Wednesday, December 8, 2010
We are always thankful to God for all he has blessed us with, but this Thanksgiving we have an extra-special reason to be thankful. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Al had a heart attack. We did not realize that he was having a heart attack until we got to the emergency room, where they took him in right away. When the cardiologist came to talk to me before he put the stent in Al's artery, he said, "This was not a small heart attack; this was a BIG one. He's lucky to be alive." After quickly explaining the risks involved and the procedure he would be doing, he left. I had been a little scared before, but at this point, I was terrified. Since I was all alone in the waiting room, I knelt down by one of the chairs and through tears, pleaded with God not to take Al from us. then I called Caroline on Al's cellphone, told her what was going on, and said, "Drop Janet and Erin at church and get down here with my cellphone. Then I called the church to ask them to pray. I thought of asking the secretary to send someone from the church to be with us, but I was too timid. However, I did not have to ask her. She sent someone anyway.... Erin's best friend and her dad! They arrived shortly after Caroline, Janet, and Erin did. I also called Gail, who said she'd be there as soon as her shift ended in an hour, and Missy, who cut her visit with her best friend short and drove all the way from Boston to be with us. I had called Dave and Becca earlier to ask for prayer, and after we got to the hospital I called them again to update them. They got there later that evening. Meanwhile, Al was praying as the doctor was inserting the stent and Becca was praying, along with their church and ours. A couple of hours after Erin's friend and her dad arrived, (during which time they comforted us, made us laugh, and assisted us with some logistics), The doctor returned to say that the procedure had gone well. He said we could see him in an hour or so, and that it was a miracle that Al was still alive. I was a little concerned about what it would be like to see him after the surgery, as I'm not used to seeing my dynamic husband in a hospital bed, especially with tubes and wires attached to him. But when we went into his room, he was awake and talking with us.... even making wisecracks with us! I said "Thank You, Lord: he's still the same Al!" Missy had already arrived in his room and while they were alone, Al told her how God had spared his life and given him His peace when he prayed. Missy cried when she heard that. I know the Lord is using this trial to touch the hearts of Missy and Gail. I saw Gail become very soft-hearted as well.We also got to share the Gospel with Gail's boyfriend, as well as with one of Al's nurses. What amazed me the most, besides the miracle of God's protection of my husband, was the outpouring of love, prayer, and support extended to us. Because of friends and family in other states, we had not only our own church praying for us, but various churches across the country! When I got home from the hospital each night, I would listen to phone messages and read Facebook messages of encouragement and support, and it would make me cry. How beautiful to see the "consolation of the Holy Spirit" working through the body of Christ! Also comforting was having Dave, Becca, and Noelle there Sunday night into Monday. Dave and Becca were able to bring Noelle into the hospital on Monday to see her Nono, as she calls her Grandpa. "Baby cuddle therapy" is a wonderful thing.... and Noelle was doing the same thing for her grandpa as Becca did for HER grandmother when Al's mother had cancer. Al was discharged from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving, and needless to say we had a beautiful and precious Thanksgiving as a family! So far he is recovering well. I am so thankful that God spared his life, and for the prayers of the saints!