My Flesh and My Heart May Fail, But God...

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
-Psalm 73:26, ESV

Psalm 73:25 says, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you." Both verses 25 and 26 resonate the song of my literal and figurative heart; for God alone makes my physical heart beat, and He alone made my figurative heart alive in Christ. Without the LORD I wouldn't have physical or spiritual life...and neither would anyone else.

This past Friday, my Cardiac Electrophysiologist confirmed that I have an uncommon heart arrhythmia called sick sinus syndrome (SSS). What this means is that my heart can no longer keep a steady rhythm because it's "sick".

The short version is that my natural pacemaker (sinus node) is no longer functioning properly so I have bradycardia (heart rate under 60 bpm) which causes me to be very lightheaded, dizzy and weak due to the lack of blood flow to my brain and other parts of my body. I also have moments of tachycardia (heart rate greater than 100 bpm) and ectopic heartbeats (extra heartbeats) from both the atrial and ventricular areas of my heart. Therefore, the only treatment for SSS is a pacemaker to keep my heart rate as high as it needs to be and heart medications to lower my heart rate for when I have bouts of tachycardia.

Finding out at age 46 that I need an artificial pacemaker because my natural pacemaker is "sick" is hard news to accept. Due to my pride, I didn't want to get a pacemaker. I figured with all that the Lord has faithfully endured me through (13 years of brutal persecution; two suicide attempts; raped by a co-worker at age 17; stalked for six years by a neighbor; nearly died giving birth to my firstborn; four hospital admits; grand mal seizure; multiple procedures; countless tests; muscle and liver biopsies; five endoscopies and colonoscopies; sepsis due to gallbladder eruption and emergency surgery to remove it; partial hysterectomy; back and neck surgeries that included 5 artificial disc placements, 16 titanium screws, two titanium rods and one titanium plate; two kidney stone surgeries, oral arthrocentesis, etc.) I could endure this without medical intervention.

Though my body has a low pain tolerance, my Father God has given me a high pain threshold so I know I'm able to endure much pain and discomfort. Knowing this, I decided being lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous (due to the dizziness) and constant fatigue would be my new normal and I was content with that until...until I considered that I could pass out or go into cardiac arrest while driving and injure or kill other people. Though my eternity is secure, I can't be sure that the eternity of a person I might injure or kill is secure and I can't allow my pride to be so thoughtless and reckless with the lives of others around me.

This journey has been a bit of an emotional and spiritual roller coaster. Though I didn't want an artificial pacemaker at age 46, I prayed for God to give wisdom to my doctors and to use them to speak His direction to me regarding my heart condition and treatment. So when I went to my appointment on Friday, I was ready to accept whatever my doctor said. Though I wasn't happy with the news, I was thankful for God's faithfulness and I readily accepted having an artificial pacemaker implanted. Then my doctor's scheduler called yesterday saying his first availability would be a month from now. I was discouraged because I finally came to terms that getting a pacemaker was God's will, and began looking forward to being healed of this infirmity, and now, I had to remain in my condition for another month. But when the Holy Spirit reminded me of the sermon this past Sunday, I was resolved to submit everything and anything to my Father's will. I realized it's the Lord that's doing all the scheduling in my life, whether for this surgery or an outing with friends. So I prayed, and once again, relinquished my will and desire for quick relief for my Father's perfect timing.

Today, as I entered my oral surgeon's office for my one month post-op appointment, I received a call from my Cardiac Electrophysiologist's office saying there was a cancellation for tomorrow and asked if I would be available at such short notice. Of course I said YES! Then I immediately thanked my Father God for His immense mercy and kindness toward me.

When this day began, I continued to pray and ask my Father to help me die to self and live as Christ—in loving submission and obedience to the Father's good and perfect will. I prayed continually, asking Jesus to help me as He promised He would whenever the weakness of my flesh tempts me to sin and seek immediate relief from my trials (Heb 4:15-16). As I prayed early this morning and throughout the day, I listened to "He's Always Been Faithful" by Chelsea Moon and Uncle Daddy. I reminded my heart of my Father's steadfast love and faithfulness to me all the days of my life (Ps 40:11). And though my physical heart is still sick and makes me feel quite weak and ill, my figurative heart—my soul that's been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, united with Him for all eternity, is greatly comforted and filled with awestruck gratitude.

Below are the lyrics to this blessed song that God used today to fill my heart with joy and thanksgiving, in spite of my physical weakness.

"He's Always Been Faithful"

"Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God's hand in mine
Season by season, I watch Him amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of His hand will provide
He's always been faithful to me

"I can't remember one single regret
In serving God only and trusting His hand
I can't remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
All I have need of His hand will provide
He's always been faithful to me

"This is my anthem, and this is my song
The theme of the stories
I've heard for so long
God has been faithful; He will be again
His loving compassion—it knows no end
And all I have need of, His hand will provide

"He's always been faithful
He's always been faithful

"Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be."

I pray that no matter what circumstance you find yourself in today, that you will speak God's truth to your heart rather than listen to the lies of your flesh or the lies of our enemy, Satan. Remember who God is, for the reality of our Father's character will vanquish every lie, every fear and will prove, as always, that God is greater than any pain we'll ever suffer.

Rather than worry...worship.