Sunday, April 21, 2013

Life's Twists and Turns

Lori is my hero, and I know that many of you feel the same way about her as she has ministered the truth of God's Word the last few years to thousands. We have loved hearing from you as to how God has worked to change marriage after marriage all based on a simple little promise of the Word, that husbands "may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives" (I Peter 3:1).

At 11:00 a.m. today Lori will be wheeled into the operating room to remove a recurring Intrasellar Meningioma which has grown up from the floor of the Sella. The Sella Turcica is like a small holding cup that houses the pituitary which dangles just below the hypothalamus of the brain.  The pituitary is the essential regulator of the main hormones that run the body and Lori's pituitary is smushed like a pancake by a walnut sized tumor.

We anticipate all will go smoothly as God guides the well trained hands of the surgeon as he takes his instruments through Lori's nostrils to open up a three inch window in the front base of her skull to expose the Sella and Pituitary as the tumor falls out.  The surgeon will then take all of his video game skills to avoid nicking any of the vital nerves that flow through the region, and especially the optic nerve and carotid artery which the tumor is hugging, to piece by piece excise the tumor. Please pray that he can see clearly through his little video cameras on his huge HDTV where the tumor begins so that this time he can get it all, forever. Then the surgeon will cut a piece of fat out of Lori's side and plug the hole the tumor has left. Please pray that no leakage of spinal fluid develops. It will then be off to ICU for a day and then a couple more days in the hospital.

If all goes according to plan Lori will be home Wednesday night or Thursday and then a time for recovery.  There is no coughing or sneezing allowed, so no colds or flu permitted, so as not to disturb the delicate region as the pituitary will hopefully begin to dangle once again. We have been through this once nine years ago when Lori almost died, so we know the routine. It often takes 6-12 months for full recovery from brain surgery, not so much the physical, but it often does something to the psyche of the person.

As Cam, our new found Tennessee friend would say, "This is not our first rodeo." I married a woman so full of life, force and energy that she could go to graduate school, work and take care of me and many others.  It was only after teaching school for three years and having four kids in six years that Lori began to break down physically. First came the parasites which were misdiagnosed by more than twenty doctors over a five year period of time, and somewhere in there she was sandwiched between two semi trucks on the 5 freeway and walked away with a fractured neck and broken coccyx.

Pain seems to have followed Lori for the past 25 years... bad pain, often debilitating stomach, head and neck pain. Yet through it all, Lori has been able to create a life for herself and family. Looking back on it, it was nothing short of heroic what Lori did to get her kids to sports, ballet, home schooling, and yearly Bible training through AWANA. Bent over in pain she would never miss a session, except for a few months when she could hardly get out of bed.

So how is it that a somewhat difficult wife can go to her husband ten years ago and say, "I want to please you!" Her stomach is killing her, her head hurts, she has an undiscovered brain tumor, and she is slowly dying because her kidneys are expelling sodium, and yet, she wants to please me!  It comes down to just one thing and one thing only.  Lori decided she was going to trust God at His Word and if she was to have the marriage of her dreams she would win her man without a word, by putting aside self and selfishness, and please her man.

You see, Lori believes in ALL of God's PROMISES.  Each and every promise of God given to her in the Bible becomes her life blood each and every moment of the day. If God says that He will not give her more than she can handle, then sure enough, life is lived to the fullest, with or without pain. If God says He will always be with her, then she walks through all of the trials of life knowing her God lives in and through her.  If Jesus promises suffering and difficulties for those who follow Him, then through her suffering God will work ALL things together for good. Lori enters into the suffering with joy and thanksgiving, knowing that her Savior will ride in soon on a white horse to free her and save her from a broken body and difficult world.

Faith... do we really know what that means?  Lori does, and she shows me each and every moment through her pain and suffering what it means to depend and trust in God. My wife is my hero and I love and adore her for making my life, and the life of my family so wonderfully filled with joy in the knowledge the Lord. She makes our lives full, fun, and enjoyable, even while she cannot enjoy many of the good things in life.

So for those of you with your problems out there, and I know some of your issues are deep, and perhaps debilitating... Do what Lori does. Trust God with all your heart and lean on His promises.

If God says that we are New Creatures in Christ and that the old man is dead and buried in Christ Jesus, that our flesh is dead and we now walk in newness of life (Rom 6 & 8), then why fret.  Dead things don't care, and most of this life is dead and worthless in view of eternity with Christ Jesus our Lord. So in the midst of your suffering and pain, find in God's Word all of the promises that God, the Promise Keeper has given to you, and hold on ever so tightly to them. For God's promises always come true, in His perfect timing, and His perfect will. Whatever we face today, it is just one more twist and turn that our heavenly Father is orchestrating for his children so that we may be to the praise of His glory forever and ever. For His day is coming soon... Come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen!

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:1-4).