I know, I know. It has been ages since my last post, but as the saying goes: “Hurry up and wait.”
As of my last update I was headed back to MEPS on a Tuesday for an x-ray. Well that got changed to a Thursday (fortunately it was the same week and I already had the day off from work). Speaking of work, through this process expect to have a lot of things thrown at you at a short notice. Depending on how soon you can react to these “issues” (such as driving 3 hours away to your closest MEPS at a moments notice) will greatly influence how quickly all these issues get taken care of. Long story short, the doctors at MEPS thought I had kidney stones. So off to testing I went. The x-ray came back immediately – negative, which is a good thing I’m told. The lab work would take 4 to 7 days.
So I returned home to wait it out.
PLANS – EXIT STAGE LEFT
LIFE – ENTERS STAGE RIGHT
Friday night my world was shaken to its core and I was dropped to my knees in the span of about 2 minutes. My mom call.
My dad -
-the man who was my idol,
-everything I wanted to be,
-had a brain tumor.
And not just any brain tumor, – no- because of the perfectionist he is, he had to go and get the mother of all brain tumors. No little pansy job would do, not for this man. GBM level 4 (Basically its doctor talk for ticking time-bomb)
Needless to say we loaded the kids in the car and rushed to North Carolina. And what transpired in those few fateful days will I think forever leave their mark on me, my family and my ministry.
I saw joy.
You read that right, I saw joy. It looks like a man on his deathbed one breath away from eternity and excited at the prospect. There was no fear in this man’s eyes. To be sure there is always some fear of the unknown but that joy overwhelmed us. It took hold of my mother, my sisters, me, it took hold of everyone who would talk to any of us. My Father’s joy became our joy and peace (the kind that passes all understanding to those who don’t know HIM) enveloped us. All those things I ever wanted to say to my father (you know the sentimental mushy stuff men never say to men) I said, I said them all. But above all else the mark of the man that I want to strive for is the fuel that charges my dad. To live for eternity. Oh to be like him in that regard.
We returned home on Wednesday, after seeing my dad through a successful surgery on Monday and I trust he will soon be back to his old self, but as the doctor told us the switch has been flipped and the clock is set at 1 ½ to 2 year. God could yet provide other miracles, but if not, the mark that is left from those few days when the family of God gathered around one of their brothers is forever burned into our minds. Most go to a hospital in fear and trepidation. We went to potentially see someone off. It just so happens that this time his flight was delayed and he would remain a stranger in a strange land for a while longer.
Upon returning home I still had no word from the Navy, 4-7 days turned in 10-15 and finally on Thursday of this past week I was PQ (Physically Qualified) turns out I didn’t have kidney stones after all. Maybe rocks on the brain but stones in the kidneys… come on.
Friday evening I receive a call from my recruiter informing me that my COMDOCS (Commissioning Documents) had been order – making it official.
I am a Naval Chaplain.
I will swear in in the next week or two and provided all goes well I ship in August to Newport, RI to begin the next big adventure in this life ordained for me long before I was a glimmer in the eyes of my father.
Not I, but Christ. For to me to live is Christ, to die gain