Hindsight is twenty-something

Perhaps you’ve heard of the app called Timehop, which shows what happened in years past in your “Facebook life.” Well, mine is quite jam-packed today. Yesterday, after all, was a red-letter date in my timeline. Five years ago, my late wife Stephanie was in her final days on this earth. It’s surreal to read these things as if they happened yesterday. It almost feels like I’m reading a book written by someone else.

My wife had three seizures in less than 24 hours and is in neurological ICU. Please pray.

I posted this at 6:48am, after one of the worst nights of my life. At this point, I was still waiting to hear anything from the doctors. I remember being mostly unable to sleep and using the hospital computer to write emails to some of my closest friends. This particular post was about the first thing I told “the world.” It felt like days, but just 6 hours later, I posted the following:

She’s not doing well. She hasn’t had seizures in a while, but has brain swelling. They can’t assess the damage without an MRI. She’s not stable enough for that. Praise God that we have a Good Physician, though. He can heal beyond all human understanding. And if He doesn’t, we know He has a great plan in mind for His ways are so much greater than ours. I know not what will happen, but I know God knows what He’s doing no matter what the outcome. You can all help me by knowing that. And Stephanie would say the same – that everyone would know the great love He has for us and for all of you. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

I have no recollection of saying all of that about trusting God despite the outcome, but I can’t say I’m surprised. In retrospect, it was more true that I could have realized. That attitude has continued to remain in my spirit. He truly did and does have a great plan in mind. I’ve seen some of that plan come to be, and I’m convinced I will continue to see it more and more as time goes on. And the following was a huge part of seeing God’s hand at work.

I have updated my long-neglected blog to include posts about the recent days for Stephanie, and will be updating as a central location for the latest in her condition. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

I would go on to hear from people all over the world who were not only praying for me, but also being encouraged by me and my story. None of this could have been by my own doing. I could not have crafted a plan that would involve ministering to people’s souls while sitting at the bedside of my dying wife.

A quote from Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis, captures it best. The main character, Dr. Ransom, is expressing his own lack of credibility for accomplishing any task of noteworthiness.

Don’t imagine I’ve been selected…because I’m anyone in particular. One never can see, or not till long afterwards, why any one was selected for any job. And when one does, it is usually some reason that leaves no room for vanity. Certainly, it is never for what the man himself would have regarded as his chief qualifications.

If God has used me in any way to bless other people, it has nothing to do with any of my own qualifications. Without a doubt, I had no hand in the situation and would have much rathered not have my wife die. But, she did. And God managed to bring beauty out of my pain. He was able to bring His redemption into one of the worst situations I could have ever imagined, as He is prone to do.

And, His redemption continues to come crashing down on all the terrible things that happen in this world. I thank Him for that!

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