The past few months have been filled with much tragedy in our nation.
The news is filled with the horrors of fires, shootings, social divide, hurricane devastation and more tragedy than I feel I can cope with at times.
As most of you know, I have been away from the "M" Words ministry for over a month.
My husband and I planned a move back to Florida from the tranquility of the north Georgia mountains. We left friends and church family, sold our home and headed back south. "Why" we felt we needed to do this...well, it was a concern for family.
On July 28th we left Georgia and faced a tropical storm in Florida. As we drove through the heavy downpour of rain, we took shelter under an overpass near Tampa. I sat in my car and stared at my husband in the rear view mirror. He was driving a Penske truck with our belongings. "Lord, are we REALLY sure we are in Your will? For I have this feeling of uneasiness within me today. We have prayed for Your guidance and all the doors opened. I know You will help us, no matter what we face - for this move takes us from the calm of the mountains, back to the place I longed to leave."
Since that day, we have faced one battle after another. As my fingers type these words, I must admit, I feel like a torn sail that is flopping in the wind. But I do remember this:
Anytime we are faced with a circumstance that threatens our calm, our security, our family, or our own life, it is all about survival. For the woman of faith, I know that my survival is found through being rooted in the love and promises of my Savior Jesus Christ. I do not know how anyone can come through trials, whole in spirit and emotion, without Him. Since that day under the overpass, much has taken place.
Only three weeks after arriving in Florida, we needed to pack what we could into our SUV and evacuate to our daughter's home in St. Louis. A category 5 hurricane was headed our way and we need to leave immediately. What should have been a 5 hour drive to the Florida/Georgia line was a 10 hour drive. Hotels were booked all the way to Tennessee. After one week, we returned to see families sleeping in tents, many running out of food and water and lives torn apart. Lives changed, yet the blessing was there, as they survived the storm.
One month later, as my husband and I were out of town, he suffered a TIA (mini stroke).
A health conscious man, now looked right through me and could not speak. He collapsed to the floor and his arm was bleeding from hitting a desk on his way down. His mouth was crooked and as I called his name, waiting for an answer, he just stared. Spending 3 days in ICU, he was found to have 100% blockage in the right carotid artery and 95% blockage in the left. My lifeline...focus on the words, "Always look for the blessing."
The blessing here was that there was no permanent damage. He did not have this TIA while driving and I was with him to call EMS immediately. He was released on the proper medicine until we could return to Florida and see a vascular surgeon. As we drove home, we stopped every two hours for my husband to walk around. After four hours of driving, excruciating pain in his legs made it impossible for him to get out of the vehicle.
Continuing southward, my cell phone rings. I hear the nervous voice of my son explaining that my daughter-in-law was in an accident with my car. She lost control during a rain storm, spun around, hitting the median. The car was totaled. I took a deep breath and tried to speak softly and calmly, so as not to make my husband's blood pressure go up any further, as his pain was increasing. Here also, there was a blessing to be found; she was not injured.
Arriving home, my husband remained in bed for two days until we realized it was the medicine that was causing knee pain and the inability to walk. EMS needed to be called once again since his pain was extreme and he could not walk to the vehicle. Admitted again to the hospital, his pain was controlled and some med's changed.
Today is the first day he is able to walk without assistance. Another blessing.
This Thursday, Oct. 19th, my husband will have his carotid surgery. Without it, the chances are very high he will have a serious, maybe fatal stroke.
So once again we look for the blessing from the Great Physician, to guide the hands of the surgeon this coming week.
Hurricanes, fires, shootings and other tragedies can leave us feeling broken, bruised and battered. When we feel as if we cannot move on, we must remember to lift our eyes toward the One who can rescue our spirit; who can make us whole again.
Surely, the One who reached down and saved us as a lost sinner will not leave us in our time of need. We just need to look toward the Light. Look for the blessing.
You alone can rescue. We lift up our eyes to You.