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)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Secure in His Arms of Love {One Thing Our Marriages Desperately Need Today ~~ A Husband's Heartfelt Words as His Wife's Heart was Weak for #HeartMonth}

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

When the leaves were a riot of red and a blaze of gold, Jon captured the details as we plodded along the slow road of recovery. October 30, he pieced his thoughts together and wove these words:
I've heard it several times down here now from those who seek to understand and try to offer something. "You guys have been to Hell and back with all of this, but good to see you're pushing on."  . . . Now I think I know what people are trying to say but I'm not so sure I see it quite like that. What is good though is that it gets me thinking.

One thing I do know is that just over two thousand years ago Jesus went to the depths of Hell and back again and was victorious over it all so that I would never have to know and experience its reality. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for that. Rebekah and I were chatting about how in the ages to come—these times, where things are very hard, will seem so fleeting, so small, and distant, passing from all relevance in the reality of the weight of glory that is coming.

Another thing I know is that here and now, there are times in life when God "proves" Himself in special ways to us. Walking this road has certainly been a time like this for us, where the calm of His voice saying—"I am with you"—resonates deeply. And although among the celebrated progress forward, there's pain, uncertainty, sleeplessness, machines that support life functions, frustration, separation as our family beds down in three different locations every night, discouragement, set back, struggle, medications, tests, bleeding, and failure, in all of this we are humbled and amazed, as we watch God work and bring us further through this storm that has and will continue to bind our family together and encourage our faith. 
There is a lot of "hard" still to come. 

As we talk of going home at some point in the near future, possibly now straight from ICU to home, we are thankful that this in itself, by God's grace, is even a reality. Rebekah has overcome so much in these last couple of weeks and the momentum of progression has been so exciting.

Having her bleed stop completely now for a week, her feeding tube removed, her trach taken out and healing well, and her walking, and appetite improving, she has made big progress. If this was all there was we'd be in general ward already, packing our bags and heading home.

As we still remain in ICU, we face some hard realities that we must come to understand and come to terms with. Her condition is fragile. Rebekah suffered from further lung collapse during surgery. This has further reduced her pre-op 30% lung capacity and made it difficult to get the big breaths she needs especially at night when she is sleeping. Although many X-rays show improvement from a month or more ago she is still under compensated. Dr. David said if he had known the results of these tests before hand he may not have been able to go ahead with the surgery. He agrees that providence had a hand in the order of these events being made known. 
Rebekah is only assisted with 2 litres of 02 which isn't much at all but gives her the boost she needs. She may have to come home with this assistance for some time. Also, her diaphragm function is a big part of this current battle that is keeping us here now. Recent reports had indicated that this was improving, but those indications at best are very slight. Because the diaphragm (the largest and most blood-nourished muscle that never sleeps) is huge in assisting breathing deeply, allowing the lower part of the lungs to draw in sufficient air to sustain the body and blow off blood gasses and lower acidic levels in the body, is barely working and not assisting as it should, we have seen Rebekah's CO2 rising once again throughout the day and even more rapidly as she sleeps. More specialists in the Neurology team and the respiratory team are involved now with new tests and ideas for moving forward.

Rebekah has had to return to the Bi-PAp machine for a few hours over night so she doesn't end up in a dangerously acidic condition and a toxic sleep that would be very serious if left unassisted.

We have to accept the reality of very likely coming home with Bi-PAP—and it is hopeful that with time (8-12 months we are told) the diaphragm can possibly fully kick into gear as it can even spontaneously do, if her phrenic nerve fully wakes up and assists her breathing making machines and extra oxygen not likely to be required any longer. There are no guarantees with medicine, but with God all things remain possible.

Please continue to pray as we battle through thinking too much on the many uncertainties of the future, the changes in how we do life now at home and out of the home, the what if's and challenges of coordinating many follow up and rehabilitation visits to hospitals possibly for a time.

To try and sort all this out at once is too overwhelming and I know it's only manageable as we continue to take it a day at a time and surrender it all under the banner that "God knows." I do not yet know how, but He will receive glory in that part of our journey as well.

"Those that wait upon The Lord, will have their strength renewed." God knows we need that. 

This is where we must dwell, like branches attached fully to the vine for sustaining life and nourishment—for as we do—this all will appear nothing like a trip to Hell and back, but much more the reality, of a slow, and steady walk—straight into the Arms of Love.


This is part 18 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 Part 19 or to receive these updates in an email subscribe to A Soft Gentle Voice.  


  1. Jon is an amazing man with a rock solid faith. I am so encouraged by his thoughts! Love to you all!

  2. Truly very inspiring post!! He is an amazing man. Thanks for these pictures. I also believe a lot in my husband. He secures me in each and every situation. You know we are going to celebrate our 25th anniversary very soon at one of popular venues in Florida. We are so happy that we have stayed together for 25 years!


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