Monday, March 3, 1980 dawned, the day of the open heart surgery, the day that would turn my world upside down. I tried once again to get mom to let me skip school and come to the hospital. She stubbornly refused, driving another wedge between us, making 16 year old, immature, misunderstanding me despise her a little bit more.
I wandered from class to class that day. My physical presence in attendance but my mind with my father in the operating room. Mom promised to call the minute surgery was finished. The minutes ticked by excruciatingly slowly.
The call never came. I knew he was dead, just knew it. When at last I was released from the captivity of highschool, I raced home to the neighbor watching my little sister. Still no news. Defeated, I went home to wait with my little brother.
The phone rang. Finally, we were summoned to the hospital. Who called you? I asked the neighbor. A chaplain. My heart sank.
We arrived to the waiting room. I could see mom had been crying. Everyone who loved dad was there. The waiting continued. For 3 more hours.
Then the surgeon appeared. We did everything we could think of. Heart not strong enough. Couldn’t come off bypass. Tears streamed from his eyes.
I watched myself slide down the wall to the floor, wailing.
That night I raised my fists and voice to God. I will never speak to you again! How could you do this to us!? Don’t you know he’s the only one who loved me!?
I didn’t speak to God again for 26 years. 26 years. Oh I’d run to Him in desperation when I was in trouble. But why would He answer my prayers then? I constantly mocked Him, told people He wasn’t real.
But you know what? He never left me. He was always waiting for me, like the father of the prodigal son.
And when I finally came to my senses like the prodigal son, I had the faintest glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe if I was sorry enough, God would take me back.
And like the father of the prodigal son, God didn’t wait for me to grovel. He drew me inch by painful inch back into His loving embrace. All my sins completely forgiven. All my sins thrown into the deepest sea never to be looked at again.
Perfect faithful waiting God. Creator of the universe. King of kings. Lord of lords. Never gave up. Never lost hope. Waited for me. Me.
Linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee 4 #TellHisStory