Friday, May 26, 2017

We're Going Home


Luke 6:37
Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

When people are facing a severe illness or a major surgery, that may be one of the most significant opportunities for spiritual transformation that they will encounter. ~Allan Hamilton (Quote borrowed from my blogging friend, Jean Wise, at Healthy Spirituality)

This is the final installment of the Asheville misadventures.  If you are just joining us here, please begin with "The Voice of the Lord" featured under Blog Archives to the right of this page.

Danny and I entertain a host of medical professionals who will be in the operating room with him.  The anesthesiologist, her assistant, and the device technologist describe their roles in the procedure, and give us confidence that Danny is in good hands.  Enter Dr. S., the doctor who will actually be doing the surgery.  He embarks on what I've come to call the Litigious Litany; you know, just like all those drug commercials on television that feature an endless, and alarming, list of side effects.  Not in the least reassuring, but most likely required by law.

I look down at the Bible resting in my lap, and say a silent prayer of thanks to God for its presence.

For His.

When we are told the operation will take between two and three hours, Danny urges me to return to the hotel instead of sitting in an uninviting waiting room.  I leave my cell number with the nurse assigned to Danny's case, and head out to summon yet another Uber.  As I have to make many phone calls once again, the privacy of my hotel room is just what the doctor ordered.  (Yes, pun intended!)

I spend the next two-and-one-half hours contacting folks and perusing my new Bible, but most of my time is spent in prayer that all goes smoothly for Danny.  God continues to assure me that I should be anxious for nothing.  Danny will come through with flying colors.  What can I do at this point but trust completely in Him?

When call from Dr. S. finally comes in, I answer immediately.  "Mrs. Orlando, your husband is out of surgery and in recovery.  Everything went beautifully!  A text book case if I ever saw one.  I couldn't be happier with how things turned out."

"Oh, Dr. S., that's marvelous news!  When should I come back over to the hospital?"

"Don't leave your hotel for another hour or so," he advises.  "It will take him a while to come to himself.  By that time, we should have him back in his room."

More texting!  More calls!  More prayers of thanksgiving!!!  The success of the surgery means the doctors will release Danny tomorrow, and we can enjoy one night at the cabin before having to head home!

My arrival at the hospital could not have been better timed.  As I approach Danny's room, they are just wheeling him into it.  What a tremendous relief to see him awake.  Alert.

Alive!

Once the staff departs, and we are alone at last, we shed grateful tears of joy.  That's when Danny takes my hand, looks into my eyes, and says in all solemnity, "There's something really important I have to tell you, Martha.  Just before they put me under, I forgave her.  I forgave Pastor Diane, and I meant it with all my heart."

Tears spring anew to my eyes.  "Oh, Danny, I'm so glad you could, that you finally did!  This is such a blessing!"

"And you know what else is a blessing?"  Danny asks as he squeezes my hand.  "When we get back to Kennesaw, we can quit looking for another church.  We're going home."


~

For those of you who have been faithfully following this saga, you know that Danny faced some overwhelming complications during the ensuing weeks.  The pacemaker, successfully implanted in Asheville, became infected; we were advised by Dr. S. that there was a 15% possibility of this happening.  Consequently, Danny underwent three surgeries in the span of six weeks:  Pacemaker installed; pacemaker removed, and new device placed on the right side of his chest, not over the heart as before.  He now has a matching pair of scars, both of which are healing perfectly, thanks be to God!

All your prayers, your notes, your comments here and privately, have meant the world to both of us through these stressful ordeals.  We truly felt God's presence and peace throughout.  So now, allow me to leave you with some gorgeous photos that Danny managed to take at the cabin on the Sunday we arrived, and on the Thursday evening when at last we could return.  May the glory of God's creation bless you, my friends, and may you always remember how precious you are in His eyes!












Amen!


24 comments:

  1. Tears of joy for you both... and for Pastor Diane. Bet there are a few stories there.

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    1. Yes, there are a few stories, Ed, but all's well that ends well, and that's the bottom line.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I love stories with happy endings!

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    1. Me too, Roy! So glad this one had the happiest.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. So glad it all went well. God had multiple purposes to work out through this one situation. Amazing to realize the depth to which He always is at work in our lives. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne! Yes, isn't it amazing how God works in our lives; He only asks that we keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to see and give thanks for what He is doing.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Oh Martha! SOO thankful to our amazing LORD that your husband is doing better, and that he came through the surgery easily, and without a hitch, and that you were able to get back to the cabin to enjoy a night there, despite all the craziness in between! Those pictures of the mountains were magnificent! How I love seeing any pictures of mountains :) So glorious, powerful and uplifting to see them lifting their highest points towards the skies and the Lord, and the beautiful clouds that create such beauty around them. So thankful all is better with you, despite the bumps in the road, and thankful too for the healing forgiveness of the LORD in your husband's heart. God is good! Praying for you that the Lord continues to work mightily in your lives! Have a blessed weekend :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Marilyn, for your inspirational words and comfort offered here! I know you definitely understand the majesty of God's mountains; though they are much smaller in comparison for us here on the east coast, they are still so reflective of God's greatness and glory.
      We, too, are so very thankful for the Lord's healing power, both physically and spiritually. What gifts He so often gives us through the challenges, not in spite of them! And forgiveness has to top this list, that's for sure.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Oh, the blessing of forgiveness! In spite of complications of the body, true forgiveness doesn't have complications. A beautiful example of a man after God's own heart!

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    1. Oh, yes, Pamela, we both learned so much about the absolute power and peace that is found in the act of forgiveness. Jesus told us precisely how much He values forgiveness, and expects it of us, too. I will certainly share with Danny your kind words.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I'm so glad everything ended well and you could at least spend a little time at the cabin, Martha. Such lovely photos! Love and hugs to you!

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    1. And you know Danny and I are so glad, too, Trudy! Man, what a journey! Glad you enjoyed the photos, and thanks for the love and hugs sent our way.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, What a joyful way to end this series. Forgiveness is so important--hard to do at times but important, nevertheless. Forgiveness frees us far more than the one we forgive. I'm so thankful that you and Danny had a bit of time at the cabin; however, I'm even more thankful that forgiveness happened. Oh, and going home...that's what church should be.

    The photos are AMAZING!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Kim, you are absolutely right - Forgiveness does free us far more than the one we forgive. It's nothing but positive with Pastor Diane, and we are finally getting to know her for the lovely and God-inspired woman that she is. Oh, how God blesses!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. so happy all is well now. What an adventure you had and what a faith you showed. You are inspiring.

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    1. It was quite the adventure, Jean, and if it weren't for our faith in God, I can't imagine where we would both be emotionally and physically. Thank you for your consistent and loving prayers during this time of trial. Danny is healing wonderfully, thanks be to God!
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Wow, what a story, Martha. And with all the different turns and miracles, I found myself most moved by the forgiveness. As the saying goes, forgiveness is setting a prisoner free and realizing that the prisoner was you. I have no doubt that clearing the unforgiveness from his heart helped Danny's heart get better. Thanks for sharing this story with all of us.

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  10. Galen, I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, and followed it through to the end. And that saying you share here about forgiveness is spot on - we are the prisoner set free when we forgive. It probably did help Danny's heart to heal in all ways!
    Love and blessings!

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  11. Praise God for this wonderful conclusion to this saga...complete with glorious pictures of God's wonders in the skies around you...and the news of forgiveness...what a blessing...what a joy to have that peace in your hearts. Praying that has gone as hoped when you returned home. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey with you, even though it was after the fact...it was a thrilling ride...and so wonderful to know that God was always by your side.

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    1. Thanks so much, Pamela, for your kind words about being a part of this journey, one where God was truly with us all the way. Oh, yes, there is peace in our hearts and joy in our spirits! And aren't those photos magnificent? God' glory is everywhere, stunning and breathtaking, when we stop to look at it and appreciate its beauty.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Oh Martha, it's been such a roller coaster ride, and that's just for me as a reader here! I can't imagine the toll it took on you and Danny, and yet, what a transformation occurred. God truly does make good in the middle of chaos.
    I have been so impressed by your relationship with your husband, how close and 'in tune' you are, truly a wonderful example of Christ's love for his people. Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways during this journey. May God continue to bless you and your husband as you finally go home!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Oh, Ceil, I am so humbled by your sweet words here, and that you were inspired by this journey Danny and I were on. Yes, a roller coaster ride (or a speeding ambulance) it was, for sure! Even though we are safely on the other side, there are times that it all hits me again, especially the bout with infection and repeat surgeries, and I find myself in tears, both of relief and joy.
      And indeed, transformation DID take place, and I am so thankful to God for it all!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Fantastic news Martha! Even better is the freedom Danny has from finding forgiveness. I can't wait to see what God has in store now for you two and even the church.

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    1. It is/was the best news ever, Bill! We are back at our old church and so very grateful to be there. Looking forward to helping with Vacation Bible School in a couple of weeks and taking Virginia with me!
      Love and blessings!

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