Monday, June 29, 2009

My Own Dense Wood


"The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places."

Habakuk 3:19

I have been reading the Christian classic, Hinds Feet On High Places. If you're not familiar with the story, it is an allegory. It tells a triumphal tale of little Much-Afraid, who must choose to follow her Shepherd to the beautiful High Places or stay among her vile relatives and continue in her cozy little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling.

Choosing to follow the gentle, loving Shepherd, Much-Afraid agrees to leave the Valley of Humiliation and begin her journey, one which will cause her to develop hinds' feet. Her new feet will cause her to soar in love above voices of fear and dread.

She endures along her way. She even makes it through many treacherous crags with faith and grace given her by the Shepherd. After making it through jagged cliffs, Much-afraid is led by Him to the dark, dense forest of the unknown. She immediately hears icy voices that challenge her faith. One voice, Craven Fear, who wants to be her first love, taunts and teases her, seeks to sow seeds of doubt in her heart. Begs her return to what she knows.

I had just sat down at the computer Sunday evening, having recovered from achy fatigue and a migraine headache that kept me from church that night. His voice summoned me to our den. "My heart is beating so fast." Jeff's voice sounded alarmed, and complaints from him are rare.

"What's going on?" I asked, alarmed at his words. "I don't know," he replied. "My heart just feels like it's beating really fast. I suggested a visit to the ER; my gracious husband stubbornly declined. After a while, Jeff said he felt better, and we ate BLT''s and potato salad.

I am a slow eater. Jeff eats quickly. He seemed relaxed as he watched television while I finished my meal. Suddenly, with distress of spirit, Jeff held his chest and voiced pain. "It feels like my heart is about to burst out of my chest."

I was jolted. I wanted to call 911. He said, "No. no." I told him most firmly that he had to go to the emergency room. He finally obliged. Insisted we drive. So, I dressed. Hurriedly. Grabbed purse. We made haste to the car. Drove as safely as we could to the hospital, thanking God it was only three minutes away.

Post-haste was the nurses response. An EKG was done. From the corner of my right eye, I saw a nurse leave the triage quietly, and perceived her then running response down the hallway as a sure sign something was so wrong.

Dear husband was rolled into a room where an assembly of medical staff awaited to quickly wire him up. They began probing, sticking, and arranging him on a bed.

I sat in a chair beside. Felt my own heart pound. Sensed that tight knot that grips your throat and belly with chill. Watched. Waited. Wondered. Prayed. And prayed. Prayed that inside prayer one and God alone hears, understands. Desperation had made its way to me. Fear took his icy fingers and wrapped them around my knowing soul.

The doctor asked, "Where's the crash cart?" Nurses assured it was near.

Another jolt. This one went deeper. Jabbed. Stuck. Hurt. Felt like a threatened abyss.

"Be strong. Trust. Pray. Believe. Know. Rest. Find your hinds' feet. They are there. Don't cry. Jeff needs you steady." Such words I said to self. Over and over they whirled in my spirit along with fear, pain, hollow, and hope.

I watched those in green and white work their work on he who was to them any unknown afflicted but to me was my one and only. Who takes care of me. Comforts. Cares. Always. Keeps. Prays. Seeks my best. Lends me strength. Causes me courage. Hears my heart. Holds my hand.

I thought about the mutability of life. The abruptness of change. The inability to control. How pain comes out of nowhere and smacks you right in the face and determines to take your life and knock you out.

With placid trust, yet nagging fear I sat, and at once, felt relief when his heart rate slowly drifted down. With its slow ebb, I, too, wafted into guarded peace.

I listened to the doctor's words. Heard his summation. Savored each word to be sure to absorb their meaning and succeed in their recitation to my sons, whom I knew would be soon shaken.

Knowing Jeff was better, now OK, I left to call Steven and Chris, dreading to speak, yet anxious to bear my soul and share my fear.

"We don't know." I tried to sound calm. Did not want my voice to crack. Did not want my heart to wince. "It could be a heart attack. He may have a blockage. They know he has some problems with the electrical circuits of his heart. We'll know more after more tests. I'll call back in a few hours."

You who have experienced that waiting time know its agony. I prayed. Sat. Stirred. Regarded Jeff's stillness. Prayed. Sought. Stirred. Wondered. Watched nurses faces as they moved in and out the room.

Four hours passed. Good news. It was not a heart attack. Yet, it still could be a blockage. Jeff will have further tests next week.

With thankfulness, with comfort, with post-knowledge I rest today. Still concerned, but encouraged as my dear husband now seems himself. He reassures me all will be OK. We will soon find out more about the ventricular tachycardia, the likely culprit of this shivery experience that has left us stunned from its suddenness.

I covet your prayers during this time. I so need hinds' feet that I may skip and soar and be what I most need to be for my precious husband. I so desire, more than life itself, more than any language could express, more than any material blessing I could ever receive, Jeff's health and complete healing.

I appreciate my blogging friends and the strength I know to receive from your prayers. God is faithful. We are in His hands. He will not fail us and cannot forget us. Please remember Jeff. I love you all so very much and know your faith and, even more, know the power of praying women changes lives. Thank you in the dear name of Jesus Christ.

38 comments:

  1. Hi Andrea,
    It is fairly late at my house tonight, went to bed and could not sleep, I told my dear sweet husband, and he suggested that I go and blog as I have not been blogging lately for several reasons. But now I know why, God wants me to intercede on you and your husbands behalf. I was so touched by this post, I want to reassure you that God is in charge and all He wants us to do is to continue to trust Him. As much as you love your dh as I do mine HE loves them more
    and that is something that I have had to cling to from time to time when we were under attack. We will be praying in earnest for you both, and I know that those hinds feet of yours are going to soar and you are going to have much strength.
    Habakuk 3;19 is one of my favorite scriptures, When I found it many years ago It just spoke to me and I committed it to memory and have quoted it many times .I was totally surprised to find such a jewel tucked away in a small book! WHat an awesome God we serve, just as He had saved this scripture for me at such a time He has now given it to you to hold on too.
    Blessings to you my sweet friend.
    Sue

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  2. Dearest Andrea,
    Will be praying in Jesus Name about this situation and health challenge.
    May God comfort you both.
    Supra Venticular Tachycardia struck my husband close to 8 years ago. He hasn't had another attack sense then and uses the medicine Toprol each night.
    I am so sorry that these things happen. Don't always understand them.
    I know how much I need and depend on my husband.
    Will continue to pray and if you want to ask any questions, please email me. If I can help, I'll try.
    God richly bless you both.
    May you rest well and have peaceful sleep.
    ~Deanna~

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  3. My dear Andrea,
    I am with you as you go through these days. As a sister who has been through the same things you wrote in your post, I can pray for you the same things I asked from God before. May His comfort, assurance, and strength be given you in multiple doses. Above all healing and restoration for Jeff's body.

    Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, yet we will fear no evil.

    May God be the All Sufficient One for you and your family, your All In All, at this time.

    Love
    Lidj

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  4. Dear Andrea, what a shock for you. I'm so sorry. Hold on to our God, He will bring you through, as He brought me through last year when my husband had a sudden stroke.
    My prayers will be supporting you. May you feel His strength and His loving arms around you.

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  5. If it helps a little I can relate to what you are going through, John who is my best friend and the one I love, experienced a moment in his life and had to attacks and is still by my side now. We cherish our lives together more with each day, I do not think of what might have been. I feel you are strong and you will cherish much more together. best wishes Julie.C

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  6. 'They also serve who stand and wait.'
    Elizabethan poet I think, but encouraging. Sometimes all God asks is for us to cling to Him, you'd know that better than I, and what a comfort that we can.
    Adding you to my prayers.

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  7. May GOD strengthen both of you and give you hinds feet to soar above the circumstances of this life. May HE heal and restore any problems in Jeff's heart. May He strengthen, sustain, and comfort each of you, giving you grace and peace for each moment.
    Continued prayers, andrea

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  8. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. Your post brought me to tears. I can so relate.

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  9. I read your post. Then prayed. Maybe this verse will help:

    O Lord, I call to You; come quickly to me.
    Hear my voice when I call to You (Psalm 141:2).

    He's faithful!

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  10. Andrea, can you even imagine facing something like that without God??? The older I get, the more I realize just how little control I have over my circumstances. God holds each of us in His loving hands, and nothing happens outside of his notice. I am so glad that things settled down, and I will pray about the tests Jeff still has to undergo, and that God's peace will envelop both of you.

    Big hearfelt hugs!
    Lori

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  11. Dear Andrea,

    What a scary thing to indure! I shall be keeping your family in our prayers. Know that God is in control and for that we are blessed indeed!!!

    Blessings!

    ~Nadine

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  12. Oh, Andrea!
    I cannot say that I have been through anything like this now do I have any great words of encouragement other than I know He holds you both in the hallow of His hand and what better place to be! Please know that I am and will be praying for you and your precious husband Jeff!

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  13. I will pray for Jeff - for peace, assurance, and the needed healing touch. The Lord's astounding grace humbles my heart. I need Him so.
    I am re-reading Hind's Feet, too. I read it when I was a new Christian and found it a great comfort. Hannah Hurnard was a vessel for the Holy Spirit as she penned the story. So many of us have picked it up again and again. The Spirit is on the move! I will get on my knees right now and pray for you.

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  14. Dearest Friend,
    Two of Much-Afraid's companions on her journey were Sorrow and Suffering. When one we love is struck with unexpected illness or other devastating circumstance, we are filled with sorrow and suffer in our spirits on their behalf. But, this one thing I know--God is faithful and will not allow us to be tested above that which we are able to bear.
    You dear husband is in the hands of a never failing God who holds you both secure--who has engraved you on the palm of His hand where you cannot be forgotten.
    My prayer group and I are keeping you both before the Lord and trusting Him on your behalf.
    Blessings to you, my dear.

    In Grace,
    Marie

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  15. Dear Andrea,

    May the Lord grant you and your husband His peace. May He give wisdom to the doctors on how to proceed, and may His will be done. It is good to remember, "that we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:15-16

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Teapot

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  16. Dear Andrea...so sorry you and your husband went through this but rejoicing that it was not a heart attack...praying that Jeff's test will report no problem and the Lord's healing touch will bless you both in every way.

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  17. Praying that you and your husband will have the 'peace of God that passeth understanding.'

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  18. I will be praying for you and especially your husband in the days ahead. As I read your post, I couldn't help but think of losing my uncle so suddenly recently to a heart attack. It is such a blessing from God that He gave your husband some warning signs. I pray that everything will work out for the best! And, I will be praying for Him to give you His strength to meet each day!

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  19. Hugs & prayers, dear Andrea!
    The Lord is faithful even when we
    are week, worried, helpless and heavy laden!
    -Matthew 11:28 Praying that He would give
    you strength and guidance at this time!!!

    Love in Him~ Miss Jen

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  20. My meditation today has been my heart's prayer for myself...and now I will pray it for you and yours:
    Psalm 119:73-76
    Your hands have made and fashioned Andrea and Jeff; give them understanding that they may learn your commandments.
    Those who fear you shall see them and rejoice, because they have hoped in your Word.
    They know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous and that in faithfulness you have afficted them.
    Let your steadfast love comfort them according to your promise to your servants.
    Father, as I have thought long about how you fashioned each one of us, You know what is going on in Jeff's body and Andrea's heart at this moment. Give them the understanding that only the Holy Spirit can impart. Give them your Word to wait on, hope in, and hold onto. Comfort them with your steadfast love and help me remember to hold them up to you in prayer in the most needed moments. Trusting your plan for them...in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.

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  21. Andrea,
    I have prayed for you this evening. If you're willing, there are many of us ought here looking forward to hearing about God's faithful response.

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  22. Andrea! I have been out of town, but just read your blog today! I am certainly lifting you both up in the Master's hands!

    I too love and own the book 'Hinds Feet on High Places'. Interesting thing, I have been beckoned to get that down from the shelf to read again myself.

    I AM praying for you.

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  23. I've made that trip before; once for myself, twice for my parents. I will be in prayer for you friend. This can be very scary stuff; how thankful I am for your continuing trust in God for his care over your family's lives.

    peace~elaine
    PS: Call anytime.

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  24. Andrea,

    I trust God to heal your husband and give you peace about the tests coming up. I will pray, even after the fact since I came across this post late, and may you be blessed by God's love and caring.

    Sue C.

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  25. Andrea: We pray on Wednesday's and will remember your husband in our prayers!

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  26. Hello Andrea,

    This is my first visit to your sweet corner of the internet, and I was swept up by your story about your husband. I will be praying that God will continue to give you peace and healing for your husband. He is so faithful and true.

    Jenn

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  27. Oh Andrea, I just posted a long comment and went to preview it then it disappeared.
    But know that you and your husband are in my prayers, but more then that, you are both safely embraced in the arms of a love God and Savior.

    In His Love,
    Cori

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  28. Andrea,

    I have and will continue to pray for you both! It is amazing how close we feel to our blogging friends-I feel as if I have known you for years and I love my blogging friends as I do my friends whom I see everyday. May you find your hind's feet and continue in the Lord's strength.


    God Bless you both,

    Kim

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  29. Mrs. Andrea,

    I am always encouraged when I visit your blog! I will be praying for your husband and you. Praying that you will have strength during this time, and also that you will be rested!
    Sometimes, it seems that during those hard times that the Lord is even more real though He was there before, we turn to Him and focus on Him!
    Your in my prayers,
    Jennifer

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  30. Greetings Andrea,
    I came as a visitor for the first time, after Sue left a comment on my new blog. I clicked on your blog link from Sue's blog.
    May you know God's deep peace and grace as you wait on results for your dear husband.

    Rich blessings,
    Susan
    W. Australia

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  31. GIVE AWAY will be posted by tomorrow morning-there's a peak preview of one of the items-go check it out and send everyone over to get their names in Monday morning.
    Cheri
    www.itssoverycheri.blogspot.com

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  32. Andrea,

    I am so sorry that something so scary happened to you and your husband. I have had friends have the same situation and it resolved itself fairly quickly and without much ado. I have been out of town, but now that I am back and know I will certainly keep you in my prayers. I hope you are well and look forward to hearing about Jeff's condition soon.

    Much Love,
    Ramona

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  33. Hi Andrea,
    Stopping by to say I am still praying for your family.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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  34. I so much enjoy your blog. Thank you.

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  35. I have come over to you from another blog as they said your husband had been sick. I am not particularly religious but love people, life and nature in its beauty. I am so sorry to hear about your hard time at the hospital. I'm so glad you persuaded your husband to go that night. Hopefully all will be well, at least it wasn't a heart attack. You are clearly a wonderful and loveing wife. Love to you both,
    Gina from Ireland
    (came from Heckaty)

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  36. Dear Sweet A...

    I couldn't wait to read you latest post and was shocked at the circumstances that prompted your beautifully written words. I will pray. Right now. Days after the event. I will pray.

    I write this with a heavy heart as I returned from a few days away from home full of sorrow and sadness. Inside I carry unrelenting anguish over so many things and the questioning of my true purpose in this life keeps pressing in on me. As I pray for you will you in turn pray for me?

    Bless you...I've missed your posts so very much.

    Love, Rebecca

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  37. When the enemy shatters our world there is but One place to turn, and that is into the arms of Jesus. May He comfort you and yours during this time, and may you shine brightly with the love of God to all around you. The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9 ((Love, hugs and prayers))
    Monika

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea