Friday, February 2, 2024

Our Refuge and Strength

 


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1


This has been a week when Danny and I have turned continuously to God for refuge and strength.  With every breath, we have asked the Lord to walk with us, to hold us up in His righteous hands, to turn the seemingly impossible to the absolutely possible for us.

He has done it!

Here's the background story:

Last Thursday, we set out on a trip to Brunswick, Georgia, in order to attend my SIL's mother's memorial service on the following Saturday.  We think, too, that this could serve as a mini-vacation for us and a chance to physically reunite with family.

We book an Airbnb on St. Simon's Island within walking distance of the beach; a perfect place to visit during the off-season.  Friday morning, after breakfast, we take a stroll on said beach.  As you can tell from the photo above, it is an extremely foggy day, and the nearby fog horn loudly sounds its warning.  Danny likes nothing better than being in the midst of a misty day.  We are yet to discover just how foggy this day will become.

When it's time for lunch, we drive to the Village on St. Simon's to dine at Barbara Jean's, a restaurant renown for their excellent crab cakes.  Oh, my, their reputation proceeds them!  Such a lovely treat we enjoy, and look forward to chowing down on more seafood during our stay.

We return to the Airbnb; Danny is fine for about an hour.  Suddenly, he tells me he's feeling woozy.  I suggest he go to the bedroom and rest for a bit.  No sooner does he recline, then he shouts, and I mean SHOUTS my name.  His pacemaker is shocking his heart with a force he's never experienced before.  As I hastily dial 911, I'm trying not to panic.  I've never seen Danny in such excruciating pain, a pain that has his body flailing beyond his control; and we are praying and pleading, confessing our forever love for God and each other.

It seems like a week before the ambulance finally arrives and the medics sweep Danny out of the house and on to the hospital.  I don't ride with them because I need to get in touch with my brother.  Of course, Bill is more than willing to get me to the hospital as soon as humanly possible.  Why don't I drive myself?  I am shaking uncontrollably and certainly not confident being behind the wheel in such a state.  The last thing we need is another crisis on the heels of this one.

Once at the hospital, the nurses and doctors successfully stabilize Danny with the utmost are and attention.  He is transferred to the ICU for observation overnight, which is the safest place he can possibly be.  By the time I see him, he is calm and the color has returned to his face.  Talk about feeling encouraged and hopeful!

Long story short, the resident cardiologist sees him repeatedly (how many times does that happen on a weekend???).  It is decided to replace the pacemaker on Monday.  Now, I'm a bit concerned, because the last time Danny had an issue with his device, we were out of town, just like now, and the wound became infected.  I am praying, praying, praying!

While all this is transpiring, Danny's two boys, Giovanni and Nicco, are heading our way at a clip.  I don't know how we would have navigated these stormy seas without them.  Danny is released from the hospital on Tuesday, we stay in a hotel that night, and the next morning, we hit the road for home.  Giovanni drives our Subaru as wife, Hope, takes his car back to Florida.  She is a life-saver, too!

Giving thanks and praise to God is just as natural as taking a breath.  It is non-stop.  Now that we are home and settling back into our usual routines, Danny and I are slowly adjusting.  Both of us have experienced PTSD-type episodes; fortunately, they don't linger too long, but certainly indicate the severity of the trauma we've experienced. 

With God's help as our refuge and strength, these, too, will dissipate in time.

Because life goes on, with or without us. And while we have breath, we should never cease to love God, seek Him, thank Him, praise Him.

Until the Lord calls us home, let us cherish and live life to the fullest.

Amen!

62 comments:

  1. It is so sad to read the details of what you have been both through. Praise God he is okay now. God bless you both!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mrs. White. It was actually cathartic for me to recount what happened, and my readers deserve to know why I might have missed their recent posts. It was also exhausting to go through it all again, but I feel that healing from the Lord is already setting in.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Martha Jane: God was definitely looking out for you. I thank God that you had some support from those angels of mercy. Peace and blessings for you and yours.

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    1. Thank you, Cecelia. Yes, God never took His eyes off us through these trials. I hope and pray that when bad times hit, all my friends will remember that God is our refuge and strength always and everywhere.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. It is good to see how the Lord preserved you both and supplied all you needed at just the right time. What a story!

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    1. It is quite the story, Barbara, and a testament to God's unfailing love for His children. May all my readers take heart and courage when bad things happen to good people.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Dearest Martha Jane,
    That was a short trip in total and much less a mini–vacation!
    You did not mention how the Saturday's Memorial Service went, guess you did not go there... A sad fact, especially for your brother Bill.
    Sure glad that Danny got. seen and also treated this quickly with a good outcome, departing the day after his surgery.
    For Danny's sons it must have been a real scare too.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. It was a scare for all of us, Mariette, but God is good! No, I couldn't attend the service, but Bill and Miriam more than understand. They will send me a video that was shown at the ceremony celebrating Alice's life.
      Life happens when you're making other plans.
      Love and blessings!

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    2. What a moving testimony, Martha ... my heart was racing so!
      We, too, had an unwelcome cardiac experience this week, but at least we were home. Tom was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon and like you, I'm giving all the glory to God. Who says He's not still in the business of performing miracles!

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    3. God has never stopped being in the miracle business, Myra, and we're fools to think He doesn't answer prayers. I'm so sorry to hear about Tom's struggles, but I'm relieved and pleased to know he is out of the hospital and home once again, where I know you'll take excellent care of him.
      My heart was racing for days, but I never let go of the hope we have in our Lord and Savior.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. How traumatic! God turned the trauma into a miracle, and Danny's life was saved bringing relief and happiness to the whole family.

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    1. Yes, Duta, it was traumatic, but God came to the rescue for Danny and all of us. I will never cease to give Him thanks and praise!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. It is in such times that angels draw close. Your faith is inspiring. You are in my prayers 🙏🏽💕

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Cloudia! Yes, the angels were most certainly present in a palpable way. We are so thankful for all God's protection.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Oh Martha I am so glad you both survived this stressful incident. Poor Danny. -christine cmlk79.blogspot.com

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    1. We can't give enough praise to God, Christine, for seeing us through this ordeal. He is good!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Lots will be said by others. I will simply say (with a satisfactory sigh) "Prayers were answered." Thanks for asking me to pray.

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    1. Yes, Bill, our prayers were most certainly answered! Thank you for being a part of that, my friend. They made all the difference in the world.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Praise the Lord all is well again. You trusted Him and He was with you every step of the way. May many reading this trust Him as much as you do?

    Thank you for being an example to many. God bless.

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    1. Thank you, Victor, and for your prayers. They do make a difference! We are beside ourselves with gratitude.
      Love and blessings!

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    1. Thanks for your continued prayers, Linda. We know that we have been richly blessed by the Lord!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. It's so good to hear this report, Martha. We're contnuing to pray for Danny and you.

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    1. Thanks, Glynn, for your continued prayers. We are definitely in a hang-over situation here, when unwanted memories resurface and attempt to overcome our sense of well-being. We know we are blessed beyond measure, and want to keep it that way!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Praying for you both. So glad it was a faulty device that not a faulty Mr. Danny this time. Praising God for your quick thinking, and the doctors' quick actions. Praying all is returned to normal quickly precious friends.

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    1. We are praying the same, J. D. As I mentioned to Glynn above, the PTSD is pretty slow to leave the premises. One cannot come that close to facing death in the face and not be affected deeply. Thank you for your kind words here and for your prayers, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. New follower.
    Praise the Lord for His tender mercies! I'm glad it went well for such a dramatic event. Y'all were not too distant from our home in Patterson (Pierce County). It was fortunate that this happened in Brunswick as our Hospital there is first class. God was really looking out for y'all. He always does, amen!?
    Thanks for sharing the story. It's wonderful that even in a crisis we can still praise Him and see His handiwork. I'm learning how to do that too as there have been times when I have minor PTSD episodes from childhood abuse. God is so good. He heals hearts.
    Sending prayers for continued healing.
    Sparky (Pamela)

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    1. It's such a pleasure to meet you here, Sparky, and I so appreciate you taking the time to leave such a meaningful and heartfelt comment. I'm so sorry that you are haunted still today by memories of abuse as a child, but, yes, God is the great healer and there's no one like Him for healing broken hearts and spirits. I'll be sure to check out your blog!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. As you so clearly indicated, Martha. That was a foggy, stormy journey for sure. It's so hard when the road we're traveling turns into a dark and rocky path and our lights suddenly turn dim and flickering. Your encouraging story is rich with faith-reinforcing testimonies of how God provides, and how He can restore both health and hope. Thank you for bringing us into your life again in such an encouraging way.

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    1. You are so welcome, Ron, and I thank you so much for all of your prayers. God can flood our darkest paths with the light of His hope, love and peace. When we let His light shine within us, we have the comfort of His unfailing love for each and every one of us.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. Praise God for your miracle and every blessing along the way! Rejoicing with you that Danny is on the mend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! Yes, this is a time for great rejoicing and giving thanks and praise.
      Love and blessings!

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  16. what a scary time that must have been. So glad God and family were by your side. You mentioned PTSD following a scare like this. I know exactly what you mean following our recent car accident and a fall. I told someone I felt spiritual bruised but am doing better now. Healing takes time! love to you and Danny

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    1. Oh, my goodness, Jean, I didn't know you were in an accident and had also suffered a fall! Both are so dangerous and frightening. Healing does take time, that's for sure. Thankfully, Danny is on the mend but won't totally be out of the woods until his check-up this coming Friday (the9th). Please be in prayer, my friend, and I'll be in prayer for you!
      Love and blessings!

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  17. Amen, amen, amen!! Thanks for the back-story, Martha. I am still praying for you both and that will continue. God is so good. Love & hugs!

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    1. Thanks so much for your continued prayers, Terri! We are so thankful for this outcome, yet feeling shell-shocked, too. God is healing us one beautiful step at a time.
      Love and blessings!

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  18. So thankful God has you both in His hands. Praying for continued recovery.
    Blessings- Lulu

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    1. Thanks for all your prayers, Lulu! They mean the world to us, believe me. God is good, all the time.
      Love and blessings!

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  19. I’m so thankful for a good report! Not just physically, but the continual demonstration of His goodness n faithfulness! It also reminds me to pray for one another! Thank God for Isaiah 53: 3-5❣️

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    1. We are so thankful, too, and cannot thank God enough. And yes, we should never stop praying for one another.
      Love and blessings!

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  20. What a harrowing experience! I'm so relieved that Danny is okay and that you both found the strength to weather such a storm. It's heartwarming to see how your faith in God sustained you through this challenging time. The power of prayer and the support of loved ones truly make a difference. Here's to healing, recovery, and cherishing the precious moments life offers. Amen indeed!

    Hugs and blessings, Martha

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    1. It was harrowing, indeed, Veronica, and my hope and prayers are that no one would have to go through anything like this. God did see us through, though, and He is upholding us still as we slowly heal from the trauma and move forward.
      Love and blessings!

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  21. Obrigada por ler no meu blog. É sempre bom agradecer a Deus, ficamos mais leve, num é mesmo? Bju

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    1. We should always thank God, even in the most horrible of times, Ro. He is worthy of all our prayers!
      Love and blessings!

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  22. Oh my goodness what an ordeal, good to read that you came through it but it must have been difficult and scary at times

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    1. It certainly was, Jo-Anne! I'm so very thankful to be home once again. Danny will have a check up this Friday.
      Love and blessings!

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  23. Oh Martha, I'm so sorry. I'm so glad Danny is okay now and you both were upheld by His grace! Love and blessings of further recovery to you both!

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    1. Thank you so much, Trudy, for your wishes to a speedy recovery. This has been a hair-raising time for the both of us, and we can use all the encouragement we can get. God has certainly been our stalwart hope and unfailing refuge.
      Love and blessings!

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  24. What a hard time that was for you and yours! "Giving thanks and praise to God is just as natural as taking a breath. " Well written. thecontemplativecat here.

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan! It truly was cathartic for me to pen this.
      Love and blessings!

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  25. Bom dia, Martha
    Imagino como foi difícil vivenciar esse momento, orando pela vida de vocês, o Senhor é fortaleza, é o Deus que cura e está sempre nos ajudando, um forte abraço.

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    1. So true, Lucinalva. God is there for us and with us whenever we call to Him. I am so, so grateful!
      Love and blessings!

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  26. Oh, Martha, you told me on my post a little about this, but I had no idea how urgent this all was in the moment. I'm so sorry this happened to Danny, out of town too, but thankful the Lord and your family were all so helpful to come to your aid when you needed it most. Praising the Lord for His watchare over you both. I'm so grateful the Lord is our strong refuge and an ever-present help in trouble. Love and hugs! Karen Friday

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    1. I'm so glad and grateful that He is, too, Karen. I can't even begin to imagine having to go through such an ordeal without Him. He continues to comfort and heal us both.
      Love and blessings!

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  27. You kept your presence of mind. I'm sure everything will go well for you.

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    1. I could only maintain that with God's help, Crane. What I really wanted to do was cry, but that wouldn't have done Danny any good.
      Love and blessings!

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  28. Your testimony shines bright in the darkest hours, dear friend. May God use this difficult season to bear much spiritual fruit and encouragement to everyone who reads these words. Bless you both ...

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    1. Oh, Linda, I hope and pray that God will take these recent events and shape them in a way that they can inspire and encourage others who are going through difficult times. Right now, we're still feeling shell-shocked. I think all will improve after Danny sees his specialist this Friday - he so needs reassurance that this won't happen again.
      Love and blessings!

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  29. Life is full of times of trial. Strength is gained with each one when we see God in them. Sharing the truth in this with others gives hope to those in the didst of their struggles. Your love and dedication is testament to this. You are blessed in so many ways.

    Hugs and Blessings

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    1. Thank you so much, Jim, for your kind and supportive words here. Yes, we can take the times of trial in which we find ourselves to learn from and depend upon God more than ever. When we feel His supportive arms around us, we can't help but share that encouragement with others who might need it.
      Love and blessings!

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  30. I'm thankful for the good outcome Danny had, but can only imagine the extreme fear that you both were experiencing, with the pain too! Oh my goodness! I have continued in prayer for you both, and am so thankful to learn that Danny has a new pacemaker, praying that both of you will have less exciting days ahead, and perhaps get to take that vacation you both need!

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