Trusting God's Faithfulness
I spent Halloween weekend 2015 at my dad's house in Atlanta. I had a lot of different weekend activities planned between Halloween and Christmas, and this was my only weekend to spend time with my dad and stepmom before Christmas break. We spent the evening out on the front porch, watching as trick-or-treaters approached and studying for the GRE. Dad and I had a competition of who knew more words on my GRE flashcards. He won. He knew so many of those words, and I was continually amazed by him all evening. About three weeks later, I got a text from my stepmom letting me know that my dad was headed to the ER because his oxygen levels were low. Once he was admitted, we found out he was in kidney failure and there was fluid around his heart. I was devastated, but I was trying to remain hopeful. Though each thing sounded serious, we had no reason to believe he wouldn't get better fairly quickly and return home.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, my dad went into the ICU and was placed on a ventilator. My sister and I drove overnight from Virginia to Georgia to be able to see our dad. We spent most of Thanksgiving in the ICU waiting room and in Dad's room. We ate a reheated Thanksgiving dinner at 9 pm. On Black Friday, Dad was taken off the ventilator, and his long journey of healing began.
For the better part of the past six months, my life has, in many ways, revolved around my father's health. I took time off work to help my stepmom care for him. We've been through constant ups and downs as he would take two steps forward and then many steps back. It is only now, in retrospect, that I have begun to see how faithful God has been to us throughout the whole process.
Dad's time in the ICU coincided with Thanksgiving. Our whole family was able to be together, and no one had to take off work to be able to be with him. My brother-in-law, Jim, works at the same hospital that my dad was admitted to, and his schedule allowed him to check in regularly on dad's progress.
Our original attempt to get him into a skilled rehabilitation center was denied due to issues with health insurance, but since he stayed in the hospital a bit longer, they were able to find out that he actually needed a pacemaker. When we finally brought Dad home right before Christmas, there were so many people around to aid in his care, especially the first few nights where he was up every thirty minutes. Taylor and I would trade off who stayed up all night, and then we would sleep a few hours the next day.
In February, my dad went back into the hospital the day after my nephew was born. It was a blessing that I ended up being there the day he was re-admitted. Shortly after that, he was finally able to be placed into a skilled rehab/nursing facility, which is what he really needed all along.
Last night, we went out to dinner. Dad seemed just like himself again. I am so thankful for how the Lord has used the past six months to draw our family closer together and to draw us closer to Him. There are still so many unknowns that lay before us as my dad and stepmom try to sell their house and move into a new one, but as my sister, Beth, said yesterday, "It's easier to trust in God's faithfulness when we look back and see all the times he was faithful before."
So even though I'm not sure it ever gets easy, I'm staying hopeful in the moment, because God hasn't let us down so far.