When I was seven I was playing on a tire swing in the neighbor’s garage. The rope was attached to the ceiling. My friend and I were taking turns pushing each other when his 15 year old brother walked in and decided it would be more exciting if he pushed us. Eager to impress, I went first. He pushed with the ferocity of a teenage boy. About four pushes in, the rope detached from the ceiling while I was easily four feet in the air. I violently crashed with my back landing flat against the cement floor. As pain shot through me I realized I couldn’t breathe. I crawled, sprawled and strained across the dusty floor trying to get one, just one breath. I thought surely I must be dying. My friend’s brother said “get up you baby. You just got the wind knocked out of you.”
Jonathan was diagnosed with a tumor.
It was inadvertently discovered during a CT scan of his heart. He had been having some symptoms that with his heart’s unique anatomy could indicate the presence of collateral vessels or an obstruction in his pulmonary arteries. The cardiologist was unable to fully visualize his pulmonary arteries and the extent of the collateral vessels present on the echocardiogram so he ordered the CT scan. His heart is just fine. Well as fine as the heart of a kid with a single ventricle can be. While looking at the scan, the radiologist spotted a mass she was “deeply concerned about.” Another sedation and MRI later we were informed of the presence of an acorn sized tumor. Gauging from the response of the medical team it appears to be serious. We still need a biopsy to determine if it is malignant or benign but but we are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. If the C word does come out the doctors may have certain limitations to which type of treatments they can use due to his heart. The good news here is they found it early.
When the diagnosis came in yesterday there I was again, 34 years later crawling around on the musty floor trying to catch my breath. I couldn’t breathe! I ask, “Why us God? Why Him? Why won’t you intervene?” I think back to Joseph fleeing Bethlehem to save baby Jesus’s life. I think “man if God wouldn’t intervene to save Jesus’s life why is He going to waste time on us?” In my pit of misery I yell out, “I just want to take a damn vacation! I cannot carry this burden one step further.” I bemoan that everyone says “God is good.” I say, “meh, sometimes.” In the rawness of the diagnosis, my mind, as it often does, jumped to the worst case scenario. That mindset, the Devil’s mindset, leads me to tell a friend that “when I get to heaven I am going to punch Jesus right in the face.” I proceed to tell my wife that “I have no more fight.” I had a temper tantrum Josiah and Elijah would be ashamed of and they have some real doozies!
Yet this morning on the heels of my wife essentially telling me to “get up you baby, you just got the wind knocked out of you” God has given me the strength to rise. On my mind is the song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine
Thank you for being a good God. I am sorry for my actions yesterday. I need you. My wife needs you. My boys need you. My dear son, Jonathan, needs a miracle.
We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know what or how the process will unfold. We know that God can heal. We believe God will heal. It is with this my friends that we humbly ask you for more. What we are asking is completely unfair. You all have given so much with your time, money, effort, meals, and prayers. We know that we can never repay you. We also know that there is nothing we can do or say to let you know how much we appreciate it. We know that without your prayers we would not have gotten this far. So, now more than ever we need prayers for healing, for strength, for faith.
“You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” -Isaiah 38:16-17