Christmas Eve, Part 2

McFall Christmas in the Covid woods: Day 7: I posted earlier a really wordy, poetic post, so this one may be more information-centered. But I’ve been more emotional this evening, so no promises. Jordan is stalled out in his process. He feels awful, but he keeps chugging along, taking care of everyone. I know this is the hardest on him, and it breaks my heart to not be able to help more. Pray for him, so much, please. He’s such a trooper, but he’s suffering.

I hit scared today and stayed there. It’s clear that previous medical trauma is making it difficult to make the call regarding hospitalization. Any normal human probably would have called it by now, but it is so complex. I know that my chances are better at home. I also am equipped to monitor vitals and have supplemental oxygen available.

As a medically fragile individual with so many complications, a false move in the hospital (like using regular saline for fluids) could fully collapse a lung or trigger total anaphylaxis. (It has happened). So we keep watch and walk the line.

I’m tired, weary, and fighting the anxiety that comes with the scary Covid symptoms, and as we watched our church’s Christmas Eve service online(Goddard United Methodist Church), I wept the entire time. The ache of being incredibly ill this Christmas definitely hit my heart today. The crushing weight of the pain and agony of this illness pushed in with intensity.

But Lily and I held each other close as tears spilled down my cheekbones into my ears, and I realized too that this is a sacred holy part of Christmas Eve (the part I wrote about earlier today).

Pray for wisdom for us to know when is time to turn over care to the hospital. Above that, pray for a clear and permanent turn for the better for both Jordan and me. For those who want numbers, my oxygen level without O2 support is hovering between 80 and 90. We have the home oxygen running at 5+ liters. It goes technically up to 5 but you can turn it up slightly higher. Oddly, my lungs don’t feel terrible, so that provides some peace of mind as well.

All-in-all, it’s been a raw Christmas Eve—really low points, but oh my gosh, the glory beauty is like the reality while the ashes of the Christmas with Covid seem like a strange surreal fake holograph image that hovers over the reality of what we know is something so much greater—the kingdom of heaven.

This is the setting. The real thing is straight up glory. God, give us eyes to see You through the surface image of our pain.

O come, o come, Emmanuel.

The thrill of hope still strikes the broken hearts tonight: maybe even more so than the self-sufficient ones. Keep the prayers coming. The woods seem dark and deep tonight, not so much lovely.

But it’s the Savior’s day: where our incarnate Lord made Himself nothing, broke through, and physically inserted Himself into our mess. He did so in order to permanently dwell in the hearts of those who choose to believe, raising them to life in Him. And we look forward to the day when He ultimately rights all wrongs, wipes away all tears, reverses the curse of sin and death, and brings heaven and earth together under His mighty and glorious reign. Nothing can overshadow that kind of celebration.

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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