Music has always been a blessing to me. Maybe you’ve felt the same way. You’re listening to the radio and a song seems to touch your very soul. A break-up song, a love song, a get up and dance song, an angry or battle song, a sweet peaceful song are just a few that have captured my heart so many times in my life.
Just recently, a new song did it again. Matthew West’s song, Truth Be Told. Sometimes life happens and what others see isn’t truth. We all struggle, we all have challenges (known and unknown), and we all have times of desperation and despair. Who we turn to and how we face those is what we need to share. And Truth Be Told, I turn to God and family.
Let me share about my last three weeks. With this virus still holding much of our lives captive, my two college daughters and my husband and I have been wondering if their universities would be starting classes on time, in person, online, or at all. Do we pack for them to move or do we wait? While I attacked the packing and planning at home, my husband was working from home and then on the weekends would drive up to my parent’s home and help work on the farm. Limbing trees, creating mulch from the chipper shredder, fixing broken tractors, spreading new gravel, and even creating a beautiful fire pit area for us all. July and August in Texas are hot—really hot—and this year did not disappoint. It was the first weekend in August and we were at the farm for a last push before our weekends were filled with taking both girls to college.
Well, it seemed as if the heat and work were getting to Madison. He just got winded and worn out, and would say, “felt odd.” I would ask him to slow down, take a break, drink more water, wear his hat, and stop work by 4 p.m., but he would push on. While he was outside, I was pushing myself inside to help my mom, whom is still dealing with her cancer treatments. We were a tag team and we even had amazing young men and friends helping us. It was a long weekend, but we tackled a lot and felt very accomplished.
Then there was the week we packed up our eldest daughter, MacKenzie, to move her to her first apartment two hours away from us. Her school had decided to move forward with their programs, and as she is in the nursing program, we knew she’d be learning all about staying healthy.
Unfortunately, midweek Madison was experiencing discomfort and elevated blood pressure. A detailed doctor’s appointment with our primary and some blood pressure medication, we felt would handle the issue. A bit worried, we left Friday and agreed Madison would take it as easy as possible moving MacKenzie, especially because she was up on the third floor. Horrible heat caused the move-in to take five hours as we rested and hydrated frequently. Finally done, we went to dinner. Madison was feeling extreme fatigue and that discomfort wasn’t passing as it once had. “If I don’t feel better tomorrow, would you mind us going home?” I replied to him, “Of course not. Should we go now?” “No, I should be okay.” Well, at midnight he wasn’t any better so we drove back home two hours. After asking him several times if we go to the local emergency room, he was insistent that we go the heart hospital in Plano, Texas. We drove the whole way with worship music on the radio. With every song, I was put to peace and gave my life, with or without my husband, to God. Yet was fearless in asking for more time with my beloved Madison.
We made it by 2:30 am. We walked him in, then I waited five hours in the car outside while they did a battery of tests. Finally, the results showed Madison was experiencing a full-blocked heart attack in one of his arteries. With the family alerted and all my prayer warriors armed, the hospital finally let me in with my husband. We learned all they would be doing and why he didn’t exhibit the “typical” heart attack symptoms. We learned about the procedure and all the risks. We were instructed about all the medications and life changes that would be needed. And, we learned that this was a genetic issue and he had done all the right things to maintain a healthy life, but this heart issue will be with him for life.
The following week of recovering was filled with loving family and friends helping with food, calls, and cards. After feeling like we just dumped our daughter off and ran to the ER, we returned to her apartment to help her set up.
Yes, Madison took it easy, setting up her laptop, TV, and iPad for her new college adventure. The following weekend, we all took my youngest daughter, Alexandra, to her college dorm. We cleaned, moved in, and unpacked with her.
Truth Be Told, I’m exhausted. Emotionally and physically exhausted. It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. Sad that my daughters were leaving, scared out of my mind and heart that my husband may have left me, and then joy that God carried me through it all.
While the world may see my life as perfect, each of us struggle with life’s expected and unexpected challenges. If I can be totally honest, the peace I experienced during that two hour drive to the ER and the hours waiting were beyond my understanding, except for God. I have literally felt carried through these three weeks. Perspective, gratitude, joy, and peace have comforted me as we released our daughters and accepted the life changes we will have to journey through together. Truth Be Told, I am loved. I will be okay, and I trust in the Lord with my whole life. I pray that you do, too.