Seven-Year Reflection

It seems like it was yesterday. Nerve-wracking doesn’t begin to describe it. Seven years ago today I was at the Ottawa Heart Institute, waiting for my wife to come out of surgery.

The doctor had said this was his specialty, that he had done the procedure a thousand times. Never lost a patient. Reassuring yes, but there is always a first time.

Surgery always carries with it a certain risk. Cutting open the chest, stopping the heart and repairing a valve seemed to me like a considerable risk, no matter how many times he had done the procedure. Not much room for error in those situations.

Taking the risk was a no-brainer though, given the alternative of deteriorating quality of life and an early death. An easy decision in a way, but that didn’t make the hours in the waiting room any easier.

I wasn’t anxious though. As a Christian, I know God is in control even in the midst of chaos when it seems like He is long gone. I believed the doctor when he said there would be a positive outcome. I believed God even more. No matter the outcome.

It was a long wait. Heart surgery isn’t over in a few minutes. But eventually the surgeon came to say he was finished and pleased with the results. It was such a relief to hear.

Seven years ago. Seems like another lifetime. That was before we moved to Germany. Before COVID. Before we moved back to Canada.

In the years since I’ve had a few different jobs, learned a new language (more or less) and had plenty of time to reflect on the state of the world in general and Canadian society in particular. As the late Larry Norman used to say, “I’m not a pessimist, I’ve just been thinking.”

I must admit, a lot of the time I try not to think about important things. Life seems simpler then. But I know that is not sustainable in the long run. I care too much about what is happening. Caring means trying to make things better. I spend a lot of time tilting at windmills, but I’m okay with that.

It isn’t about “winning” or “losing” as much as it is about playing the game. Life is meant to be experienced. No-one promised it would be easy.

Seven years has flown by. So much change in that time. So much still to come.

As I sat in that operating room I had no idea what the future would hold. I had to be prepared for any outcome.

As I write this today, I have no idea what the future will hold. I am prepared for any outcome. God is still in control. Even on those days when you wonder if that is true.


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