I’ve been avoiding this story, but this is the time that I need to tell it. This is about the time that my wonderful God, saved my life and whispered in my ear. The turn of events, could not be ever considered random, only something that could have been orchestrated by my heavenly father who loves me like I am the only one on the planet. And to think that he loves everyone on the planet like he loves me. It is incomprehensible…staggering.
Four years ago we were up in our family cabin for a few short days over the 4th of July. It was bittersweet because none of our children were with us on this quick trip and it really didn’t seem right. Our lives were changing …our daughter was getting married, out-of-state in two weeks. Our son was with friends as always and our daughter Kelly had moved out a year earlier. We left the day after the fireworks and I remember Dave remarking as we left that I looked so forlorn, like I’d never see the place again. I think I might have said something like, it will never be the same again. He, like me, was already missing our daughter who had been our roomie again for two years after college, teaching in the same school district as both of us. I really didn’t want to leave, but I had a class to teach the next day.
We got back home and I taught class the next day. Dave asked if he could take me out to lunch at an outdoor cafe and then he wanted to go window shopping at Home Depot. Usually I love looking at tools and lumber all stacked up neatly. But today I felt really pretty sick to my stomach. We got home and I started lesson planning and the pain increased through my chest. I thought maybe I should take a walk and it would go away. So I walked to Jewel and back. I started lesson planning again. Dave was playing in the garage. I finally went out to see what he was doing. He told me he was making a new work bench. “Oh,” I said and then walked back in the house. I felt mad inside, and I didn’t know why.
I went back outside and said, “Why are you doing that….don’t you remember my dad said, he wanted you to take his workbench that my Grandpa made so long ago?” I stormed back in the house, thinking about what I had just said, my dad had probably said that to me five years earlier and probably had never said anything to Dave… The pain at this point was extremely intense. I started thinking about my blue-eyed Grandpa, he had five heart attacks in his life before he died of throat cancer. I thought…I wonder if …
I walked out into the garage and said to Dave calmly. I am having a heart attack. Bring me to the hospital. He must have seen determination in my eyes. He got in the car. I got in the car.
We got to the ER and all you have to say in line is….I think I’m having a heart attack and you are immediately in front. I never saw a team work together so effectively. I was hooked up, questioned, given nitro. My blood pressure was sky-high. They keep saying that my EKG looked good. I started feeling better. I started feeling like myself. My pressure was still high when the Dr. came in with the lab results. She said, I have some good and bad news. You will have to stay overnight. You have had a heart attack. It looks like it was minor. “What? Where was the good news?” I’m thinking she thought it was the minor part. I was scared.
It was at that exact moment I heard an audible whisper in my left ear. “Don’t worry, Nancy, I’m not finished with you on earth yet.” Some of you may scoff and say it was really me saying it to myself. But I know my voice and it was not my voice and Dave was sitting on the right side and it wasn’t his voice. And it wasn’t the Dr.’s voice who had just given me this startling news. It was God.
The next day I had a stress test that read funny for some reason. Then did an angiogram to see if my heart had been damaged. There was absolutely no damage. I had things left to do. I had a wedding to go to. I had a class to finish teaching. I had guests to serve at our care center. I had four more years of Buddy Days to do. I had a son to encourage in grad school . I had a foster daughter that needed to become my ‘for real daughter’. I had a husband to love and care for longer. I had a grand-daughter to meet. I had even a different continent to see. My race was not finished.
Many of you who read my blog know that my sweet mother-in-law passed away in June. In the hospital with her I had a flash back to this scene four years ago. At one point, I knew she was so scared…I felt it in my bones. I looked at her and said, “Remember your verses…he is with you.” Our sweet children were all there. Kelly put a cross in her hands. I felt her physically relax with this kind act. While we were in the hospital room, I kept hoping her prognosis would get better, but in that moment of her peace I chose to believe that God whispered to her…”today you will with me in our heavenly home.”
2 Timothy 4:7
New International Version (NIV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.