X Close Menu

Transformation by Truth: Day 4

1

Day 4

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blessing:

Oh Lord, we come to You today, and Father… I’m spent… It seems like today of all days everything is pulling me in every direction except the direction I long to go – to Your side! As I enter Your presence, Lord I pray that Your Spirit would consume me. Let Your presence be all that I need. Let it be all that I am concerned with right now. Use this time to refresh my soul and renew my desires. Draw me close to You. For it’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Scripture Reference:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4 NIV

Today’s Message:

I remember back when my Mom got diagnosed with terminal cancer and was in the midst of surgeries and chemotherapy. She lost her hair. She was nauseous and vomited the majority of her days. Since we rarely had heartfelt conversations, it felt awkward and embarrassing as I sobbed, “Mom, I am so sorry for all that you are facing. I wish I could take your place.” Her eyes welled up with tears as she replied, “I feel worse for you since it’s harder to be the caretaker.” I never believed her words until the roles were reversed and my sister became my caretaker.

Lori put extreme thought into each of her actions. Just recently she explained that there was nothing she wanted more than to be at my bedside, but she also wanted to hear Dr. Ahdoot on the phone. As my big sister, she sought educated wisdom in case she had to make critical decisions on my behalf. So she kept one ear attentive to me and the other listened to every detail my doctor spoke.

Lori expressed immense gratitude for Dr. Ahdoot. The night I had heart failure, he was very intent on the phone, coordinating the most highly-esteemed medical staff to care for me. He immediately called Dr. Alimadadian, the best cardiologist for my case and Dr. Ott, a premier thoracic surgeon. Dr. Ahdoot’s dedication to me makes my soul ache with appreciation and love.

After Lori prayed over me, I had to remove the mask on my face because with each inhalation came a stark rattling sound; and as I exhaled, I began choking and vomiting. Remembering back, Lori said she was remarkably stunned as I began throwing up pink fluid. My fear must have come across as quiet composure. In hindsight, I realize that was a measure God used to protect my sister’s heart because internally I was anything but calm.

Once the medical staff saw the pink fluid, the chaos around me increased in log rank form (this math analogy should impress my friends since I defy the odds by being a Japanese girl who lacks the math gene). But Lori and I didn’t know the implications of what was happening. The significance, it turned out, was frightening. The mitral valve in my heart had ruptured earlier in the morning, so although my heart was pumping as fast as it could, the blood was pooling in my chest instead of going through my body. I was drowning in my own fluids.

Dr. Alimadadian compassionately informed Lori that I had 15 minutes to live. The medical team debated whether they should sedate me and let me die peacefully, or if they should send me to a different hospital for emergency open-heart surgery. But, he gave the disclaimer that there were no guarantees.

He further explained that this would be an emergency surgery and there was no time to waste. Lori said after hearing those words, she became extremely scared. She realized how pressed for time they were and it seemed as though they weren’t moving fast enough. And to add to Lori’s dismay, they chose to sedate me. She assumed that meant imminent death. But as it turned out, they intubated to buy me some time, assembled a surgical team, and took the tubes out when the ambulance was set to transport me.

My cardiologist Dr. Alimadadian has a heart much like Dr. Ahdoot’s. They live by a standard of professional excellence combined with deep compassion for their patients. Dr. Alimadadian didn’t entrust my fragile body to the paramedics, so he personally rode with me and squeezed the bag which gave my body air for the entire 25minute transport.

Lori followed the ambulance in her own car, not knowing the status of her little sister’s lifeless body. I understand that the paramedics had to drive Dr. Alimadadian back to the emergency room where his car was after he left me with the surgical team in the middle of the night. His office manager told me months later that he showed up to work on time just a few hours later and was the same amazing man as always.

Meanwhile, my Dad had left the hospital to wake my Mom up, even though it was the middle of the night after a day of chemotherapy. The four full days after her chemo treatments were notoriously horrible for her tiny body. Can you imagine waking up to your own physical torment only to find out that your daughter is in very critical condition? I literally cannot put myself in that situation.

However, Lori explains that when my Mom entered the waiting room at the hospital, she was strong, yet soft and brilliantly loving toward me. She shined. Lori said the room didn’t feel empty anymore, and it felt like the richest love in world.

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

I completely agree with my Mom’s words after having had this experience. It was incredibly exhausting and overwhelming to be her caretaker, and I could see the same exhaustion on Lori’s face as she cared for me.

Have you ever found yourself beyond your limits because you are caring for others?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Do you feel the weight of raising children? Caring for parents? Supporting your spouse? Are waves crashing on you when you consider the responsibility of work, friends, family or serving your church?

What would happen if you let God be your caretaker?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

How does the landscape of your challenges change when you read Isaiah 46:4?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

God promises that He will sustain you. He will rescue you.

Is His promise time bound? In other words, do you think it only applies to people in biblical times?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Please read James 1:17.

Does He change through the years?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

If you are overwhelmed right now, ask God in your prayer time what He’s calling you to.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

When I was my Mom’s caretaker along with my sister, God called me to rest. He gave me a network of friends who offered their help. So when I sought His ways to sustain and rescue me, I was called to say “Yes” when offers for help came my way. Wow, was that ever hard! I had to drop my pride and admit that even though I’d like the world to think I’m Superwoman, I’m just a girl!

God also called me to laughter. In the midst of sorrow, He gave me date nights with Ryan that were heartfelt and hysterical. I learned that it was not only okay to have joy in the middle of hardship; it was a necessity for me.

Journal what God impresses on your heart. It helped me to remember that God sometimes chooses to work through His people.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

How will you respond to His offers of sustenance and rescuing? Journal what you learn.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Mind:

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.

Michael J. Fox

When I think of pictures of excellence, I think of my amazing doctors. Dr. Ahdoot will always be a monumental person in my life. His pursuit for my healing continued even after I was transported to the other hospital. It turned out that he didn’t sleep a wink that night due to his concern for me. Instead, he scoured medical journals until 4:00 a.m. hoping to find something that might help me.

Dr. Ahdoot just recently told me how proud he was to be affiliated with Dr. Alimadadian. Dr. Ahdoot said that it’s nearly impossible to get a cardiologist into the emergency room so late at night. But, when he explained his urgent need of a cardiologist for my case, Dr. Alimadadian said, “Yes, I’ll be there right away.” There was no wavering, nor was there any consideration of him handing me over to the paramedics for my transport. He set aside his physical exhaustion in exchange for the hope of saving my life.

On my first post-operative appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Ott, I profusely thanked him, “You had to operate in the middle of the night, you had no sleep and you were completely at the top of your game. You saved my life.” His reply? “I was just doing my job.”

All of us have the call to be excellent. We don’t have to be saving someone’s life to be significant and to pursue excellence.

Lucano is one of the groundskeepers at the Montage in Laguna Beach. Our family would never be able to afford a room at that unbelievably beautiful resort, but I do have my quiet times sitting on their benches overlooking the beach on the weekends. Lucano works diligently to keep the property immaculate. And, when he sees me walking up to my favorite bench, he greets me with his dashing smile and quickly rakes the already smooth ground and inspects it for any minute piece of trash. His excellence may not be noticed by many, but it makes my world.

How can you reach for excellence today?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

How can you distinguish it from perfection?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Please read Romans 2:29

Does it change your outlook when you realize that God recognizes your efforts whether or not people do?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Body:

I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle it’s not going to be satisfying.

Greg Lemond

Does that word struggle ring true for your fitness pursuits right now?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

A life coach I once had used to say, “The greatest hero is the one who slays the biggest dragon.”

List in your journal what your “dragons” are in regards to your workouts and your nutrition.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Once you’ve listed your biggest struggles, write out how you will emotionally feel once you’ve slayed each of them. Take the time to really internalize the deep satisfaction you will gain by achieving this excellence.

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

What is one step you can take today with each of your dragons?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

If you aren’t sure, take time to ask God for direction. Remember that He is your caretaker and He will sustain and rescue you. Is He offering sustenance through His people? Are there programs He’s provided to rescue you? His offers are unique for each of us, so take the time to hear His plan for you. Once you do, strive not for perfection but for excellence. Go and get your body moving and fuel it well!

Closing Prayer:

Lord, thank You for revealing to me who I am and more importantly Who You are… I will never understand why my feeble, weak and broken body holds Your gaze but Oh Lord, I am so thankful. I have proven over and over to be nothing of any special value, but still You choose to see who You can be through me and thus continue in hot pursuit of me. Lord I know that the only reason I sit here now is because You are allowing my heart to beat and my lungs to breath. You are sustaining each and every one of us – at the very same time. You are also holding each and every piece of the universe where it needs to be as well. Why do I doubt You? Why do I question Your ability to handle my problems, regardless of how big or small they are? Use this study and Noelle’s story to increase my faith and therefore increase my trust in You – my Sovereign and Righteous God! Amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Please comment below!

Do You KNOW Him? If you want to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, visit this Link: Encouragement Extreme

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

1 Comment

"Have you ever found yourself beyond your limits because you are caring for others?"

Yes, Yes, Yes. This is so me. I want to help everyone I can and often forget to help myself. Taking on to many responsibilities or commitments only leads me away from God in the end. Once I complete them all I am tired, worn out and often not in a great mood. Where does that leave time for my family, friends and God himself? This is a lesson I have had to work on over the past year and still have to work on everyday. Saying no does not feel good to me, but it helps me in the end. Those around me that love me, know my heart and know why I sometimes have to say no.

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.