Monday, April 6, 2009


*UPDATE: 4/6/09-1:30PM
Just met with Gene's surgeon. He said that Gene did great and everything went smooth. They removed 2 pins they had placed in last year's surgery and inserted 2 more. They cleaned out an area by removing some bone near a pocket of nerves so it isn't so tight and removed a bone spurr. Thankfully, I know to expect his face to be very swollen. Just imagine having a massage on your back for 6 hours straight. Apparently Gene is singing to his nurse in the recovery room. My guess is he is still pretty sedated then because Gene is very shy when it comes to singing in public. I am just hoping he is singing worship songs and no pre-Jesus stuff. ~smiles~
I won't see him for another hour until he gets up to his room. Thank you again for your sweet prayers. We feel them and I'm sure God's goodness is what he's singing about!

Well, here I am sitting in the waiting room as my husband's surgery has begun. The doctor said it will be 5-6 hours so I have about 7-8 hours before I get to see him again. We came up to Omaha from Lincoln last night and stayed in the hospital hotel since he had a 5:30 am check in. I'm not a morning person, so this worked well for me to not have to get up at 3:30 to get here on time.

Last year I was not the nicest to Gene post-op and have been feeling the remorse of that. I can blame it on stress all I want, but when it comes down to it I know that the difference between last year and this year is my heart. My focus has changed over the last 365 days.

When I notice things rising up that I know are not pleasing to God, I immediately call upon His name. I'm trying to get stuff stopped at a thought because I know if I don't then eventually my thoughts will become my action and if doesn't please God I want nothing to do with it.

As I've been sitting in the waiting room there have been two women I saw checking in with the receptionist. When asked if they have a family member or friend that will be waiting for them while in surgery, both answered "no". As tears stung my eyes for both of them not even knowing their situations, I wanted to raise my hand and volunteer for the job. I wanted them to know someone would be praying over them even though anesthesia would be escorting them into Happy Land. But instead I just watched and listened. Watched them sit alone in their wheel chairs and listened as they were made aware they would be going on their journey as the Lone Ranger without Tonto.

Even though I physically accompanied Gene last year for his surgery, mentally and emotionally I can honestly say that I was not here for him. He was no different than these two ladies I observed this morning. He checked in alone. He went through the pre-op questions alone. He wasn't prayed over faithfully and if I did pray I approached the throne of grace and mercy with selfishness and pride instead of confidence. I'm sure God didn't even cast a glance my way knowing there was no softness or realness to my heart. I was just a stiff-necked, hard hearted woman sitting in the surgery waiting room.

But oh, what the Savior has done over this last year, over these last few months and especially over these last few days. When He encourages us to trust Him and not to fear, those are not just words He meant for David. They are words from God Himself meant for you and for me to take serious. When He tells us in Jeremiah 29:13-14 to seek Him and then tells us that when we do that He'll be found, He means it. This is not a game of hide and go-seek where He will have a hiding spot that is so good that eventually we'll just give up out of frustration. No, He says you seek me with all your heart and you WILL find me.

So, that is what these last few months especially for me has been like. Taking God at His Word. And I have found that through my Eve-like moments where the forbidden fruit won me over versus the chase of my King, He has loved me. Loved me through the ugly moments as well as the moments of trying to be like the one who washed His holy feet with her hair. He sees me as I am and regardless, He wants me. And He is daily changing me. Conforming and correcting, teaching and disciplining, growing and waiting.

Jesus. He is the One. He is with me when I go in for my heart surgery. Not a physical under the knife heart surgery, but a change of heart. A heart for God. He is praying for me. He is waiting no matter how long the surgery takes. He is the One I know will be in the waiting room interceding on my behalf as His Father , our Great Physician, tries to take these ashes and make them into beauty.

I love Him and am thankful that I see a difference in myself from last year to this year. To God be all the glory. I love You so much Lord.

I will post an update later this afternoon. Thank you for your sweet prayers. You bless me so much. Even though I won't be seeing Gene for a long time, the thought of angels in the OR with him just gets me all excited. I smile as I wonder if for the fun of it they put scrubs on. And I feel comfort in the thought that if they won't even let Gene strike his foot against a stone, surely they will protect him during surgery.
These are the words from God that I am standing on over these next hours my husband and I are apart and I have made the choice to dwell.
I just looked up the word dwell in my pocket edition of Webster's and it says that dwell means to reside and keep the attention directed.

Psalm 91:9-11
If you make the Most High your dwelling---even the LORD, who is my refuge---then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

My shelter is not this waiting room, it's under the protection of the Most High.
God...He is good ladies.
He is worth the chase.
And what I love most about Him is that He doesn't care what road you took to find Him.
I imagine that the floor of the throne room is covered with muddy footprints, but the path away from it is as white as snow.
Seek Him.
Right now.
Choose to dwell in Him.
Keep your attention directed on Him, not on your circumstance or your bad choices because ladies...He wants us just the way we are...thank You Jesus!

~Many Blessings~


Jill said...

I'm praying for you and Gene! And as you wait would you pray for Drew, our neighbor's 15 year old son. He was in a roll-over yesterday and went to surgery this AM to fuse a fractured vertebrate.
When his mom received the call at church during fellowship, everyone's heart raced at the thought of him being airlifted and facing a possible broken neck. The worries didn't last long as the prayers went up. God heard and answered and we pray He will continue to do so for Drew and Gene.

Blessings while you wait,

Yolanda said...


I love how YOU recognize that God has brought about a change in you as you prayed for others. The softening of your heart and the tendnerness you may have stronger in the current for the Man God has placed by your side. And YOU by his side.

Be watching for angels in your midst as well, because they are there.

It will be exciting to see just how God uses YOU in that waiting room in the next 7-8 hours.


Paula (SweetPea) said...

What an encouragement. Though we can't see the specific changes in your heart...only God and you...and others right there, it is still an encouragment to read how much you've changed and grown. Maybe even a little convicting by wondering how much has my heart changed? Has it been enough for the 365 days? Has it been pleasing to my Lord? I sure hope so. I will never be fully changed but I hope my progressed as not slowed down.

I just love reading where your heart is dwelling right now. Gene is a lucky man to have this woman by his side. I can't imagine waiting in the hospital seven hours. Yet, what a wonderful time you will have with the Lord. Maybe there's a bench outside to hear His majesty through those beautiful sounding two-legged flying chirping creatures of His.
Love ya,

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I'm so blessed to read your HEART this morning.
I had heart surgery yesterday as well. And His love purifies.

I'm praying for you both.
Blowing Holykisses to the hospital in Omaha.
Love Lea

sarah said...

We are praying! I am with you - let's imagine those angels in their scrubs. =) He is well-protected regardless!!

Tina said...

I am praying, I just know there are angels all around!

In Him,

Shanda said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. My heart ached for those two ladies checking in all alone...we have seen many of those along the way with my husband's surgeries. Some I have felt led to speak to - others it was clear that they had managed to push every person who may have cared away. I prayed for them anyway...knowing that deep within no matter how hard they had pushed everyone away that they were longing for someone to care.

I am praying for Gene right now and also praying for you. May God be near to both of you today and may the fullness of His joy and peace wash over you until you are overflowing.

Kelly said...

Hello Lelia, I am praying today for Gene in his surgery and for you too today. Thank you for your heartfelt post. I can't remember if Gene had been back to work for a bit before this surgery, or if he will be off for awhile again and if the disability payments are scheduled. I know guys were having some hassles with that after the surgery last year. Whatever the situation is for work and finances, I feel led to lift that part of your lives up in prayer today too.
You are a lovely woman of God, Lelia! And an inspiration to me!
Prayers coming yours and Gene's way, keep us posted later how he does.

Tracy said...

Praying for you and your Gene. I'm so humbled by what you shared. I'm asking myself, have I grown stronger in my walk since this time last year?? In some ways, yes, but I fear my choices have hindered my growth in others. Thank you for the challenge to look squarely at the thoughts, intent and attitude of my heart, especially this week of Easter.

With love & thanks,

LisaShaw said...

Hi Leila,

I'm praying for Gene's surgery and for peace of mind for you. I pray also for the Lord's comfort for the two people that did not have someone waiting for them.

I saw that often back when my husband was fighting for his life for 3 years and in and out of the hospital BUT GOD'S GRACE was with him every step and I waited in a lot of waiting rooms, sat in a lot of emergency rooms and saw a lot of things and prayed not just for my hubby for all that I saw so your message is really special to me.

Earlier in your message you noted something about our thoughts and getting ahold of it before it gets out of hand. It made me think of 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

Blessings and peace to you dear sister.

Laura said...



I'm so glad our God is One of amazing transformations. He's not happy to leave us the way we are.

This past year you have passed along that grace you have received through the influence and fellowship of your online Bible study.

you continue to bless.


Anonymous said...

im praying for dad!! call me when he gets out of surgery!
much love

Vern ~ Inspired said...

Keep it up girl...You are Shining for Jesus and encouraging so many with your authentic beauty!!

Praying for Gene, You and the kiddos!!

How long is his recovery?

You are loved!!

Rachel B said...


I too am praying for both you and Gene today! Thank you for sharing your vary candid thoughts.

I like what Renee Swope said just a few days ago on her blog about "falling forward." She wrote about how she isn't where she wants to be, but she isn't where she was. Praise the Lord for that!!! That's how I feel as well.

I'll be looking forward to the update on Gene.

LisaShaw said...

Hi Leila, I came back to see if there was an update on Gene. I'm praising the LORD that he came through the surgery and that all is well. I'm glad he's singing his heart out that's a great sign :)

Bless you dear sister.

Susan said...

Hey Lelia,

So blessed things went well. I will now continue to pray for a FULL recovery.

I know it'll be a long journey ahead, but with the Lord by his side, he'll make it!

I know you'll be the perfect nurse.

Love you♥

PS Thanks for keeping us posted!

Paula said...

Oh my, you are truly amazing. This post is wonderful and the message has hit right to my heart. I pray that Gene is doing well, and I am having a chuckle at the thought of the angels putting scrubs on. xo

HisPrincess said...

Glad to hear the surgery went well.

Praying for a quick recovery for Gene and for strength for you as you support him while he is healing.


Pat said...

Your transparency is a sweet testimony of God's sweet presence.
Stay the course!!

Kimberly said...

Thanks so much for checking in over at my place. I wish I did live in Texas since that would have meant meeting you in real life. :)

I am praying for your sweet man's recovery. And I can't help but smile as I read about you hoping he is singing worship songs only to find out it was from Grease. tee hee. :)

And I love the way you put things, Lelia. I, too, have definitely left some VERY muddy footprints leading to His throne...but I praise God with you for how the path away from it is white as snow. And I am so glad He isn't mad about those footprints, about my mud. You are so right. He wants us just the way we are.

Blessings, sweet Lelia.

Walking on High Hills said...

I'm trying to imagine the Sandy song and the was a good giggle!