Because of niggly new and unusual symptoms, I decided moving up Ian’s annual MRI was both prudent and necessary to quiet my imagination. Unfortunately, the neurosurgeon’s report, a Dr. we met for the first time, only ignited it.
Because the neurosurgery department at UNM hospital has recently experienced a complete overhaul, Ian, a red carpet frequent flyer, now knows no-one— no established relationships, no personal involvement with previous miracles, no added empathy appreciating Ian’s long and complicated history. Starting over STINKS.
Due to covid, Doug had to attend the important meeting via FaceTime. And masks along with the strong accent of the doctor added to our communication difficulties. Walking to the car feeling rushed and unsatisfied, it felt as if I was sent home carrying hot soup in my hands. Impossible to contain, the soup burned as it dripped through my fingers leaving pain, but no understanding to hold onto. Contrary to my reaction, Ian left giddy to escape without any concrete follow up. I guess there is an advantage to a compromised memory. Living in the present is your only option.
So yuck. Instead of the relief I sought, I got just the opposite, MORE precarious and burdensome information to carry. And worst of all, the task of carrying it. “Please call if things worsen.”
I’ve dumped my angst on many of you individually. Thank you. But Doug, who knows me best, sifted through the nuggets from our appointment and rightly latched onto the experts matter-of-fact yet conclusive words… Yes, I see some recent bleeding at the brainstem, but I’m not concerned. With honest frustration I vented to Doug… that’s like saying “I see a small stick of dynamite but its fuse is just glowing. Don’t worry!”
When I got home, I looked up the credentials of Dr. Eliyas. On paper, he is indeed impressive. But still, I wasn’t reassured. And that’s it… I decided. With no relationship or track record, no wonder trusting him was difficult.
What Will it Be?
The lack of trust in the doctor though, refocused my mind on who I can trust and why I can trust Him. Not only do we have a solid relationship, but He also has a proven track record. The practical truth is, Ian’s fate does not hang in the balance based upon a new doctor’s cursory glance. More importantly, Ian’s protection isn’t dependent on my keen but imperfect observation or intuition. It’s a choice I’ve had to make over and over and over again. What will it be? Faith or Fear.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In my experience faith and fear travel together ALL. THE. TIME. Like they did during our recent appointment. Or as they have during this entire year of 2020. But as travel companions it’s vital that fear is constrained and not allowed to drive. Fear and faith don’t share the same perspective. Fear is a liar and focuses on the scary dark unknown. Faith focuses on a trustworthy and all powerful God.
Since I’m the daughter of a builder, I’ve always enjoyed exploring new home construction sites. And while processing this week’s unwelcome news, the Lord has asked me to do a walk-through of my life while under His construction. Which today anyway, feels like wreckage. While reviewing my journal, I notice old landmines where wildflowers now litter the ground. And I see proof of where the Lord created beauty from ashes.
Looking ahead though, the closed doors are what are most obvious. My younger self, like on a Christmas morning, would be eager to open them all with excitement to see what they conceal. But with prayerful intention, I know better than to run ahead of the Lord. Besides, experience tells me behind some of those doors I will find explosives. And it’s critical for my own sake that I yield to His timing and direction.
Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
I stumble around and even wonder the sensibility of a floor plan that has way too much dark basement for my taste. I even demand a word with the architect. Still, during the thorough walk-through, I’m aware of remarkable provision. Exactly sufficient provision, which is God’s amazing grace. And it’s just enough. I breathe in and out. And take one more step. And trust that years from now I’ll read this page and bear witness to His faithfulness, again.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
For now, with miles to go, the Lord insists I drop the heavy suitcase. The one that is packed with Ian’s health, his future and even his salvation.
Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you.
Feeling weak and unsteady, I’m living this latest crisis in real time. It’s messy and unredeemed. But for today, I lay it at His feet.
Dear Faithful Father, Gut-punched, I stagger to find my footing. Thank you, though, for your comforting presence as I trust you every treacherous step of the way. Thank you for your gracious provision. Help me to resist picking up what I was never meant to carry. And even though the phrase may feel tired and overused, I claim it again now. GodsGotThis.
Debbie. Beautiful. We know we serve a powerful God. As you said he has taken you and your family through many trials and you always come out strong. Know you and your family are being prayed for. Hugs. Dottie.
Thank you. Definitely coveting prayers right now.
Carol Ydens says
Debbie, this is so beautifully written. Your words always help to put my life in perspective. I’m so very sorry Ian has another trial to go through. But his response to the news is perfect. I’m praying for all of you to stay strong, keep your faith and allow God to carry this weight for you. Hugs to you my friend.
Thank you Carol. Yes. Ian’s levity does help even if its off in fantasy land at times.
Marilyn Lehning says
Thank you for trusting us to share your angst! God has trusted you with a heavy load, scary.
I have no words to help, sorry!!!
Will pray. xxxooo
Prayers are so welcome. Thank you Marilyn.
Judy Zanotti says
Oh, Debbie, what a beautiful message and testimony to your faith. I am praying for you and Ian during this time of new concerns and challenges. While your faith inspires me and others, I also realize the fear of a mother who has seen her son go through so much. Our faithful and merciful Lord is with you.
Thank you Judy. I welcome your prayers. Amen.
Betsy Everett says
I totally understand your fear Debbie and appreciate you sharing with us.
But thankfully, we know who is in charge. We’ll be praying for Ian, his health, both physically and spiritually.
Prayers are so welcome. Thank you Betsy.
April Michelle Nolz says
Sure love you and your honesty and wisdom. One thing we know is that God is faithful and will continue to be Sovereign Lord over all. May His peace continue to give you strength and comfort as we live under the umbrella of today! Continued prayers of protection for Ian and that God would be made known in His heart to in all of this. 💕💕🙏
Good to hear from you April. Amen and Amen!
Toni Hulce says
Oh Debbie, my heart goes out to your family. I have just gotten word that my (UNM Cancer Center) Oncologist of 10 years is moving away. I am feeling scared and lost. So, I will turn to the Lord as did you. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts-It’s so hard sometimes.
Blessings for Ian and your whole family. Know that you are helping others (like me) by sharing your fears and doubts.
Friends in Christ, Toni
Thank you Toni, What a relief that HE does not move away. EVER.
Deb; Thank you. With every post you share your bumpy crater filled life, (from joy to sorrow!) and in doing so you’re helping to lead us to a deeper relationship with God. This post was especially poignant for me; when does the cycle of worry and fear end for our loved ones? There’s much work to be done, meanwhile, I’ll breathe in His love and compassion.
A bumpy crater filled life. Now that’s a testimony. Ha. Thank you Mary.
Anne Kole says
Debbie, your journey with Ian
Must be exhausting. But your continued reliance on the God who sees us is a testimony to me that he is real . He has carried you through so many rough places and will never let go of you….and Ian! Thank you for your Honesty and courage to share with us. I will continue to pray for Ian and for you. Love to you and your family.
Thank you Anne. Your prayers are welcome.
Jill M Sanchez says
Debbie unfortunately I know your fears since my granddaughter has to go to Denver to see her neurologist since Pres doesn’t have a pediatric neurologist. Recently she has been mentally regressing since COVID and they took her out Denver for a hospital stay of a series of test and they didn’t find anything out of the norm. So my son and his wife are completely depressed and anxious with what is happening with her and this COVID-19 situation.
But I know the lord will take care of it in his own time as well for Ian. My prayers are with you and Ian.
Oh Jill! I am so sorry. Covid has wreaked havoc on so much. I think it’s taken such a toll on everyone’s mental health. And those vulnerable are hit the hardest. I’ll pray for your granddaughter and her parents! Thanks for sharing
Ginger Horner says
Thank you for sharing what has been happening. Difficult, at best. Your blog was so honest and heart wrenching. New Doctor–re-inventing the wheel, so to speak. It can be maddening. (I usually want to fix this and do it now, thank you.) Taking a step forward and remembering God and His promises always helps center me.
Ian’s response, was very much in the moment and a blessing for him.
I am with you, Debbie, trust our wonderful God, have faith and I pray to keep those worries at bay.
Love and prayers, Ginger
Thank you Ginger.
Emmy Browning says
What a wonderful message. Mom’s carry more burdens and worries than most people realize. So hard to drop that suitcase. Must always trust whose really in charge. Hard to do sometimes. Prayers for you and yours.
Thank you Emmy. May you find freedom to drop your suitcase. I do welcome your prayers.
I have written down all of your scripture verses (for my benefit). They speak volumes!! It all boils down to your 3 words…”Fear or Faith?” I must let go of my fear & zero in on my faith, for we all know that God & Jesus are Sovereign. Nothing happens without their allowing it. Thanks for the wonderful reminder of Who is in control!
Thank you for sharing your present journey with us all. We see God’s strength in you & Ian. Our prayers will continue for you. God bless the Hucke family!
Amen Paula. Want to feel more secure… Know and Trust the One in charge.
John Reith says
Hey Debbie. I wonder if at times you might feel a bit like Frodo the ring bearer in the “Fellowship of the Rings”. Many times he felt the burden was too heavy to bear. The fact that you quoted Isaiah 41 tells me you know where to go to share that burden. You know where to fix your eyes. There are plenty of distractions to your vision coming your way. Putting on blinders probably won’t help. But keeping a laserbeam focus on Jesus will provide hope in the worst of circumstances. Swimming in the pond of Phil. 4:4-7 has done me a world of good in my most trying times. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Thanks John. Laser beam … Phil 4:4-7.
sheri french says
Wrap Deb in your comforting arms. Hug her tightly. Help her release her fears, and fill her with calmness. Help her remember that she has gotten this far, with a little help from you, friends, and family, and need only face one day at a time. Amen.
Amen. Yup. One day at a time. Debbie
I have been a reader of your weekly posts for quite some time. I truly appreciate your ability and desire to put your worries and concerns at the foot of our Blessed and all Powerful Savior and Redeemer, even when every aspect of your physical mind and body tells you to seek balance and control – to make sense of the nonsense.
Mark 11:23-24 says:
“23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Speak to the mountain, Debbie. Claim victory over the enemy as Jesus’ death and resurrection enables us to do. Doing so and believing for answers to our prayers is where we gain control over the enemy. If the enemy gets you into emotion, he beats you. As you said Faith is where it’s at.
Blessings to you and yours.
Amen Ruth. Good to hear from you. Say to the mountain. Kind of like Speak to the hand enemy! I appreciate your comment.
Barb Frans says
Love this ❤️
I remember years ago one of Doug’s sermons at NPC on Carrying Too Much Baggage.
God Is Good 😌
Well wishes to you all from The Frans Family
Thank you for your faithful support after so many years. Love to you all.
Oh those horrid checkups for survivors of critical conditions. Mostly, we just want to skip the darn things but know we can’t. Facing them as a mom and dad—oh my, terrifying. You know so many walk with you, loving you all along the way as we have from the beginning. I wrote the scripture references in Matt’s prayer book, for they are precious promises from the Father, bringing peace and reassurance. I want them always before me. Thank you for bringing them to us today. You spoke to and for all of us.
Virtual hugs, my friend!
Thank you Dorma. Amen. The Word is salve to a weary soul.
Glenda Demmie says
Your “word pictures” are so vivid and clear illustrations of God’s Truth. I am so blessed by your extraordinary Gift of writing and how He is using you to be a source of encouragement. Knowing and sighting the appropriate scriptures is the key, but the impact is because you are so transparent and REAL. Thank you for sharing Christ’s Love,
Well thank you for the kind encouragement. Much love. Debbie
Cathy Philips says
Again, Debbie, I struggle to find the words to let you know how much I appreciate you! When my sister was learning about her son Calvin’s brain damage as an infant, she clung to the verse Romans 8:28. For a good while she expected to know what the good purpose for his situation was. After a good while, she recognized that it doesn’t promise that we will know that purpose. Calvin is now in his 60’s, can’t walk or talk, but I know now how many lives my sister, her husband and daughters have impacted because of their love for Calvin. Many others with severe disabilities have an amazingly wonderful place to live and thrive. Your challenge with Ian is far more difficult in that you are still in charge of his care in ways my sister was unable to be. Many of us are praying, but you are carrying the load. You have blessed so many with your ability to share your hurt and your determined faith. Thank you!
Determined faith… Indeed. I like that thought. How about stubborn faith or even bull headed faith. Thanks for your comment.
Sheila Harris says
Ww are continuing to pray for Ian and for you and your whole family. I carry worry and anxiety in my gut – clutched up in knots of fear. I go through the “what if’s” and the physical distress increases. THEN, as a catch-22, I experience the physical symptoms my fear has generated and conclude the symptoms are PROOF that something is terribly wrong. Does that ever happen to you?? I will be praying for the Lord to comfort you, soothe your spirit and of course to protect Ian’s precious brain. With much love.
Thank you sweet Sheila.
Mary Werner says
Debbie, I am so sorry you have this burden to carry. Your willingness to share your thoughts so openly is really a blessing from God to your followers. You communicate so well that relates to everyone!!! I’m not good at Bible verses, but one I really like is Philippians 4:9— Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you. You and Ian are in my prayers.
Thank you Mary. Two commenters pointed me to that verse. I appreciate your love and support.
Christy Hale says
Thank you for sharing you story. Prayers for you and your family.
Good to hear from you Christy. Thank you. I appreciate your prayers.
Berta Pitzer says
I love how you write about your life and continue to give all of us hope even in the midst of the craziness of Ian’s life, Covid 19 and so much more. I can identify slightly, because our daughter Jessica, has been chronically ill with Lyme Disease for 20 years and it’s almost killed her a couple of times. The last 9 months has been one of them. I will keep you and Ian in my prayers as I pray for her. So many of the scriptures you used, are ones that I use!!!
Thank you Berta. Jessica remains in my prayers as well. She has had to persevere!
Berta Pitzer says
Yes she had and she’s struggling with that right now so I’d appreciate you praying specifically for that. She, along with thousands of others, suffers from PTSD from the years of torment from her body, medical profession refusal to validate this disease, and much more….as you know. I praise God for her amazing husband who validates her daily and cares for her so well!
Karen S says
Oh Debbie. So sorry the path is incredibly rocky again. Praying for all of you and each of you!
Thank you my friend. So appreciate the prayers.
Debbie- you and your family have definitely been on the roller coaster. I understand being uneasy with a new physician. Have you considered a second opinion? I think this will go a long way in allaying your fears and cranking up your faith in your new treatment team. Maybe reach out to his previous physician since he knows the story?
Thanks Brenda. Ians diagnosis is extremely rare and UNM is the primary hospital for it. His two previous neurosurgeons have moved out of state. One now retired. Since writing my article the NP that assisted him did return my phone call and spent 20 min answering the questions that were left unanswered. Her reassurance was indeed an answer to prayer. We are trying to move on as best we can.
Debra Harbaugh says
I am so sorry to hear about your son. I will pray for both you and your son. I have read all of the comments and I suggest you continue to have
“Determined faith” along with stubborn faith, or even bull headed faith.
Hang in there my friend and know that besides your friends you have the Big Guy upstairs (God) watching out for you and your son.
All my love,
Thank you Debra. Thanks for being in my corner.