Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Personal Diversion; The State of the Union, Clan McDonnell Style

I am taking liberty to digress for one blog post and give an update and perspective on where my family is in our decade long trial.  I thank my blogging brothers in advance for allowing me to divert for a moment.

The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong, 
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
~ Psalm 37:23-24

Well, the cats out of the bag on my wife's blog.  Here is a bit of what she disclosed to her peeps which I in turn disclose to my great peeps.  Some of you may say "whatever!" and quickly turn away. Others, my dear friends who have stuck closer than a brother, sweet saints whom I've never met but have pleaded before the throne for us, may just be encouraged by what follows.  Either way, say this I will whether 2 or 200 read it or give it a care because say it I must.

I point to the verse above as it has directed me since my father died in 1991 at the young age of 57 and by doing so missed half of my life and the good stuff at that.  I clung to it because it was glaringly true to a young believer in Christ who didn't know much but that rang true at what was then my darkest hour.  23 years have only proven that biblical truth absolutely trustworthy and wonderfully comforting.  He always has and always will.....HOLD MY HAND and keep me from falling headlong.

What is below is from my dearest sweet bride, the love of this earthly life, this gift from above so graciously granted to me so many years ago....

"Ok Kiddies, it's time you found out! This past Monday we spent the day down in LA doing tests and a procedure.

    The tests results aren't back, one was an ultrasound for lumps around my rib cage which has us a bit freaked.  That's the bad news?  We won't know for sure if it is bad news until we talk to my GP but I have the scans and there is something there. Nuff said about that.

     Now for the good news, the procedure was on my back again.  Doc shot me up with 5 needles of Novocaine at the spot where my disks are rubbing. He put his hand on my shoulder in the OR and said, "Dear if this works we will put you out for the next procedure and fix it all." He's a sweetie, he was trying to take my mind off of all the pain I was in to relax me.  I have to lay on a pillow, on my stomach which makes the back arch and hurt more. Also there was no pain relief provided as he needed me to know if it worked or not.  I didn't expect any real relief from the procedure, perhaps just a few hours like the dentist.  But, here we are on Wednesday and I am still feeling less pain then I was in when I went into the OR.

     Praise the Lord I found my smile, my hummer and my whistle which has been missing all these long painful years.  Course it will most likely wear off today BUT Doc will be taking care of setting up the surgery soon.  If not this week then on the 31st he will start the ball rolling.  I have waited this long, what's a few more weeks?  These socks (pictured on her blog) are a present for him, a small token to say thanks, our hand dyed, he wears nothing but brown so I think he will like them. During the surgery he will cut open my back at the spine then cut and cauterize the nerves in question.  The only problem with this? I have a great immune system and they will grow back within 2 years.  I'm going to ask him to take as much as he can out of there.

     Once this has been achieved successfully, after I back off of the pain meds I'm on as proof of the success...  the insurance will FINALLY grant the final surgery. Well, I will still have to have another MRI which will have to show more damage.  The last one was at least a year ago and for sure things have gone down hill really fast this past year.  I'm confident that the next MRI will show something different.  THEN I can have what I have needed all this time.  Ya know... Doc knew when I walked through his door last year that I needed this surgery.  He talked with me for 5 minutes and said oh, you have Facetitis and need this surgery.  The insurance on the other hand, they want to keep money flowing through the system so they keep me in the system.  It's really sick, in any other country, I would have been walking a week after the initial contact with him.

     All that to say CELEBRATE WITH ME!  The end of this nightmare is now in sight."

Here is another truth that has not only brought great comfort but has been often an earnest cry...(thanks Pastor Don Green!)

         The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
         Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
         Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
         ~ Psalm 138:8

I will add none of this has been done lightly.  We, should I say I??, have banged on every door imaginable, Western Med and otherwise and believe me we preferred otherwise and pursued it aggressively.  I have often wondered if the end of the trial was near.  Often when the smoke grew thick and the rain poured my dear wife's heart nearly fainted and mine was near crushed.......I clung to Christ thinking "must hold on a little longer", "perhaps it's thick because we're almost to daylight."

Funny as I pulled into church a few minutes ago we finished a message that closed saying "all of us are in one of three places, the middle of a trial, the end of a trial or about to enter a trial."  I sense we're closer to the end but if not, IF NOT, God is big enough and great enough to keep us moving through the trial.

But God, we shall see.

I cannot lie to you.  I would not have chosen this trial.  I preferred it never started, ended quickly, was a distant nightmare that wasn't reality.  But God!  He knew I needed this.  He knew we needed this. Again, we may have many more miles to traverse, we don't know.  But God!

In His glorious, sovereign purposes He has taken me, my wife, my children, to places we did not desire to go yet to places we surely had to go through.  I know I personally went in quite smart, quite firmly attached to the truths of sovereignty yet utterly lacking in the compassion and understanding of one broken and crushed under the weight of a trusting faith in a trustworthy God.  I see things differently now.  I'm a lot less cold and a lot less selfish.  But God!  He still has some work to do on me as some of those nasty barnacles still cleave to my soul.

So I write this to let you in a little, to seek your prayers for us still, and to point you to not just a good God but a great and glorious God, a Savior, my Lord who does all things well.

He must increase
~ Kevin