July 31, 2007

Not without a fight... (The power of prayer...)

These were the words of my brother today...which I have taken up as a battle cry.

Last night was so difficult for me because I received a text that morning from my sister saying that daddy said he was "hirap na". I was caught between a rock and a hard place - I didn't know whether to let go or hang on. Many times I would ask my kids to pray for their lolo and I always ask them to ask God for a picture for lolo because I know that God hears their innocent prayers.

One time, my son Kai said "Mommy, I saw Jesus beside lolo's bed healing him without saying a word." On the other hand, my little girl said she saw lolo on top of a burning house and she said she saw Jesus save him by holding his hand. These precious little prayers are what I've been holding on to until I got that text from my sister.

I asked Rean to call Mary because I was so confused. I am so grateful for that because after a while I felt the weight lifting from my shoulders and the confusion leaving me. I knew she was praying. (Thank you, Mary.) It gave Hubby and I a chance to pray. We prayed and travailed until I felt in my heart the urgency that I needed to go to the ICU the next day (which is today)and be with my dad. I kept quiet about this urgency and asked hubby what he thought we should do. He said he would bring the kids with him to the office and drop me off at the hospital so that I could go. It was the Lord confirming our steps. I felt peace in my heart about it and said to hubby "it's going to be a good day for lolo tomorrow... it's going to be a glorious day for lolo."

Later that night, my mom and my brother called me almost at the same time. I was talking to my mom on our landline while my brother was on my cellphone. He had just spoken to the doctor on duty and asked for a medical update because he too was rattled when he heard that dad was 'nahihirapan na'. We both agreed to be strong and not to allow our emotions to cloud our judgment. We said we would meet each other at the hospital the next day.

Today, hubby dropped me off at the hospital and he and the kids drove off to his office. I was two hours early because visiting hours started at 11 and ended at 1pm. During that time God just assured my heart that He wanted to do something special today. While I was waiting God reminded me of Queen Esther and how she had to deliver a message to King Xerxes. He reminded me of those who were praying with her and for her to be able to deliver a message. I felt like I was in her royal shoes. God wanted me to deliver a message before my own Xerxes.

Going into the ICU by myself was like going straight into a lion's den. This was my Xerxes. I have been a bit paranoid lately when I hear phone calls at odd hours or when nurses and doctors call me and talk to me. Yet, I knew in my heart that God wanted me to be the bringer of the message of God's redemption to my dad and whatever fears I had before, God assured me they would be replaced with courage and determination. Faith grew in my heart and soon I felt compelled and excited to do it. I had been given the privelege of leading my father to the Lord and this was my chance to do it. This was my Esther moment.

I continued to pray and braced myself not to look at the natural. It was not an accident that I was still the only one who was there when the doors to the ICU were opened. I walked through those doors and went to my dad's room. He was asleep. I just stood there for a while and held his hand. I was contemplating whether to wake him or not then he opened his eyes. He smiled at me and tried to mouth something I couldn't understand.

Later on I saw him mouth those words "nahihirapan na ako". For such a time as this...this was that moment that the Lord had prepared me for. This was my chance and I took it. My dad heard the good news and accepted it in his heart...and I had the privilege and joy of witnessing this most precious moment one can ever wish for a loved one. I continued to pray and encourage him and over and over again he would mouth "thank you", "i love you","pray for me", "thank you so much". I spoke words of faith and words of hope to him knowing that the word of the Lord does not return void... that it would quicken his spirit and that it would sustain him during his moments of pain.

Two hours had passed, it was past visiting hours and I had to go until the next slot for the day. He didn't want to let go of my hand. I assured him I would be back later and that I would leave him in the hands of the Lord, the ultimate Caregiver and that he need not be afraid because he was not alone. I finally let go of his hand for now but I will not let go of him in my heart...

No not yet, not without a fight... not before his time... not before God's time...

(note: thank you once again to all who have been praying...'precious are the prayers of the saints' and your prayers are the most precious treasures our family has received. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you as you continue to stand with us.)

"The path of courage is filled with adversity for how can there be a need for courage if all was well. Courage cannot be called forth and squeezed out until that time of necessity" - tes pedrosa-tirol