Sunday, March 15, 2015

Senior Teenagers

"Be assured the Lord your God goes ahead of you like a devouring fire." Deuteronomy 9:3

Teenagers experience grounding; seniors do too. Today we thank God for our grounding. Teens want to run away from home when their parents restrict their activities. They balk at delicious and nutritious food set before them.They rebel when their driving privileges suddenly and abruptly end for a few weeks. And, how about an early bedtime? No child wants that to happen.

Chuck and I give thanks to our Father for all of the above and so many more blessings. We are blessed to be senior teenagers for a few weeks enjoying all the blessings of a time-out.

While talking to a friend, I realized how very thankful we are for this time-out. I told her I feel like a teenager under restrictions who wants to jump in the parents' car and run away--I'd probably go to Wal-Mart or Good Will. But, we both are enjoying our season of grounding––not easy for two people who can't sit still. But, we never expected this "stop" moment in our lives. I expected to take care of Chuck for a few days after his surgery, and then I'd relish in his care for me after my first cataract surgery for as long as I could milk it. BTW, I am doing great. One more eye to go on March 24. Believe me, it was a breeze––especially after what Chuck endured.

Chuck's surgery evolved into a major surgery likened to heart surgery by his surgeon. We had no idea of the risky operation Chuck headed for that day until five minutes before the surgery. How could that happen you ask? God's plan. Had I known the risks before that frightful morning, I most probably would have tried to talk Chuck out of it. But, in the end, I know it would have been his decision because how could I keep him from taking the risk to be out of pain. I couldn't have done that ––no matter what fears I had of him potentially being paralyzed in both legs. Yes, that was told to us five minutes before Chuck entered the OR. The nurse later told us, "Sometimes that happens." Yes it does, apparently. Just days before I had read this verse and clung to it through the surgery and even now as we wait for results of the surgery. "Come to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." Jeremiah 33:3. God knew I could never have figured it out on my own. Chuck had peace that passeth understanding and told me over and over it would be okay. His faith glowed there in pre-op.

Yes, God's plans were different from ours and much better for us, even though our natural man would buck these circumstances. We can't leave the house without a driver. Jane, our hostess cooks, cleans, washes our clothes and drives us where we need to go. Jim does whatever else we need around the house and also drives us to and from Pittsburgh. He sat through the operation with me and answered calls for me that day because I just cried when I tried to explain what was happening in the OR. Many friends are also doing wonderful things to help. Blessed abundantly, we are! God's people are the best!

Chuck is walking without the help of a walker or crutches. He does use a cane for security outside. His right leg is weak, but the therapist assured us that it would strengthen in the weeks ahead without therapy. We won't know the results of the surgery until he is off all pain medications. The surgeon burned 42 lesions on his central nerve. The nerve was very damaged, very inflamed, and red. The doctor said it would never have healed. He would never have had relief of his pain without this surgery. All of this from Shingles three years ago. He does have an infection in the incision that is improving daily. Hopefully, the pain he is experiencing now is related to the infection and surgery––not the pain he has been in for the last three years, although it is very similar. We know God is doing a work in his body. We wait for His answers to the many prayers going up for him, and we feel that blanket of prayers flowing over us.

Friends come with food and take turns getting us to appointments. We're all cozy under God's wings. He meets our needs and shows us His hand at every turn. He goes ahead of us and clears the way for us to pass through every obstacle––while  His wings hold us tight.

Chuck and I entered a new season in our lives these past few weeks–one of relinquishing control and resting physically. Chuck's surgery went from an outpatient procedure to a major surgery in a few minutes time––not our plans but God's plans.  His plans are always the best.

Yes, we feel like senior teenagers but with thankful hearts that we are driven not driving, fed not cooking, and enjoying early bedtimes that aren't mandatory. All of this in a lovely home with lovely, caring saints meeting our every need and our wants too––like chocolate pie in the frig. God is so good! He answers our prayers.

Be assured. God goes ahead of us like a devouring fire. Yes, He is making short work of this path we walk with bright lights and warm hugs from His glowing fire as we rest under His everlasting wings.