Celebrating life today! Five years ago today I had brain surgery at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, MN (Mayo Clinic) to remove a large AVM (arteriovenous malformation) from the left frontal lobe of my brain. I didn’t know that this blob was in there nor had I even heard the word until after I had a seizure on the morning of October 23, 2008. After that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Literally or figuratively.
Life changed for good (take that either way you like) on that day and ensuing season of my and my family’s life. Make no mistake about it: Things like this affect everyone in the family. Each one of our five children has been affected in different ways, but they have all been affected.
Not a single day or waking hour has passed during these past five years without my being transported back in time to those harrowing 46 days…the temporary paralysis on the right side, the inability to speak, the blood infection, the blood clots, coding, emergency open heart surgery and then the long arduous road to recovery. If you would like to read about the first 16 months of this ordeal in a summary form just click on the word synopsis and you will quickly see why this story needs to be told.
As I have been working on the first draft of the introduction to the book about our experiences over these past five years I have come to the realization that God is very inefficient (from our perspective) regarding the means by which He gets us from wherever we are in our current state to where we need to be. And God’s got guts. And an amazing love in His heart for His children.
In writing the book I will be drawing deeply from the well of blog posts during this season around 250 of them, many written by me prior to the surgery where I share my thoughts and fears and how I coped with the unknown. Yesterday I looked back at my last post before the surgery. Here it is!
This will probably be my final pre-surgery posting. Regardless of what happens tomorrow or any other day for the rest of my life these words are ever true from the end of Hebrew Ch.12 “…since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken let us be thankful and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire.”
Fighting the good fight of faith in days of plenty as well as in days of want,
Filled with thanks, appreciation and love for you all,
During the many days where I was completely out of it my wife Karla kept the world informed with her faith filled daily postings. At times it seemed like a medical X Games, where extreme measures were the only thing that saved the day…and my life. The blog has received more than 155,000 views, the vast majority in late 2008 early 2009. Thank you Dean and Kathleen Osborne for “managing the love” and being with us during all of the most critical times. We are eternally grateful.
I am so so thankful to be alive and well on planet earth…and thankful for the precious gift of Karla to me. In marriage we became one flesh and through the fires we have come to understand that reality in a much deeper way. I am also thankful for our five children who have been as supportive and adaptive as they could be.
No job, but got life. Think that slogan could ever take off? In many ways the past two years have been even more painful and difficult than what happened five years ago at this time. After being the pastor of Crossroad Evangelical Free Church for nearly 18 years I lost my job in July, 2013. But that’s a story for another time.
Well, I am just happy and thankful to be alive on this day February 12, 2014. I really am! Our family is now in the best place physically, emotionally, and spiritually that we have been in the last five years.
Five years ago today I was unable to move my right side or speak. Five months ago, with three other friends, I stood atop Mt. Whitney the highest peak in the lower 48…on a rigorous backpacking trip of 55 miles up and down steep mountain passes and spectacular vistas in the High Sierra of California.
It is absolutely crazy to think of the roller coast ride we have been on over the past five years. Who could have written this script? Only God.
In Romans 11:33ff Paul writes “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?…For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”