when you hear words that are devastating you go into a security bubble. The world continues around you but in slow motion. Your brain is going a hundred miles an hour. The questions pop into the brain almost immediately. "This is curable...right?" That is what it was like for me this week when we discussed options to my health problem. I was hearing the 4th option of transplant as the last step. It was the same in 1999 when my son Caleb was torn out of our arms at the ICU and rushed into a feverish pitch of activity surrounding him. We were in utter shock as the Doctor led us down the hall way to a plush special waiting room his voice was calm and assuring, "We are doing everything we can." He informs us that we will have to make a critical decision. Heart Transplant? What? How much? When? The Doctor leaves with our questions being unanswerable at the time. We sat in silence and disbelief. Our three year old son needs a heart transplant. Our minds had frequent signs of life with sniffling, tear wiping, and that question... "Father what are you doing?" "I trust you but I don't understand." Saying goodbye to Caleb a year later was surreal and unbelievable.
So determined to get on with life we consoled ourselves with having a third child. 10 months later Rachel Marie was born. She was beautiful. She had punk hair that no matter what we did it just stood up. 8 days after birth. Mom notices some irregularities with her breathing. I blew it off it is just normal. The second day it was very fast labored breathing that night sitting in prayer watching waiting and holding our daughter. Those questions..."Father what is happening?" I can remember walking down the corridor of the hospital and asking the xray tech who just took her chest xray. I asked, "I know you can't tell me anything per the code but was her heart large?" He replied, "It looks like it could be but let the doctors tell you." I knew then and there we had another decision to make. Rachel was okay until 4 years old. She had a very successful heart transplant and miracles happening all around. It was a blessed time.
So what next? We up and move to Japan as missionaries to plant a church in the city of Iruma in Saitama north west of Tokyo. We have been here just three years and finally feel like we are getting our groove on and then another Doctor visit and another decision to make. This time it is me. The dad. I am sitting once again in the dark tunnel of security as they are speaking Japanese around me. I am catching all too familiar terms but only Japanifized. "Hatoh Bigu" (heart big). I am not wanting to listen. I am wanting to eat a cheeseburger. I for too many years have been consoling myself through cultural adjustment with food. Only now my security has been diminished to a diet of 1.5 ltrs of water and milligrams of salt a day. It is very hard. So we are going through changes.
Now I have been diagnosed with the heart disease just like my kids it is called "Dilated Cardiomyopathy" It is the reason for congestive heart failure. This is not idopathic like genetic from my genes. It is more idiot-pathic from my stupidity of being obese. It is manageable if I strictly diet and get my weight off. The next step, if I don't loose the weight... is an assist device like a pace maker and then finally the transplant. To say we are not stopped in our tracks would be an understatement. Like deer in the head lights or a sail with no wind we are just praying for wisdom and direction.We feel the need to just keep plowing away and moving forward but making adjustments and changes as we progress. I feel tired a lot. I don't have the same level of energy. Please pray with us to make many decisions that are before us:
Pray for the future testings 24 hour EKG halter monitor, Sleep testing, and biopsy sometime in September.
Pray for continued resolve to get the weight off and eat right and exercise when possible. Now I am restricted to no strenuous moves not even stairs.
Pray for the two women's conferences this week. Mihoko is speaking and translating. Pray for peace. For Mihoko to hold it together while making drastic changes she wasn't expecting especially now having to spend extra time at the store and on the internet educating ourselves about all the stuff with salt. Pray for wisdom in food choices and substitutes to be found that are inexpensive.
Pray for provision with all the extra expense of procedures and travel it is adding up quick.
Pray for wisdom with the church. Pray for energy to not only do worship but the message and other things.
Pray for the Sunday School we were going to continue after a short break but I don't have the energy.
Pray for the kids school that starts in a week.
Pray for the English students and their families salvation.
Pray for God's peace and assurance to keep going. For his joy in the midst of depression. Depression is real it is okay as long as we don't stay there. Pray like David I will console myself with scripture and fellowship in the house of the Lord. Psalm 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God. God bless you for praying.
Ekimae Plaza 10-705
Iruma, Saitama, Japan 358-0001
Isaiah 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else.