“Your Faith Will Be Tested” Part 1 (My Journey) by Jared Reeves

*Some graphic descriptions will be written in this entry but not too graphic.

Throwing around the word miracle at every good thing that happens causes a dilution of the awesomeness (another word that is so often used its lost its luster) that occurs when God or His heavenly host intervene. For this blog, I’m going to detail what happened on July the twentieth and the days leading up to it. I witnessed an intervention…

My dad was diagnosed with squamous cell (skin) cancer a couple of months ago. For context, he has by God’s grace overcome skin cancer twice before, though this time was different. After the biopsy the tumor grew very rapidly. He was referred to UMMC at Jackson MS to meet with an ENT doctor and to also be at a facility that was capable of handling anything that may occur. From the time of the referral to the date of the surgery was roughly two weeks. During this time the tumor had begun to bleed. It wasn’t constant but there were a few episodes where my dad lost quite a bit of blood and his mindset of not wanting anyone to worry about him caused him to not be as forthcoming with the amount of blood loss. Truly, he thought he was okay and that it was normal. The doctor’s “resident doctor” asked if it was bleeding or weeping and said that it was normal if so BUT if it persist to go to our local hospital. Our family has many past experiences with the local hospital with some being good and others not so much. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust the local hospital. It was that he trusted his doctor in Jackson and if they were confident that he could survive two more weeks then he certainly was too.

Before I continue, you need to know that we pray often. We thank God often. My dad has devoted decades of his life to the study of Christian doctrine, the Holy Bible and extra biblical works including philosophical works. My dad prayed that he would make it to the surgery date without going to the local hospital and that everything would work out. I was praying for this as well. With each day, though, I found myself praying more frequently and constantly asking others to pray. I have seen prayers answered. I believe in God and I believe He is just and good. I’ve witnessed too much in my life to believe otherwise. God is Good and God exist regardless of my answered prayers. I can say this too… some of my prayers have not been answered in the way I wanted and I simply have to trust that God (who is in fact the most High) knows far beyond my own understanding. Okay, back to it…

A noticeable change had occurred in my dad in the days leading up to the surgery. Each day a little more. Everyday he became more tired, less mobile and less hungry. Wednesday he was too exhausted to walk to my home (his home is directly behind ours and a fairly short walking distance.) Everyday he had lived in his home he would walk over in the morning so we could talk a little before I left for work. Wednesday was the first in years that he had not. I immediately called him and he was so weak that he could barely talk but assured me he was okay. My brother arrived shortly after (I carpool with him since we are employed at the same factory) and immediately went over to our dad’s house. When I walked around my brother had this look on his face that told me he saw something that he was having a hard time processing. When I saw our dad…

In those days, those moments, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata could have played repeatedly and filled every gap of silence that existed or came to be in between thoughts and words. My dad had dried blood all over his face. I studied him for a moment as he sat covered in a knit blanket. He smiled and his green eyes shined. I asked multiple times if he was okay and his response was yes, yes, yes. He said, “I’m just tired and need to rest. Jared, son, I’m okay. The surgery is in two days. I’m okay, I promise. God is going to take care of me.”

I asked him again. I asked him if he would let me call an ambulance or take him to the local emergency room. Again, the same answer almost as if he had rehearsed his response. We weren’t sure how long he had bled but he was certain it wasn’t much and that the bandage had simply slipped…

*You can’t see me but I need you to know this isn’t easy for me to write but I know someone needs to hear this, read this, because of what happened Thursday and especially Friday.

Thursday was better in the sense that he didn’t bleed Wednesday night. He was still weak, sleepy and at this point he hadn’t eaten in two days and was barely drinking any fluids. Thursday evening I dressed his neck/cheek where the tumor had made residence and we talked about a few things. We told each other that we loved each other. I could see that he was nervous. No one can see the future, I know. I also know that God’s ways are above our own. We continued to pray.

Friday morning at 6:00 a.m. was when we decided we would make the two hour drive North. My brother arrived with my Grandmother and Aunt in tow. He decided to go on to dad’s house and see if he was ready… he had bled again.

At six he wasn’t dressed completely. That was another first. My dad was ALWAYS early for any appointments or engagements. I drove the truck around to his house and he was sitting on the porch. Pale, weak and exhausted he sat in the chair on his porch as my brother talked to him. He said he hadn’t slept hardly any the night before but that he was okay. Clearly, he was now, in fact, not okay. His eyes, usually as green as a fresh cut grass, were dim and distant. His face was soft and pale. My brother and I helped him to his feet and helped him down his three steps. He was as wobbly as one year old child learning to walk. After a couple of breaks in a ten foot span and a moment where he looked into the heavens and growled, “Oh, God,” he was successfully in the truck. My Grandmother and Aunt decided to ride along with me to support him as well.

The drive to UMMC hospital was also unforgettable. My dad didn’t seem incoherent and wasn’t babbling at all. His words were slurred and he would trail off as if he was falling asleep but he was making as much sense as any sane person. If fact, he talked most of the way and asked a few times if he was talking too much. When we were about twenty minutes from the hospital he mentioned that he wanted to take a quick nap.

He began saying something and started trailing off until almost in a whisper he said, “your faith will be tested.”

A chill went up my spine and my mind began moving at light speed. The anxiety door and the depression door and the desperation door swung wide open and every thought that could come through was trying to enter at once. Over and over in my mind I’m asking myself, asking God, why would he say that? Why!? Twenty minutes later…

We arrive almost an hour before appointment time and park at the door to the main hospital entrance. I saw my brother drive into the parking garage as I walked around the truck and through the doors to get a wheelchair. A kind woman obliged and came out to assist me. The coming moment is where my faith was tested.

The second part of this entry will be available soon. In it, you will read about Gods mercy and grace.

God Bless and I hope you have enough.



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