As we continue to explore the theme of "Daring Faith" in our fall series and small groups, one of our own, Lana Foster, shares a significant time in her life. Read her inspiring story of how she is patiently and expectantly waiting on God, even when the odds were not in her favor.
When we are waiting, He is working.
Blessed Beyond Measure
Because of pneumonia and dehydration, I was found unconscious on the bathroom floor. With a fever of 104.7 and blood oxygen level of 30 (which should be at least 80), I was not expected to survive. I was placed on life support for 11 days. As our daughter notified family, church, and friends, prayer chains began across the country. Pastor Todd prayed the promises of God over me in the ICU. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much," (James 5:16b NKJ)
Easter Sunday I was taken off the paralytic drug, with plans to remove life support the next day. Again, I was not expected to survive, as my blood oxygen level was now 29.
To everyone's amazement, against all odds, with life support removed, I began breathing on my own. Literally speechless, the attending doctors simply left the room. They had witnessed a miracle and didn't know what to say. I improved rapidly, spending only one more day in the ICU.
Effects of the paralytic drug remained in my system. Speech was my first challenge, then control of hands, then feet, hips and legs. Repeatedly I heard from nurses, doctors and therapists, "What a remarkable recovery!" I was blessed with survival; now I had to re-learn how to live.
Even while in a coma, Spirit had led me to repeat over and over, "In ALL things give thanks," and, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." These two Scriptures kept my attitude positive and encouraged me to face the challenges that seemed endless and overwhelming. When I was next told that our beloved pup of 10 years had suffered a seizure and could not be revived, my heart was truly broken.
After 11 days on life support, 4 days hospitalized, and 26 days in a Rehab center, I came home on April 26. I had been walking unaided for 3 days. I was (and am) grateful for so many blessings throughout this journey--the people who prayed, called, visited, and sent cards of encouragement; the professionals who sacrificially answered the call to help those who cannot help themselves; the family and friends who endured the emotional roller-coaster; a couple from church (whom I don't even know) who stepped up and helped my family move when all I could do was pray and try to get better! It was all very humbling. I came away with my faith reinforced, and feeling blessed beyond measure.
I wish the story ended here, but the worst was yet to come.
In mid-June, I followed the advice of Rheumatologist and surgeon to get on an infusible biologic med for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). In two weeks, it attacked my lungs. I was hospitalized twice, and a whole new set of challenges began. I now had a home nurse, home physical therapist, home oxygen, and most unwelcome, steroids that produced weight gain, and muscle tremors that threatened falls.
Recovering from life support was like falling off a log in comparison. It has now been a long time, and the fight continues. Sometimes I'm afraid it will never end.
Although I praise God for His Word and His promises, at times it is very difficult not to let my faith shrink to the level of reality. Sometimes obstacles just feel like insurmountable obstacles, not opportunities.
I am claiming Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."