Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways", saith the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts "
~ Isaiah 55:8, 9~
Where do I begin, but first thanking our Awesome God for Who He is; and for each of you who are in our lives!
First let me tell you our story from the past couple of days, as God's testimony is revealed:
A few days ago, I wrote in my journal to the Lord, "Lord, I trust you." And I heard, "Do you really trust Me?" My reply was paused as the question sunk in. As I awoke into sober humbleness, I slowly said, "I hope so." When the question was asked, "Do you really trust Me?" Who would have known what was going to happen next.
The evening was like any other; but yet it wasn't, does that make sense? LOL!
It rained the whole day, not letting up. Did we need it? Yes...but the overflow of rain was now beyond our need as it started to flood into different parts of Austin. That night after we had attended a couple of meetings within our schools with lower than lower attendance, we came home and my husband said he felt like he pulled a muscle in his abs, that was about 8:00 pm. He didn't feel very good and so he went to lay down. Upon laying down, the job he had hoped to have the next day which would be in New Mexico, did not come through and so we were praying for God's provision. As Tim laid down, it seemed like every hour he would get more nauseous and the pain would rise little by little.
Suddenly, we heard someone violently banging on our front door and then ringing our doorbell multiple times. I ran upstairs to get Tim, and saw that Cody and Tim were proceeding down the stairs at great speed. Cody answered the door to find our neighbor lady who was screaming, "MY baby! My baby! She's stuck in the water!" The first thing that came to my mind was the rain and a baby drowning outside! I panicked and ran outside in my pajamas to my neighbor lady and I said, "Where's your BABY?" She said, "No! She's not here, she is in her car on Lakeline" I thought, "What?" It was happening so fast...my mind was asking myself, "your baby is in a car on lakeline?" She said, "My daughter!" Well, I found out after a moment of shock, that her 'baby' was her 20 year old daughter stuck in her car as water started filling up her car and the pressure of the water rising would not allow her to get out. So my husband and son rushed to the scene, with the mom going with them. Tristin and I stayed behind and about five minutes after they left, our dog started barking, I looked out the window where he was barking and noticed a police car stopping in front of our neighbors house. As he stopped, the back door of his car opened up and our neighbor's daughter came running through the rain, out of his squad car. Well, the police officer had safely gotten her out of her car and dropped her off...so I called my son to let him know that she had been dropped off, in which they ended up turning around.
Well, after that ordeal, we went from tired to 'wide awake'! My husband's pain was getting worse and yet we managed to finally fall asleep at around 11:30 pm. At about 2:30 am, I awoke to groaning sounds of great pain from my husband. Well, if you know my husband, he's a 'tough guy'; so with his groanings, I knew he was in a lot of pain. I remember running downstairs and getting my CD player with Freddy Hayler's CD, "Song of Angels" and I played it in our room, prayed over him and with great hesitance, text our pastor and his wife.
Shortly after, Tim fell asleep for a little bit, then woke up with major pain and I remember him crying out, "Lord, please show me what it is and what I need to do." By this time it was about 4:15 am. I had gotten up and was in the bathroom, I felt as though I needed to get dressed and put my make up on and then by this time Tim had been vomiting because the pain was so great. Throughout that night, we thought for sure it was a bad flu, then we thought it was food poisoning because of the pain that was going up his spine; but that was outruled, because we had all eaten the same thing that night. I finally asked, "Tim, do I need to take you to the emergency room?" He replied with great agony, "Yes". At that moment, I knew the pain was definitely bad...because normally the answer would have been, "No". We got into the car and Tim said, "Teresa, I prayed and asked the Lord what is this and what do I need to do? The answer I got was, "appendix and you need to go to the hospital." On our way, we prayed for God's favor over our coming and going. I also hesitantly called our pastors to give them an update as they prayed as it was so early in the morning.
Upon arriving to the ER, I am not kidding...there were NO patients...no, not one! Tim was literally treated wthin 10 minutes of us getting into the ER...they saw the severity of his pain, being that vomitig was induced due to the pain. They told us the different things it could be; they were thinking most likely it was kidney stones; and Tim told the guys that were working on him, "I asked the Lord what it was, and I heard 'appendix'." They said, "Well, we will have to do a body scan." (I"m thinking...great...$$$$, but suddenly was reminded that my husband is more important than the cost of any test). They hooked him to an IV with pain medication, took him in for a body scan and within a few minutes, our pastor arrived with his bible in hand.
Soon after, the results of his blood came back and they found that his white blood cell count was high, which revealed that there was an infection. They then came back and said, "The radiologist saw that it is your appendix, it is infected and you're going to need to get it removed today." To see what Tim heard from the Lord as it was confirmed by the ER staff was amazing. They informed us that they called the surgeon and they needed to wait for the team to arrive and he would be the first in surgery. I am not kidding by 7:00 am the surgeon and her team were coming in one by one, introducing themselves and asking Tim the same questions. They were beyond nice and so kind throughout the whole process...by the time they arrived, they were preparing Tim for surgery. As the surgeon came in and before she left, I asked if she would mind if we prayed over her, and she said, she would not mind. Our pastor prayed God's wisdom and understanding to be revealed and that her hands be guided by God's hands.
Immediately, the peace of God came over me as I was able to release my husband wholeheartedly. Soon after, Tim was rolled out of the room by 7:30 am to go into surgery. The surgery was lathroscopic and when she had gone into remove the appendix, she found that it was highly infected, ready to burst. She also repaired a hernia somewhere around the belly button. The surgery ended up being a little over an hour and he was in recovery by 8:45 am.
The whole post-surgery process was amazing. The hospital was first class and even the accomodations were nice. Even though the financial part was in the back of my mind, I was reminded of that moment just a few days before when I said, "I trust You." And then reminded of the poignant question, "Do you really trust Me?" I was reminded at that moment...this does not take God by surprise. Then I looked back, Tim was suppose to have a job that day, but it was cancelled, he would have been in a different state, going through airports, and not with his family and then what if he had been in another hospital with no one? Wow! God is so amazing! There are things I don't understand, but it's not for me to understand for I am reminded that "my thoughts are not HIS thoughts, nor my ways HIS ways, saith the Lord".
Your responses through text messages, phone calls from friends from all over the country, room visits from my Dad, Don, and Heath. My Dad, coming up to see us, Tim was sleeping and my dad wisked me to the cafe and fed me lunch; my mom came at dinner time as she drove in an hour and a half, feeding us dinner in the hospital, and bringing flowers. Of course, Tim's mom, she repeatedly said every phone call, "Please if you need anything, you call me right away." I had friends texting, "I'm bringing food over...", "We'll pick your daughter up from school"; "My pastors had meals lined up for the rest of the week from families within our church; your encouraging words...we ARE STILL BLOWN AWAY by God's goodness revealed through each of you!!!!!!
Our prayer is that every person, family, staff member at the hospital, doctors and nurses who assisted my husband and our family in any way, would be blessed expedentially beyond measure in the Name of Jesus! Your thoughtful words, your prayers and your immediate action in serving our family are such a gift to us, but MORE than anything, I know it blesses our Father God!
I know this is lengthy, but I want you to see that we are not in despair (II Corinthians 4:8)...our God is faithful, no matter the circumstances, He will always show that HE Is mightier than any mountain, than any giant that attempts to come against us, trying to draw fear out of us...but I do trust in our God and I know that He is going to reveal provision as He has revealed such beautiful favor in the midst of this stressful situation. The amazing part? We weren't stressed...our daughter was dancing in the hospital room, pretending to be dad's nurse, jerking dad's legs around, straightening up around the room and so excited that she could serve her dad. She was so funny to watch; God even utilized her in such a way to get our minds off of the situation and just enjoy doing life together, no matter where we are; as long as our family is together, we are counting that blessing. Our son was at home, tidying up the house, picking up after himself...our kids are such a blessing!
As we went home last night, Tim remained in the hospital...Tristin and I prayed over dad and she said, "Dear God (pause), thank you for letting our daddy be with us another day." When she prayed this to our Heavenly Father, tears came forth upon the realization that she knew that God was the reason dad was given permission to be here on earth another moment. We may not have the money like we use to; but we have each other. I have my husband and children, my parents and sisters, my church family and friends, what precious gifts from God! I thank God for each of you and I pray you will constantly see God through ALL circumstances; the good ones and the bad ones too. I have been reminded, yet again, that nothing takes God by surprise. As long as we remember that, we can lean on and trust Him, versus resisting Him because we think we need to be in control by worrying and fretting. By worrying and fretting, the results have always been associated with great stress...but with trusting God and Him only it results in great peace no matter what is seen all around us.
I pray that I am reminded of God's faithfulness daily, moment by moment and even as I sleep; for Faithfulness is WHO HE IS!
UPDATE: Tim is now home! Praise God!!!