A new heart…

I sat in the cardiovascular intensive care unit, not for the first time, not for the last.broken-heart_RegimensWithGrace.jpg

I watched the monitor above my husband’s head – blood pressure, oxygen saturation, pulse and most importantly, that strip of squiggles that showed every beat of his failing heart. Those beats had dominated our life for months. I knew more about what caused it to beat fast, what slowed it down, what caused it to skip a beat than any romance writer in history.

And that night we were trying it all. The picture above my head was ugly and growing worse. The two IVs that had been continually pumping anti-arrhythmia drugs into his system for the last couple of months were not enough. The lines grew more and more erratic as the night wore on toward morning, sporadic peaks turned into a roller coaster and I gripped his hand, knowing his defibrillator was about to painfully fire again, shocking his heart back into a stable rhythm.vfib_RegimensWithGrace.jpg “Please God, no.”

It hurt, worse than any horse kick, he said. The knowing dread of that kick was horrible for him. The nurse brought boluses, or large IV doses, of magnesium, potassium and needed medication. Eventually his heart was soothed. He slept.

Fotor071000113This was not a cure. This was a wait for a cure. The only thing that was going to keep this from happening again was a heart transplant. Without a new heart, one day medication and defibrillator shocks would not be enough.

This weekend, millions of dollars are being spent on the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey”. “Erotic romance.”

Without going into it too much (other writers have done so beautifully), the most damning thing I read came from readers who really liked the books.

“I found potential in their relationship and the idea that Grey was a haunted soul. What woman can resist the subliminal need to nurture a tortured soul?”

I probably lost you there. Needed heart transplant. Fifty Shades.

Here’s the thing.

Nothing would help my husband but a new physical heart. There is an unknown family out there who decided that their 20-year-old son would not die in vain. His death brought my husband new life.

There are millions, even billions, of tortured souls out there. A woman or man is not the answer to the salvation of that soul. A person giving up their life in a twisted relationship does not bring salvation to either soul. It brings death to both.

There is only one answer.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

A heart transplant.

Broken people need a healer. Jesus came to heal.

People are in bondage. Jesus came to bring freedom.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;”
Luke 4:18

I feel very privileged to have been a part of my husband’s road to transplant. But it was not, and is not, my job to heal his tortured soul.

Thank God that was accomplished by Jesus.


If you are interested in the organ transplant process, please follow this link for more information and to register for organ donation: Donate Life America. Please consider giving the gift of life.

If you have not yet received the gift of eternal life, it is waiting for you. Please contact me. I would love to share the news of Christ’s work on the cross with you.


On compassion…


I’m sitting in the hospital, waiting for my husband to go into surgery.

That doesn’t mean quite the same thing to me as it does to many of you. Since he is a heart transplant patient, we have spent many nights in the hospital.

I tell friends to please call us when they are having procedures or hospital stays. We really want to be able to be there for them.

One: people have always been here for us. Two: I tell them I am a pro hospital sitter.

It’s true.

If you want someone to sit with you in a waiting room or beside a hospital bed, I’m your gal. I rarely notice that smell everyone talks about, doctors and nurses don’t scare me and I can talk about anything under the sun to keep your mind occupied.

The downside is that sometimes I forget that none of this is easy. My husband has been prodded, poked, bled and cut open so many times that I forget that even “routine surgeries” aren’t routine to the person having them.

I’m not a wimp. But when I had laparoscope surgery, I hurt for weeks. I’m pretty sure this would be a big deal for me. He barely complained of pain after having his chest split open.

When I sit in the cath lab waiting room, waiting for him to have yet one more camera routed into his heart, I look around and remind myself that most of the folks in there have never been through this before. Those waiting with me me have a person they love going through something very traumatic and they are scared.

So God pulls me out of myself and allows me to use what we have been through to comfort others.

“Who is your doctor?” is usually all it takes because people want to talk. People want to hear that they are in good hands. And so many times I forget that people are open to being prayed for.

I try. When I hear that inner Voice, when I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit, I try to listen and obey.

But sometimes I forget to come out of myself long enough to quit listening to what is interesting in able to hear what is afraid.

And occasionally I receive an unintended reminder from my husband, that no matter how much a person goes through, hard stuff is still hard stuff.

Jesus was moved with compassion.But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. (Matthew 9:3) heart-in-hands

I pray for that, not just in hospital waiting rooms, where I am reminded more clearly, but in daily life.

People hurt. God can heal.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)