Learning of her friend’s husband’s heart transplant gave Kelly Guest perspective on her own problems and inconveniences.
He needed a new heart!
Here I was worried about virtual learning, frustrated that the dog had run off – again, and wondering what I was going to write for my blog post this month, and he was in need of a heart.
Chris had a heart attack two and a half years ago. He actually died four times and was brought back to life. After more than two months in the hospital, he left with a pump that beats for the left side of his heart. It took over a year to recover his strength.
In March, Chris was put on the list for a new heart. A week later, Covid-19 struck. Everything was put on hold, and he was taken off the list. Chris even had a bout with the virus itself; his heart may be compromised, but his lungs were strong. The trooper overcame another obstacle.
Just thirty days ago, he was placed back on top of the list. Then last Sunday, Chris got the call. Now, he has a new heart, one that beats on its own. A strong heart for a strong man.
In a very real sense, in Chris’ life, God fulfills a promise He made: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone (or in this case, metal) from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Chris’ ordeal puts mine into perspective. My worries and concern are so little compared to so many others’ in this world. I am blessed, and I am resilient. Most of all, no problem, big or small, is too much for God to handle. “So then banish anxiety from your heart” (Ecclesiastes 11:10a).
Now, that is not to say that I should not be concerned about my children’s education (or even the run-a-way dog for that matter). Problems, discomforts, and sufferings are a part of life. Yet, we are to accept, even embrace them. “Be strong and take heart, all who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:25).
When we unite our suffering with Jesus,’ wonderful things happen. First and foremost, we draw closer to Him. He teaches us how to suffer - with resignation and love. Oftentimes, when we look back on times of great sorrow or trials, we can recognize God’s presence among us. His Fatherly care is evident. We realize that all we really need to do was pray, give our cares to Him, and carry on. In the end, we know we can “Trust in the Lord with all (our) heart” (Proverbs 3:5).
For the time being, try to make the best of the situation. Enjoy the moments in which you find yourself. When frustration sets in, take a deep breath, offer up a little prayer, and voice something positive. Build up your child, your child’s teacher, those with whom you work, your spouse, each other. “Worry weighs down the heart, but a kind word gives it joy” (Proverbs 12:25).
God will see us through these crazy times. Though in a different setting, or in the same setting but with masks and social distance, our children will learn this year. And we will grow in patience and perseverance. “A clean heart create for me, O God, a steadfast spirit renew within me” (Psalm 51:12).
In the meantime, my dog made her way home, and I was inspired to write about my friend’s brave husband. The first week of school went off with few tears and internet glitches. God is always good, and He brings good even out of what appears to be bad. “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds” (Psalm 9:2).
Above all, remember all in this world is temporary. We are destined for Heaven, where there are no tears, no melt-downs, no illnesses. There will be no schools or hospitals. So, hang in there and look up. “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Matthew 6:21).
As for you, Chris and Jenelle, may the Lord “grant what is in your heart and fulfill your every plan” (Psalm 20:4).
Copyright 2020 Kelly Guest
Images (top to bottom): Pexels (2019); others copyright 2020 Jenelle Klehammer, all rights reserved, used with permission.
About the Author
God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com. Kelly's book, Saintly Moms: 25 Stories of Holiness, is due out October 2021.