Thursday, October 15, 2015

Faith Upstages Science

On August the 2nd, I woke up from a dream that disturbed me. Firstly, I seldom remember dreams and when I do they are vivid.  This particular Sunday morning I immediately told my husband. In the dream I had waking my husband, the pastor   and telling him, “Lori is dead, Lori is dead! We have to go!” He said, “No she is not and rolled over, back to sleep.” The dream continued and in it I woke again, shaking my husband “Lori’s dead! Lori’s dead!” and again he said “No, she is not.”

After church we went to lunch with Lori and her husband as previously planned. We talked about things, nothing earth shattering but just before we left Lori started sharing her heart. She revealed some heart issues and wounds that were painful. We talked a while and I encouraged her to come to House of Prayer at the church that night so we could pray together.

House of prayer was half over when Lori and Greg came through the door. They sat for a while praying. Remembering what I had said to her, I asked another lady to come with me and we sat down with Lori to pray. Although she had prayed with me before and received Christ and given Him her life she expressed areas of uncertainty of God’s love. When she closed her eyes to pray it was just darkness. We led her in praying through some lies that she believed about God, asking forgivingness for believing the lies and replaced them with prayers of truth. Over the next 20 minutes she went from the place of seeing only darkness to seeing Jesus standing right in front of her. I asked her if she wanted to go to Him and she said “Yes!” Then with her eyes still closed and a smile on her face she whispered, “He is holding me.”  I remembered the dream and thought to myself, there were places in her heart that were dead but now they are alive!  So that is what my dream meant.

2 weeks later, Aug 16th, Lori and Greg did not come to church. Looking back I remember the worship, “Healing is here, healing is here and I believe it, healing is here and I receive it. I lift my hands to the heavens, I lift my eyes to where my help comes from, I look to You my Rock my Healer, I trust in You.” My husband preached on Identity and how knowing who we are in Christ makes us act like Him. He quoted Jesus saying, “Greater things than these will you do…” and he smilingly asked, “Who of us has raised anyone from the dead this past week?”  It was a good service and afterwards we were visiting with the last few people still in the church when someone burst through the door, “they are doing CPR at Greg and Lori’s house. It’s not Greg!” We dropped everything, raced to our cars and drove the 2 minutes to their house, praying life and healing the entire way. There were 2 ambulances and several sheriff vehicles parked in the drive and on the lawn. Lori was lying on the ground lifeless and CPR was in progress.

Being a nurse I stepped close to her and placed my hand on the side of her neck, not to find a pulse but to pray for her, to declare life, to ask the breath of the Holy Spirit to breathe into her. Shortly after that they loaded her in the ambulance. We took Greg and drove to the hospital. They led us into a room but we could see a lot of activity. Although I work there I was not in uniform that day, but I was free to enter the room during the code blue, as I had many times before. This time was different, as I looked at the equipment and IVs and science in the room I said to myself, “Faith, FAITH, keep the faith.” I have experienced this struggle many times as I pray for the sick, faith vs science. I know the science, have a degree in it, yet I know my Jesus, I have a relationship with Him. So I prayed in and for faith, while seeing the monitors beeping out numbers and the professionals calling out vital information to each other.

During this time Lori’s heartbeat was erratic and fluctuated up and down sometimes disappearing. “Stand clear!” back to CPR. I choose not to get involved in the treatment but keep my hand on her much of the time, praying openly in front of my coworkers. I am relieved to see a fellow nurse of faith in the room. Every negative declaration made in the room brought our eyes together in agreement to say “Just believe,” building up our faith together.  The seasoned doctor looks at me and said, “I think we will have to stop, she’s gone.” The work stopped and the time on the clock was called out. The doctor sat down with Greg and the family, saying things that are all forgotten except for the words, “She is gone.” Those dead words hung in the air like a dark blanket and we surrounded Greg with our prayers and arms.

After a while, I left to help get Lori’s body ready so the family could come in. As I walk in I saw that the blanket was pulled back, the nurses and the doctor are standing silently around the bed, there was no movement, no heart beat on the monitor, no pulse, but then to our surprise there was a twitch, a sigh, once, again, not rhythmically, not normal. The science in the room started trying to explain it and the doctor shook his head and said, “This is impossible, there is no way she can still be alive.” Then, “Start the code again! I’ve never seen this in all my years.” The monitor started to beep, rhythmically this time. Someone reported her blood gas numbers, “You know what that means? That is incompatible with life. She should not be here.” BUT she was, a smile crosses my face, “Believe.”  

The doctor’s words to the family were cautious, he did not raise hope, “She won’t …. Too long…. Decisions you’ll have to make…..never seen anything like this.” But he offered to transfer her to a major center or she could stay in the local ICU and see how she does. The doctor got called out of the room and we all looked at each other in amazement and shock at what had just happened.  The decision was made to stay local and keep her nearby. I was reminded that science didn’t bring her back; God did, so God will have to do the rest.

The family was brought in. Lori was now on a breathing machine, the monitor rhythmically beeping at a normal rate and the blood pressure on the machine was that of a healthy adult! Family was praying, Greg was speaking in his wife’s ear. Nurses were quietly doing their thing. Arrangements were made for admission to ICU but there would be a bit of a wait. For about 45 minutes there was life without CPR. Life had out maneuvered death. Faith had upstaged science. We were sad and celebrating at the same time. 

Then, very quickly her heart stopped and it was over. She was gone. Gone from us but very much alive! Out of our sight but when I closed my eyes I could see her smile and hear her whisper, “He is holding me.”  I remembered the dream. “Lori is dead.” and the response, “No she is not!”

"Now we see in a mirror, dimly, 
but then face to face." 
1 Cor 13:12 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Forgiveness ~ my best weapon

Life behind the facebook curtain of smiling photos and happy emojis is cluttered with less appealing emotions, thoughts and words.  Should all that emotional laundry be aired on line? No, not really the place for it. But on this particular day a friend who voluntarily walked away came back onto the stage of my life smiling and laughing as if there had been no hiatus. I returned her smile, I was genuinely glad to see her.  Afterwards, uninvited, the memories flooded my mind with pictures, words and negative emotions. They filed through my mind like spoiled children demanding attention. I shooed them away, redirected my thoughts, but like floaters in a pool they kept popping to the surface uninvited. I had several animated conversations with my face in the mirror justifying why I felt the way I did yet not wanting to be that person. So I went to talk to my pastor who was having coffee on the other side of the bed, yes, I'm his wife. "I need to talk to my pastor about this conversation that is running through my head, on repeat." He gave good counsel, forgive in the same way you have been forgiven. Let it go. Forgive and move on. There will be no righting of wrongs that will satisfy the enemies thirst for division, pain and offense. So as I drove to work I said the words I have lead so many others to say. "Father because you have forgiven me I choose to forgive...Forgive me for believing the lies the enemy whispers in my ear...I forgive...I release them from my judgement and I ask you to bless them." Knowing these words were true and not wanting to have this conversation again, I asked Him to seal this moment in my heart. I turned on the radio, thinking I was done. Matthew West was singing...  
"It's the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don't deserve
It's the opposite of how you feel
When they pain they caused is just too real
Takes everything you have to say the word
Forgiveness, forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It's always anger's own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you've got a right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying set it free
Forgiveness, forgiveness
Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness, forgiveness
It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So let it go and be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you
Forgiveness, forgiveness
I want to finally set it free
Show me how to see what your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, forgiveness

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The musings of a childless Mother

Mother’s day is so inadequate. Flowers and cards are not really proportionate to the sacrifice, the love, the selflessness that is required for motherhood. Children don’t know the moments of joy they bring their mother with a thoughtful word or kind deed. They don’t understand the concerns, the sleepless nights or tears, and they don’t have to. If they only knew that the best gift they could give was just to do life well, be safe, be happy, be fulfilled, be kind and strong, love God and others. God has shown me that the mother’s heart comes from Him, it was His idea and He is the source of what lives in a mother’s heart. Everything that is woman, that is mother, originates in HIM. “In the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.” He breathed His life into woman equipping her with all she would need to be woman, to be mother. These words that could come from any mom, mother, mommy, come straight from the Father. Whether you are a mom, grandmother or child, you will hear God’s mother-heart in these words. Listen to the God’s heart spoken from the lips of mothers all over the world.
Child, I desire obedience rather than sacrifice, not because I want control but I love you and know you and I know the outcome. I feel responsible for who you are. I love you.
Be strong child, see yourself the way I see you, totally lovely, strong and perfect. Be strong, stand firm, be confident, be happy with you are. Don’t compare yourself to others; it will steal your confidence and joy.
Child you lack nothing, I have given you everything you need. I am your provider, be thankful, be content. Be wholehearted. Give everything you are to all that you do. Treat yourself and others kindly, gently.
I remember your first days. I loved seeing you run around naked and unashamed before you knew what sin was. Then, when you needed clothes, I clothed you, physically and in my robe of righteousness.
I want you to know, deep in your heart that you are loved, yes YOU! I desire that you be solidly rooted in MY LOVE. That is where your power comes from, My love. I want you to understand how wide, how deep, how long and how high is my love for you.
I am your parent, I love giving to you and seeing your joy complete. Don’t be hesitant to ask for the things I long to give you. Ask for anything I have and it is yours. If I don’t have it, you don’t need it. I already gave you my best gift, my Son, my only Son. If I gave Him up for you what do you think I will hold back from you? I gave you my Spirit, in Him you have all the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control you will ever need.