Have you ever wondered whether prayer actually works? I'm guessing we've all asked ourselves that question from time to time. Let me tell you a story of prayer in action. I had my tracheal re-section surgery on December 15th. I was intubated and in ICU. On Saturday, they took the tubes out and pretty much unhooked me from everything, then kept me overnight in ICU to observe me for one more night. On Sunday morning, they sent me straight home from ICU. All that is amazing, but (to me at least) not even the most amazing part of the story.
I was terrified about this surgery. The thought of having my neck opened and my airway worked on, well, it was scary (to say the least). The Sunday after Thanksgiving, our preacher read from Luke and the story where Jesus is born. The angels told the shepherds "Do not be afraid". When Gary read that passage, I felt chills down my spine, it was like God was telling me directly not to be afraid, it would all be fine. I continued praying about it and asked others to pray for me. Then one day, my devotional had this verse from Joshua 1:9 in it: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” I felt those chills again. I prayed and put it in God's hands and just asked him that if this surgery was the right thing to do, then all the doors would open and it would happen. I won't lie and say I didn't feel scared anymore. Because I did. And I went through moments of freaking out. But I reminded myself of those messages, prayed about it, and forged on. I tried to concentrate on getting things ready around the household for the surgery.
The day of the surgery came, my surgery was scheduled for 1:30 and they were running way behind. I was about ready to bolt and had a tearful breakdown with Tom. But God reminded me that I was there because that was where He wanted me to be. And I didn't run away. That night after surgery, I remember waking up in the ICU where they asked me if I was in pain and if I needed morphine. It hurt, but not that bad, so I turned it down. Thursday and Friday are pretty much a blur, I remember people coming in and out, I remember responding (by nodding or shaking my head) to questions, etc. Saturday morning, they took me off the sedative, and removed the tubes. I was able to eat and most importantly, drink water! Woohoo! By Saturday night, I had the catheter out and was getting myself up and down (with supervision) to the bathroom and as I said earlier, they sent me home Sunday morning.
Now to me, the most amazing part of this story: on Thursday the 23rd, I went to get my stitches out at the doctor's office. The doctor referred to me as a "model patient". He said he had never had a tracheal re-section patient who was constantly smiling every time he saw them and had such a positive attitude. Now, that was really prayers at work. If you know me at all, you know patience or a positive attitude are not some of my stronger virtues. I've always wanted to be one of those people who were happy no matter what the circumstances. It was only through everyone's prayers that I've been able to be so positive and patient through all of this. Thank you!