One life on my heart, as my trembling fingertips tap the plastic lettered buttons on my keyboard, is the life of my precious grandfather. My PapPap. Last May, a seemingly healthy PapPap woke up at 4 in the morning experiencing stroke-like symptoms. Alert and agitated he called my mother. A few hours later he lay comatose in an ICU hospital bed. He experienced a massive brain bleed. The same man who once hoisted me atop his broad shoulders remained in a coma for six weeks. His chances of survival were rated at less than five percent.
After accepting that my beloved PapPap was going home with Jesus, the Lord sprang forth another plan. PapPap woke up. He was paralyzed on his right side and his speech was impaired, but he was back. He recognized his family and friends, and could nod appropriately when asked several current events questions. The Lord still had work for PapPap to do on earth. And He still does.
A few hours ago, my mom informed me that PapPap was being rushed to the hospital and his attending nurse was nearly 100 percent positive that a stroke was the cause. A few minutes ago, I found out that it was not a stroke and within a few days, these frightening symptoms should make their exit. Praise God!
It is hard for my muddled brain to comprehend the esoteric mind of my all-knowing, all-powerful, love-breathing Creator, and His will for my beloved grandfather during this trying season. I do comprehend the incontestable, immeasurably positive impact that PapPap has had on my life and on the lives of my family members, but until I walk beside Jesus, I won’t know to which degree of magnitude PapPap’s life has had, and continues to bring to the planet. The possibilities are vast, perhaps infinite. And as I grasp just a few of those possibilities, air catches in my chest. Words are tumbling in my head faster than towels vibrate in a washing machine’s spin cycle. Honestly, I feel faint. It is too much to think about right now. At this moment, I need only to breathe, to take in the beauty of my children, to smile, to melt in the loving embrace of my husband, and to whisper intense gratitude to the Giver and Sustainer of Life.
Perhaps someday I will complete this story and turn a simple blog post into something profound instead of scattered ramblings. But for now, I’m going to close. I’m posting this to thank all of you who have been praying and to ask that your prayers continue. And perhaps this seems contrived or trite …but I will also ask that you take to heart one message from this post.
No matter your inhibitions, your limitations, your sorrows, or your sins, remember that the One who powers the sun is the power behind your existence. You are loved. You are significant. Please let that truth sink to the marrow of your bones and to the center of your soul. And when it does, impart that joy with others.
Thank you for allowing me to share my heart.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
And the Message version below is also poignant.
I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)