It’s hard to explain the emotions I’ve experienced following my heart attack. During the event itself, I never feared the outcome, but was confident that they would take me to the cath lab, open up any blocked arteries, and I’d be on my way, back to normal in a few weeks. But, when they told me my one blocked artery had collapsed when they tried to open it, and the procedure failed, I was taken back. That, plus learnning my heart was damaged, was not what I was expecting to hear at all. That’s when fear began to set in.

There were too many questions.. The first question was answered quickly: no, open heart surgery is not indicated. The recovery through the use of medicine and lifestyle changes was about the same as surgery. It made no sense to “crack open my chest” (as the doctor put it), and have to deal with all the ramifications of that procedure.. But many of my other questions were unanswered. Because my artery was blocked and my heart was damaged, did that make me a prime candidate for another heart attack? How was this going to affect me in the short haul? How about, in the long run? How long will I have to be out of work? Or, will I even be able to go back to work? How will we survive without me working for an extended period?

WHAT ABOUT MARSHA? She’s already been delayed in her recovery from knee replacement surgery and the fall that she experience nearing the end of the PT. I was her caregiver. Will this further delay her recovery time because she’s having to do for herself what I’d been doing for her? Plus, now that she’s having to do for me what I’d done for myself, how will that affect her? Will I ever, really, be back to normal. What if I don’t recover, and become an invalid. Or, what if I DIE, and leave Marsha to grieve and have to go on alone?

That last one was a MAJOR concern. I’m not afraid to die. After all, I’d be with Jesus. What could possibly be better for me than that? But I didn’t want Marsha to have to go through the death of her husband, or the kids and grandkids, either. Besides, I’m hoping that our sons will want to just be “Dad”, and walk their daughters down the aisle on their wedding days, and I have the honor of performing the ceremonies. In spite of all of these questions, I have not found myself experiencing a wide range of emotions.

Fear continues to try to come against me, but I remind myself that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.” And, “The peace of God that passes all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” “…taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ.” “By His stripes you are healed.” “Who pardons all our iniquities and heals all our diseases.” And, this morning, in my devotional reading, “He who has begin a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Knowing that God’s not done with me yet–I still have work to do–I have the assurance that until that work is done I’m still here. Praise Go!

About Pastor Jim Dixon

Jim Dixon is a husband, father, grandfather, pastor, missionary and with his wife, Marsha, an author. Jim and Marsha are founders of God's Blueprint for Marriage, a ministry based on the experiences they had during reconciliation and restoration of their tumultuous marriage that would have ended in divorce, had it not been for God's intervention. Their marriage workshop called, not surprisingly, "God's Blueprint for Marriage" shares details of their failing marriage and, more importantly, the lessons they learned during the restoration process. Their book, "God's Blueprint for Marriage", is available through their web site, Jim is Missions and Small Groups Pastor at their church, Word of Life Fellowship. He and Marsha have a strong ministry presence in Peru, where he is a leader in the Evangelical Church of Christ of Peru, a Peruvian denomination. And Marsha is founder of Mujeres de Valor (Women of Worth), a ministry helping women in Peru find their place in service to God. They also work with Victory Bible College-Peru and Victory Fellowship of Ministries, organizations dedicated to training and supporting pastors and church leaders in that nation. Their two sons, Michael and Jeffrey, are also in ministry, Jeffrey full time as Youth Pastor of their church. Additionally they have a number of "adopted" sons and daughters, many of whom are in ministry as well. Jim is a professional storm chaser. You can hear him during severe weather in NW Arkansas on 40/29.
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