Friday Coffee with PJ

Thanks for joining me for a cup of coffee and some random thoughts ...

1. I am now in my 27th year of pastoring Grace Church at Willow Valley. Across the years I have seen people come and go, preached well over a thousand times, sung innumerable songs in worship, prayed I don't know how many prayers. I have lost track of the weddings officiated and the funerals conducted. But one thing I have not last track of is the greatness and goodness of my God. To say that our God is an awesome God doesn't seem quite enough. But I can't think of anything better to say about him. He is awesome in holiness, love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, truth, justice, and on and on it goes. I am so thankful that over 26 years ago he led me to Grace Church. From the first Sunday here I began to fall in love with the church family. It surely looks different today then back then, but my love for the church has only grown. SO ... if you are a part of the family at Grace ... know this: God in Christ loves you ... and so do I!

2. My wife has been on a journey which began last December. An MRI revealed that what little meniscus remained in her right knee was shredded The orthopedic surgeon, wanting to avoid a knee replacement given Sharon's "younger" age, suggested a process of injecting a substance into her knee which would lubricate the joint and relieve the pain ... supposedly. "Fifty-fifty" were his words for a successful outcome. So in January -February she underwent the injections (three of them, one week apart). Within two months it was apparent that she fell in the "50%" of unsuccess. So began the process of second opinion and ultimately surgery for a total knee replacement (which took place on September 4th). From the get go, Sharon faced more difficulties than most. Somehow, she fell between the cracks when she moved from in-home physical therapy (pt) and outpatient. So she lost a week there. Then she had a negative reaction to the pain meds she was on ... and lost a few pt sessions there. Across the weeks, scar tissue built up to the point she could only bend her new knee so far. The orthopedist recommended "manipulation under anesthesia" (see previous post for explanation). The condition Sharon was suffering, known as a "stiff knee" is experienced by a very small % of TKR patients. As the orthopedic discussed this option, he mentioned the risks, such as the risk that comes with the use of anesthesia, which is true for all surgeries. He then mentioned that there was a very small risk that during the procedure, a bone in her leg could break. He downplayed this as a very remote risk, especially given that my wife did not fall into any of the "high risk" categories for the procedure. Sharon and I shrugged any risk off ... having experienced surgeries and procedures in which doctors have to mention the risks (and then you, the patient, have to sign of on). No big deal.

No big deal? Perhaps for the 99+% of manipulation patients. But it became a very big deal for my wife. From the time she stood up after the manipulation, she found it quite difficult (and at times impossible) to put weight on her right leg (I had to use a wheelchair to transport her into the pt department for her first pt session after the manipulation).  For 7 days, she endured the pain as she had to go to pt for five of the first six days. We finally made an appointment with the orthopedist. After briefly meeting with him, Sharon was taken for an x-ray. Once back in the room, we waited for the doctor. When he walked in, his whole demeanor had changed. "We now know why you cannot put weight on your leg. Your leg is broken." At that point, my heart broke for my wife. She had endured so much ... and now its back to the OR. And what this means for her ongoing rehab for her new knee? The surgery went well. The surgeon was able to repair the break. She is now in a knee immobilizer. This will be her constant companion for the next two weeks. For at least the next six weeks she will not be allowed to put any weight on her leg. Total healing time for her leg to totally heal will be about six months. What this all means for the rehab of her new knee I do not know.

Yesterday morning I pulled my copy of the book of Psalms out of my office bag. Randomly opening it, I found myself reading Psalm 67:1, "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us."  "Yes, Lord," I prayed .. "please do so today. Upon Sharon, upon me, upon the surgeon .... " Then I went on to read the next verse: "that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations." As I read those words, I thought of what happened after the doctor informed us of my wife's broken leg. She looked at him and said (as he was visibly upset), "I don't want you to blame yourself for this. We realize things happen for a purpose. Our God will take care of us." I sat in amazement as I heard my wife give glory to God and voicing her trust in him.

Certainly one of the reasons that we are on this difficult journey is that we might be able to give glory to him and point others to him. This is not to say that our faith does not sometimes falter. And it is at those times we cry the prayer of the father of the demon possessed son, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

Thanks for your ongoing prayers for my wife and ..../

Thanks for stopping by . . .


katedagr8 said...

We love you all.... praying.

Leslee said...

We are praying for miraculous healing for Sharon. And continued faith to endure.

Friday Coffee with PJ

Friday has once again rolled around (amazing how quickly this happens!). So please pour yourself a cup of your favorite java and join me f...