Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Heart of Jesus

This post perhaps should be called
"Mackenzie and Jesus vs. the Enemy, Round 3"

Since Mackenzie gave her life to the Lord when she was 13 years old, she has had three medical emergencies requiring hospitalization.  Each has been unexpected and inexplicably severe. 

A few weeks ago, Mackenzie again found herself in a dire medical crisis involving great suffering.  Through a bizarre set of circumstances, she hurt her leg badly and then got stuck in the middle of a blizzard that crippled all operations in Tulsa, where she attends college.  It took about 24 hours to figure out how to safely get her to a hospital, expecting her badly swollen leg to be the only issue.  When she arrived at the ER, the physicians said she had developed a life-threatening condition called Rhabdomyolysis.  This occurs when a muscle begins to die, and it produces a protein that cannot be processed by the kidneys.  Mackenzie was in the early stages of renal failure and her urine was charcoal black.  Doctors also said they might have to do emergency surgery to "save her leg."

Over the next two days, her situation was critical and I spent 48 hours in airports trying to get to her.  People all over the world lifted her up in prayer.  When I finally arrived, I found her like this:

Her legs were unable to move and being compressed by the machine at the bottom left of the photo.  (devices from this machine are attached to each of her calves).  This was to maintain her circulation since her right leg was so swollen unable to move.  In addition, she had an indwelling catheter.  She was receiving massive amounts of IV fluids to reverse her kidney dysfunction from the muscle break-down.  She could not leave the bed and was kept comfortable with morphine.  Her vital functions and urine were being monitored hourly and she was submitting to blood tests several times per day, leaving her with both arms badly bruised.
Now keep in mind, this is the girl who has worshipped God thru dance for many years.  The one who plans to live in all the hard places of the planet as a missionary.

The day after I made it to Tulsa, the orthopedist came into Mackenzie's room late one night to tell her the prognosis.  He flatly stated that she would have "permanent loss" to the strength and mobility in her right leg.  He said that part of the muscle had died, and that the dead tissue would be replaced with scar tissue.  He said there was no way to tell right now what her recovery would be.  And then he left. 

It was still snowing in Tulsa and the hospital was operating under emergency conditions.  Sub-zero temperatures had resulted in a broken water main, no running water, no clean laundry.  The hospital room was dark, dirty and depressing.  Mackenzie was on the pediatric unit and sick babies cried around us.  We sat there in the dark in the middle of the night.  I held her hand and we wept while she struggled with the pain and fear.  We got to a very, very dark place of desperation.  And then, we went to Jesus.

There was nothing to do but cry out to Him.  We were so desperate that nothing else seemed possible.  I can't explain it but after a while of praying, it felt like we went right into His heart.  We felt His suffering for us.  We cried out not only for Mackenzie, but for the sick babies all around.  For all the sick babies everywhere.  We asked for them to be healed.  She said to me at one point that night:  "Mom, if I have to be the missionary that makes it around the world in a wheelchair, than that is what it's going to be.  Nothing is going to stop me."  Mackenzie fully surrendered to Christ that night.  She said "my future life is in Your hands."  It was her suffering that brought her fully to His suffering for her.

The next day during physician rounds, the team announced that Mackenzie had made inexplicable, startling progress in her tests overnight, and that she could try walking.  They were going to send in a couple of therapists to see what she could do.  Keep in mind, up to this point she had not moved IN or FROM the bed in days.

Not knowing what they were dealing with (Mackenzie plus Jesus is a powerful force), next thing we knew, she was zipping down the hallway with the speed of a 90-year-old-arthritic.  

Within a few days, she was discharged from the hospital.  Here are the college students who showed up at our hotel room when they learned she was out!  (Mackenzie is actually IN the bed, while they are just ON it.

The next day we were cleared to take her home, and off we went on an 18 hour car ride. 

We had to stop every two hours at some of the WORST gas stations.  At the most scary one, three drug dealers interrupted their negotiations and rushed to open the door as Mackenzie struggled across the parking lot with her walker.  When we got safely into the bathroom, she said "Wow, this walker is a great evangelism tool.  Did you see those guys feeling compassion for the poor crippled girl?  I could do some amazing ministry with this thing."  Yeah, that's my girl. (photo withheld to protect the identity of the hoodlums/future Christians.)

To everyone's astonishment except hers, Mackenzie returned to college yesterday, without a walker or cane.  After two weeks of rest and PT, she wanted to get back to school and "not fall behind in class."  And, she wanted the chance to share what God had done for her.

Last night, wearing the dress she bought previously and some flats purchased since the accident, she bravely attended the homecoming dance at school.  Here she is, smiting Satan yet again. 
 SCORECARD:  Jesus: 3.  Satan: 0.