News: Tomorrow, Monday, we will show up at the University Hospital in Indianapolis, at 6 (yawn) AM for Mike's 4th ERCP. He had left me a note after a recent trip to the doctor:
So, first available, right?
THIS is first available.
6 AM in Indianapolis means 4:45 AM on the road TO Indianapolis.
We'll see a smattering (bad choice of words) of truckers. Mostly, the roads will be clear and ours. Mike DID mention that we would get their sooner if he drove. So, fine. I'd rather not drive with him in the shotgun position. That usually brings helpful tips about hitting all the green lights and watching out for the _______, and "do you know where you're going?"
By now, I do. Even in the dark.
The ERCP is a palliative procedure so on many levels, it's good that we are getting the 4th one.
Views: My mind is flooded right now with thoughts about my sweet sister-in-law, who has gained the weight of an inoperable brain tumor; and her husband, my baby brother, a big lug of a guy who protects his family, both immediate and extended. In this situation, they both come face to face with how helpless we all are, except for running to the strong arms of our Savior. While it's a good reminder, it usually comes through the most dire of circumstances.
And, can I help it if I'm reliving OUR life two years ago? Ken is inundated with 30, 40, 50 emails a day, all asking the same questions and afraid to ask the same questions; Janelle, who's long-time blog (showandtellblog.typepad.com) is shining with the love she has for God, plus candid remarks about her current experiences; and the darkness of the long nights, the quiet times with scripture, the need to talk about uncomfortable topics with those she loves.
I know, because I'm in one loop, that an ocean of believers are holding Janelle and Ken (and their children) up to the Father. A miracle? We'll take it. A healing that extends life far beyond what a doctor may say? We'll take it. God's will, even if it means what medical science seems to hold? Hmmmmm, well.....
I found myself singing to the radio "All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give." (Moody station)
Except I got caught....."All to Jesus, I surrender.....except THIS."
Weak sister here.
I visited with Ken on the phone and told him that all those Christian cliches' about God's will, and God's grace, and God's goodness.......feel a bit cold right now. It's when we must, MUST, rely on what we know about God. And if you've forgotten, read Janelle's blog and be reminded.
Yesterday, Janelle opined that perhaps within God's grace, should this be her graduation to glory, she may be saved some real pain on earth. How non-coincidental that I was given similar insight by a young man in a coffee shop who is learning Russian on his own and needed a break.
(He told me that although he's no genius, he has the ability to pick up languages easily and thinks that God will send him to the mission field. In Russia? God knows.)
And here's something else I know: NOW is when Satan turns all guns on God's children. At my church, they like to call him The Evil One, perhaps because the culture has cutified 'satan.' Whatever his name, he and his minions surround us; we are protected but in weakness, he finds just a small hole to wheedle away.
In our story, as Mike lay recuperating from a failed surgery, a dark curtain fell and he doubted his salvation. No matter what I said, what anyone said, he sank into despair that not only would he die but he'd be damned to hell. A pall hung over his pillow.
So, I enlisted all of God's children within the scope of my voice and writing, to pray to this specific end: that God would lift the curtain and shine through with assurance and peace. And, faithful ever (remember that) He did.
And, today, I'm going to ask you and everyone I can reach, to prayer that Satan (evil one, whatever) be held at bay, that amidst what Ken and Janelle are fording, their minds and hearts can be at peace that God is with them, will never leave them, loves them more than anyone and more than humans can understand.
PS. Janelle's illness has brought me back to being keenly aware of our situation. We need your prayers, also.
News PS: Daughter Allyson is coming home over Labor Day. She told me she got 'unexpected' time off (no coincidences for God's children) and thought this would be a good idea. Fun and the Lake over Labor Day!