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Temmuz 12, 2009: 11:34 pm #26305AnonimPasif
Four years ago God led our family (my wife, three children and me) to go and serve the poor communities in a suburb of Santiago, Chile. Everyone says mission trips are life-changing, and this experience drew me closer to God than ever before. Suddenly I saw everything in a new light; I felt a compassion for less fortunate people and wanted to serve the local community. I began meeting with two close Christian brothers to try and discern what God wanted us to do next.
Within two months of our trip, while throwing a baseball with my older son, I developed a blood clot in my right armpit area. (This is very strange because I was a young 38 years of age, and have never had any health issues or problems with my blood.) Blood clots can be fatal if they lodge in/near your heart or brain. I spent three days in the hospital on some highly potent blood thinner, under very close supervision. The doctors kept telling me that most likely they would not be able to dissolve 100% of the clot; yet by day #3, thanks to much prayer, the clot was completely gone. God had literally saved my life.
Next the doctor explained the most likely cause of the blood clot – “thoracic outlet syndrome”. In simple terms, the space between my clavicle and uppermost rib was too small, and raising my arm (or throwing a ball) would cut off the flow of blood to and from my arm. The solution? Surgery! The doctor would cut through my armpit and remove my first rib, opening up space for the blood to flow freely. He would have to cut through a nerve, and I would lose some feeling in my upper arm as a result. Nervous and afraid though I was, this seemed to be the best decision and I decided to go ahead with the surgery.
In the two weeks before the surgery, I was taking heavy blood thinners to prevent another clot, and then stopped taking them two days before the surgery. The operation seemed to go fine, so the doctor put me back on blood thinners the day after my surgery (still concerned that I might form another clot). Unfortunately, the incision site under my arm did not heal properly, and I ended up bleeding internally (slowly) over the next 4 days. My pain was increasing every day. On the 5th day, I was having a lot of difficulty breathing, and then I fainted. We called the doctor and he said most likely I had collapsed a lung, and so I was taken to the emergency room for yet another surgery. The blood had filled my chest cavity, collapsed my lung and was pushing on my heart. I felt like I was having a heart attack. After several hours in the emergency room and then several more hours in surgery, I was finally on the road to recovery. I remember praying in the recovery room that I was totally in God’s hands. I wasn’t afraid anymore; He was free to take my life or let me live.
In the end I missed almost six weeks of work, and learned that I had lost just over three liters of blood (I found out that the human body holds roughly 5.6 liters of blood, so I had bled out over half of my body’s blood). This was the second time in roughly a month where I realistically could have died.
Why do I share this story with you? To show you that God was at work the entire time. He could have allowed me to die, but He didn’t. He must still have work for me to do. In the last four years since this happened, I have begun to take my relationship with Jesus more seriously, to thank Him for letting me see one more day. I have gone on more mission trips, and God has given me a passion for sharing His glorious Word with people of other cultures. A little over a year ago, God gave me a deep and special love for the Turks, and a desire to share Christ with them. Perhaps that is why I am still here.
God is the orchestrator of our circumstances; He is sovereign. We must trust Him with our lives. He is free to exalt us, crush us, or anything else He chooses, because we belong to Him. Our job is to joyfully accept whatever comes our way, showing others that the love of Jesus is like no other. It is a deep love that forgives sins and turns the other cheek. God also has a unique purpose for each of us, and your purpose is not the same as my purpose.
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