This morning I boarded an airplane for a much needed snowboarding vacation. Normally I would be over-the-top excited and ecstatic since snowboarding is one of my absolute favorite things to do. But today was bittersweet because I had to leave behind my darling grandpa going in for a cardiac catheterization this morning.
Being I nurse, I always thought this procedure was relatively benign (if you know a nurse, you know you don’t really get any sympathy from us unless you are literally dying. And I mean dying…blood gushing out of an artery-kind-of-dying). But this week at work I was faced with the harsh reality that no cardiac procedure is benign or without risk. (The beautiful part of my job is when we win the battle with congenital heart disease…the horrific part is when we lose. We lost a battle this week.) And of course, this harsh reality had to come the week my family member was having a cardiac cath. And on the same day I was flying out for a trip I scheduled 4 months ago. Timing is everything. And timing worked against me BIG time this week on so many different levels. As I walked out my door this morning, I really considered changing my flight or canceling my trip. But there is no way my grandpa would permit this and I also learned this week, that sometimes he is the boss. Like when I was in the ER with him a few mornings ago and I told him he wasn’t allowed to drink anything until the doctor came to see him. To which, he kindly stood up, kissed me on the cheek and said something to the effect of, “I love you dearly but sometimes grandpa is his own boss.” And with that he walked over to the water fountain and drank water. Grandpa- 1. Nurse Ashley – 0. I just want to protect him and keep him safe…and he just wants to do his own thing. Gotta love the man.
But as I reflect and blog thousands of miles in the sky, I am reminded that my grandpa is no safer with me by his side than he is as I sit in my window seat on the airplane. I have cherished every moment with him and have left nothing unsaid. I think the act of ‘leave nothing unsaid’ is really important in this life. I am slowly learning how to do this in my relationships. In the past I haven’t done a great job expressing my feelings—I’m either afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve or worried I will offend and/or upset someone. Or even worse, afraid I will be hurt by the person's response. But I have really started to embrace the resolution of my feelings. I am learning to let people know when I am upset, when I am thankful, when I am thinking about them, etc. I am learning to live my life such that if tomorrow were taken away, I would be at peace with the people in my life.
Ephesians 4:1-3,7, 26
1A s a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worth of calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace….7 But to each of one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it” 26 “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
And this is where I am in my relationship with my grandpa. I have no unsettled anger or feelings or thoughts. I wouldn’t say anything else to him then what I have already said. He knows I adore him. He knows I love him. He knows I will see him on the other side of this life. We have nothing but peace.
And I need to remember to grasp that peace with me as I lift him in prayer. I need to remember who is in control. And it isn’t me. Even when I think I am in control, I am not. My job is not to supervise his cardiac cath (although I’m 100% certain I would if they would allow it!) or demand the standard of care I think he deserves today. My job is not to worry. My job is not to be anxious or unsettled. My job is to live my life according to His Will and ensure nothing is unsettled or unsaid. My job is to lift my grandpa up in prayer, trust the LORD and accept His plan.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation…pray”
So today I’m leaving on a jet plane… embracing His plan with a sense of peace and comfort. I’m leaving on a jet plane with snowboard in tow.
Cardiac caths, snowboards, and peace,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.