Extreme Thanks

Thankful for More Things

We have a “Thankful” board hanging in our dining room. Anyone who comes in our home is welcome to write out something they are thankful for on a sticky note and post it on the board. Trish and I add to it from time to time. Usually by year’s end, it is ready to harvest and start fresh. I’ve not had much time at home this year to post anything, and today find myself thinking of things I’m thankful for.

I am home from the hospital and recovering from a “convergent procedure.” The procedure, also referred to as ablation, has been variously described to me as scarring my heart, killing part of my heart muscle, and burning my heart. It sounds really scary at any of those levels, but it’s a procedure that’s been around for 20 plus years, and has a success rate of 95% or higher. It’s really a small incision, so I’m sore, but not in any pain. It should get rid of my atrial fibrillation and get me off blood thinners and other heart medications that come with their own set of side effects and damage to the body.

So, looking at the year so far:

Thank You, Lord, for such a severe case of Covid. Thank You for letting me survive it and testify of Your love and answer to prayers. Thank You that I am still getting my strength back and recovering.

Thank You, Lord, for breath! Thank You for being able to breathe, for being alive to breathe. Thank You for being able to process the oxygen that I breathe in.

Thank You for scars, Lord. Thank You for Covid scarring my lungs, and that being a “bad” thing. Thank You for a heart procedure that scars my heart, and that being a good thing. Thank You that we experience so many things in life that “scar” us in one way or another—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—and in Your hands all of them can produce good results.

Thank You for heart surgery. Thank You for a good hospital experience at Oklahoma Heart Hospital South—with kind, caring, helpful, and attentive nurses and aides. Thank You for the less than good experiences earlier in the year at other hospitals, and the opportunity to rest in Your presence when at times it seemed no one cared.

Thank You for post-operative tiredness, for occasional light-headedness, and for painful coughs. Thank You for the side effects of the medicines I’m on.

Thank You for Adam stepping in without being asked to help with so much around the house while I’m unable to. Thank You for the willingness of all our children to help. Adam is the closest geographically, but I know it’s in his nature to help like this.

Father God, this has been a rough year, yet with a lot of spiritual growth. There are a lot of things from this year that I never want to repeat, but I thank You for Your faithfulness through it all. Thank You for lessons in faith, in thankfulness, in awareness of and embracing Your presence, and in prayer. All the things that happened, and are yet coming this year, are things to add to the list of “all things” for which we can be thankful. “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Ephesians 5:20).