the wrestling match

I’m going there.

We’re in a wrestling match, people.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Lately there is only one word that can be used to describe life around my house. Hard.  Okay, maybe there’s more than one word.  If you look up hard or difficult or challenging in a thesaurus you could probably find many words that are appropriate for our recent living conditions.

On Friday July 22nd I got a phone call from a doctor in Leadville, CO.  Chase was in a hospital there because he had been vomiting for ten straight days and had intense stomach pain. They were taking him off of all foods for twenty-four hours and would then decide if he was able to proceed with his Outward Bound course.  They actually waited until Sunday morning to make the final decision, but he was sent home a week early from his three week course.  Although he was able to summit Mt. Elbert and complete the two and a half day solo trek, he has been extremely disappointed with himself because he could not complete the course.  Let me tell you something.  A fourteen year old boy has a pretty tough time when his self-confidence is being challenged.  And… a mama has a hard time sitting on the sidelines and watching.

That same Friday we put an offer on a house.  It was rejected.  As was our second offer on the same house.  We just could not dig any deeper into our savings and making a third offer, so we gave up.  With five weeks left until we’re homeless, our senses of security and stability are being challenged.

On Saturday the 23rd, my husband began complaining about a headache, then body-aches, then a fever and chills.  Throughout the night on Saturday and Sunday I felt like I was sleeping next to someone going through DT’s (delirium tremens~look it up).  He tried to get an appointment with his primary care doctor on Monday.  He succeeded on Tuesday and after nearly passing out at the pharmacy and then again at the lab, he was sent to the emergency room.  They did a ct scan on his brain (I guess they were looking for a tumor).  They did a chest x-ray (just in case he had pneumonia).  They did an ekg (might as well check his heart while they had him).  They then declared that he just had a virus and sent him home.  My husband’s health and well-being have been challenged.  Our faith in modern medicine…. Well, I guess you could say we now fully understand why it’s called “medical PRACTICE”.

After another twenty-four hours with high fever, uncontrollable chills and being quite certain that there was absolutely nothing left in his digestive tract, he was once again on the verge of passing out.  Chase had remained in Colorado with his grandparents and I had driven out to Dulles to pick him up with our other three children.  Chad called a friend to take him back to the ER.  Just after we returned from the airport, our friends pulled up to take Chad to the hospital.  At that moment I witnessed the church ‘being the church’.  A man with his hand wrapped up ran to my front door, put his arm (without the wrapped hand), around my husband who could barely stand, and helped him get to the backseat of their car.  The wife ran over to me, gave me a hug, and explained that they were walking out the door to go to the hospital when Chad called.  Our friend had been doing construction at our church and put a drill all the way through his thumb.  Our local church is being challenged.

I got the kids to bed, had a friend come over and sleep on the couch, and went to sit by husband’s side.  They did another ct scan (this time on his abdomen).  Around 3am, a group of doctors came in the room.  One was wearing a big badge that said “class of 2012”.  They announced that he was being admitted, but they were waiting on a surgical consult to see if he needed to be moved to a hospital with an ICU or be put on the surgical floor “just in case they had to explore the small bowel obstruction seen on the ct scan”.  I had flashbacks to sitting in a doctor’s office with my grandfather before I was old enough to drive and hearing the words “small bowel obstruction” immediately followed by the words “colon cancer”.  Sweat.  Tears.  Panic.

The sweat, tears and panic hit in the wee hours of Thursday morning.  At that point I calculated that I had slept for less than twenty hours total in the six days and nights since I received the call from the doctor in Leadville.  It is quite the understatement to say that my rest has been challenged.

They admitted Chad on the surgical floor, but decided that the “sbo” was not a significant issue. (Huh?)  They then reverted to the virus theory which led to a spinal tap.  It was at this point in the day, that my sleep-deprived self walked through the door of his un-air-conditioned (yes, you read that right) hospital room and began praying OUT LOUD over the group of people who were “practicing” on my husband.  They asked me to pull up a chair and watch (really?).  Three doctors (two of whom proudly sported their “class of 2012” and “class of 2013” badges) spent an hour taking turns digging around in my husband’s spine in an attempt to find his fluid sack.  At some point they decided that they needed to find a new kit and start over.  A nurse left and returned with a kit that had been busted open and said, “It’s been slit a few times, but I think it’s sterile enough to use.”  At that point I stood up, walked over to the kit and put my hand on top of it.  The doctors froze, looked at me and opted against the new kit.  I stood there praying for God to please guide their hands and for them to find the dang fluid sack before Chad passed out (His sweat was dripping from his forehead to the floor and his breathing had become very labored.)  At that moment they found it.  There were a few more moments during the collection process that made me want to hurt somebody, but I refrained and my husband survived. Three hours later, one of the doctors came back and informed us that it would be 2-4 weeks before we got the test results.  Evidently there have been several cases of viral meningitis and west nile virus in our area in the last few weeks. My husband’s symptom led them to believe that it could be one of the “big boy” viral infections. I’ll refrain from writing the many ugly thoughts that went through my head for the remainder of the afternoon, but my prayers went from wanting answers about my husband to hoping that he survived the “medical practice’ being performed on him.  My joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control….. all being challenged.

1 John 4:4 “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

Yes.  We’re in a wrestling match.  But it’s already been won.  All the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control) are ours.  Security and stability are ours too.  God promised that He would provide for ALL of our needs

It took two more days for Chad’s fever to break, but he is now home and slowly recovering from “some viral infection”.  Chase had blood work done on Friday and we’re still waiting to see what’s going on with his belly.  Early Friday morning, my baby brother and his wife added some much needed estrogen to this family with the birth of a healthy beautiful baby girl named Reagan Kate.  On Saturday a house came on the market and it looks like God may have just opened the door on the house of our dreams.  Today a buyer called about our house in Georgia and within an hour a family called that would like to rent it if the buyer doesn’t make an offer tomorrow.

Sit down and roll up your sleeves.  You don’t have to rely on your biceps (or in my case lack-thereof) to win the wrestling match that we’re all engaged in.  You have a much better choice.  You can fight it fully cloaked in body armor.

Ephesians 6:10-17 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For weare not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.




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