Harder Family

Harder Family

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Update: Daily Surrender and Trust

 Hebrews 4:14-16 "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." 

Many people have asked recently how I am doing and all I can say is that I am just bone tired. I am completely worn out physically and emotionally. Thankfully, I am hanging in their spiritually, which I think is in part due to all the prayers being lifted up on our behalf.

On Friday, Wayne had quite a few visitors at the hospital. Lemarc came and visited Wayne, which always results in a great time of catching up and fellowship. Two of Wayne's previous co-workers came as well and brought him his favorite lunch from downtown, spicy chicken. Wayne really enjoyed visiting with them and catching up. I was also able to meet up with my friend Karin who was in town for a women's conference at Moody. We met 22 years ago at Moody when our husbands went to school there. Karin was also one of my go-to people when Wayne was diagnosed 8 years ago with brain cancer. Not only is Karin a nurse, her own mom was diagnosed with glioblastoma. She was and is such an amazing support person and gave us some great information when we were all new to this.

Wayne was released from the hospital on Saturday, April 15th. If you think taking a newborn baby home from the hospital is scary, try taking home someone who had brain surgery and they give you list of things to do and watch for. I did not go into the medical field for a reason! But, God has given us the strength to persevere, and Wayne is daily feeling a little more normal. I was able to take Wayne to another favorite Phillys Best for lunch after he was released. 

Visiting Chicago also means a trip to 88 Marketplace, an Asian grocery store that has so many delicious options! I was able to get some snacks for Shan. I also called my sister and got a list for my nephews of snacks they wanted. 

When Wayne was released from the hospital, they informed us that it could take 2-3 business days to hear from the rehabilitation facility to set up Wayne's evaluation. So, Sunday after church, I headed home to Kentucky to check in with the kids and spend some time with them. It was also a chance for me to try to get a little self-care time in. My parents provided me the opportunity to get a massage while I was in town, which was very relaxing. Right before my massage, Wayne called and said that he was scheduled for a noon evaluation on Tuesday. So, I quickly put together all the things I needed to bring back to Chicago. I left early Tuesday morning, fueled by caffeine and Jesus. I made it to Chicago at 11:50, just 10 minutes before Wayne's appointment!

The drive to and from Kentucky served as a long quiet time with God for me. I turned on my worship play list and used the six hour drive to refocus my heart and mind. During the last hour of my drive to Kentucky, I listened to a service for a young man who passed away in a tragic accident. This young man, who I have never met, impacted so many people's lives because of his great faith in God. I was reminded that God is all that we need and He gives families the strength to go through terrible times. To hear his family share about his life and faith, and to see their faith shining as an example to all of us, was unbelievable. One of his sisters sang this song and it made me cry. Sometimes it is the hard things in life that God uses to mold and transform us into who He wants us to be. Romans 8:18 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." 

Being pliable in God's hands is hard. It literally is a daily surrender for me to trust God with the future. I am trying to focus on just one day at a time, but that is so difficult at times. On the long drive back to Chicago, God has a few songs really speak to me. Here are a couple songs that ministered to me: I Choose to Worship - Rend Collective; Worthy of My Song - Phil Wickham; You've Already Won - Shane & Shan; Holy Forever - Chris Tomlin.

Here are a few lines from these songs that I needed to hear:

"I can face tomorrow, for tomorrow is in Your hands"

"I choose to worship...thought there's pain in the offering, I lay it down...I will praise You through the fire, through the storm, and through the flood."

"When You wipe these tears away, I'll cry worthy...I give You my worship because You still deserve it."

The plan is for Wayne to have rehabilitation on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at least the first week and re-evaluate where we go from there. When you look at Wayne, he looks so good, especially for just having brain surgery. But the rehab evaluation showed a different picture. He is struggling with his speech and comprehension, and his body tires easily. This became super evident through the testing he endured during the evaluation. One test required him tapping his toes ten times. He burnt out on the right side after tapping only four times. It is hard to watch your once strong husband struggle to do basic tasks. His focus and determination is so strong, but the struggle is real!

In the midst of all the hard, God gives me glimpses of good things and His blessings. Micaela and Joella are loving their time with their best friends. We were able to be here to celebrate Micaela's best friend's birthday, which thrilled her. Our family is being thoroughly loved on by our friends who we are staying with. They have opened their home and have welcomed us a long as is needed for Wayne. Only God could have provided friends like these in our lives and we are so thankful for them!!

I also am so thankful to those caring for and loving on our kids at home! Thank you for the meals, phone calls, visits, and photos. 

Please keep praying for our kids as they process everything, especially Micaela and Joella. We are all struggling to surrender and trust God. We should hopefully get the more detailed report about Wayne's tumors next week, but the preliminary reports show that the tumor is a high grade glioma. The MRI report also describes the tumor remaining in Wayne's motor cortex. Please pray for wisdom as we seek next steps regarding treatment to treat that tumor remaining. Thank you to everyone who is praying for us. I do not know how to express how much it means and really, how much it is carrying us through this time.

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