Having no regrets!

My husbands grandmother has faced death more than once.  A few years ago, she had to have her toes amputated due to a diabetes problem.  It was expected to be a short surgery and she was expected to be out of the hospital within a couple days.  Three months after the surgery, she was still there.

She had a pneumonia and blood clot in her lungs, so within a few days of the surgery, she was in ICU on life support.  That hit our family like a ton of bricks, it was unexpected and we were devastated.  So after visiting her in the ICU for days, even worse news came.  In the middle of the night, her breathing tube was plugged so they had to perform an emergency procedure to get it out and unplug it, and during this time, she went into cardiac arrest.  So we went up first thing the next morning when we heard the news.  When we walked in, everyone in the room was silent.  It was almost like we all knew what was going to happen but no one wanted to utter the words.  We knew she would die.  She was still on the life support machine but now she had no brain function.  She could not talk, she couldn’t open her eyes, she could not respond to us in any way.  This was a result of no oxygen to her brain during the time that she went into cardiac arrest.

That night, I walked out of the hospital with my husband and my brother and sister in law.  I remember looking at my sister in law and she said “I have never felt so hopeless about anything in my life.” It was true.  I thought the same thing but I didn’t want to say it.  I think everyone did.  Not only was she still on the life support machine, but now even if she somehow did live, she would for sure never be able to walk or talk again.  I loved this dear woman with every inch of me, my kids adored her, we went on every family vacation together, she was at every birthday party.  I have a chair in my living room with an ottoman that she sat on every Sunday.  Do you know what I felt? I felt regret.  Regret that I didn’t make our time more special.  Regret that I never got to tell her how much I just loved her.  Regret that I didn’t take the extra time with her that I wanted to.

So after a few days, nothing had changed, she was still not responding, she was still on life support, and the hope of her recovering had fizzled out into nothing.  At that point, my prayers had become mere words with no heart behind them. I would say “God, please heal her” but in my mind I doubted it could or would ever happen.

Her wishes were that if she was ever on life support that we would know enough to let her go to glory.  So after a few days, the doctors had no hope that she would recover and the family decided to give her comfort care and let her peacefully go to be with our Lord.  That morning, Justin’s mom called me to let me know about the plans for comfort care.  I was so overwhelmed by regrets and sadness that I had no strength to even pray anymore.  I had cried so much that no more tears even came out.  I opened my bible and everything that I had read that morning was about healing and how God is our Healer.  I read about the miracles that He did.  I read those stories in the Bible but still never believed that God would do that in the life of my husband’s sweet grandmother.  I believed God could do miracles, but not in my life.  So as I was confessing to God that I didn’t believe he WOULD ever heal her, it was honestly something that you would’ve looked at and said “no way” would this woman ever get better or be healed, she was wayyyy to far gone.  The next scripture I read in the bible was in Mark 9 and it said “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”  in the next verse the man cries out and says “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” I remember sitting on my porch and crying that same verse out to God, “Help my unbelief”.  I wanted to believe that God could heal her but I could not overcome my unbelief.

An hour later, my mother in law called and before I could even say a word she shouted “She is responding, we are not doing the comfort care! She’s responding to my voice!!” I still cry as I think of  this because I am in awe of God.  I am in awe that He chooses to bless us, and He is faithful to us even though we fail, even though we don’t trust Him, love Him, or seek Him the way that He deserves for us to yet still He remains faithful.

A few years have gone by and his grandmother has been well for the most part.  This morning we received the dreaded phone call that she had a blood clot in her brain and she is not able to talk or move.  The first thing I felt….regret.  Regret that I didn’t get to spend as much time with her on Mother’s day that I hoped to.  Regret that I didn’t get to take her out to lunch like I wanted to.  Regret that this life is short and somehow the people we hold dear to us are overlooked or put on the back burner because we are too busy with things that don’t matter.

His grandmother just underwent a procedure and they were able to remove the blood clot, as I type this my husband is at the hospital and I am waiting to hear how she is doing.  My hope is that the clot did not do any damage and she will be fine.  I have the faith to believe that God can do that.  He did it once already.

This was a wake up call to me…..to spend the time with those that I love because I don’t want to regret that I didn’t spend the time with them when I had the chance to.  A wake up call that I don’t want to regret that I didn’t do all that I could in this life to bless others and show them my love.  A wake up call that petty things that we stress about don’t matter, at all! Soon this life will be over, it is a vapor that will soon fade away and I want to know that I did my best, that I didn’t regret anything.  This is not meant to be a sad post, I honestly hope that she will be fine.  This post is meant to challenge you as I was challenged.  If everything was over today and your race was finished, can you say that there is nothing in your life that you would’ve changed, no relationship that you would have mended, no attitude that you would’ve changed? I can’t say that.  I have things that I want to change, and I pray for the strength to change them now, because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

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