I've got to be honest with y'all - I really struggle with being dreadful of all things hospital, yet still placing my hope in the Lord. Is it possible to know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28, emphasis added), but feel burdened by what those things may be?
Recently, I've been relating to Paul's writings in the Bible - specifically in regards to the thorn in his side - and learning a lot about grace in the process. In some ways, I feel like Ethan's broken heart is my personal thorn. It burdens me and worries me and runs me ragged some days. Paul used the word "torment" (2 Corinthians 12:7) and, at times, that's exactly how I feel. Just as Paul did, I've asked God to take this away from our family - to take away the emotional and physical pain we experience because of it, to completely heal Ethan's heart.
While I absolutely believe that the Lord heard our prayers and restored Ethan's heart to where it was before his cardiac arrest, there is still a cow vein sewn into it. There are still surgeries and appointments and anesthesia and consent forms that tell the surgeons, "I give you permission to cut into my son's heart and I understand that he might not wake up."
The thorn digs in deeper and I begin to feel fearful. Angry. Weak.
And, the truth is, I don't like these feelings - and I really don't want to accept this thorn. But then I get to verse 9...
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
...and I remember.
His grace is sufficient.
His grace is enough.
His grace is all I need.
I'm learning lately, more than ever, about grace and how attempting to be "the strong one" or "the right one" doesn't leave any room for the perfect One. When I try to manage my mess of emotions on my own, or attempt to control-the-heck out of situations, I am pushing Christ and His grace out of the picture.
So, as the walls close in on me this week, I sincerely pray that I'll accept His grace that covers every ounce of my weakness - especially when I'm ready to pound my fists and stomp my feet.
Here are some specific things y'all can be praying for over the next seven days:
1. Ethan's health - we've been in "isolation" since last Wednesday in an effort to keep Ethan well before next Tuesday. They will not perform the cath if he's sick, so keeping him healthy is crucial. So far, so good!
2. Dr. R. - God has really placed him on my heart in the past day or so, and I ask y'all to join me in praying for him as he prepares for Ethan's case. It will be another tricky procedure, and he'll need to make skilled, wise decisions.
3. The cath itself - As was the case last spring, this procedure will either delay surgery or place it in our near future (see #2). Pray that there will be no complications and that Ethan's body will handle the anesthesia well.
4. This week - I do feel like the literal walls of our house are closing in on me. The days are long and my patience is short. It's only Tuesday and we've already put together every puzzle, and watched more shows than I care to admit. Pray for me, and leave me some ideas of things I can do with the E-Man this week.
Thank you for loving us well.