Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. — Psalm 85:10 —
It’s been months since I’ve been able to have anything to say. Hopefully, this post will do justice to the mercy that God has shown me in the past week.
I had a major heart attack May 9, 2015. I woke up feeling as if I had Pneumonia. Never had Pneumonia in my whoyle life, but the symptoms reminded me of when my mother used to get it. No coughing, hard to breath and a pain in my chest that felt like I had been violently coughing for days. I thought I got it from trying to kill the hornets that were buzzing around my back porch.
I sat down hoping for relief. My husband asked if I wanted him to stay home from walking the dogs, but I gave him the ok to go, telling him I would be ok.
He was gone maybe 10 or 15 minutes, when the pain, the inability to breath and incredible weakness hit me harder. I went to go lay down, but something told me, “If you lay down, your husband will come home and find you dead.” For a second or so, I almost gave into it, because that is how much I have loathed this world and my own life. But, the thought of my husband coming home to find me dead, made me sad, even though I had reached a point this past year, praying for the woman who would replace me if I died. So I walked out of the room, hoping a phone was nearby, as walking was a tremendous feat. I found it and called him, trying to be very calm, told him to come home as soon as possible. By then, I thought I was having a heart attack, but did not tell him, because I did not want to alarm him. I trusted him completely to come on home.
I called 911 and when asked what my emergency was, I barely was able get the words out, “I think I’m having a heart attack.” Each syllable cost one breath. she asked if there was pain. I gasped, “yes.” she asked if I was clammy. I asked, “Sweating?” She said yes, and I told her yes. She gave me instructions to unlock the door and make sure my husband would know what hospital I was going to.
I bent down to put my shoes on and all I can compare that to, is I could not have been any more weak and tired, if I had been wrestling a tiger.
I stood up, wanting my phone book so I could call a neighbor to tell my husband where I would be. I started to walk in the kitchen, barely 10 feet away, something told me no, go straight for the front door. I barely made it with each step. My legs and feet felt like they were weighed down with huge iron. I thought each breath was going to be my last, and the pain in my chest, incredible. I had been praying the most simple prayer throughout: God, help me.
As I reached the front door, I prayed, “Dear God, please let me see a neighbor.” I open the door, step out and see my neighbor across the street. He did not see me. I managed to call out his name before I buckled over the porch railings. He came over and I managed to tell him I was having a heart attack, emergency help was on the way, please tell my husband where I am going. I felt like I was about to fall and I laid down on the porch, thinking if I didn’t, I would crack my head wide open. I asked my neighbor not to leave me. He said he wouldn’t. I was not freaking out. That would have taken more strength and energy, and I just didn’t have any.
I had been told some years ago that I had three small arteries that were blocked , arteries so small that the doctors could not do anything about, telling me they would eventually close up and I would have a “small” heart attack. Thinking this was a “small” heart attack, I thought of what my brother, Ricky went through almost a year ago. Thinking, “Dear God, if this is a small one, what must have dad and Ricky went through with theirs. Thank You, it’s a small heart attack.”
Paramedics got there and began working with me on the porch. I apologized for being on the porch. They reassured me it was ok and told me to be calm, that I was having a heart attack. Oddly, I was calm. There was no other way to be. I found myself not only at the complete mercy of God, but everyone around me, as well. Somehow, I managed to rest in that.
My husband came home finding the paramedics working over me. I managed to tell him I love him and I think I told him to tell my brother and sister, I love them too.
In the ambulance, I did not see my whole life flash before me, but I did see certain things. I saw how I had lived my life the past few years. Taking the physical problems out of it, I was made aware of how the past few years have been spent in being terribly angry at the darkness that is overtaking the world. And now? For what? Nothing. I saw how nothing good came out of it. What had it mattered? It didn’t. In my heart, I told the Lord, I was sorry I had nothing more to give Him, than the woman I had become the last few years.
Once at the hospital, I was in awe of how complete strangers, working like a well oiled machine, were trying their best to save my life. I still was thinking it was a “small” heart attack and was practically begging them to “Please, make the pain go away.” They told me they were going to do a heart cath on me and stay calm. I begged them to please give me a “happy shot” or whatever they give to make me not care. The nurse bent down and said, “Honey, you’ve had a major heart attack. Right now, we’re concerned about your life.” Immediately, in an eye blink, I was calmer, had peace. It was a peace that truly surpassed all understanding. I became more still than I had been. I accepted the pain, instead of trying to fight it.
I got to see my brother and sister before the heart cath. They had been crying and I know what we all were thinking. We were thinking about Ricky before me, now this. I told them not to cry, that I will be ok, no matter what happens.
The nurse did end up giving me something to relax me, and even though I was already relaxed, still more than glad to get my “happy shot”.
My prayer throughout the ride to the hospital and upon arriving was this, “Jesus, You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall declare it. If this is the end of my life on earth, I want these to be the last words that come out of me as I leave this world and the first to be coming out of me, as I stand before You. If you cast me to hell, You still are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. You still are a perfect and just God.”
I did not pray this in some kind of hopes that this would cause me to enter heaven. No, it had everything to do with who God is.
I went on to tell Him, “But, if You do take me from this earth, who will be left to teach my family about You? I know You could even get the stones to rise up and speak, if You desire, as I have been such a failure in so many things. I can’t make any promises, God. I dare not, because I know me. But if it’s Your will to leave me here, then help me be the woman You meant for me to be, because I can’t do it.”
Then asking Him to watch over my husband, our two dogs and my brother and sister and their families, I went back to my first prayer.
Earlier, as I was being rushed to the heart cath, I asked the nurses if any were Christians. Two said yes. I said, “Will you pray for me? I’m not ashamed of my God.” They said yes, and as the procedure began, they prayed for me. The fact that I could even speak was a miracle in my eyes.
After the heart cath was over, the doctor told me I had a major heart attack due to my major right artery was 100 percent blocked. He was able to clear it and put two stents in. The other two, one 40 percent, the other 50 percent, blocked. They will attend to the other two arteries sometime down the road.
I was told more than once, had I not called when I did, I would have died.
So, with all that being said, how did I find God through a heart attack, you may ask?
It’s pretty clear, isn’t it, precious reader? He was there all the time.
God is good to give me a second chance. He was with me with each step, each breath, each second.
His greatest desire is for us to know Him. I thank God for that heart attack. I sensed His presence in a way like no other time. I’m certain others can say the very same thing about their own experiences. Surely, if He can keep me through such a horrible event, He can keep you too, no matter what you are going through.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor Angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
— Romans 8:38 —