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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When God's Ways are Not Our Ways

I am still scratching my head. How did we go from sitting at a chik-fil-a with the kids on a Saturday to a leukemia diagnosis on Monday? The human mind was not made to process these whirlwinds of change. For those who are completely lost a brief summary:
Saturday my mom called to tell us she was taking my dad to the ER. He had been drained all week and started having chest pains and feeling winded. Heart disease runs in his family so he worried he was either having a heart attack or at least some serious blockage. While this was not welcome news to me, I felt prepared for this. My grandfather is in his 80's and survived two heart attacks while still putting right along. I knew this wouldn't be easy, but I knew he was doing the right thing by going in early. I figured they would get this fixed and he'd be back on his merry way in no time.

We all rushed up to the ER and crammed into the tiny room. They had drawn blood and noticed it was low. They were talking transfusion to get him back up to par. Still nothing seemed weird at this point. A Dr. showed up and said he was their to look at the blood results and he would be back with us. After a really short period he was back. He started explaining the results of the blood test. My dad's red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets were all dangerously low. He was told he basically had no immune system. I'm just trying to process what this has to do with having a heart attack when I hear the word Leukemia thrown out. Wait what is he talking about? Did he not realize we were here for chest pains? He obviously had the wrong room. It is amazing how many thoughts flash through your head in a single moment when life delivers you a swift slap to the face. I didn't want to appear weak, but my eyes flooded with tears. This was my daddy, the guy who's always strong, nothing unexpected happens to him. Immediately the Lord spoke to my spirit, Crystal, you know I am good right? Of course I do, but God can't I just have a moment? This kept impressing on my spirit. I felt that we should begin to pray. I knew it was God's desire for us to to acknowledge His goodness no matter what the circumstance no matter what the outcome. So we set the stage for what was to come. I am sorry Satan, but you have already lost this first battle, God is good and you will not convince us otherwise.

They had to take a bone marrow biopsy Sunday to confirm what they suspected. Late Monday the doctor delivered the preliminary results which confirmed acute leukemia. He wanted to begin treatment right away. The prognosis is good because he caught this very early, but the window is short. We were told if he had waited even a month, he could have been dead. If you asked anyone they would never see a blessing in a family history of heart disease. For once I do. If my dad had no history of heart disease he probably wouldn't have taken those chest pains as seriously. He probably would have attributed his tiredness to a cold or virus coming on. While the chest pains ended up being related to the anemia from his blood, God used those warning flags to preserve his life.

I am still processing all of this. I anticipate many blogs to come as we fight this fight together. My dad has at least two weeks in the hospital while they begin the first rounds of treatment. The biggest goal is to build his immunity back up. It is a miracle that he has not caught anything the week prior as he went about his normal life working and being around people.

It may sounds strange, but this has been one of the hardest , but sweetest weeks of my life. As we lean heavily on the Lord and each other it has built such a sweet sense of unity. I have enjoyed just sitting and talking with my dad. Suddenly a lot of life's silly distractions just don't seem that important.
I love my dad so very much. I believe my heart hurt more because I did not want to see him walk through any pain. All night Saturday I thought about being a little girl again. The times that were simple and unmarred by the hormones and drama that the teenage years bring. I thought about the many times my dad needed to tell me something important, something I might not really understand. He would sit me on his lap. Sometimes he cried, but he was always a source of strength. I miss those days sometimes. I learned so much about the great character of my dad just being with him. Now we are at a point where we need an even greater Father, our sweet Father God to hold us both on His lap. His ways are not our ways, but He is faithful to hold us when we just can't quite understand and be a source of strength.

We have appreciated so many people who have visited and sent comments and prayers. We continue to enjoy visitors but ask that anyone who is sick refrain from coming at this time. Even a common cold could be dangerous with his current immunity levels. We have also been asked by the doctors not to allow any flowers, plants, or fresh fruits and vegetables in the room due to the bacteria they can harbor. Cards and prayers are always welcome.

We are standing in faith that God will bring complete healing to my dad's body. I am believing that he will come out not only healed but completely rejuvinated in mind, body, and spirit.
If you take anything with you today please let it be that God is a good God. He remains the same no matter what the circumstance or what the outcome. He does not change. Blessed be His name!