Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Believe in Miracles, I Don't Believe in Magic...

It was 12:30 AM and I was in the shower staring at the water circling down the drain.

Laura and I were set to get up at 4:00 AM to leave the house by 4:45 for her early morning surgery check in.

But I couldn't sleep. Heck - i hadn't really slept in like a week or more it seemed.

I felt like I needed to talk to God one more time and the water of a shower has always helped wash out the noise of the world and allow me to connect my heart to His ear.

About 6 hours earlier - Laura and I had come to grips with what looked like the pretty imminent removal of a portion of her colon due to that mass, that tumor, that stupid thing that was causing the issue and had caused me to miss sleep for close to two weeks. The scope she had done that day showed a swollen appendix entrance indicating something going on back there.

And here's the deal... we were cool with it. We had given it over to God... declared His will was best and we were ready to move forward.

But if I've picked up on anything about God - it's that He sent His son to be relational. And at 12:30 that night - I felt like checking in on my relationship with Him.

Let me pause and just state this - while I believe fully and with my entire being in the power of prayer - I will never pretend to even remotely understand the ups and downs and wheres and whys and hows that God puts in place when He hears them from us.

I mean... we prayed for Brighton to be healed and live. Instead he died. Meron got sick in Ethiopia before coming home - we prayed the same things - she lived. Both things - his death and her life - had a profound impact and influence on our lives. I still do not understand His ways - but believe He has our hearts and eternity in mind at all times.

So as I slid to my knees with water spraying around me, I prayed to Him with all I had:

"God... No.

Please, no.

I am strong enough in You to do this and I promise You whatever the outcome is we will point every single thing at You... but please God... no.

No cancer. No removal of her intestine. Ya know what God - how about NO TUMOR?

Lord... as always with our family - we seek Your will in this - but I just wanted You to know my heart. Your will wins and You get all the glory.

In Jesus' name... AMEN."
It was short, it was simple, but it was breathed through tears and straight from the core of my heart.

4 hours later - our amazing friend showed up to stay with the kids at our house way too early - and Laura and I drove off towards the hospital - sort of in silence as we marveled at how when you live on the plains - you can see the sun rising even at 4:50 in the morning.

He was peaking over the horizon at us already. More proof He was awake and at it WAY before we were...

After check in - things got a little nutty. Like I said - we were both at such peace with this. His will was gonna win - and we thought it best to be on His side - so we were so comfortable with things.

And honestly - there were HUNDREDS of prayers being lifted for Laura and our family from nearly every corner of the globe.

Something about that brings an unbelievable amount of peace in the face of adversity.

So you end up with things like this picture - and Laura's request of "Make sure and get me pointing my toe..."

Ya see why I love this girl? Maybe ya get a glimpse into why my wandering mind was fathoming scenarios that simply wouldn't work. I need her.

Then it was selfie time to send a bunch of them to her mom...

And a big girl princess hat shot that we texted to the goofball gang at home.

But then it got a little serious. Several nurses were in the room and they were about to roll her out when she said, "Tymm - will you pray for me?"

Zero hesitation.

My mind had been re-playing this prayer that somebody had posted in a comment either on Facebook or our blog recently. It said something to the effect of "God - let the surgeons go in there and see that the Great Physician has gone before them. Let there be nothing there..."

At that moment - before she was wheeled off to be put under - THAT is what my heart was screaming to pray.

But sometimes we have to let our heart and mind get together and summon up some courage and trust - and lean into His will.

So instead, I prayed:
"Lord - thank you for this day. Please be with each and every one of the nurses, techs and surgery team members. Please be with Dr. Delano.

Lord - we want there to be nothing in there - but more than that we want Your will to be done. We believe Your ways are better than ours - and we defer to your will.

In Jesus' name.

I kinda sorta kept it together... sorta.

She said "I love you.." - we high-fived - and they rolled her out the hall and off to surgery at 7:28 am.


I headed out to the waiting room where my plan was to log on and try to do some work.

Ha. Who was I kidding? I could barely breath - let alone focus on work.

So instead I sat and tried to make my way through the hundreds - I mean HUNDREDS - of prayers being sent via text, email, Facebook, etc.

So many prayers. So many people storming the gates of Heaven on her behalf. So many people baring their hearts to Him saying - "let there be nothing there."

At 8:50 AM - I felt a presence beside me - I had kinda zoned out reading prayers.

I looked up and it was Dr. Delano standing there.

I outwardly played it cool while inside my mind was FREAKING OUT...
"Why is he here already?"

"I thought he booked the OR for 3 hours...?"

"What's happening?"
He sat down, looked at me and said:
"There was nothing there."
Wait... what? Did I just hear him correctly?

He went on to say:
"Her appendix was fine. I took it out cuz she doesn't need it. She looked great in there - nothing to see. I didn't touch her intestine.

That thing we all saw? I THINK it was a left over kidney. I pulled a urologist in and we took it out and sent it to pathology. We'll know later this week - but she looked great.

Gonna keep her overnight but she should be good."
I shook his hand and thanked him - but that was about all I could get out.

My chest was tightening and I couldn't believe this - I had the most bizarre feeling in my heart and mind of "I heard You. I heard them all."

Prayer matters people. It MATTERS. Because - here is what we had been looking at the last week and a half or so...
  • A very physical pain that sent Laura to the doctor...
  • A "that's not appendicitis" from the doctor
  • An ultrasound that revealed a relatively big mass/tumor
  • A CT Scan that confirmed the abnormality that the ultrasound had shown
  • An overnight oncology consultation to tell Laura "Don't get on that plane to Ethiopia!"
  • Days of paranoid waiting
  • A surgical consult with words like "cancer" and "stages" and "lymph nodes" and "colon removal"
  • A colonoscopy that revealed a clearly swollen entrance to the unhealthy appendix where the mass was thought to be
  • Massive amounts of prayer on Laura's behalf
All culminating in a surgery that showed "nothing there."

I called Laura's mom because I didn't want her to see it on social media somewhere... i ALMOST kept it together on the phone with her.

Then I let what felt like the entire world know and asked everybody to not stop now because what comes next are prayers of praise and thanksgiving!

I couldn't even begin to keep up with the flood of messages and praises being thrown around all over.

The nurse from the operating room called me in the waiting room and said "Everything went great - she will be in room 901 in 10 minutes..."

You know where I was heading...

When I got up there - Laura was looking ROUGH. PALE and in a LOT of pain - she was gripping a puke bag and trying to keep her eyes open.

I couldn't hold back - in her grogginess - I told her everything Doc D. had told me. I am not sure what all she heard.

But let me show you how else God was at work - going before us and setting the stage.

When I walked in - her post-op nurse was in there.

That's her right there - Miyuki is her name.

She looked up at me and said: "You guys look so familiar to me..."

I just kinda ignored it. I mean - We've only been here a year and some change - and honestly I think with the beard and the bald head I get mixed up with other bald-headed beardos.

As Laura started to come to - we started sharing with Miuyki how this whole thing with its cancerous undertones and urgency had stopped Laura from leading a trip to Africa.

"Oh really?" Miyui asked. "Where in Africa?"

"ETHIOPIA" (of course) Laura shared.

Miyuki looked up and said "Really? My friend just got back from a trip to Ethiopia!"

"Uh... who is your friend?" was our next logical question...

"Mandy... she is my next door neighbor," Miyuki said.

Ohhh you mean the same Mandy who went on the Brighton Their World trip and who our kids stayed with during the surgical consult...

Why yes she did mean that Mandy... ONLY GOD.

Only God would provide us with a super friendly, super connected to us already post-op nurse to ease any kind of fear, pain or uncomfort we may have been having.

Miyuki - we truly believe you were orchestrated by God to be where you were this week. Thank you for being such an amazing nurse and awesome person!

Finally - Laura dozed off - and to be honest - I just sat and watched my best friend sleep for a while.

The what-ifs and what-coulda-beens running through m head.

But instead - I get to have my far better half at full health with me for longer... and it's a direct result of the INSANE AMOUNTS OF PRAYERS you guys threw up to Him on our behalf.

Thank you just doesn't seem adequate

Finally - I had to slide out and relieve our incredible friend from goofball gang duty at our house.

Thank you guys SO MUCH for sacrificing an entire day so I could be with Laura through this whole thing.

Means more than you could ever know.

Then - these guys showed up with a meal - ready to go!

You guys have no idea how much your selfless acts mean to us... and how much you're pointing at Him in them!

Finally - i got to share the AMAZING news withe goofball gang and get them down to see their mommy that they were desperately missing.

And that crazy Mommy was already up taking the walks they said she needed to take to get outta there at the earliest possible time!

And i KNOW FOR A FACT that her goofballs getting down to see her made her absolute day!

Best medicine she could have received.

This morning - I got the honor of picking her up and getting her home!

What had started out as a fearful list of unknowns including a pretty good week or more in the hospital had turned in to a miraculous bunch of "nothing" and a 24 hour hospital stay.

Only God.

Another incredible friend showed up with another amazing meal this afternoon.

Then it was off to get her some pain meds filled so we could be looking at this...


As physically challenging as a scope through the stomach is - I think we're all kinda spent from the mental challenge this whole thing had become.

Seeing her home - in her bed - sleeping peacefully - was the best gift I could have ever received.

And this gal and her family took our entire goofball gang from like 1:00 until 7:30 today so Laura could get set up and comfortable and get some rest.

They played with them all day and took them to Chick Fil A for dinner.

Incredible, incredible people!

Oh... and that girl? That's Miyuki's neighbor Mandy.

And she has become quite the amazing friend to Laura - with a big fat servant's heart that is just awesome to watch!

I don't know what God is up to. I don't know why He chose this route for us or why He chose the outcome He did.

But I do know this - He cares about prayer.

And you guys who prayed for us - for Laura - for me - for our kids... you guys have given me a hope and confidence in humanity i never thought I could have.

I'm still wrestling with the majority of this in my head - the hows, whys, etc.

But from where I sit... we saw a miracle.

Thank each and everyone of you for being part of it.


Mary DeGennaro said...

So grateful for this amazing outcome!!!! It is a miracle, so kind of our Father in heaven to answer our prayers in such an amazing way! He receives all the glory! So happy for all of you, especially the Goofballs!!!!!

Tymm said...

thank you so much Mary for the prayers and support. And yes - ALL GLORY goes to Him... without a doubt!

G said...

Praise God!!!

Imperfect Mom of Six said...

Oh thank God! Undeserved mercy and pity. Wow!!

Unknown said...

You have a gift!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful words. They are inspiring and real.

Tymm said...

Thank you Krista for those encouraging kind words!!