Praying for strength
The phone call took my breath.
It made my head spin and my world go black. My hands trembled and my brain reeled with disbelief and denial. This couldn’t be happening.
The last… however many days… have been a whirlwind of emotion. Despair. Hope. Relief. Overwhelming sadness, followed closely by sheer joy. Joy that’s intermittent as I watch his health and mental state teeter precariously on the brink of destruction and recovery.
To see my daddy – my hero – in this condition is almost more than I can bear. Before he woke up, I felt helpless. All I could do was hold his hand, talk to his closed eyes and pray that he was hearing some of what I said. Every once in a while I’d get a hand squeeze or an incoherent mumble, and my heart would nearly burst with joy.
Days have felt like weeks — stretching on into the morning hours. Seeing the sun rise as my brain tries to make sense of it all. Knowing that nothing will be okay in my world until he gets back home.
I’ve seen my baby brother become a man this week. I’ve seen him hold our family together. He’s the voice of reason. The voice of hope. He’s the only one who can calm my stepmom down. The only one who seems to realize that I deal with pain much better in silence. I can’t imagine what we’d do without him.
We’ve been overwhelmed at the outpour of love and support from not only our friends and family, but also complete strangers. I’ve seen firsthand the power of prayer. The power of faith and belief.
As I scanned through the pages of Daddy’s bible Tuesday night, I found strength in the passages he had highlighted.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94-19
“When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.’” John 11:4
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts, we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:9
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why – for Christ’s sake – I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
These verses are written in the cover of his bible, so I have to believe that these are the ones he reads daily, to remind himself that although he is suffering now, he can put his faith in God and know that there is something greater to come.
I have to believe that too.