1:45 A.M. What in the world? Why is my phone ringing? Why does the voice on the other end sound so distraught? What is going on?
As those questions were answered, one by one, the picture became very clear...and one other question moved to the forefront..."Will things ever be the same again?"
It's now ten days later, and honestly, no, things will never be the same.
But, things are a lot better than where I thought they would be.
Yes, ten days ago, my dad had a stroke. I had JUST taken him to the doctor about 12 hours earlier. Then, he had visited Gramma Humes with me...visiting Gram in the very hospital where he would soon become a patient. We went back to his house that afternoon, he helped David and I gather up some pieces of wood from his shop for a project we would be working on, we loaded up a silly motorized scooter Dad had given David...and I remember as I watched Dad and David working side by side how happy and full and complete everything felt.
A lot can change in 12 hours. That's for sure.
But, you know, even in the darkest hours, there are so many silver linings!
Our friends and family have been amazing. People babysitting our children, donating gas money, food so Mom doesn't have to worry about grocery runs, people sending cards, the prayers, the phone calls, people have offered to make dinner, bake cookies, and then of course, there are certain people, that all they have to do is hug you and it makes everything better.
It's beautiful that I'm seeing my Dad bounce back. Hours of therapy a day, and his speech is becoming more clear every day. He is getting stronger every day. Hey, he's even trying new things! Today at occupational therapy, he baked cookies. Mom jokes and says maybe they should give him a mopping and laundry lesson while they are at it!
So much has changed. But, so much is the same. Dad is still a jokester. He still "gets" my kids probably better than anyone else in this world. He is able to have fun, even in a rehabilitation hospital, with a 88 year old woman, an 89 year old man, and a 91 year old woman as his cohorts in crime.
I've been praying for my dad for 16 years now. Oh, how I long for my dad to turn to Christ. Gracious, it's hard when all you want is that peace and joy that comes from the Lord for your own flesh and blood. This situation has given my dad the chance to hear the gospel message yet another time. Yes, you can believe there is a God...but true salvation is found only in Christ. Jesus is our hope for salvation. Dear friend, I hope you have found your salvation in the Lord. I pray that your heart is soft to the message of salvation, especially in this dark, hard, and scary world. Please, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about that. And, if you know the Lord, when you turn to Him in prayer today, will you ask specifically that my Dad will eventually give his heart and his life to Jesus?
I just keep praying that maybe things will even out. Even with all the silver linings, the stress is still there. I feel the stress taking a toll on me. In fact, prayers would be appreciated as I myself have made a doctors appointment tomorrow for a quick once over. Stress is hard on our bodies, and I'm experiencing some physical signs of the intensity of the last few weeks. They remind me that I need to continually give these worries over to the Lord. I'm doing my best, in many emotionally charged situations and just trying my best to trust the Lord, not only with my Dad's future, and the health of his soul, but also trusting him with my future too.
So, tonight, while the weight of my little world is on my shoulders, I need to remember, it doesn't belong there. It belongs at the feet of Jesus.