Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Honoring My Mom Part 2

I eluded earlier to my mom's health's problems. I won't get to much into detail but the long of the short is, she had a birth defect with one of her valve's when she was born. It was discovered around the age 13. She frequented the dr's. who kept a close eye on her. When she was 26 she had a long, too long for someone with a heart problem, labor with my brother. She blew her aortic valve but it went undiscovered for quite some time. As she began to recover from labor she realized that her body wasn't going back to normal. As she would say, she felt like she was dying but the dr's didn't believe her. It took a friend taking her to the dr and saying "We are not leaving until you find out what's wrong with her" to uncover the problem. They did a stress test on a treadmill and sure enough found out what was wrong. She went into shock and they performed emergency heart surgery placing a metal aortic valve in place of her failing one. That was about 24 years ago. The dr's. predicted her valuve to last 12-16 yrs.. by God's grace she has way surpassed that statistic! Other complications have arose from having open heart surgery as well as failing valve's. Today she has three valves that are on the verge of needing replacement. She is monitored closely by one of the top dr's in AZ and again by God's grace doing well. Her battle with heart problems and other health problems have made us all appreciate the frailty of life. Many of the things people said about my mom in their letters praised her for how she walks in faith with her health problems. She can, as anyone would, grow discouraged when she is unable to do physically what she is desiours of. My mom is not a sit at home type of person. She likes to stay active and be around people. And when she is able to attend parties, she is often the life of it! My prayer was to point out God's grace in my mom's life by giving her these letters. I wanted to encourage her that God is using her, not inspite of her health problems, but through them and through her example of how she walks in faith in the midst of them.

Here are a few of the things said about my mom:

"The first time I met you JoAnn, you immediately put me at my ease. After talking with you for ten minutes I felt like I had known you my whole life! You are the most caring, giving and self-less person I've every known. Your strong faith has been an inspiration and has provided much guidance and comfort for me."

..." I am so encouraged by how you trust your Savior in the midst of suffering. God has allowed much pain in your life, and I am amazed by how you deal with it. You humble yourself to ask others to pray for you. You don't self-sufficiently try to just get through it on your own strength, but you are humble enough to talk with others and ask for prayer. You don't simply paste a smile on your face and pretend like everything is fine, but you are real and honest about how you're feeling. When I ask you how you're feeling, you give me an honest answer, yet always without complaining. You demonstrate a unrelenting faith that your trials come directly from God's hand, and that He has some purpose in it. You are "fighting the good fight of faith" and I am confident that you will one day hear "Well done, Joann, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master."

Here is what someone said who knew her before her heart surgery and shares a memory:
..."She asked me to be her prayer partner praying for people she was witnessing too and I agreed. Since I was the “shy” one, I would hold her up in prayer as she went out evangelizing with a group from church."

Joann you are... "one to look to for advice – gifted in perception and discernment; and supportive friend – genuinely sharing happiness or grief. Your steadfast faith and love of God despite repeated tests and trials is profoundly inspiring."

"You were such a source of strength, encouragement & support for me during that hard time! Thank you for being willing to put aside your own health issues to meet with my mom & to encourage her."

"Your joy. Whenever I talk to you, even when your are in pain,you exhibit so much joy and even laughter when we talk about the situation. Only God can do this in you and so I know it is evident you are trusting in Jesus!"

"When I think of you, I instantly think “FRIEND”. There are times when I need prayer and I know in my heart, without a doubt that you are praying. Not only will you pray, but you are so good at following up with an encouraging phone call to check in. This has blessed me and encouraged me to follow your example. When we get together, you always ask how I am, again, showing you care. You are a “FRIEND” to many people around you."

It doesn't matter what is happening in your life, you are never too busy or sick to share my burdens. Whenever anything happens in my life you are the first person I want to share it with, and I know you are only a phone call away.

I would like you to know how very much I appreciate you and your Godly wisdom, your compassion and your faithfulness as a friend. You endure daily physical burdens yet when I have needed you, you open your heart and lift me up with words of comfort that point me to our Lord which is exactly where I need to be.


**I love you mom! I'm so thankful that you are my mom and also my dearest friend! Happy Birthday!

1 comment:

Shawnda said...

Wow, Tara!!! So, so, so precious!!! What a gift the Lord has given you in your mother!!!!