Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Courage to Move Forward {One Thing Our Marriages Desperately Need Today ~~ A Husband's Heartfelt Words as His Wife's Heart was Weak #HeartMonth}

{To read Part 1, the beginning of the series:
click here first.}


There had been many days in which I struggled to move forward. It is a fight to move forward when faced with adversity, but it is not fight that you fight alone.

My voice was but a whisper and I could only breathe out a few words at a time. But, it was a privilege to stand, the only patient among all the medical staff that gathered in the hall of the CVICU in Toronto General Hospital, to sing O Canada, listen to In Flanders Fields and stop for a moment of silence at 11 am to remember the many who have fought for freedom.

On November 11, a day we remember many who have endured many extreme difficulties, Jon reflected on and shared a few humble thoughts:
Toronto General Hospital operates under this simple motto:

"Courage lives here!" 
Courage is: "The ability to bravely face, stand up to and endure through something that overwhelms, challenges or frightens you." 
Today we all think and pause to remember the courage and boldness of men and women who rose up in and amid their fear and have come face to face with horrifying realities both recently and decades ago, for the sake of honour and freedom in our land. For thousands, it has cost them their very life, for others a lifetime of scared memory and disability. But they are remembered for their valour and we honour them, pausing in our silence.

In this hospital setting we see brilliant minds who seek to learn and challenge the known methods, medicines, and technology and who aren't afraid to pioneer into uncharted waters for the sake of the global good. Not letting the safe normals and risks hold back progress, new discovery and intervention.


It's this mindset that sent Rebekah to the operating room 75 days ago. The reality that to walk away, retreat, give up and do nothing, would have meant medically, certain death, much sooner than later. Dr. David refers to Rebekah as "the lady who has aged him." Even though he teaches the world new unprecedented procedural interventions and methods that flow from a genius mind down through his hands, he has told me often now in our casual discussions together, "I thought several times I was going to lose her—but I kept telling my team, she is so young, she has a family—and she needs to survive."

I thank him for his courage to push forward among the many risks.

In many instances in scripture, courage is the demonstrating fruit of adherence to these imperatives from God. - Stand strong!, Move forward!, and Do not fear! (Psalm 27:14, Psalm 31:24, Joshua 1:9, 1 Chron. 28:20, 2 Tim. 1:7, 1 Cor. 16:13) 
Even though we feel weak and are filled with trepidation, and anxieties want to consume us daily, we are also reminded in these same passages that our ability to be courageous itself comes from the strength and power of the Lord, not simply from rising above fears and uncertainties with mustered up human strength which can only take us so far.

In this supernatural power—we are able to prevail in hardship and difficulty and we can triumph in trial with a courage that is not driven by fear, but by the power of God.

We are continuing here in days of waiting. 


Rebekah had an electromyography test last week that showed continuity in the left phrenic nerve which fires to drive the diaphragm when breathing. This test showed no severing or total paralysis, but because of next to no diaphragmatic movement its been determined that some sort of trauma happened during and post surgery that greatly weakened and pretty much stopped its function. We hope time will heal this nerve and muscle (which can take months—at only millimetres of recovery every few days) and once again give her the ability to function without assistance. The diaphragm is so important in everyday breathing, eating and stomach movement, as well as speech, singing, etc. 
Rebekah breathes on the Bi-PAP machine each night to fully oxygenate her while she sleeps and to drive out the CO2 in her blood. She is tolerating it better now that she knows it is essential and that it can be managed at home too eventually. An oxygen saturation test will happen today to prove to the team that will look into our home transfer and care that oxygen will be needed at home for a while.

Application has been made for us to transfer to West Park Healthcare Centre over in the north west side of Toronto with the purpose of training and acquiring the proper machine and masks to assist Rebekah at home. We don't know how long it will take to get in there, but we will likely leave directly from the ICU here to that rehabilitation facility once room is available for us. The goal is to train us and transition us to home from there. We don't know how long Rebekah will stay at that facility either yet and even if or at what point she may just be an out patient to travel there for regular visits for a while from home.

This is the path that we're heading into and it can't come soon enough as Rebekah feels more than ready to bust out of here and be home. 


I thank God for her courage to fight and to live on, (even through the many times over these weeks that it became overwhelming and unbearable, making her cry out for God to just take her home), and to continue to overcome the barrage of battles she faces with her health— because she knows that there is no other way, than to persevere—fuelled by the inward nourishing strength and the sustaining power of God, that flows like a steady river of restoring water through her life, her soul, her mind, and her body.

-Jon
~.~.~.~.~.


This is part 19 of the series:
One Thing Our Marriages Desperately Need Today ~~ A Husband's Heartfelt Words as His Wife's Heart was Weak
{for #HeartMonth.}

You can read Part 1, the beginning of the series here.


Come back for the final part to this series or to receive these updates in an email subscribe to A Soft Gentle Voice.   

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