My Side of the Story – Part 26

To start at the beginning of the story, click here.


A day or two after I was fully awake, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday following the surgery, my brother called to see if I’d like him to play his guitar for me. He said he’d hop on over to the hospital on his lunch break. I gladly said yes.

A little background on my family: while I wouldn’t call us a “music family,” my family definitely appreciates music. My mom can play just about any instrument: drums, xylophone (no joke!), accordion, wind instruments, piano, etc. Growing up, her school system offered music lessons during the summer, so she took every instrument she could. Isn’t that a neat idea?!? It is so good for your brain to learn new things, and music is a beautiful thing to learn. My mom continues to play the piano and flute wonderfully. It’s because of her love of music and desire for us to appreciate it that she made me and all of my siblings take piano lessons.

My brother, Luke, forged through his mandatory piano lessons begrudgingly, but when he got into the guitar in his teens, he was hooked. Guitar and music in general became a passion for him. One summer he worked at a youth camp, and he had his guitar with him so much he was dubbed the “Roving Minstrel.”

My brother and I also have led worship together at church and at our high school at various times so this request to come play for me was quite welcomed. I love to listen to my mom and brother play music. I also love to listen to my sisters sing. So maybe we are a music family…

The hospital staff was trying to keep my mood up, they would invite me to look out the window or watch TV to keep me occupied. However, it was snowing outside all day long, and if you know me snow and TV are not two of my favorite things. A live concert on the other hand, was the perfect remedy!

One of the first, if not the first, song my brother played was “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin. I would love to describe the deep thankfulness and praise that welled in my heart as my brother played this song. I’m not a good enough writer to accurately describe it for you, but here is what was impressed on my heart.

 My God, who created the whole universe, and who has many more important matters and people to attend to, chose to spare me. He chose to heal a little girl who lies, covets, gets angry, and hurts other people. I can think of so many more deserving people to save, yet he chose me.

Even though the only movement I can manage at this time is to raise my right arm, God is so great and so good. Even if I never walk again, never able to care for myself, even if I can’t sit up on my own again, God is worthy of all my praise. He deserves all I can give him and even that wouldn’t thank him enough for allowing me to live through the surgery.

God is so, so great. Even if he hadn’t spared me, he would still be so great.


“How Great Is Our God”

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

This is one of a few times that I felt God’s presence right next to me, and it is, in my opinion, the very truest worship experience I’ve ever had.

I choked up quite bad before my brother finished the song, and I asked him to move to another song because I was still thinking I wasn’t allowed to cry. Prior to the removal of the AVM, I was discouraged from doing anything that could raise my blood pressure to crying was off limits.

I wish I could have vocalized then what was going on internally. “How great is our God!” I hope that when people see me, they see how great God is.


Next: My Side of the Story – Part 27

5 thoughts on “My Side of the Story – Part 26

  1. Love you and so glad you are alive to tell about it (better memory than mine too)! Now that song is stuck in my head. Not all bad, I guess. 🙂

  2. Betsey says:

    I love hearing your heart through all of this. While God very obviously protected your body, I hadn’t realized how much He had protected your heart as well – no bitterness, just thanks and praise. You worded your thoughts VERY well, in my opinion. What a way to view your experience – with gratitude, because God could have chosen to save someone else. Thanks for this perspective, Em! I’m still learning from you, big sis.

  3. MOM says:

    Elyse says:
    “1: Emily, you do not enjoy listening to me sing. I am the only person in this family that cannot do anything musically.
    2: That thing about Luke sounds exactly like Zachary. We call his guitar his “security guitar” because he takes it everywhere.
    3: Loveyoubye!”

  4. Ken Blum says:

    I am a part of the church that Luke is also of. It is a blessing to have music and to worship in music every Sunday morning. Your words describe a great thing and tell a wonderful story.
    I believe that one of God’s great graces He has given is music. Worship through music is a very special time. To me there is a spiritual harmony that occurs and if you can hear it in your heart it moves you (me) into the presence of God. Words really can’t describe something so pure. I believe it is one of His infinite ways He has given to experience Him more. Thank you for sharing your awesome experience and your faith in a Great God. Luke and Lacy are much appreciated.

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