storm

Here I was, sitting at the kitchen table working on my MacBook Pro. My Dad was calling me. I assumed it was work related (you see, he is a client of mine). I answered. “Papa had a stroke,” he told me.

Shock.

Disbelief.

Refusal to acknowledge this fact.

After hanging up the phone, my wife didn’t want to hear the bad news. I kept it together fairly well, but then told her what happened and she had to hugged me. I couldn’t keep the tears in any longer.

My boss told me to take the rest of the day off (which was very kind). I headed to the hospital.

If my memory serves me correctly, I cried a bit on my drive to Grand Rapids, MI.

Once I arrived, I refused to cry. I saw family sitting in the waiting room, we chatted. I did not want to see my Grandpa. The reason I did not want to see him was because I did not want to break down.

Only two people were allowed in his ICU room. My grandma was in there and so was my sister. I used this as a way to delay in visiting him.

As I sat with my family, emotions would come but I would push the desire to cry away. I did not want to cry.

But then my grandma had to do the unthinkable. She came out into the waiting room. Why did she have to do that?

I could tell she was hurting. I can only imagine she has spent hours crying. The emotions overwhelmed me, I stood up to embrace her. Streams of tears came gushing out as I held my grandma (or she holding me, depends on the perspective).

A Little Background

From my perspective, a stroke was the pathway that took my great grandpa to see Jesus, and the same is true for my great grandma. This is what it felt like for my grandpa. That he is being taken home, to see Jesus. While this is every reason to rejoice, it hurts. It sucks. Because it is difficult or sad to think of him leaving this world.

I hate death. I hate sickness. It is a result of sinfulness, but praise Jesus we are not stuck here forever in this sinful state.

Seeing my Grandpa

After calming down, my grandma led me to see my grandpa (Papa). It was very difficult seeing my grandpa in the ICU. Tears strolling down my cheeks again.

Why don’t they have drinks in the ICU so visitors can drink and NOT cry?

I ask Papa, “How are you doing?”

You won’t believe what his answer was.

Better Than I Deserve

To my knowledge, my grandpa stole this phrase from C.J. Mahaney. “I’m Better Than I Deserve,” he said. Here is this man, who is in the ICU, not able to eat anything and says he is doing better than he deserves. Here I am, struggling with God (I don’t think I have every struggled with anger towards God before), yet my Grandpa is doing better than he deserves.

Wow!

Powerful!

(If you are reading this, Papa, this meant a lot to me and ministered to me).

Hope

We have hope. My grandpa is regaining some strength in his left side and is now in therapy. We have tons of reasons to rejoice. One reason is that he still has memories. The stroke didn’t wipe his brain and is able to communicate to us (unlike my great grandpa).

But more importantly, even though it is hard and difficult, Jesus remains in control.

  • Will you join in praying for me, my family, and complete healing for my grandpa?

Justin is a husband, father, and a writer. He is passionate about equipping parents, glorifying Jesus, and helping the local church. Justin currently resides in Michigan with his wife and daughter.

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