Jesse wakes up alert in the middle of the night. Most of the time, I wake up with him, though he doesn’t realize it. In the stillness of the night, he brushes a wisp of hair from my face, runs his fingers along my cheek, and whispers over me, “Mayim Chaim, Beloved. Mayim Chaim.”
It means “Living Water”. He knows there is nothing he can do to ease my pain, to make this less difficult for me. He’s lamented many times to me his grief over the freedom he feels and the weight he knows I must carry as his caretaker in this time, his help-meet for nearly 17 years, and the mother to our children for more than a decade. He is helpless to change the circumstances of our lives, powerless to replenish my soul, but he knows God is not. So he speaks, almost inaudibly, to me in the night.
“Living Water, Beloved, Living Water,” my husband’s voice beckons me to drink from the well that never runs dry.
Rather strangely to the outside world, even in the deepest moments of grief and fear, I have never, not once, felt overcome. . . because God has not been trumped by the rebellion of man that led us to these lives of sickness and sorrow. God was there when Adam watched Eve pick the fruit and eat it. He was there when Joseph and Mary carried and cared for the God-man Christ in the human world. In Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his long-awaited son, He was there as Rescuer. When Moses couldn’t speak, God supplied him a voice through Aaron. In Paul’s imprisonment, He was there as both Freedom and Captivator. He was there when Jesus cried out in the garden, and there when Jesus took His last breath on the cross and suffered the separation we all deserve, the separation caused by rebellious man, by rebellious me and by rebellious you. And He will be there tomorrow. Isn’t that such a miraculous reality that we take for granted every day? God will be there. He will be there during surgery and in recovery and when we receive pathology results, just as He has been there through every other moment of our lives.
Jesse and I have been drinking Mayim Chaim for many years; and now, when the ground should be exposed and cracked with dehydration, we’ve found that it is instead a rushing river pouring into and out of our very souls. Jesus Christ, the Living Water, is faithfully quenching our thirst at every turn, pouring Himself out to fill the cracks in the surface of our broken humanity. In the middle of this hot, dry desert, “our cup overflows”, because He is here.
“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
-Surgery is tomorrow morning. We haven’t been given an official time yet, but expect check-in and preparation to be around 5 am and surgery to begin around 7 am.
-I’ll be using this blog to provide updates as the day goes on. I’m not certain yet how frequently updates will be given. I’ll be figuring that out as we go along.
-Surgery can last anywhere from 6-15 hours. This will be a very meticulous procedure that needs to be done slowly and carefully. We’re grateful for the provision of an incredible surgical team and the brilliant minds who developed the piece of machinery that will aid in Jesse’s surgery.
-Our children have been and will continue to be well cared for throughout the surgery. They will not be waiting at the hospital, but with a family member who loves them dearly. We’re grateful for so many willing hearts who have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us and our kids throughout all of this.
-Pray the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and and the rest of the large team have their best day ever tomorrow. Ask the Lord to give them all focus, steady hands, and ingenuity as they walk through removing as much of the tumor in the procedure as they safely can.
-Pray for Jesse’s protection from infection, seizures, swelling, and any other complications during and after the very lengthy surgery.
-Pray that Jesse’s functional mind will remain in tact and even improved. A lot of the tumor appears to be wrapped up in the portion of his brain that controls his ability to comprehend and communicate. For obvious reasons, we want that part of his brain to be preserved and restored.
-Pray for peace and perseverance for me, our children, and our family throughout what we anticipate will be a very long day, that we would see God’s hand at work throughout this process and be sustained by His mercy and grace.
-Pray for God to reveal Himself to the surgical team tomorrow, to show His splendor and His sovereignty to them in undeniable ways. More than anything in all of this, we want God to be glorified and worshipped. His kingdom, His will, His glory.
-Finally, as our friend Brian wrote yesterday: “Pray for healing that only enhances Jesse’s surrendered position in Christ. Maybe, open your hands wide while you pray and ask God to help you surrender and find freedom too.”