Last week, I asked Matt to write down some of his thoughts he has had since regaining consciousness after the stroke. I expected a few sentences because writing is still not the easiest task for him. He surpassed yet another of my expectations with a page-long reflection of the circumstances God has given us.
If you make it to the end, you’ll find an update on where he is at as of today. Here is what he wrote:
“It’s March 15 and I have about 2 weeks of rehab left. I’ve been in the hospital now for about 6 weeks. The first 4 weeks were the most difficult weeks of my life. Some of the ICU I don’t actually remember, or my memory is somewhat sporatic.
There was one day this past week where I was telling Cameron a hard story from when I was in the ICU and then she told me a hard story from when I was in the ICU, and I was just hearing her story, and I’m just like, that’s awful!, how did you do that? I was not aware my life was on the line. So after talking to Cameron and her mom, I’ve determined that their hard times were much harder than my hard times….at least in a different way.
“When I was still in the ICU and the hospital, there were many times where I would just be in the midst of a very difficult situation and I’d stop and think back at what I said that Sunday before the stroke, and just ask myself, do I still believe God is good?
“Every time the answer was a resounding ‘Yes’! At times, it almost felt like the trials came like waves, each one beating against me, and asking me, “is God still good?!” and after coming out of the wave, I would just muster my energy and yell, “Yes, God is still good!”
“Look, it has been a huge trial, but I’m still not getting what I deserve! I still know the one true God and will be with Him for all eternity (and oh, how I long for that day!). God has done me no wrong in bringing me low. I think Job’s incorrect thinking was that he thought bad things only happen to bad people, and Job was indeed a righteous man, so bad things shouldn’t have been happening to him. But as we have said before, there are no good people. I mean I’ve been declared righteous and have Christ’s rightousness, but I’ve never done anything to deserve a cancer-free life or even a hell-free life! I’ve sinned against the perfect and holy God who created the heavens and the earth and I deserve wrath which would be an eternity in hell, and I’m still alive–more than that, I know that God and have been forgiven all my sins! I have still only received grace upon grace!
“What’s crazy now, is 4 weeks ago, I had lost so much–the ability to eat, the ability to sleep, the ability to walk, the ability to drink, have a bowel movement of any kind, talk, laugh, cry, smile, read, think clearly, speak clearly, use my arm, type. 4 weeks ago, I had a feeding tube, an oxygen mask, and a pic line through which I was getting transfusions every 24 hours. I remember just laying in the hospital bed during those days and talking to God and just being like, ‘God, You have brought me low.’
In the last 7 weeks, though, we have also seen so many mercies of God. I can now eat again, and smile and laugh and cry and drink and am walking with a walker and having conversations, and moving my arm and typing and reading and am still alive! I don’t deserve any of these things, and yet God has seen fit to give them back. Praise God! His mercies are new every morning, and I literally see that here every morning! Even more, I have felt and seen so much love from so many people! I mean, the love from the body of Christ has been amazing and just a huge kindness and blessing from God.
“How God has sustained my wife through all of this is amazing, and just how much grace I see in her as she has had to weather all of this is just such a kindness of God. She has never once said, “just curse God and die”, but has been steadfast, unmoveable, and such an enouragement to me. We have seen so many answers to prayer here and so many other things, it would be difficult to write them all.
“I pray prayers that I think some may think think are silly. I pray, God, please restore me back to health and God, please take the cancer away. And, yes I do believe that the God who healed blind men, and parapalegics, and bleeding disorders, and raised the dead can heal me! And at the same time, whatever the Lord wills for me, I will, by God’s grace be content with.
“So I write this because I almost felt the need to just tell the world, “Hey, we are still holding to what we said, by God’s grace! God is still good! I still know my Savior; I have not and will not waver from what we originally said! And here is how God has just actually been kind and merciful in all of this! We are still not getting what we deserve. These slight momentary afflictions are still not even close to being compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.”
As Matt said, we have been and continue to be blessed and cared for by so many. Thank you, again, to those who remain with us as we walk what is presently a happy road. The plan is for Matt to be discharged from rehab on March 28th which means, March 28th, Matt will come home. He will be home for the first time in almost two months. It’s a gift to still have him; even more so, to get the opportunity of being together as a family at home again.
Things will look different. He is still new at using a walker, still is learning how to get dressed by himself. He often forgets he can use his left hand, he is much weaker than before, and he has no hair. But we will be together as a family! I will, Lord willing, get to sleep next to my husband and my kids will get to eat breakfast with their dad.
We will be having a ‘Welcome home, Matt!’ open house so if that is something you would like to come to, feel free to send me a PM for details. May this next season at home be filled with the same perseverance and joy by God’s grace as our last in the hospital!