Until you have personally been touched by the profound power of multiplied prayer, you cannot imagine its impact upon your life. My husband and I have been the recipients of such prayer the last few weeks and it has been overwhelming!
To all of you who have prayed, THANK YOU is totally inadequate to express how much your prayers have meant to us. We knew you were praying. We knew we had a prayer covering and rested in the peace and security of that covering. Believe me when I say, the VERIZON network has nothing on the power of a prayer network such as we've had the last few weeks.
It has been an amazing journey and I just wanted you to know how effective your prayers have been. Often we pray for folks and never know the results. I want each of you, our dear and faithful prayer warriors, to KNOW!!
For those of you reading this who may NOT know, my husband and I left 2 weeks ago for Chicago where he was scheduled to have total hip replacement. We travelled out of town for this surgery because of the type of surgery which is not available in the area where we live. Going through surgery is a difficult thing no matter where you are, but facing it away from home and family and your support system is extremely difficult. We knew we needed even more prayer than usual for these difficult circumstances.
Our journey began the morning of September 19. As we were on no set schedule, we did not rush to get up and leave at the crack of dawn. We knew we had a long day's drive ahead of us as we were going all the way to Cincinnati on the first leg of this journey. We left home around 10:30 am.
We had not gone very far from home when we encountered the first proof of God's amazing protection over us. We were approaching a bridge and noticed that the truck coming towards us was crossing the yellow line. In what seemed like minutes, but was actually only a few seconds, he continued to cross into our lane as we were nearing the bridge and my husband tried to get over as far as he could but then came the CRASH!!!!!!!!!! When the dust settled, we quickly realized that all that had hit was our mirrors, but the impact of how close we came to a head on collison was as jarring as the crash. I knew in that instant that God was protecting us and that the prayers of all our prayer warriors was definitely in effect!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly believe God allowed that mishap just to show us that prayer covering we were under for this trip. We had been literally inches away from disaster yet God shielded us and held us in His mighty right hand!
We drove through rain and construction the remainder of the day. On Sunday we toured the Creation Museum just outside of Cincinnati and again we were overwhelmed by our great God as we saw with intricate detail all that had occurred with the flood of Noah's day, the enormity of the ark, and the explanation of Biblical truth in regards to creation.
My husband works for a Kellogg plant in Memphis and as we were going north, we had wanted to arrange a tour through the home base of Battle Creek, Michigan. His first attempts had not gone well in setting this up, but then God began to open the doors and through the kindness of several wonderful Kellogg employees, it all fell into place. Another prayer answered. We had a great tour and my husband truly enjoyed getting to see how another plant operated.
Before leaving town, some pre-op tests had come back with abnormal results regarding his blood clotting process. With the surgery he was having that was incredibly critical. We were beginning to fear that surgery would not be able to go forward as planned. Yet on the Friday before we were to leave, results of a 3rd test came back normal and we were cleared for surgery!!!!!!!! More in depth testing was also done at this time but we would not get the results til on in the week after we left. However, we got those results on Tuesday and all was confirmed well. Another answer to prayer!!
Surgery was planned for Friday and we decided to take advantage of the few days leading up to surgery by taking in the sites of Chicago. On Tuesday we took the train into town and toured the Shedd Acquarium, seeing all the amazing varieties of marine life that God had created and marvelled at the beauty and uniqueness of each one. Just a testimony to the creativity of our great God! Then we went on to the Field Museum. There we saw an enormous skeleton of a dinasaur that was unearthed in North Dakota. We read that this dinosaur had been covered by "millions" of years of sediment. What was amazing to us was that he was found with his tail up over his head. Something evidently "cataclysmic" had caused him to be buried that way. Hmmmm...wonder what it could have been!? Our trip through the Creation Museum had definitely provided the answer to that question. The horrific flood caused by the tsunami-type upheaval of the deep had no doubt upended him and buried him beneath the onslaught of earth and debris. Everywhere we looked we saw reminders of our Great God!!
Then we beheld a breathtaking view from the top of the John Hancock tower. Very interesting as well, as we listened to an audio tour about the creation of many of the buildings and landmarks we were seeing. As I had been to Chicago before, one of the main things I wanted to do was eat at the Cheesecake Factory (there was piece of chocolate cake with my name on it!!) I had no idea where it was and we were hoping to find it at some point while sightseeing one of our two days there. As we left the tower, we decided to try to find a place to eat before heading to Union Station to catch the return train. We walked out of the door and guess where we were standing? Right in front of the Cheesecake Factory!! Now tell me God is not good and that He does not see to our slightest need. That is just how personal He is! Tears came to my eyes as I realized once again how much He loves us to provide even such a tiny detail as this for our enjoyment and pleasure.
On Wednesday we finally met with the doctor and were both extremely pleased with him. Up to that point we had only read about him and talked with him once on the phone. But our personal meeting with him solidified our confidence in him and we both left with a real peace that this was indeed what needed to be done and this was the surgeon to do it. However at this meeting we also learned that there was a possibility that my husband might not be in a private room in the tower if it were full on Friday. So once again, I sent out a prayer request through our daughter that we needed to be put in the tower following surgery so that I could stay with him.
Friday arrived and we were met at the hospital by a tremendous staff of caring people. We had prayed specifically for kind, caring staff who would make our stay as pleasant as possible. I can say that we did not meet a single Loyola staff member from the lowest to the highest who was not kind, caring and who did not go out of their way to help us.
It was customary for the patient to be taken up for surgery ALONE. Yet I wanted to go with him as far as I could and to be able to speak with the doctor once more before surgery so that we could pray over him. The transportation courier allowed me to go all the way to just outside the surgical suite with him! God was guiding us all the way. He knew that I needed that as much as my husband did. I was able to speak with the doctor, and we were able to have prayer together before they took him to the OR. Another praise!!
Being alone there I had no way to communicate with those back home except by phone and email updates that our precious son-in-love graciously provided those first few days. Not wanting to lose all my battery, I knew I could not possibly call everyone, so I only called my children and our mothers and the rest of our prayer network received Josh's emails. How thankful I was for that and how grateful I am for all of you who requested to be put on that list. Knowing that you were praying as I waited for news from the OR was incredibly sustaining.
Finally surgery was completed, all went extremely well, no blood transfusions were needed and he was moved to a room....IN THE TOWER!! Another praise went up. We were amazed and extremely pleased with this hospital. Clean, spacious rooms, hardwood floors and a sofa that made into a bed were all waiting for us. Later that night the nurse would bring me linens for the bed including heated blankets!! So much attention to detail. You would have thought we were in a hotel with the service we received instead of a hospital!
My greatest concern had been that my husband not have pain. The doctor had assured me he'd provide adequate pain management. He was right. They were very attentive to that and although there was some, it was manageable. Our night nurse, Lindsay, was absolutely precious!! We could not have asked for a kinder, sweeter girl to take care of us. By late afternoon the day of surgery, they had my husband sitting on the edge of the bed!
He made swift progress over the next few days, amazing the physical therapy staff at how well he was doing. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel for 24 hours then we could head for home. I called to make a reservation at the same hotel we had been at, only to learn that the only room available on the first floor was a jacuzzi suite, which was more than I wanted to pay. I pressed for something else, and the manager finally said "You come...we will find your something if we have to move someone." When we got there we were given the much pricier jacuzzi suite as a "complimentary upgrade" for the same price as the regular room we had had earlier. God DOES provide!
Finally it was time to come home...the day we had both been looking forward to! Our plan was to drive about half way on that day and half the next. I had mapped out several different hotels along the way so we could stop at any point he felt we needed to. We had a beautiful day to drive. After days of rain before we left home and nothing but gray skies in Chicago, we were both so happy to see the sunshine!! We drove through beautiful fields of corn and soybeans...the heartland of America!
We both love Cracker Barrell and had lamented we had not been able to find one on our trip so far. My husband commented that maybe we'd find one that night. I love fast food, but by now was pretty tired of it. The thought of chicken and dumplins made my mouth water. I began to pray that God would graciously allow a Cracker Barrel to be at our hotel stop. Suddenly my husband shouted as he pointed to a sign for our exit. It was a billboard for a Cracker Barrel!! Again...just how personal and loving our Great God is to us!!!!!!!!!!!! Again tears filled my eyes as I drank in the reality of that great love for us!! Just as we love to give good gifts to our children, so God loves to give to us...even in the form of chicken and dumplins and fried apples!!
We finally made it home Wednesday afternoon and were joyfully greeted by our daughter and granddaughter who had prepared a delicious meal and homemade cookies....Papaw's favorites.
We also learned from our daughter who had continued the email updates with our support group that several people had offered to prepare meals for us. We have been overwhelmed by the love and support from those we love.
Yesterday was my husband's birthday and he received many calls and birthday wishes all day. Then good friends brought a luscious dinner complete with birthday cake and candles!
Yes, we are overwhelmed by the goodness of our great God, our Father who loves us SO much!!!!! We have basked in the security of His presence. We have rested beneath the umbrella of your prayers for us and we are thankful beyond words.
We have been blessed on this journey to see Him up close and personal, in big ways and small ways and we are humbled and grateful for the part each of you has played in our journey. May God bless each of you abundantly above all that you could ask or think for loving us, caring for us and most of all for being the avenue through which He blessed us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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