I would guess that if you're reading this, it's because you've heard that Mark is back in the hospital. Let me tell you, we are truly humbled at so many people praying with and for us, checking in through social media and phone. It is a true blessing to be connected to so many wonderful people!
It is tough to keep everyone "up to date" so to speak and although we prefer to keep health situations private, I'm going to share with you all that's going on right now. We know the power of two or three agreeing and we have that already, but we need to take it to another level. We are speaking to these situations with the authority of Christ living in us and would love for you to join us in this.
I know I still haven't really shared what brought us here to begin with, and I will, but some other time. Saturday night Mark started feeling really awful. He spiked a fever and we were up about every 10-15 minutes for almost the entire night. I really wanted to take him to the ER when I got the first 103.1 temp, but he declined. The next day, Sunday, was Trenton's birthday and Mark was worried about ruining the plans we had for him in celebration of this special day. He tried to be a tough guy and held out until candles were blown out and presents were opened. I know that deep down he was hoping for some vast improvement, but when I checked his temp at this point it was well over 102. We arrived at the ER around 4p Sunday afternoon and they quickly moved him to Trauma 7. Things moved quickly, hard questions were asked...hard for me to hear, but I knew the seriousness of the situation. Labs, blood cultures, x-ray & CT scan were all done in record time. The ER doctor said after his first brief exam and a temp of 103 again, "he will 1000% be admitted". He then put his hand on my shoulder and said, "thanks for bringing him in".
He is currently in ICU in the cardiac area. His surgeon saw us mid-morning Monday and said, "The diagnosis, for now, is pneumonia and sepsis. But to be totally honest, I don't fully know what we're dealing with, because the labs & x-ray finding don't fully match up. We will figure this out though." He's had many lab sticks, more x-ray, tests for blood clots in his legs & help from respiratory therapy. We do know there is fluid around his heart, more than should be a week post-open heart surgery. There is also fluid around his lungs and very decreased lung sounds, similar to a partially collapsed lung on his left side, and some findings consistent with pneumonia. Two broad, yet strong IV antibiotics have been being pumped alternately, almost around the clock, since we came in. His fever is not quite as high, but he is not responding to these antibiotics like you typically would. He also received a blood transfusion yesterday and may get another today. He is weak and irritable. If you've been around him very long, you've probably heard the phrase, "I'm over it!" hahahaha, and he is definitely over all of this. He mostly feels like sleeping and is having a tough time staying awake. Any noise or talking are not his friends - it's like every sound is amplified, so I try to speak very softly. I'm also using extra measures to cut down on germs. LOTS of hand-washing and hand sanitizer as well as not really leaving his room much to minimize my exposure to germs in the hospital.
A few days ago, I started reading Joel. I don't always read through all the "extras" that my Bible has in introducing a new book of the Bible...just depends on what I'm studying at the moment. I'm still early in my digging into this book because, well sleep deprivation, ain't no joke! ;) I can thankfully say that Monday night (the night I'm writing this) I slept from about 12:30 until about 3:30, straight! It was heavenly! But back to Jesus...Joel prophesied to the Israelites in the middle of a catastrophe that threatened their very existence on the earth. Here is Joel, and just like today, there are two very polar perspectives on suffering and they are not dependent on the setting, just on the mindset of the sufferers. When the pressure is turned up and struggles loom larger than life, we usually respond one of two ways...and honestly I don't like the extremes, but I find it true in most any situation:
1. We turn to God and are brought into a deeper more intimate, even new, relationship with Him. Here we learn more about His character and discover new facets of His ability and love.
2. We turn away. We blame Him or others for the situation we have found ourselves in and if we're not careful, we doubt His existence.
It's a hard reality to accept that if, in the midst of chaos or hell on earth, we are not entering a new relationship with Him, it's likely we have turned away. We can soften this or we can face it head on. Mark & I (and our families) are facing each moment of this incredibly difficult time in our lives as growth, new relationship and opportunity for God to doing big, new things in and through us! It doesn't matter if your "suffering" is big to someone else or not, if it is difficult for you, then God cares and it's an opportunity for growth!
I will declare that God is Jehovah Rapha. That God is in control. That God has not and will not abandon us. That God did not bring this suffering on Mark, but that He sure can work through it. That we will walk out of this in a new season of relationship with Him, with a deeper love & respect for each other, with more grace, gentleness & time for our children, and with a greater passion & purpose in our ministry!
Thank you for praying!!
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