As most all of you know, I spent the last 9 days in the ICU dealing with a weird strain of pneumonia, compounded (or possibly caused) by a uterine infection. I'm reeling, physically and emotionally from the whole experience. Leaving my newborn baby to get flown in a helicopter to the next state was definitely among the top-two suckiest experiences of my life. The first three days, they were just trying to figure it out. I was attended to by no less than 15 doctors (from four different departments), and a veritable army of nurses and aides. It was hard during the day, but the coughing got so much worse at night. I was on oxygen, but there was literally nothing they could do to stop the coughs (until they finally cleared up the infection). At night, when I was alone, and couldn't hold onto a breath, was running a 103 fever, and trying REALLY hard not to cry because it made the coughing so much worse, I was scared. Really scared.
The night before they ended up intubating me I remembered that Jon had said Gwenn left her iPod-iTouch-iWhatever-it-is for us to listen to. I had a really hard time navigating that little thing, for some reason. I couldn't get it to just "PLAY" and then "GO ON TO THE NEXT SONG"...it would keep repeating one song. So in the middle of the night, since I couldn't sleep anyway, I was scrolling through the different artists, and God just broke right through my misery and taught me about worshipping. For real. I was so breathless, I couldn't talk. So obviously, I REALLY couldn't sing. And, since you, dear friends, know me so well, you know those are pretty much my top two favorite activities. :) But as song after song just popped out of the list, all I could do as gasp along with the words that I truly felt that God was giving just to me. First came the older song (from the mid-90s) "God is In Control" by Twila Paris. I knew the song well, but hadn't heard it in years. The title was something that my sweet husband kept saying to me all week. One of the lyrics says, "This is no time for fear; this is a time for faith and determination". Next song I drift to is "Abba" by Rebecca St. James (again, hadn't heard it in years). The lyric there promised
"I'm feeling like the eagle that rises
Flies above the earth and its troubles
Oh yes he knows that there are valleys below
But under his wings there's a stronger power"
A new (to me) song by Chris Tomlin "Jesus Messiah" resonated (about three times in a row!) through my spirit. I was starting to breathe a little easier. Then came the song "Jesus, You're Beautiful" by Sara Groves. I remembered signing this song with my dear Selah sisters a few years ago. When I didn't have the air to gasp to sing anymore, I was signing the words in the dark.
"Glorious" by Martha Munizzi (from the move "The Gospel"). I remembered my Gwennie putting that song on my ipod playlist and telling me it was a great kick-butt running song.
Just before I finally fell asleep that night, I shut off the music and was just laying there thinking about what God can and will teach me under difficult circumstances. And then He reminded me of a song I had found "for" my friend Candy a few years ago, on the anniversary of her baby son's death. I hadn't heard this song before, and I honestly don't think I've heard it since. But I learned it and recorded it and gave it to her and Jim with some other music I thought they'd find meaningful. It spoke so straight to my heart (again).
"If You Want Me To"
The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone
So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to
So where am I going with all this? Unsurprisingly, I'm not sure. :) I'm still processing. But I have learned two truths through all this. One: my husband loves me so much. His care for me when I needed him is something I will spend the rest of my life being thankful for. If that's ALL I learned through this, I truly think it would be worth it. But second, and bigger, my God made my every cell, and he made that man for me :) My God loves me with an everlasting love that is big, and strong, and powerful, even when I am small, and weak, and powerless.