As Christians, we started with prayer, asking God to make it clear to us when, where, and how to proceed with everything that accompanies such a weighty diagnosis.
In the past couple years, I have been so keenly aware of how much God loves me that it has changed me. If you'd known me four years ago, you would've characterized me as an anxious, fearful person. Uptight. Nervous. Unable to really relax. Sometimes had bouts with insomnia for inexplicable reasons.
While I've been a child of God for 39 years, and known that He loved me, I didn't feel loved for most of my adult life. My perception was faulty--and I had done an awful lot of navel-gazing and rehearsing my sins and trying to measure up. I was convinced that somehow my performance affected His love toward me. It was a lie I gave into.
What does that have to do with my husband's heart surgery? Everything.
Because if I didn't truly believe that I could trust that God loved me no matter what, I couldn't believe that I could trust Him. You can't really believe that someone has your best interest at heart if you aren't sure if they love you. And if you're not sure of that, it causes tremendous fear. You start thinking that you have to have all the answers, and you've got to plan for every possible outcome, and you just never rest inside. You have no peace when you believe everything depends on you.
Outwardly I wouldn't have admitted that was my mindset, and I actually didn't realize I was functioning on that belief until three years ago. But it affected my whole life. It certainly colored my prayer life.
I only say that to say I didn't understand another verse:"Perfect love casts out fear." My take on that is that believing His love for me is perfect because He's perfect and he delights in me the way happy parents delight in their children. We love our children because we love them because we love them.
Same with my Heavenly Father. He loves me because He loves me because He loves me.
Utterly convinced that His perfect love is deep inside me and above and beneath and all around me, I could not be afraid. His perfect love is like that for my husband and children as well. I was not afraid. Concerned, yes. Afraid, no.
Perfect love casts out fear.