August 23, 2020

Act With Courage!
Bradenton-Sarasota Online Worship Service
August 23, 2020

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Song: I’ll Be with Thee by Temple De Hirsch Sinia

Testimony by Elder Cliff Danville

Wendy and I have been on quite the journey the last couple of years. Actually, I’ve just been tagging along for the ride. In the summer of 2018, Wendy was shopping at a department store. Remember when we shopped at department stores? Well, she was shopping when she just fell. Fell for no reason. Did not get hurt too bad. And then, she fell again. Now her knee was starting to hurt. So, Wendy went to her doctor who ordered x-rays. The doctor saw some arthritis, but said she did not see anything wrong and sent Wendy to physical therapy. Wendy did not do so well in physical therapy. They said something was wrong and could not help her.

By this time, it is fall and we headed to Florida for the winter. Wendy fell again on our porch. Bruised her hip and side. So, she went to a new doctor here in Florida who wanted to send her physical therapy. Wendy explained that she already failed physical therapy. So, he ordered an MRI. When he received the results, he recommended Wendy to an orthopedic surgeon. It is April of 2019 when the orthopedic surgeon takes an x-ray in his office, looks at it and turns to Wendy and says, ‘You need a new knee. Your bones do not even line up with each other.’ He offered a leg brace to use temporarily that would help keep her bones aligned so she would not fall.

They were ready to set up a surgery date right there. Wendy’s knee was hurting quite a bit now. But, we had a grand-daughter getting married in Michigan in Oct. I was to perform the wedding. We also planned on hosting her wedding shower at our home in August. This knee thing was starting to complicate things. We could not postpone the wedding, so Wendy gritted her teeth and said she would put off the surgery till the fall of 2019 when we returned to Florida. We tentatively planned for a December surgery.

The summer wears on. Wendy’s knee hurting more. Just before the wedding shower, our grand-daughter called the wedding off. Wendy and I thought to ourselves that if we had only known, she could have had the surgery already. But, you know, things just happen this way sometimes.

Upon arriving in Florida, Wendy went to see her orthopedic surgeon. He asked about allergies. Wendy gave him her list of about twenty allergies. He is clicking them off one at a time. He has asked about metal allergies and Wendy has said, ‘None.’ When I interjected, ‘You know you’ve had some reaction to earrings in the past.’ That was a red flag. Now the surgeon wants Wendy to be tested for metal allergies. It will slow things up a couple, maybe three weeks. But, better to have this done than to be putting the wrong thing in and be sorry. At the time Wendy could not believe that this was happening. Why did I not just keep my mouth shut?

It is now December. Wendy goes to the allergist. He wants to put adhesive patches on her back to test for metals. But, Wendy is allergic to the adhesives and breaks out into blisters. The allergist says this is the only way. We are at a standstill. We cannot move forward with the surgery without the metal testing. We are frustrated and wondering what is going on. Lord, why are you doing this to us? And the Spirit gently comes upon me bringing peace and patience, impressing that things are happening the way they are supposed to. This is God’s plan. Everything that has happened has been part of the plan.

Weeks go by. Wendy has been calling allergists to find someone that can perform this test without adhesive patches. In January, Wendy finds a company in Chicago that can perform the metal allergy test through blood samples. Wendy contacts the allergist. He is not so sure about this. Wendy sends him all the information. About three weeks later, the allergist finally agrees to try this out. We have to pay upfront and he will order the tests. Insurance isn’t covering this. The end of February, the blood is drawn and sent out overnight. The allergist should have the results three days later. A week goes by and nothing. We call and there seems to be some confusion about the testing. Someone will get back to us. Another week goes by. We call and get someone who is better equipped. The test results have been held up because the doctor did not sign some form. They are waiting for him to sign it and send it to the testing company. Three days later we finally have the results. Yay! Wendy is allergic to nickel.

It is now March 2020. Covid-19 has been spreading across the nation and we are informed all elective surgeries have been cancelled. And again, I am reminded, be at peace and have patience. We have not been abandoned, this is all God’s plan. Please understand, that I do not understand how Covid-19 is God’s plan.

We got a call early in May that they were scheduling surgeries. May 25th. I realized after we hung up that May 25th was Memorial Day. So, I knew there would be some adjustment. May 25th turned into May 28th. The surgery went smoothly. Wendy came home the next day.

On our way home from the hospital after the surgery, Jo Fenn-Martin called and offered her ice machine for Wendy’s knee. I said, ‘No, we had reusable ice packs and I could not leave Wendy to get it at this time.’ But, it kept nagging me. We were supposed to be putting ice on Wendy’s knee for a half hour on, a half hour off. I finally relented in the evening. I called Jo and got my daughter to come over and sit with Wendy. I picked up the ice machine at 9 in the evening. It turned into such a blessing. The first night was an exercise in sleep deprivation for me. Waking up every half hour and remembering when to give meds was challenging. We found a Christmas light timer that allowed you to turn lights on or off every half hour. Hooked the ice machine to it and voila! The second night I turned that on and just had to set my alarm for meds. I do not believe that surgeons honestly believe that ice is going to be changed every half hour. But, I believe that because I was able to keep to the schedule, Wendy had minimal swelling after the surgery.

I learned that in our lives, God is with us in the struggle. Just because things are not going the way we would like them to, does not mean they are not going the way they are supposed to. I learned that I do not have to understand the plan, but I can put my trust in it, because it is God’s plan. Because of that trust, I can move forward without fear. I can move forward with courage, knowing that He has control of our lives.

By the way, because of her allergy to nickel, Wendy has a gold knee. It was the only metal that they could guarantee had no nickel in it.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Ministry of Music: Lift Me Up by Melanie Brooke

(Used by permission of the songwriter/artist.)

Sending Forth

Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Friend, thank you for being ever present with us, thank you for the love you’ve shown us. There is so much fear and unrest in the world. Grant us the courage to be your presence of peace, love, joy, and hope in a world that has forgotten who you are. Amen

This service was prepared by Cliff and Wendy Danville.