My husband is a most amazing man. I have stories about him....oh do I have stories.....but there is one particular one which has to do with the large, ugly scar across his abdomen. The scar slices straight down the side of his belly.
The scar has been a point of interest. When Daniel takes off his shirt for a swim; someone will be drawn to the massive scar. They approach Daniel with eyes as big as saucers, "What happened to your stomach??".....he always replies, "Oh, someone slashed me with a knife and then shot me twice." (there are the scars of two small holes nearby the bigger gash)--- they gasp-- at which point I laugh and say,"Don't lie Daniel, tell them the truth!!!" He, of course, laughs loudly and then tells them that it is simply the remains of an old operation.
There are times I run my fingers lightly up and down the ridges of that ugly gash....and I remember the day he got that scar.
We had been married for less than ten years and we had three little children. We were living in Japan. Daniel came home one day complaining of a stomach ache. His remedy for any ailment was to crawl into bed and sleep it off. Normally this worked just fine. On this occasion he woke up a few hours later to severe abdominal pain. We decided he needed an expert opinion. The doctor told him it was severe indigestion. She gave him anti acid type pills and sent him home. That was around 5 pm.
As the evening progressed, the pain increased, towards midnigh I called the doctor. She told me I was being silly and there was nothing to worry about. Looking over at Daniel grimacing with pain, I thought she might be wrong but she was the doctor and I was young then.. I've learned to trust my own judgment.
What a horrible night that was! At 4 am, I woke the doctor up again and this time I didn't ask her if I could bring Daniel in, I told her I was bringing him in. By the time we reached her clinic, he was falling in and out of consciousness. Her command of English was okay but sometimes her vocabulary choices weren't the best. She said "Your husband is being lazy." (I think she meant to say- "Your husband is going unconscious.") Anyhow, she was alarmed and realized her original diagnosis of indigestion was wrong- she recommended he be taken to the emergency ward of the nearby hospital.
Long story short- he was wheeled around the hospital for hours with various doctors pushing on his stomach. It was determined the problem was his appendix. What a relief to know what the problem was. Everyone assured us this was easily taken care of. Daniel was wheeled into surgery at 4 pm (that's right- they had him at the hospital for almost 12 hours before they took him into the operating theater). I was told he would be out within 40 minutes.....2 hours later, I was still waiting.....
A nurse walked up to me with a small Japanese/English dictionary and she kept shaking her head and she pointed to something in the dictionary--- peritonitis--she also pointed to some other words. I understood things were not going as planned. The doctor needed to speak to me. The doctor explained things were not looking good for Daniel because his stomach was full of infection. They needed more time to work on him as they were siphoning out all the pus from inside his abdomen. If you think doctors are supposed to give you words of hope, I think this chap wasn't at doctor's school the day they taught the lesson on giving hope. He basically told me Daniel had a 5 percent chance of survival and I should prepare myself for the other 95 percent. They waited too long- damage had already been done.
At the time the hospital drama was going on, the members of our church were praying for their pastor. They didn't know the latest development, so I jumped into my car and rushed to where they were praying. As I sped down the narrow street, the light turned red. I sat staring at the red light then I half yelled, half cried, "God this is not how it is supposed to be!!! I have three little kids. You can't take him. You have to heal him."
"Will you trust Me?"
"Of course I trust you God- so please heal him."
"Will you trust Me?"
"I said I trust you to heal him!!"
"Will you trust Me no matter what happens."
Words dried up in my mouth. I took a deep breath. No ....this isn't the way it is supposed to be....see, it is supposed to be- I say I trust Him then He does what is best for me (or at least what I think is best for me)....trusting Him can't mean....or, can it....I mean....can it mean that I have to trust Him no matter what the outcome??? Even if my husband dies, I still have to trust Him???
"Will you trust Me?"
I heard the words as the light turned green. I was bawling my eyes out....slobbering all over the steering wheel...."I'll trust you- even if it means I lose Daniel- I will trust You."
That day I learned the definition of true faith....
The week which followed was anything but easy. Daniel had to be packed in ice cubes because his fever kept going sky high. He was oblivious to it all. Every time one of the doctors talked to me over his unconscious body....I whispered to God, "I will trust you...no matter what..." The doctors never could give me more than a 20 percent chance he would regain consciousness.
One month later, they released Daniel from the hospital. The doctors said he was a walking miracle.
So when my fingers run gently over his scar, I do remember the day I almost lost my husband....but I also remember the day God taught me the most important lesson of my life!