We are all guilty of declaring that something is not fair when it does not go our way. However, when we are receiving things we do not deserve, we consider those times to be blessings instead. If we are honest with ourselves, we all at some point or another are guilty of this reaction. How do we handle life when our sovereign God takes us on a path that presents more days of tears than laughter? Where is the grace to help us to sustain our journey?
Read Lorna Mitchell’s story of grace while she cared and said farewell to her beloved husband.
On Christmas Day 2010, my husband, Wyllie Mitchell, Jr., woke up having difficulty breathing. Within a few hours, he was being rushed by ambulance to Holy Cross Hospital’s urgent care. Upon arriving at the hospital, his lungs had collapsed, and they were unable to give him enough oxygen to help his breathing. He looked into my eyes and said: “I am going into cardiac arrest, and I am going to die.” The doctors rushed into the room and informed us that to keep him alive, they would have to induce a coma. We agreed, and he was immediately put on life support. From Dec. 26, 2010 until Jan. 4, 2011 – for 10 days – my husband was in a coma and I had no idea of the outcome. As family and friends would visit each day for a few minutes or a few hours then leave, I remember looking out the window of his room and talking to God about what was to come.
I told God that I knew all about planning a party, but nothing at all about planning a funeral. Immediately, God dropped in my spirit a sermon that Pastor Jenkins preached about a year ago. He used the crashing housing market as an example; no matter how great the deal may be, if you are not prepared, if your credit is jacked up and if you don’t pay your bills on time, it wouldn’t matter because you have not positioned yourself to take advantage of the great deals. God clearly revealed to me that He was not ready to take my husband and that it was “preparation time.”
At a few minutes before midnight on Dec. 31, 2010, I sat alone at my husband’s bedside and came to the realization that the only person that I could count on at my darkest hour was God – and believe me, it was very dark. There were no family and/or friends around because everyone was out bringing in the New Year. I prayed for my husband as the clock struck midnight and praised God because at that moment, regardless of the situation, he had crossed over into the year 2011. Bless the name of Jesus! On January 4, 2011, Wyllie was disconnected from the life support machine, and we were able to talk about everything that had transpired over the past ten days.
Initially, we thought everything would be normal, but little did we know that there was a new normal just up ahead. Shortly after that, his health became progressively worse, and he was forced to resign from his job. Over time, it became more difficult with the frequent doctor’s appointments, therapy, 24-hour oxygen and deteriorating health in preparation for the lung transplant.
My husband did pass away, but God used this season to grow us, especially me. I had to be the wife that God had ordained me to be, to stand firm for my husband in the midst of the trials and there were many. I learned how to listen, the importance of communication and being his mouth piece when needed, especially with the doctors and family members.
Although my life was forever changed, I proudly praise and thank God for the opportunity to walk alongside Mr. Mitchell for 16 years and two days as his wife. Today, as I learn this new way of life that can be very difficult at times, I thank God for His absolute grace that has carried me and continue to catapult me to where it is that He wants me to be. I am not a singer, but often feel this song in my spirit: Your Grace and Mercy Brought Me Through.
I have learned that no matter the journey we have and will travel, God is forever present. Sometimes our proximity to the situation overshadows our perspective. Unfortunately, “living happily ever after” can only be found in fairy tales. God’s word does not promise we will get all the answers, but it does say He can be trusted. So my dear Grace Girl, if this is where you are currently on your journey, know that you are loved and not forgotten. Look to God to help you navigate in a season where your situation has overshadowed your perspective.