An Unexpected and Difficult Day

Just a quick update at the end of an unexpected and difficult day. Early this morning, Matt began having stroke-like symptoms (leaning to the left while walking, difficulty speaking, pressure in the back of his head, etc.) which prompted us to get him to the ER. Once there, a CT scan revealed bleeding on the right frontal lobe of his brain which was putting intense pressure on the motor strip. Over the next 8 hours, Matt lost nearly all movement on the left side of his body. He went into surgery around 2:00pm where the neurosurgeon drained as much of the bleeding as he could. Matt is stable in the ICU, but still without any function on the left side of his body. Time will tell if this is a long-term effect.

What this means for the road ahead of him is not yet determined, although we know we are now dealing with a stroke and stage IV lung cancer. Before he lost the ability to speak very clearly, Matt just kept saying that he loved me and that he was in no way or degree scared about what was happening–only sad for me.

Today was a hard day. Before today, Matt and I were actively and jointly fighting this battle side-by-side and now we are still fighting together, but he is fighting his battle much more quietly now and my roles in this fight have shifted. Watching him lose function both physically and cognitively throughout the day was possibly one of the most difficult things I have witnessed. I kept telling him that I was okay; that I was happy and he needed to know that. And I meant every word of it every time. If this is where God has me, then it is a good place to be and I am happy to be there even while it is also a sorrowful place.

In the next few days, we’ll watch and pray for no re-bleeding in his brain, we’ll pray that his treatment for the cancer would not be delayed by this stroke, that movement might return to the left side of his body. Pray for our kids who will no doubt try to process this the best way they know how and for those who are with them to love them well while we’re in the hospital. And pray that God’s glory might still be declared in us, though it might not be expressed through Matt in words for a time.

We look forward to the day when our tongues will be loosed from every shackle to sing the praises of our God with uninterrupted and inexhaustible energy. When we will behold our Savior and no longer have any desire to wonder why His plans are so different from ours with its suffering, and to wonder instead at His immeasurable sacrifice for our sins, to marvel and worship at his suffering for us. Until that day comes, though, we will fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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