Day Seventeen

It’s Tuesday. January seventeenth. Twenty-Twelve.
And I can’t believe it’s been 74 days since I last wrote.
Ashamed. Utterly.
For that I sincerely apologize.
And yet so much has happened in those 74 days! So much…
So here are some highlights from the end of 2011:

November brought my dearest brother Barret back home. This was the first time in 6 years that he spent his birthday and Thanksgiving with our family- a blessing to be sure! We also resumed our tradition of a family Thanksgiving bowl. And by “bowl” I’m referring to the game you play in clown shoes with a heavy ball & milk-bottle-shaped pins… not the thing you eat cereal from. As usual Grandpa Fred killed it.

November also secured my place on PNB’s 2011/2012 Blooper tape. Oh Humility… thanks for always keepin’ it real.
Our 2nd Rep (Love Stories) came and went. Nutcracker began and oh yeah… I celebrated my 27th birthday too.
November, you sure got it done!

December. There’s really only one word to describe December, and I’m sure you can guess it… Nutcracker! And believe me you’ll hear more about that a little later. A post’s been a brewin’ in me for some time that I’d wanted to write during December, but alas… time got the best of me.
But besides this all-consuming holiday ballet classic, December delivered some pretty spectacular things – lots of prayers answered; lots of lessons learned. And the Lord threw in a couple unexpected gifts too. I think it was the best Christmas we’ve ever had. At least that I can recall… What an incredible family I have! I am so tremendously blessed.

Which brings me to today. Day Seventeen.
I’m sitting here on my couch waiting for the storm to hit. Waiting for the white stuff to fall in epic proportions. Some time tonight or in the wee hours of the morning some serious snowfall is supposed to  leave Seattle and the majority of western Washington at a standstill. This generally happens whenever “white death” (as a friend of mine terms it) falls, wether it’s 12 inches or 2. We had a preview of this winter wonderland on Sunday. Even now it’s hard to not revel in its beauty.

And yet I’m not waiting for the storm. I’m in the storm. It hit seventeen days ago.
The last day of 2011 my dear sweet Grandpa Fred was admitted to Harrison Hospital, and from that day till now he’s yet to shed that backless hospital gown, although he did get a nice helicopter ride over the Puget Sound and in to Seattle’s Swedish Hospital. Ironically, it’s a hospital that’s not unfamiliar to him or our family. Eleven years ago it was called Providence. And it was the Lord’s divine Providence for Grandpa Fred. Having suffered a massive heart attack and undergoing a quintuple bypass and a valve replacement, he very fittingly was known by all the doctors and staff as the Miracle Man.
Well he’s more than a Miracle Man to me. He’s a fighter. He’s a man of great faith. He’s my grandpa. And I love him so much.

I wish I could tell you all that things aren’t serious. They are. He’s had a staph infection in his blood and is suffering from endocarditis with a vegetation (a growth of bacteria) on the pig valve in his heart that saved his life 11 years ago. And this poor little valve that has served and blessed him these 11 years needs to be replaced. This means open heart surgery.

And yet as I wait for this snowstorm to hit, I guess waiting is exactly what we have been doing. Waiting in the storm. Waiting for the doors to open so that Grandpa Fred could be transferred to Swedish. Waiting for the staph infection to clear up. Waiting for Grandpa to gain strength.
We thought today was the day. The day our waiting would be over. The day he’d have that valve replaced yet again. But I’m reminded of this: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways” declares the Lord. And His Word couldn’t be more right! His thoughts aren’t my thoughts… nope. They’re infinitely higher. His timing is perfect.
An MRI done last night revealed an abscess on my grandpa’s spleen… a severe set back, not only for surgery today, but for our hope in this whole situation. And yet our hope is not in this situation. It is not in the storm that surrounds us.

“… but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

The Lord Jesus Christ is our HOPE. He is our strength and our song. You see with this splenic abscess, the doctors are weary. They were thinking of postponing the surgery not just temporarily, but indefinitely. It’s a risky surgery. Very risky. But to my Grandpa Fred it’s a risk he wants to take, because in reality he knows with Jesus there is no risk. He’s in the Omnipotent arms of our Savior, who only has the best in mind for him- wether that’s living in eternity here on earth with us or in Heaven with Him.

“But if we have hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” ~ Romans 8:25.

So we pray. We hope. We trust. We hold on to and rest in Jesus. And we wait patiently for the goodness of our Lord. In the storm. On Day Seventeen… and every day after that.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. 

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. 

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. 

The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” ~ Psalm 40:1-5

I would appreciate your prayers for miraculous healing and strength for my Grandpa Fred; for wisdom, discernment and skill for the doctors and surgeons; for peace, hope, patience, rest and joy for my family and myself. Thank you in advance. And praise the Lord for this trial! He is refining me and my family. To Him be all glory, honor and praise!

Happy New Year to you all! May God bless you!



4 thoughts on “Day Seventeen

  1. Jo Dee says:

    Jessika–this is a hard journey. I will pray for your dear grandpa Fred and for all of you.
    Lord, I pray for your strength and your peace to surround this family. I pray that Fred will rest entirely in You. We would love for Fred to be able to have this surgery and you know everything that needs to happen–strength and healing of infection. We leave that in your capable hands. May your glory be made obvious in this family and in this particular circumstance. In the powerful name of Jesus. AMEN

  2. Unknown says:

    My heart is right there with you. I'm praying for all of your family as you wait on the Lord. Fred was incredibly patient and generous to let me hang out with the family during my growing up years. I always felt so welcomed and loved by the beautiful Nelson family.

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