This last season of my life was the most difficult year I’ve ever faced.
After just tearing my meniscus and moving, I thought things were finally getting back to “normal”. That’s when I received the worst phone call in my life. It was my mom, and I could tell by the tone in her voice something was really wrong. She told me my dad had been rushed to the ER and that things did not look good. A couple of minutes later, I spoke with my brother who was at the hospital. He said the doctors told him that my dad had less than 10% chance at surviving. He was bleeding internally due to a aneurysm in his abdomen. Devastated, I could do nothing but cry and pray to God.
That phone call started a 3 month process where my dad underwent 6 major surgeries. During those months, we were told on five occasions that he probably would not make it through the night. One night, after another successful surgery, he flat-lined for 5 minutes due to one of his breathing tubes being clogged. By the grace of God, the doctors resuscitated him back to life. He went through 9 total surgeries that year, and by God’s grace, He’s alive and thriving! One surgeon said’ “I didn’t save his life – are you people praying?” Praise God! He’s currently in physical therapy and we recently heard the great news that he will be able to walk again.
During that time, if my family and I focused on the circumstances or what the doctors told us, it felt like we were drowning. Hopelessness, numbness, and sadness surrounded us. Yet, if we looked to God during those times, He gave us strength and faith to face the next minute. We literally experienced that God is an “ever-present help in times of trouble”. He comforted us, and extended mercy to us beyond our wildest dreams. My dad loves Jesus, so regardless, we knew where he was heading. However, I’m so grateful to have my dad still around. We named our daughter “Selah Grace” – which means pause and calmly think on the grace of God. His grace truly is sufficient in our weakness!
I wrote “Above The Water”, and especially songs like “Stronger” ft. V. Rose, to encourage those suffering around the world. I wanted to challenge others to not focus on their present circumstances, but instead look to the God who is ever-present in the midst of those circumstances. Jesus called Peter out of his boat to walk on a substance he had no business walking upon. The moment Peter took his focus off of Christ and looked at the storms all around him, he sank. It’s no different with us. If we look to Christ to be our strength in the midst of difficulty, we will find ourselves rising above the water. I can’t promise the circumstances will change, but one thing I can promise is that His love will surround you in the midst of the storms. It sounds cliche, but His love truly is enough!