Today’s post is written for Five Minute Friday, and the word prompt for today is need.
One week and a day ago my husband was admitted to the hospital to have a stint put in place to open blocked heart arteries. He had had some symptoms checked out by his primary physician and in the course of tests, doctor appointments and the all-telling stress test, his procedure was scheduled and then moved to the very next day.
It was a big deal to us, since we’re both only 51 and in relatively good health. Although it’s considered minor and would only require an overnight stay, it felt a little scary, as anything to do with the heart does.
But low and behold, when the heart doctor went in with the camera to begin the procedure, it was determined that my husband in fact would need heart surgery. There were just too many blockages and bypass surgery would definitely be the best option for his long-term health. He was not allowed to return home because he was at too great a risk for heart attack.
So after adjusting to this news, we simply began the long plod through information, emotions, and the day to day necessities that would be required to make this happen.
It’s only two days after this difficult and frightening surgery, but he came through fine and improved rapidly, despite looking and feeling like he had been hit and run over by a truck the next day. In fact tomorrow, just four days after this invasive, but life-saving surgery, he is looking forward to being discharged and coming home.
In all of this, it has been strongly confirmed to me how real friends come through in times of need.
I truly believe in the all-knowing wisdom, never-ending love and faithfulness of God, and have had my faith and trust tested probably even more this time than in all of my half-century of life, and I don’t know how I could go through hard times without him.
But in the day to day harsh realities and moments where I feel too much or nothing at all in our time of crisis, those who truly love and care for us come through and are invaluable.
These people come in all shapes and sizes:
- family who live near and far
- church friends and even just acquaintances
- community/small group friends with whom we’ve developed deeper and more personal relationships
- “old-time” friends whom we haven’t had the chance to spend time with recently but will always care in a deep way
- far-away family, friends and loved ones, connecting through social media, telephone and text
- medical personnel of all sorts – skilled and caring surgeons and knowledgeable doctors, nurses in ICU and hospital rooms who act as ministering “angels”, and random hospital personnel who help with a smile, by answering our many questions, or even by just leading the way to the correct corridor in the maze of hospital hallways.
I can’t thank God enough for sending us these people. They have helped in invaluable ways, from the very practical to the very real spiritual.
These are some of the gifts they have given us already in this time of need:
- prayers, prayers and more prayers, whether in person, on the phone, or promised through texts and Facebook comments
- encouragement in the form of a hug, a positive comment, simply listening and letting us vent or ask questions, or sharing valuable insight from their own experiences
- meals for my family, so at the end of a long day when all I have left is nothing, I can still have good food to nourish myself and my older sons at home
- rides to the hospital when it was just too much for me, or company driving to and from and providing a “secondary brain” for me there
- finding practical solutions and helps for us and delivering them to our door with love
- passing along updates and information when I don’t have the energy to make one more call or answer one more text
- providing pleasant distraction, providing us with small, happy breaks in what is otherwise a long, exhausting and unpleasant journey
- sending cards and flowers to add a bit of cheer to our crazy days
I have gone some over my five-minute mark today, but needed to express my thankfulness and deep gratitude in this small way to those who have blessed us and continue to do so.
I pray that one day we may pay it forward and provide some of these same helps and show God’s love to others in their time of need.
We will be forever changed by the words and actions of all these wonderful people.
We couldn’t do it without you.