Thursday, January 9, 2014

TURNING OVER - (brain bleed testimony) Part 1

Exactly 2 months ago tonight, my personal 9-11 took place. I guess I had forgotten for a few days, or at least a few hours. On that night, while I slept soundly on my side of the bed, with all the familiar sights and sounds, the safest place on earth, or so you would think, it happened. Then, tonight, while lying flat on my stomach in that same place, I remembered. 

Laying in this exact spot, in this exact manner, an explosion happened that changed my life forever.

Like the Twin Tower explosions in NYC, for most of us, there was no warning. This was my experience as well. I remember laying there, comfortable, without worry, just rolling over, from my front to my back when suddenly….pain…pressure…more pain…more pressure. 

Somewhere in the Subarachnoid layer of my head, a blood vein or veins exploded, silently leaking life threatening blood into the spinal fluid. As the pressure built, the effects became clear, this is very unusual and something is not right.

At this very moment, two months ago, a triage doctor in the ER was finally taking things to the next level with a CAT scan. He saw what looked like blood on the brain. He was sharing that picture with specialists in Denver who informed him this was not good, while ordering an air taxi for me right away.  The rest is history. The flight-for-life, 12 days in ICU, drugs, pain, more drugs, more pain, hallucinations, night terrors, breathing issues, stroke risk, anger, frustration and pain. 

Literally thousands, from coast to coast, battled with me in prayer. My wife, kids and closest friends dug in, like warriors ready for battle, not giving up. With my smart phone playing the Word and Worship next to my head, I fought, others fought and together we "walked THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death".  Like Noah leaving the Arc, my first reaction after leaving was to build an altar, an altar of praise and gratitude to the one true God who brought me through the flood!!! 

Now, I have a choice to make each day..............

  • Do I lay in that same bed, in that same manner and fear turning over at night? 
  • Doctors say I did nothing wrong to cause the first vein to leak, so how should I know when to turn a certain way or not. Should I play sports or hike the Incline? 
  • Should I wrestle with my kids or ski down a mountain? 
  • If I feel stiffness in my neck again, or a headache coming on, is this another silent explosion, a second terrorist attack on my brain? 
        These are all good questions, questions that stay with me most nights, especially on this two month anniversary of the helicopter ride of a lifetime.

Truth is, even before a traumatic brain bleed, this is just real life. We get up every day and put our lives at risk by going back into buildings, back into schools and churches, back into cars on the street. We know others have died in these areas while minding their own business. We know sickness and accidents could find us just around the corner.........but we go anyway, we live anyway.

This is my challenge today, and everyday. To believe God is with me, even at times when I recall the exact move, exact moment where death tried to take me. I tell him (death,) the silent terrorist to the mind, “you cannot have me”,  you can’t have my body, my mind or my soul. I tell myself to believe God is there, with me, no matter what, and I go, back into my routine, back into my bed and back into sweet sleep, right where the enemy tried to attack.
He is a liar you know. He is a thief, who tries to sneak into our life, inflicting pain and stealing our vitality. He can’t steal my destiny, my eternity; I’m sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit. If he kills me, I will pass go and I will collect my proverbial $200. If he kills me, I hit the jackpot. I see my savior, Jesus, taking me to eternity in just one blink of an eye. 

Either way...the devil........HE LOOSES!!!!

While that is very cool, I’m not ready to go and this enemy of God and man, can roar his little butt somewhere else, leaving me with my faith, trust and healthy brain. He is not happy about that, but tonight, and every night for that matter, I will not fear, I will not fight, I will rest in the righteous and strong arms of my maker. I will go on living my life in faith, trusting that every step I take, every move I make, is one more moment of Grace to be thankful for. 

I did live....
I will live....
and live it to the God be the Glory....


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