Surgery Plus Seven

It’s been a slow, steady climb out of the trauma toward the light of normalcy again.  It’s just over there. I can see it from here, but it still eludes my grasp. Many of you keep asking for an update, so here it is.

It’s still hard to fathom that a week ago today a surgeon cut into my chest and heart to replace a valve that had reached the end of its usefulness. Before surgery he told me I had a fifty/fifty chance of surviving 24 months without surgery and after it that my life expectancy is now what it would have been if I’d never been born with the offending valve.  The marvels of medical science is astounding.

Just remember I’m still in my post-surgical haze so everything is clouded by that. This has not been easy. Dealing with the trauma my body has suffered is unlike anything I’ve been through before. My medical team says the metabolism of my body dealing with all that trauma is like running a marathon every day for about two weeks. I can’t imagine that since I feel so lethargic and unfocused, but I’ll be glad when those two weeks are up.  That said, I notice every day that things are improving, some pain less intense or of less duration. I have a bit more strength to breathe deeper, walk further, or stay awake longer.

Two days after surgery I was released from the hospital to continue my healing at home. It was great to get her, though my world is still pretty small at this point. I’d hoped I’d be able to do some writing or at least some reading in the great expanse of uncommitted time now available to me, but I can’t focus enough to do either.  So instead I am learning  to rest and let this body heal. It’s so weird just sitting around, having the time but not the energy to do things that I love.

I had to return briefly to the hospital yesterday due to a potential complication, but that situation turned out to be a fall concern so I’m still on track. Though the next week is still the most difficult, I get the idea that I won’t be doing much through the end of the year.  I can’t say that God has been overwhelmingly present in all this as some have prayed, but I know he has been there alongside holding me in his presence and the guiding hand behind so many other hands who have touched and inspired me.

One of the great joys in this has been finding an astounding medical team just down the street. When this began I had friends push me toward the best medical care available to me in Southern California for this kind of operation. It turned out that one of the leading surgeons had just been hired away from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by our local hospital to create a new world-class heart-care center in Ventura County. Fortunately I’ve gotten to stay close to home and he and his team have been fabulous. I couldn’t be more grateful for their skill, care and their accessibility.

More than anything I’ve come to appreciate the love of family and friends.  Even though Sara has been dealing with her own medical challenges for the last few months involving some significant back and hip pain she threw herself into the breach to help with my needs and fully supporting me emotionally through this entire process. Even though I knew this surgery was in my future, when it all came down, it did so far quicker than I could process. I was three days from flying to the midwest when informed that surgery needed to be done right now. It all felt so disorienting and yet her calm and caring presence would cut through the options and help me clarify what needed to be done and when. None of those choices i liked, however. (On the positive side, having it so quickly means I’ll fully recover in time for the Israel Tour I have at the end of January.)

My children and grandchildren have been great as well. Offering very welcomed distractions and helping Sara with my needs. I’m so grateful that they wanted to be with me through all of this and I have treasured the extra time I’ve had with all of them and the concern they have demonstrated for me.

I have also appreciated the brief visits of good friends from all over the world. Someone even came by from Tennessee who was in LA on business, and I’ve had others connect by phone or by Skype. You can’t imagine what a delight it is to have someone show up unexpectedly in a long, slow day and bring a spot of sunshine into it.  So if you want to check in don’t be shy.  If I’m not up to it we’ll be honest, but please don’t assume I’m not. Conversation with good friends is incredibly healing and if I can’t take your call, please know that hearing from you still brought a smile to my face.

lindsaybday

One last thing.  Here I am on Monday night with a Lindsay the birthday girl who wanted to celebrate by being with Sara and me. Her family also got me that cute little Panda, named Pepper, to grasp to my wound when In need to cough. Every time I do, I reminded of their love.  It turns out that Lindsay, who initially blamed herself for hurting me because my incident first happened playing soccer with her, is now being credited with potentially saving my life. That incident alerted the doctors to a more immediate surgical response than they had planned.  One said she’d probably saved my life. So Lindsay pulls the hero card when she needs, as when she wants to visit, but cannot due to other needs prods further with: “But didn’t I save his life.”  So incredibly Lindsay and tirelessly cute!

So thanks for all your love and prayers.  I’ve been well-carried through this bump in the road and am so grateful to all of you, many I’ve never met, who walked with me through this ordeal. Please be aware of others around you may need this kind of care and may have far less people who care than I do. Love goes a long way to healing a broken heart, of whatever stripe.

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43 Comments
  1. Roger and Gerri Taylor November 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Wayne: We are running with you down the sideline of your life cheering you on. You truly have a treasured place in Father’s heart. Rest, relax and remain in the Father’s embrace as you heal. You are loved, Brother.

  2. Marietta Huizenga November 17, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Wayne, we’re so thankful for the possibilities you’ve been given through surgery. Praying for a speedy and heartful recovery. Bless you and your family as you heal together. Love much, Steve and Marietta

  3. Dawnna Ammons November 17, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Wayne,

    Thank you for the update. I’ve been praying for your speedy recovery. More importantly, praying that you “relax” in this time of recovery.
    Years ago I had knee replacement surgery and was terrified because I didn’t have family or friends nearby to help me. I am so grateful that Father put it into my 76 year old mother’s heart to risk the 10 hour road trip to come stay with my husband and I for 2 months. We (I) couldn’t have done it without her. Yet the best part was resting in her love and care for me like when I was a child. Even with her own physical limitations she was ever present to love and serve me. I so adore her and appreciate her so much more than I’m sure I did when I was a child. I see her now through different eyes. It turned out to be as sweet for her as it was for me.
    May you too find the sweetness in the eyes and hands of those near and dear to you.

    Sincerely,
    Dawnna

  4. Ron November 17, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for sharing the update, Wayne. Not on Facebook for personal reasons, but was able to read your postings there and glad you are doing better. Ironically enough, I have a friend going through a health challenge as well and also making great strides. It amazes me the resiliency and the will to live that seems to kick in when one is faced with a life-threatening issue. Of course there are times it is best that God brings us home. But knowing you have more time with a loved one, indeed makes it special.

  5. AIM November 17, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I wish u a quick nd peaceful recovery. My daily prayers re incomplete until I remember all that re sick, nd I certainly know it’s been reaching u across the oceans. May the good Lord our Father perfect that which He has begun. Greetings from Nigeria

  6. jennifer kepfer November 17, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Hi Wayne! So thankful you are feeling better and on the road to recovery! I am praying for a quick recovery with no side affects and grace to rest for you and see what our Father has planned for you during this resting time! I bet it is better than you could imagine! I know He works everything out for good even when it looks like something negative, just like you said your granddaughter and you playing soccer saved your life as you became aware of your valve problem! 🙂
    Blessings to you and Sara as you both heal!

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Jennifer. Great to hear from you. It’s amazing what God has done in all of this. We’ve known there was a valve problem all my life, just didn’t know it had gotten so critical Glad to have this behind me. Hope all is well in your world.

  7. Georgia November 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Wayne so grateful for the update. What a lovely picture of you and Sara and your granddaughter. So glad to hear how well you are doing. Hope your recovery is soon and complete. That’s quite the scary situation you found yourself in. Relax into Him (as you tell us), enjoy the rest and get well. Thanks for all you do to encourage so many every day.

  8. Danny Clemmons November 17, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for the update. I am so glad that your surgery went well. Praying that you do much better soon. My wife’s sister had the same surgery in Atlanta a few years ago and is doing well. Her husband had died about a year before she found out that she had any problem. She was being treated for pneumonia and it was congestive heart failure that was bringing her down. The doctor that finally got it right was a prominent surgeon in Atlanta and ended up doing the surgery free of charge. I am so glad and thankful for the God journey podcast and the books you have written and recommended over the years. My wife and I were able to assure her that God wasn’t angry at her and punishing her for anything. The Light of Love showing us the real nature of the Father is more than a comforting feeling. It shines into the recesses of our souls and brings healing and salvation to our very being. Thank you for being one of the voices crying out in a wilderness of religious confusion.

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      How sweet! Thank you. Glad you were able to be such a blessing to your wife’s sister and a more accurate representation of Father’s character.

  9. Sherry and Ray Hoe November 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Wayne, we didn’t know, so very much appreciate your sharing. You and yours will continue to be in our prayers. Now with more then general Blessings (however they still work). Do Rest, Restore, Rejoice!! We Praise The Father for you! Aloha from Hawaii

  10. Joan November 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the update, Wayne. It is good for me to know you are out there in the world…and hopefully for a much longer time now. 😉 joan

  11. Paul McLeod November 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I identify with you pretty much line for line Wayne. You’ll never be the same because your encounter with God at this time in this way brings you to a place in Him previously imponderable and impossible.
    May the Lord bless you and keep you and loved ones.

  12. Michael Salmon November 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Pray that you continue to heal. Thank you for being a faithful pioneer in what God is still bringing about for the believers. Your insights were profound back when not many saw what you were seeing. Your writings have had a profound effect on me. I am wiser and more loving because of them.

  13. Lila November 17, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Caring for a neighbour who’s just come through a three-way bypass and this post has just encouraged me to not give up on him. He has no immediate family in the city. Comes from a Christian burnout background but doesn’t feed the need for God.

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      So awesome! Blessings on you, Lila.

  14. Jonatan Frias November 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks God for his mercy with you and your family.
    And thanks God for his mercy with us, preserving you to continue blessing the church
    I´m praying for you in order His wonderful will be completed in you.

    (sorry for my spanglish)
    Greetings from Mexico

  15. CHERYL HALEY November 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Wonderful news Wayne – we are so grateful you are on the other-side of this crisis and that you are gaining strength day by day. You are dearly loved and treasured. Take the time you need to rest and recover. If you need anything, let us know. Our prayers and support are yours.

    Much love,
    Damion and Cheryl Haley

  16. John Wilks November 17, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Good evening to you Mr jacobsen – My sister is dieing. I haven’t heard from Jesus that a miracle is in the offing, so I don’t want to give the unbelievers, friends and family, false hope. I have have read your book “He Loves Me” twice, and it has changed the way I look and talk to our Lord.
    Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, so sorting my sister’s brain tumour will not be a problem.

    I wish you a continued recovery so that you continue his relevant ministry.

    sincerely: John Wilks

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 17, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      John, thank you for your gracious words and gracious hard at such a painful time for you. I can’t imagine what you both are going through but my heart goes out to you. You are both in his hands, and completely safe there regardless of the outcome. It is so hard when medical science can fix so many things, to have one of those that it is powerless against. My best friend in high school died of a brain tumor when we were 17 and were so convinced God would heal him as a sign to our community. How young and naive we were! I’ve seen God heal some amazing things, and I’ve watched him at others heal us through the very circumstances we hoped to be delivered from. I’m sorry for the situation you are in but with your heart have no doubt Father will be faithful to you throughout and Someday all this will make more sense. I pray God’s wisdom, courage, and comfort be yours in this trying time and wait with you in earnest for that day when we will all see the fullness of his glory in our resurrected bodies. I said a prayer for you and your sister tonight and will in days ahead. Wayne

  17. Tom Shores November 18, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Wayne
    I was just listening to the “Pour some Love into it” podcast and was wondering how your recovery was going.
    Take care ……you are loved by so many listeners.
    I will continue to remember you & Sara in prayer

    Tom

  18. Daniel du Plessis November 18, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Hi Wayne,
    Thank you for your update on your health. I trust God for your complete recovery.
    I would just like to testify that your book, ” He Loves” impacted my life profoundly. I wont bore you with my testimony, because I am a long winded writer; but I would like to share a bit of God’s love and grace towards me, and the confirmation through your book that He sees and cares for the individual greatly. I come from a homosexual back ground. Before salvation I never felt judged by the world, but sadly I cant testify the same for my post salvation experience with Christians and the church. Through God’s grace I never turned back to the Gay lifestyle, but the healing and renewal of my mind process took many years to get me to where I am today; living free as a beloved son of the Farther, established in Grace, and clear understanding of being a co-heir of the New Covenant God cut with Jesus.
    Many years ago I felt God wanted me to write a book on my experiences. He gave me a title and and in my spirit I saw a book cover with a white daisy flower with the title “He loves me, He loves me not – Grace Misunderstood”.
    At the time I did not have a clear understanding of what the book would be about. A few years after that God lead me through a time in which he took me one side, outside of the structured church, and taught me how to hear His voice and speak to Him from my spirit. I needed to get rid of a lot of ” voices” that led me to tremendous confusion in my spirit.
    In this time I felt I needed help, but I had a great awareness to not getting too deep into the wrong books and teachings.
    So I trusted God to help me. One day I felt led to go in to a Christian Bookshop. I went to the shelf of Christian book authors. I stretched my hand out and the first book I pulled out of the shelve was your Book ” He Loves me”. i could not believe my eyes. I was exited but also disappointed at the same time. Disappointed that someone else wrote a book with a similar title I had in my hart. I started to read it but put it down again. Just could not get into it. So I put on my book shelve until the Holy Spirit shows me the right time to read it. Six years after that God was in a process to establish me in Grace through teachings of John Sheasby of Liberated Ministries. In one of his teachings he was sharing something from your book ” He Loves me” . I got so exited because I knew it was time to read you book.
    Through your book I got to understand why I did not want to go back to the Church as institution. I read this book over and over. Understanding more and more, getting answers to so many questions I had.
    I don’t know whether God was just preparing me for your book, or whether I still write my book – with what ever title. Only God can tell; But I would just like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your obedience to God to write that book. It brought me such a lot of freedom.
    May God continue to bless you and your family abundantly.
    Kind Regards,
    Daniel du Plessis.
    Cape Town,
    South Africa

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 18, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Thanks, Daniel. What a story! I love how Father has led you into his life and grace. And don’t let my book discourage you from writing yours. Book titles are not copyrighted and I’m sure your perspective will appeal to others that mine does not. Every word of Father’s love in the world is a gift because they are so many other books who disfigure God as a demanding bully. Thanks for taking the time to write some of your story here. May God’s graciousness continue to flow through you like a living well. Blessings!

      • Daniel du Plessis November 24, 2016 at 6:47 am

        Hi Wayne,
        I feel so blessed and utterly amazed by your response to my email. It is such a great encouragement. Especially considering that you are recovering from op.
        You are a very humble man. What an honor to have received you mail.
        My Prayers for a complete recovery continues. May God bless you and Sara in this time of rest.
        Kind Regards
        Daniel du Plessis

  19. Ruby Neumann November 18, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Wayne:

    After reading through the ocean of comments, its seems hard to post for me. I don’t know what to write. Looks like you have impacted a lot of lives in your time and that is obvious by all the comments on Facebook and on Lifestream sites. I am thinking there are a few if not many people that don’t want to see you go yet. When people make it through something like what you have been through, the comment is often “God isn’t through with you yet!”. I am thinking there are a lot of people that aren’t “through” with you either. I’ve often wondered what the world with do without Wayne Jacobsen. Will there be enough people out there to carry on the message you have been so passionate to share with us? I would like to think there are and you would know that better than me.

    I think I will be one of those people out there that will thank God for giving you another day or more (however long that it) to share the message of God’s love. It is still so needed in every corner of this world. And I am also wanting to be one of those people to continue this message of love in a world that so badly needs it.

    Thanks Wayne!!!

    Ruby from Calmar, Alberta

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 18, 2016 at 7:42 am

      The world would do just fine without Wayne Jacobsen. It did for a few thousands of years before and will do fine after. I hope the message I put in the world captures the breath of his Spirit and if so then it is being also spoken in hundreds of thousands of ways by others who are tuning to that reality as well. I hear his heart everywhere drifting among the winds of culture. Yes, too many miss it because they fear or love the results of the last election, or because they listen to “pop” or religious cultures that have precious little insight as to who he is. But that wind continues to sweep the world and will until the new age begins and then there will no longer be cacophonous voices drawing our hearts away from him, but a song so rich, so warm, so inviting that our heart will be captured by ever-expanding ecstasies in him.

  20. David Fredrickson November 18, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Just found out about your surgery. I’m sorry to have missed the opportunity to pray, but thankful that you are on the mend. I’m confident that the gift you’ve been to my family and friends and so many around the world will continue to bare fruit for many years to come. I pray that this “down” time will be a special blessing for you and Sara.
    With love,
    David

  21. Karin Schaefer November 18, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Wayne
    I want to thank you for this words! They are so honest – this is what’s reaching my heart!
    Blessings and healing for you !
    Greetings from Germany

  22. Ed Parker November 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Wayne,
    Beautiful picture of your granddaughter! We are so glad to hear you are well on your way to recovery. Tamara and I will be praying the next week goes by swiftly and your strength returns at the same pace. Very glad that this surgery is now in your rear view mirror. 🙂

  23. Rose November 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    get well soon loved one!

  24. Bob Ritchie November 18, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    So glad for this update. Thank you, Wayne, for finding the energy to share it. Loli sends her greetings, too. We love you and Sara and our level of communication has nothing to do with how much we think about you, and talk about you, and discuss your podcasts, and pray for you, and thank God for you.
    Peace. Grace and peace to you, beloved friend and brother.
    Spain

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 19, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Thanks, Bob! WE had such a great time with you in Spain….

  25. Nan Meyers November 19, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Dearest Wayne,
    I don’t know you personally, but your ministry has touched and shaped my life in profound ways.
    I too have experienced the long, quiet days recovering from major surgery – and I learned so much about rest, and humility, and suspending my constant care for others and allowing others to care for me.
    God bless you and Sarah as you journey toward new, abundant health and blessings.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Nan Meyers

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 20, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Thanks, Nan. Sorry to hear of your surgery. Glad you seem to be getting on from it and learned some wonderful things through it.

  26. Betty November 20, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Reading about how much the love of your granddaughter means to you, I am more and more aware of how much our love means to Father, and our Lord Jesus. I like to think that the joy that was set before Him that caused Him to endure the cross for us is the joy of presenting to Himself a bride that is spotless. Imagine us being His prize for all that incredible suffering! Blows my little mind! Heal well and soon, my brother!

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 20, 2016 at 8:58 am

      And I’ve got another one celebrating a birthday today. When family is good it is such a rich, rich treasure. We get to mine ours almost every day. They and the friends God has given us around the world has made Sara and I rich in the things that matter.

  27. Ray Haakonsen November 20, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Dear brother Wayne.
    You do not know me and ive never communicated with you. However i have been following your teachings and read one of your books “Finding church” within the past 18 months. A friend had recommended i read the book and consider your teachings re church.

    I have been a Christ follower since 1984 following a radical conversion in my early 30’s…dramatic enough for me to write of my life journey 6 years ago at age 55.

    Anyway enough of me. I just wanted to write to encourage you during this time of ‘rest’ God is allowing in this season of your life. Not being able to do the things you enjoy like reading and writing I know can be frustrating, however it is an opportunity to literally just rest, draw close to Him and feel ABBA Father wrap his arms around you and Sara right now.

    May you know His presence in an even more intimate and real way than ever before and may this time make you even stronger physically, emotionally and spiritually than ever before.

    Your writings have touched me deeply and given me much freedom in my walk with Christ and from expectations of ‘being in church’ and i trust in some small way, this letter may encourage you in return.

    I live in South Africa so its unlikely I would ‘pop in’ to visit as we would do here, but please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.

    I have a wife who is struggling acutely with Fibromyalgia and she is trying different methods to help her with this tremendously debilitating condition so i can only imagine how tough it is for yiu both to be struggling physically.

    I thank God for blessings like Lindsay and your panda in your life and trust you will enjoy the many hugs the Father will send you in this time.

    God bless and heal you brother.
    Ray Haakonsen

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 21, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Thank you, Ray. Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated. I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s struggle. Oh for the day when these mortal bodies take on immortality! We may cross paths in South Africa some day. I’ve already been their twice.

  28. LaRue Campbell November 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Hello Wayne. I’m so glad to learn of your improving health although more slowly than you would like. It truly does take time for healing to take place but our bodies are wonderfully made and as you know healing is from God. I pray you’ll soon be up and around as much as you like. GOD IS SO GOOD.

  29. Jennie wilder November 22, 2016 at 5:27 am

    WOW Wayne! I stepped away from all emails and face book for a time and I come back to this!! It looks like you are in great hands! What they can do these days is simply incredible!!! Sending prayers, and hugs your way! (Especially to Sara and your care givers!😄)

    • Wayne Jacobsen November 22, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Hi Jennie. It’s been quite a roller coaster, but it is good to be on the mend. And, yes, what medical science can do these days is so fantastically incredible! And I have had some great people around me, all the way from the medical staff to friends and family that have surrounded me with lots of love.

  30. Cindy Schaeffer November 22, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Dear Wayne,
    I just met up with a dear friend and she asked me if I had heard the news about your surgery. As my husband and I are preparing to join you in Israel, I have to admit I was very surprised to hear that this was happening in your life (no computer /internet). We are excited to hear more about what God has shown you through this as he has drawn you near. All our best for resting in His healing embrace. Thank you, Jesus, for your divine timing, including bringing the medical team together, soccer with Lindsey, each and every person who has been able to visit, and all other things, great and small.
    We’ll continue to hold you in our hearts daily.
    Cindy & Rod Schaeffer

  31. Richard Shifferd November 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Wayne I am do happy that things are coming together so well for you. It is truly a Big deal having a major heart operation. My wife had open heart surgery about 10 yrs. ago to have the mitral valve repaired. We were very fortunate to have a heart surgeon that was trained to do extensive valve repair til there was no hope of the repair working and then would have to replace. He was able to repair so it will last forever without replacement in the future. What a blessing and a releaf. She has done very well and I am fully expecting you will too. We hope to see you in Northern Michigan in the future when you are back to your old self again. Blessings be upon you, and a wonderful healing ahead.
    Rick and Jan Shifferd

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