"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
I am reading this verse in new light these last few days. I've always read it in light of someone else's trials. "Oh this would be a good verse for so and so as they are going through a tough time." I'm not saying that is a bad thing. I think God gives us scripture to give to each other to encourage and comfort. But, I've never read this passage and thought of my own personal trial. Not that my life is perfect, but I just haven't gone through anything this difficult or stressful ever.
Let me fill you in. Today was another emotional day of ups and downs. Thankfully, more ups, but some downs as well. This morning my mom's surgeon (Dr. Bodenhamer) examined her wound. He determined that stitching up the incision was not in her best interest. Instead, he wanted to go in and either shave the breastbone to make it smaller or take it out all together. He felt like this would help the muscle come together better (it wouldn't have to stretch as far) to promote healing. My mom and dad and I agreed that we needed to try something, so the surgery was scheduled for noon.
Soon after the surgery began, my mom's aorta ruptured. Apparently it had become attached to some dead tissue on her breastbone. One simple bump from the doctor's hand, and it detached, rupturing as it did so. Dr. Bodenhamer said it was by the grace of God that he had his hand there, because he literally used his finger to plug up the artery until he could repair it. Finally, after an hour, the bleeding had stopped, and he could proceed with the rest of his plan.
He decided to shave the breastbone down to make it smaller, but because of the aorta situation, he could not leave the wound open and exposed. He had no choice but to take some tissue from her pectoral muscles and stitch the wound closed. He said that this is a last effort and that we just need to "get lucky and hope for the best." Well, I am glad that I serve a big God who can give make the lame walk and give sight to the blind. I have more than just "luck" because my hope rests in Him.
In a way, it was a good thing that we did the operation today. We had doubts at first, but looking back it was the right thing to do. Because we wouldn't have known about the aorta being "stuck" on the breastbone. The doctor said that it could have detached at anytime and she would have been dead in less than a minute. He said even if it had happened while she was at the hospital with a surgeon in the room, there would not have been enough time to save her if the aorta had ruptured. It was only because he had already opened up her chest that he was able to repair it. Thank you, Lord for that!
I have hope that this wound will heal. I have hope that Mom will recover. It is an uphill battle, but we will consider it joy to walk through this trial with her. Because in the end it will produce perseverance and with that maturity and wholeness.
Thank you so much, sweet friends and family. I could not walk this difficult road without you.