By Tim Paauw
February 15, 2017
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
These are the words from my grandfather, Don Paauw’s, favorite Bible verse. I know because I was blessed when my grandmother asked me to read them aloud at his funeral in on February 15, 2013.
They have been words that are etched on my heart and serve as a great visual when life brings trials, we all have been there and some still are walking faithfully through the waters. In these moments God allows us to be beautifully puzzled. Our heads spin. It is a beautiful thing because it humbles us and rightly reminds us that we depend on Him.
Whether it is a critical car accident, a cancer diagnosis, a deep depression, or another situation that brings you to the deep end before you are ready to swim it is in this moment we must pause and remember the calming promise that God is WITH us. This promise is even found in the meaning of His name, Immanuel.
One year ago, I sent an email update asking for prayers on behalf of my mom as she sat in her hospital room battling for her life. One of the prayer requests that day was that her bones would heal as she had just come out of a major surgery reconstructing an ankle, wrist, and arm bones.
Tonight, we are SO grateful that she has been home for the past few months and that the feeling of urgency and worry over her vital organs doesn’t currently loom so strongly. However, I am writing to ask for a similar prayer request to the one of last year regarding her bones.
One of the largest concerns in these past months involves her right ankle bone and the infection surrounding it. She has faced the strong reality that this may cause a need for her right leg to be amputated just below the knee–quite a dreaded thought.
On Friday, she will be heading in for a surgery that will have her ankle opened up, scraped clean of the infection in the bone and tissue, and thoroughly washed out. The surgeon will place a “spacer” in her ankle that will provide a direct source of an antibiotic and serve in place of the missing talus bone. This is required in an attempt to save her right leg.
If successful, she would likely be able to go in again in a few weeks to have an external brace installed from the top of her calf to her heel which would bypass the ankle and allow her to begin to bear weight again for the first time in months!