Eighteen days

Tuesday morning, I was delivered a ton of bricks in the face by my daughter. So to speak.

She said joyfully, “Oma and Opa will be here three weeks from tomorrow!”

My parents (aka Oma & Opa) will be taking care of the kids while their daddy has a brain tumor removed. In eighteen days.

This sudden reminder brought my busy day to a halt, and I sat there dumbfounded with a knot in my stomach.

On October 14, the love of my life, the better half of this ‘one flesh,’ will go through an extensive procedure to remove a “very large” tumor at Vanderbilt. It presses on his brain stem, which the surgeons will take great care to preserve. Considered one of the longest brain surgeries, it will take all day (usually 14 hours or so). Following surgery, he will be in Intensive Care for 24 hours, after which he will remain in the hospital for several more days, possibly up to a week.

Statistics reveal that he will probably have some facial weakness on one side of his face, that he will have difficulty balancing (due to the fact that the nerve which helps control balance on his right side will be necessarily severed and removed during surgery) and may need therapy. Hopefully this will be temporary. He will be completely deaf in one ear, have a large scar, and it will take him about six weeks to function somewhat normally again.

I prefer to deal with things as they come: up front, getting it out of the way, moving on. But this time, it’s not an option. I see the steamroller, and it’s 100 feet away and gaining. I know (beyond miraculous intervention from God, which He is more than capable of) that the steamroller will indeed flatten me (I speak of my emotional duress, rather than my husband’s physical pain, which will surely be incomparably worse. This is my own perspective).

I also have the extraordinary advantage that I know I will recover. But that does not remove the flattening.. It will be painful, recovery will be slow, but once we pass this hurdle, life will go on virtually intact.

My choices are at the moment to either watch the giant, looming threat bear down on me, or look around and enjoy the scenery around me as I wait.

On that note, the scenery is pretty spectacular. We have seen the hand of God moving on our behalf, we have felt His presence when fear threatens to overwhelm. We have found His grace to be sufficient even at moments like this–especially at moments like this.

and somehow, I must say, there’s no place I’d rather be than here, less than 100 feet away from an advancing steamroller. This is where God is.

I have prayed many times that God make me into the person He wants me to be. This slow, painful wringing-out of my reserve seems unbearable sometimes, yet I know it is with express purpose. He must increase, and I must decrease. His plan is what matters, He’s the Author of our story–and the finisher! In His mercy, He has let us in on the secret: that the end of the story is good, and we have much to look forward to!

So, trembling a bit, I observe the scenery, knowing the God who made it is faithful, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

The God I know loves me too much to prevent what is good for me.

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