I've had the BEST birthday ever.
In early December my Dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. The doctors felt it was a serious enough case to request that we fly home to spend time with him, as he needed a heart transplant. While we were there, we received the outstanding news that he was at the top of the Heart Transplant List - NATIONALLY. I was in the room with him when the cardiologist shared the news, and I was certain that nothing but news of a donor heart being ready would ever match that level of joy and excitement.
Dad's heart was not functioning properly, most days he had the blood pressure of a toddler... After much prayer and fantastic medical care, his blood pressure climbed to a fantastic 90/60 and some days up to 100 and the doctors allowed him to continue his medical care at home, while he waited for his heart. The damage done to his heart by the virus and illness he had suffered was irreparable, but his arteries and veins were in great condition and the cardiologist was very confident that he would have his transplant, and heal well.
One afternoon, before dad left to go home, I got into the lift at the same time as the doctor, and thanked him for the outstanding care he had given dad, including coming home early from holiday to iron out details with the transplant co-ordinator and coming by out of hours to make sure he was ok. The doctor said only this to me. 'Dont worry about your Dad. He's going to be fine'. He nodded a frim nod, lips pursed, and continued... 'We serve a big God'. The lift doors opened, he nodded as if to say goodbye and walked out. Thats a bold thing for a doctor to say - I thought? We do serve a big God, but thats still a pretty bold claim to make. He needs open heart surgery - a transplant - immunosurpressents - recovery... He needs a whole heart that matches and fits and is able to get to him and get into him and start beating again. But he had such confidence. It made me feel safe. I couldnt have asked for a better doctor to be looking after my dad.
Two weeks ago I received a call to say that he was being rushed to ICU in Umhlanga as he was in a serious condition. It was a thursday, or friday so they stabilised him and waited for the new week to run his heart function tests. I texted a few people to ask them to pray - for certain reasons I wasnt able to broadcast on FB what was happening. Over the weekend we had friends around the world united in prayer for Dad. He was into the third month of the 'average 3-4 month waiting period' once at the top of the list.
On tuesday, they hooked him back up to familiar machines to see if there had been any further deterioration in his heart function. Miraculously, his heart function was back into "normal" ranges. His heart had been healed. Miraculously! While he was now suffering from blood pressure issues, the functions that were previously failing, that meant that he was at the TOP of the heart transplant list because there was NO other way he would survive, were now back, working. His heart had healed. He wasnt moved down the transplant list, he was take OFF of it.
Yesterday he was discharged from hospital. Today he wished me happy birthday.
''To my darling gorgeous daughter - hope you have a wonderful day.missing you tons.love to mike and the younguns.love (with all my newly healed heart) DAD ''
Ive never had so many birthday wishes, and having been to two kiddies parties today I dont think I've ever seen so many of my friends on my birthday either - but that message and the incedible truth that He Heals, that the name of Jesus can speak life to a dying heart, has brought life to my years left on earth.
I have prayed psalm 121 over my dad for months. Be reminded.
I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over YOU - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.