I wanted to thank you for praying for my cousin's husband, Bob. He's a Colonel in the Air Force and had a sudden heart attack. Here is a letter from Pam, my cousin (Bob's wife). She gave me permission to share this with all those who had been praying for him. I think you all might be encouraged!
Hugs in Him,
Family and Friends,
Many of you have asked about Bob this week (thank you!) I apologize for being slow in getting an update out to you; we're enjoying being together and at home!
I've spent much of this week reconstructing a timeline, via emails and such, for Bob, so that he can piece together the event that has reshaped our lives.
We remain deeply grateful for your prayers for Bob and the kids and I over the past several weeks. We continue to process all that has happened and are simply in a place of amazement and wonder at the miracle God has worked in his rapid healing.
Having said that, we are also settling into a 'new normal.' Bob anticipates returning to work (on 'light duty') next week, in addition to several follow-up appointments. The kids and I need to resume home schooling after 3 weeks without cracking a book (let's just say that the groans won't just be from the kids!) We're wrestling with the loss of not going to Kenya and trusting God eventually reveal His timing and purpose in that. In addition, we're adjusting to the fact that there is only one driver for our household for the next 6 months. We also know that down the road (90 days or more) that there will be a Medical Evaluation Board to determine Bob's future with the Air Force. With 16 years in the Air Force we are hoping that he will be able to remain in his present position as an active-duty Medical Service Corp officer until he retires. The cardiologist states that due to his defibrillator he is not deployable. (No complaints from me on that one!) Time will tell and we're trusting God to do what's best for our family with the board.
Bob is growing stronger everyday and is able to do more for himself. He doesn't seem to have any pain from his defibrillator surgery and seems to be healing nicely. He's very quiet (nothing new there!) and is still trying to piece together all of the events leading to his hospitalization and his time in ICU. I look at him throughout the day and think that every breath he takes is a true gift from God. I'm grateful to God for the promise given to me for Bob the morning his defibrillator was placed, "For by ME your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life." Proverbs 9:11. God truly is the one who numbers our days on earth. Ultimately our lives are in His hands. "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand..." Psalm 31:14-15a
The kids are doing fine, considering all that we have been through. I am so proud of them for being so strong and brave. Ethan finds it funny that "dad runs on batteries" (knowing that the batteries in Bob's defibrillator will need to be swapped out some 6-8 years down the road.) Ethan has amazed me with a wisdom beyond his 10 years. He knows that the defib is in place to start Bob's heart should it ever stop again, and yet he remarked about "Dad is not going to live forever....we're all going to die sometime." What could I say to that?!
We're incredibly grateful to the friends who cared for Ellie and Ethan in advance of my parents arriving, and deeply appreciative of my Mom and Dad stepping in and taking over the kids and the household, freeing me up to be with Bob at every opportunity. What peace of mind that gave me. Our Air Force family has been incredibly supportive; genuinely concerned for Bob and our family. If I were to recount all the things, large and small, that our Air Force family has done for us- it would fill a book. Most especially we are grateful for first responders. You know who you are, and you'd say that you were just doing your job.......but we thank you from the core of our being that you were there, used as divinely appointed instruments in God's hands! Our church and homeschool family have also rallied around us.....not to mention the prayers of countless family, friends, prayer chains around the globe. How can we not say God is good?!
Speaking about goodness and God.....our church spent February memorizing Hosea 6:3, "So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth." Henry and Richard Blackaby say "Knowing God through experience is radically different that knowing about God from a theology textbook. According to the Bible, you cannot say you know God unless you have experienced Him (Phil. 3:8,10)." Because of this event in our lives, I can say that I KNOW the Lord. I don't just know about Him, but I know Him. I have experienced Him. I know Him to be good, even in the greatest trial of my life.
I KNOW God as Provider. Whenever I needed something in those two weeks at the hospital - someone showed up. Need to get Bob's car home? Done. Need a shoulder to cry on? Done. Need medical terms explained in plain English? I've got that too. Need your family here? Done. Need something to help you sleep? I'm all over it. Need food? Got that too. I AM your Provider.
I KNOW God as Sustainer. Running on adrenaline and fumes, God carried me through, by His strength. Every morning and night, en route to the hospital, the truth of God's love in Hillsong United's Aftermath cd Sustained me. Psalms sustained me. Friends and family sustained me. God Sustained me. I AM your Sustenance.
I KNOW God as Shepherd-Protector. A Shepherd watches over His sheep, protecting them from harm. The Good Shepherd watched over Bob, allowing this event to happen precisely when it did. On base. With immediate medical attention. Bob was never alone, not for minute. The Good Shepherd protected him. Bob was safe in God's hands and in the hands of those He appointed to care for him. I AM your Shepherd-Protector.
I KNOW God as Peace and Immanuel (God with us). Sheep can't lie down and rest unless they feel safe and secure. Each night I could head home knowing that the same God who watched over me each night, was the same God who watched over Bob. In that I found Peace and could rest secure, knowing God was with us both. I AM Immanuel, God with you. I AM your Peace.
I KNOW God as my Rock. When life fell apart, I ran the only place I knew to run to, to Someone stronger and more solid than I. He is immovable, constant, unchanging, and firm. I leaned on Him like never before. I AM your Rock.
I KNOW God as Healer. I witnessed a miracle unfold before me. It was like having front row tickets to the hottest show in town. Day after day, we prayed for God to restore Bob to full health, based on the truth of Psalm 41:3 "The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health." A friend could not get this verse out of her mind when learning of Bob's illness. The Holy Spirit wouldn't let her rest until she shared that verse with me. What hope that gave me! Never have I prayed so intensely and fervently. Nurses (and family!) were amazed at each subsequent test result as God healed Bob's mind, his lungs, his heart. I AM Bob's Healer.
I KNOW God is Love. Love comes in countless ways. Love is an everyday hero performing CPR. Love is a paramedic 'just doing his job.' Love is a night nurse who wrote 'I love my job' in Bob's room. Love is countless cards in the mail from perfect strangers. Love is snacks, goodies and gifts from friends far and near, lavishing God's love on us! Love is praying servicemen and women, praying friends, praying family members and fellow-believers. Love sacrifices to spend all day in the waiting room. Love is a phone call. I AM Love.
As certain as the dawn tomorrow, I will press on to KNOW the Lord. He is going to keep watering me, showering us, in our time of need. He is I AM.
Let us press on to know Him!
"God's Word is alive, active and powerful. Prayers laced with the Word of God
not only bring about fundamental changes in people and situations, but such
prayers keep us in touch with God's priorities." ~Joni
Thank you for praying Psalm 41:3 for Bob! We are deeply grateful.