The Triple By-Pass
After meeting with our surgeon and setting the date for my husband’s triple by-pass, we went home to pray and prepare for his impending surgery. It had all happened so fast. His surgery was set for exactly one week from the day of his heart catheterization. It was surreal. One moment we were moving through life, ostensibly healthy, making plans for the upcoming month, and the the next moment, we were facing a potential life or death situation.
When all of this happened, the Lord immediately brought a particular scripture to my mind. It was Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (NKJV) This is so true. As humans we often make plans and plot our course thinking that we ultimately decide what happens next. We lose sight of our own vulnerability and smallness in the shadow of a mighty God. It is he who ultimately determines what happens to us and where our paths will take us, like an expert orchestra conductor, arranging… directing…allowing those notes into our lives that will come together to make a beautiful symphony; notes that will move us, and those around us, to a deeper relationship with him.
Throughout the early days of my husband’s diagnosis, I never found myself crying out in anger, or becoming distraught. Instead, God gave me a deep sense of peace and a confidence that everything would work out just as he wanted it to and that he would be there every step of the way. I am grateful for that.
My husband and I arrived early on the day of his surgery for his pre-op activities, 4:00am to be exact! The hospital was quiet and the lobby and halls were empty except for a few nurses here and there. I could sense my husband’s anxiety, even though he had taken a sedative to calm his nerves. As we arrived on the 3rd floor to begin preparations, there at the nurses station stood a church friend of ours with a smile on his face…at 4 o’clock in the morning! He had come to pray with us before the surgery.
After saying goodbye, we were led to the surgery waiting area to watch the clock and wait for the phone call that would let us know the surgery was over. During the morning, many friends and family appeared in to the waiting area to sit with us or to pray for us. And many others texted or called to check on us. I personally think “texting” is the greatest innovation since sliced bread! It allowed me to quickly update friends and family on my husband’s progress and to send group texts to several people at once without having to take the time to call so many people individually. I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to see the smiling faces of our friends and family coming through the door of that waiting room during those anxious hours to pray and visit with us as we waited.
It was exactly 2 hours later that we got the call that everything had gone as planned with no complications. Shortly after the phone call our surgeon walked into the room and said my husband had done great and that it was a routine, boring surgery. ( a good thing in the world of complicated surgeries!) He said that other than the blockages, my husband’s heart and lungs were strong and healthy and that he anticipated a relatively quick and complete recovery. We all breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God for the outcome.
The next few days of recovery would prove to be the most difficult days of my husband’s life.