Can I start off with some personal history that I think is helpful for you to know about me?? Forgive me, but I'm going to jump right in....
10 years ago, on December 10th 1998, I received a call while I was at my parent's home ~ my fiance David had been tragically killed in a freak workplace. The night is a huge blur (as I'm sure you can imagine) ~ but what I do remember is my dear friends and my pastor rushing right over. I remember my mom's friends making coffee and bringing meals and helping with Jake (he was 4 at the time) and praying like crazy for us and just sitting and being available and handing me Kleenexes and telling me what to say and listening and just being there.
Six years ago, in December 2003, while I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with Sarah (Jake was 9, Benj was 2, Manda was 10 months) ~ John and I hit a wall physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We decided we needed some space in our marriage. That month is a blur ~ but what I do remember is a friend coordinating a schedule with meals and child care and my friends grocery shopping for me and my dad taking Jake to hockey and my mom sleeping over. I remember friends going to buy stamps for me and decorating my house for Christmas and just sitting and being available and handing me Kleenexes and bringing me Qdoba and listening and just being there.
Back to 2009...Monday afternoon I received a call from my dear friend Jen Torresson. Her husband Tom wasn't feeling well and Jen was wondering if I could come watch her kids while she followed Tom in an ambulance. I didn't think I could make it work with my kids' schedule ~ but when I hung up the phone the Spirit of God said, "GO!!!!!". My girls and I ran out of the door without shoes or coats and went as quickly as we could to the Torresson house. We watched as Tom was led out of the house on a stretcher and into an ambulance. What we now know is that Tom had a massive heart attack on the way to the hospital. He was without oxygen for at least 30 minutes. He received 30-50 shocks to his heart. Jen called me from a private waiting room (they wisked Jen into a private room once she arrived at the ER and had her wait there with a chaplain). The doctors told Jen they were trying to resusitate Tom but it wasn't working, and that she should prepare for the worst. (At this point I called my dear husband John who works near the hospital and said, "Honey, get there now ! Please!" ~ thanks honey!). Jen started calling family members (all who live out of state) and sat at the hospital in shock and disbelief.
The rest of Monday is kind of a big blur. I remember calling friends frantically to start praying, running to Jen's neighbors, nervously walking my mom through directions to Jen's home so I could rush to the hospital to be with Jen, crying out to the Lord and begging Him to breathe life into Tom quickly. Tom's men's group and other friends also quickly rushed to the hospital and we were all there to hear the cardiologist tell Jen "he wasn't sure which way it would go". Jen and I went back to see Tom in his hospital room, and I just held her as she stood over his weary, exhuasted body with a very sick heart. As the tears poured out, in my heart I begged and begged God to not take Tom from Jen, from the kids, from his family, from his friends. We needed a miracle!!
The rest of the week has gone by quickly. As friends and family, we've worked together to coordinate meals and transportation and play dates and prayer chains and care pages. We've loved on Jen, sat quietly with her, brought notes to show her a glimpse of all of the love and support she has behind her. We've read scriptures to her when she has asked, prayed over Tom, made sure she is eating and sleeping, handed her water and Kleenexes and just been there.
What have I learned this week?? So, so much, but a couple of things include....that God is in control of ALL things, that prayer works powerfully, and that the body of Christ is a beautiful thing. I've learned that there's nothing more heartwarming than watching a mom stroke her 39 year old son's hair, and that I don't ever want to be without a Bible in my purse. I've learned that friendship and community is so extremly powerful (I already knew that ~ but I witnessed it again first hand). I've learned that it is a blessing to live in Grand Rapids (home of an amazing Heart Center) and that being a part of the Kingdom of God is absolutely amazing!!
Most importantly, my faith has been strengthened 100% this week. The power of prayer is so amazing!!! I just got off of the phone with Jen. When I asked her how she was, she responded, "Fabulous!". Tom (get ready for this) heard his kids' voice and turned his head and tried to smile!! He has passed all of his neurological tests so far, and they are thinking he will go home by Wednesday. WE HAVE WITNESSED A MIRACLE!!! To God be the Glory!!!
Isn't it awesome how God can redeem pain in our own lives as we pour ourselves out for others? How God can use things that helped us in our time of pain, to now bring comfort to others? Isn't it amazing how we can all work together to be the hands and feet of Jesus ~ and watch the power of God at work! Our God is so HUGE ~ I'm almost speechless by what has taken place over the past 5 days!!
So that's what I've been up to this week! Please keep praying for the Torresson family! I can't wait to see how God will continue to use this experience for His Kingdom purposes and Glory!!!