(If you read the previous blog, then this title will make sense to you. You are receiving this on Wednesday, but these reflections are about the events on Monday and Tuesday.)

Upon sticking with the road to Hana analogy, if our journey would have 617 turns like the road to Hana, on Monday we were at turn 37. Her CPAP trials were progressing well even though all sedation had been turned off. The medical team had one concern; Jasmine wasn’t “waking up” as they had hoped, even though it can take several days or even a week. To not leave any stone unturned, they conducted an EEG and MRI on her brain.

We were encouraged by the progress at turn 37, but at turn 38 we had a head-on collision. It happened so quickly and unexpectedly that I didn’t even see the oncoming truck. On Tuesday, the findings from the MRI and EEG revealed that Jasmine had suffered several strokes causing extensive brain damage. She is not expected to wake up again. While her lungs are showing improvement, the doctors concluded that she will never regain consciousness.

How can this be? What about all our prayers? Doesn’t God know that Jasmine can touch more people for Christ if she lives? She is already touching so many people. And what about the special bond that she has with her 5 granddaughters? They are only 5 years old and under. If she doesn’t make it, they will be so hurt.

We have been praying for the baby steps because medically, recovery is built upon very small steps for someone in her condition. We have witnessed this over the past few days with the improvement of her lungs and have been encouraged. This unexpected news is initially disorienting, like the airbag hitting us in the face in the collision. It is painful!  After overcoming the initial shock and getting reoriented, we have to ask, “What now, God?” As my blurred vision adjusts and I begin to regain clarity, there are two areas to address.

We must now pray for a miracle, literally a miracle! In the Bible, a miracle was more than a mighty work of God. He does that all the time; He is doing that even now in the hearts of people through Jasmine’s illness. When God performs a true miracle, it is physically impossible and instantaneous. That is how we must pray, to instantaneously heal her brain, lungs, heart, and kidneys. That is a medical impossibility.

The other area that I am asking for prayer is for God’s wisdom and strength as I interface with the doctors on deciding how to proceed going forward. Some might disagree and view this manner of prayer as a lack of faith for the miracle. If that is your position, I understand it but respectfully disagree. As I stated in the previous blog,

“Walking by faith does not negate being human. . . . It means having the courage to face those encounters by trusting in a loving, compassionate, and all-powerful God who imparts wisdom and strength to move forward at every turn.”

This was an unexpected turn and I am dependent upon God for His wisdom and strength to move forward. Making decisions to address the medical reality while praying for miraculous healing are not incompatible but it is seeking, desiring, and accepting God’s will in every situation.

We want the miracle! Pray for the miracle! Whether God chooses to demonstrate His miraculous power or not, the path forward is bathed in His mercy. I am willing to travel the remaining 579 turns with Jasmine, but that part of the journey would be extremely long and difficult—physically, mentally, and emotionally, especially for Jasmine. Whether He heals her or not, either way, God is being merciful to no longer require her to have to endure that painful journey. Would He give us the grace for it? Absolutely, but sometimes mercy is preferred over grace.

“If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”  Romans 14:8 (NLT)