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)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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

February is heart month.

The heart is a one of the most important organs in our bodies. It is a muscle about the size of your fist that pumps blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body. If the heart is not functioning properly the whole body will be affected. A healthy heart is vital to a healthy body.

At the age of 37, with a husband and three young children to care for, my heart was in a desperate place physically. It was not going to keep on pumping for much longer without medical intervention.

God provided that medical intervention for me. My story is being shared this month for heart month at the major teaching and research hospital in Toronto where I received the medical care I needed.

God has also made new a heart that was spiritually dead in sin and made it alive in Christ by the one final act of atonement of Christ's death and resurrection. God heals physical hearts but He regenerates dead hearts and takes hard hearts of stone and gives us new hearts, hearts of flesh; undivided hearts that are tender to the love and grace of God. A healthy spiritual heart is vital to a healthy spiritual life.

Of the two, the spiritual is so much more important. Has God made your spiritual heart alive by the grace of God, through faith in Him? We are living here in our physical bodies that are wasting away, but our focus must be on that which will endure forever. The physical things are temporary, but the unseen things are eternal.

On August 29, 2014, I underwent high-risk open-heart surgery to attempt to repair my physical heart—damaged and calcified due to the radiation therapy I received to treat childhood cancer. Due to further complications I faced an extended stay of 80 days in the cardiovascular intensive care unit. My husband, Jon, stayed by my side during this time and loved and cared for me in a faithful and devoted way that was humbling and strengthening.

This was an incredibly difficult journey for Jon as he watched me fade and reminded me to keep on fighting this fight. Many people were praying for our family at this time and he kept them updated as best as he could.

This month, for heart month, we will be looking back to those updates.

These words are from the raw emotions and details from the perspective of a man who loved his wife in sickness, while her physical heart was failing and her mind was altered from medication, elevated levels of carbon dioxide in her blood, exhaustion, and ICU psychosis and anxiety, and how he surrendered himself to our Sovereign God for God's will to be done for His glory alone.

Undergoing a physical trauma leads to emotional trauma and healing of both the physical and emotional are both a long, hard road of recovery.

But God. . .

"Is able to do able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."
After almost seven hours of open-heart surgery Dr. Tirone David, walked into the waiting room and warned my husband that after what my heart and body had just endured on the operating table I may not make it through the night.

My sister refused to leave my side the whole night and in the morning of August 30th she reported:
"'she has made it through the night. She's awake. She can breath on her own, but the nurse wants her breathing to be a little stronger before they take out the tube. They were attempting last night, but she was too tired. Keep praying.' 
She has a long road of recovery ahead of her. She is still in ICU. As Rebekah says, 'God is faithful.'"
On day 2 of recovery, the last day of August, my sister-in-law had been in touch with Jon and sent this update:
"Please continue to pray for Rebekah Hughes. The update from Jon is that they have moved her to a larger room and she seems to be more and more alert. Her heart beat is high, but she is stable. He is asking for prayer for a better night tonight, but also specifically for healing in the right ventricle area of the heart as the artery and veins that supply this area of her heart are very small and could be blocked. 
This seems to be the big issue right now - to lower and stabilize her heart rate so that the left side doesn't work so hard to compensate. 
Please continue to pray for healing for Rebekah, as well as strength and peace for Jon and the children."
From then on the updates came from my husband thumbing words on his little iPhone 4, at times with tears streaming down his face, at times with an uncertainty of what was happening, and at times with a word of celebration, but always with a sure hope in God. These updates were shared for the many people earnestly praying for God's purposes to be accomplished.

God has done amazing things by His grace and for His glory.

Join us this heart month as we share how God did amazing things in my physical heart.

May your heart be tender to who God is — faithful, compassionate, sovereign, holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, incomprehensible, steadfast in His love, gracious, merciful.

Be encouraged to grow in your love and commitment with your spouse. Marriage is under attack today. One of the things we need today is husbands to love their wives; to nourish her, to care for her, to pray for her, to love her as their own bodies, to give himself up for her. Marriage requires commitment, hard-work, and considering another above yourself. It requires respect and submission to one another. It means a growing in love with someone who is not always lovable. Marriage is affected in one of two ways during life's traumas and difficulties and trials. It will either strengthen or will crumble.

By God's grace, he has used this time in our marriage to strengthen our commitment and to grow in love with one another and to be strengthened in the Lord and increase our trust in God.

These words testify to the grace of God and how one husband has loved his wife and what God has done in our hearts and in our lives.

"we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."


This is part 1 of a new series:
One Thing Our Marriages Desperately Need Today ~~ A Husband's Heartfelt Words as His Wife's Heart was Weak
{for #HeartMonth.}

Read part 2: Trusting God, here. 

To get these updates in an email, subscribe to A Soft Gentle Voice


  1. It's such a blessing to have a loving, devoted husband. I'm so grateful you have one, Rebekah, especially as you go through such trauma. Above all, I'm so glad you both have our God to turn to. I can't imagine life without Him. I love the photos! Blessings and hugs to you!

    1. Thank you, Trudy. I am ever thankful to God for His graciousness in our lives.

  2. You've been blessed with an amazing husband it sounds like. Great post. Blessed to be your neighbor at Tell His Story today.

  3. Amazing. Praising the Lord for your testimony to His faithfulness physically and spiritually! What a blessing it is to have a spouse and sister and others who prayed for you and stuck with you through it all. Such an encouragement to me today! Thank you, #TellHisStory neighbor!

  4. What an incredible journey, Rebekah - and what a blessing to be able to recount the goodness of God and those that stayed by your side so faithfully. I'm sure not only God's great love, but the testimony of what He did in you will lead many closer to Him. Glad to be your neighbor at Holley's place today.


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