“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ’plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13

They say “Man proposes, God disposes.” The truth of it is that man cannot even plan, propose… We simply don’t see our circumstances, and we really don’t know what would be best for us. Only God knows! We had been planning and organizing the next surgeries for the spring-summer period: removing the metal plate from Vince’s hip, urological surgery, decannulation (the removal of the tracheostomy tube for good). It’s too much even to write down, let alone to plan and execute. Others get this many surgeries in a lifetime. For three months we were corresponding, waiting patiently, and then for another month, waiting impatiently. Finally in April we received news that the following week we could go to Hamburg for Vince’s laryngeal surgery. In one weekend we packed and booked our flight, and suddenly we found ourselves in the hospital. The surgery began, half an hour passed, and we saw that the nurse was already heading for Vince to the operating room. They had already finished. Vince was completely perked up, I couldn’t see any side effects of the anesthesia, as if he had only taken a little nap. We then waited for the doctor, dreading to find out why they didn’t operate. Was there an even bigger problem than they had anticipated? But I stopped my worrying thoughts and I wondered instead what God was calling me for.

There was a miracle again! There was no need for surgery, the growth on the larynx had retracted. I understand now, God! This is why it was so difficult to get an appointment, because You already knew this trip was unnecessary!

Then less than a month later we find ourselves in Philadelphia. Metal plate removal after the hip surgery and urological surgery under one anesthesia. Two doctors work side by side, the combination surgery lasts 8 hours. We spend one night in the ICU, and we are allowed to leave the hospital the following day. Vince has no pain, he can sit up on the way home, and his most important discussion topic (telling us through his tablet) is that he definitely wants to play Monopoly.

Time stands still in the taxi. I ponder God’s unsearchable ways… The day before yesterday I had my birthday, and I got a gift to play five minutes of ping-pong in the park that brought back some happy childhood memories. Yesterday I sat through an 8-hour combined surgery with two doctors. And today, as if nothing’s happened, Vince is asking me to play board games. My body is weary, because these events did happen, but my spirit is so free. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. We are truly limited by space and time. But God soars as He creates, and even now He is working to shower us with blessing after blessing. If I could count the amount goodness He has shown us…

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” Psalms 40:5

In July we are going to get on the road again because of the decannulation. We have been waiting for this for 8 years, for Vince to be able to live without his trach. But we accept God’s plan, no matter what it is! If you can, please pray for us. Thank you!

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

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How long? Did the surgery really take 8 hours? How did you manage?
• I know it sounds strange, but there was great peace in my heart. My husband and I sat quietly at the window of the hospital room; then we talked a little, we leaned back and we enjoyed the sunshine on our faces with our eyes closed. Then we leaned forward and we held each other’s hands. Then when I felt that my own thoughts tried to take control and would start a crazy rush in my head, I asked my husband if I could read from the Bible out loud. He said yes. I read from the Gospel of John. I read and read and read, and the hours flew by. Then my voice failed me, my eyes teared up, because I found the Word I had been searching for in my heart that very morning… It was this one:

“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” John 21:18