times before huffing and puffing, though my pulse continued to skyrocket whenever I was standing, much less walking.

One day, I was feeling queasy.  Zofran wasn't helping...I just felt bleck.  I told my dad that I needed to puke.  My catalyst soon arrived in the form of my dinner tray.  As soon as I smelled it, I told Mark to get it out of the room.  As he was trying to decide what to do with it (stick it in the bathroom vs. take it out to the nurse's station), I made the mistake of crying out, "What IS that?!?"  As soon as the words were out of his mouth, I threw up...a TON.  Buffalo.  Meatloaf.  I wish that I was joking.  REALLY???  Since when is BUFFALO a mainstream protein?!?  Ick!  Of course, once I threw up and threw up and threw up some more, I felt a TON better and that was the last of queasy tummies for several days.

I want to put in a very weak, very sad shout-out to my precious daughter.  This has all been most difficult for her, I believe.  She has be so brave and so strong!  You see, not only did she keep having her mommy yanked from her, but the night before my first return to the hospital, she had a dream that I was going to be taken away from her along with daddy.  It was a horrible, vivid nightmare and I had a hard time calming her afterwards.  Little did I know how prophetic my little girl would be.  A bit creepy to me, still.  It was also extra difficult for her because she had to have her birthday party in my hospital room on a day that was definitely a "down" day for me.  I barely made it through present-opening before sending everyone to the waiting room for cake.  I was hardly present and felt so sad for her.  She was so good about it and had such a happy attitude just wanting me to feel better.

She has really been a great encouragement to me through all of this and I hope that I can someday convey to her how hard it was for me to see her go through all of this.  She had another nightmare this morning involving me going back to the hospital and having to leave her again.  *sigh*  I wish that I could promise her that it wouldn't happen.  Unfortunately, I cannot.  I can only hope, pray, and beg for you to join me in this prayer.  She is a strong little thing, but if one more person tells me how resilient children are, I might deck them.  I don't care how resilient they are, I don't want to see my baby girl suffer now whether it effects her future or not.  (Dustin, this would not be the time to be a smart aleck!)  ;)

Anyway, the day that I got to come home was kind of scary.  I held my breath praying that I didn't have to go back.  I was afraid to sneeze lest I mess something up.

PRAISE THE LORD, I had no more setbacks for over 2 weeks other than just fatigue and that sort of thing!  He has done marvelous things and will continue to do so.  I am full resting in His promises of comfort, peace, healing, and supplication.  Thank you, Lord, for your providence!