7 years later: 24 hours to decide

Back in January of 2012, here’s what I wrote:

That’s the message some friends got. 24 hours to decide whether to try moving ahead with an adoption. And they had no real assurance that moving ahead would ever end up with the child in their arms.

other family“She might not make it through the night.” That’s what another friend heard last week as his wife, sedated, was in the emergency room. There was a walnut-sized white spot on a scan standing for red blood leaking.in her brain.

“Our gas is scheduled for disconnection this afternoon” is what I heard when I answered the phone, a child fussing in the background. “Do you help?”

“It’s probably cancer, in the thyroid.” He’s a junior in college, he’s getting married in May. Of the kinds of cancer to have, it’s a good one. That’s what everyone who knows says. But that’s a really hard truth to hear. It’s not your neck, or your son’s neck, on the table.

What everyone wants most is fixing, for the uncertainty to be gone and the situation to be fixed. Instead, the clock has twenty-four hours and the hospital lost the fast-forward to brain resolution button, and the gas wrench can only be stopped with cash and this Friday morning at 5 is years away.

So what can I say without sounding like a Hallmark card? “It will be fine.”

“God, you know what you are wanting, you see how this all turns out. Because you are God. And I’m not. So give us wisdom, because that’s something to ask for. Give us peace, because we are having this conversation. And what I’d like, since it’s okay to tell you that, is for Joy to not die. And Jordan to be healed. And S___ to find home. And we’ll take care of the gas bill. And help our unbelief.”

10 months later, here’s how I followed up:

So they went ahead with the adoption process and are days away from a trip across water. We pray. And we see Joy most Saturday nights as a walking talking working part of our small group. And the wedding went as planned and the young couple is doing great. And there are still people without gas. And our belief and unbelief still need help.

These stories are still going, still growing. We have new worries about different families. But it’s helpful to remember that we often survive our decisions.


If you are interested in the SocialMediaChaplain project, you can sign up with this link. The first email drops next week. (And if you want a free wallet card on how to make a hospital visit, my friend Patrick Riecke will mail you one. (free))

2 thoughts on “7 years later: 24 hours to decide

  1. Elaine Stauss

    Yes, I still praise God for the miracle for Joy’s life!!
    Currently miracles are happening for life for a young man who, as a result of a near suicide, is now a prince of the King.
    A family and friends are swallowed in grief because a sweet young woman took her life in suicide Wednesday.
    Life is constantly happening. BUT God, the loving heavenly Father, is there for us in it in every way in whatever it is.


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