A few weeks ago I had a setback with my health. At the time I made a few veiled comments to the church with a promise for more detailed information later. My hope was that I would have complete information before posting today – however there has been quite a few questions, comments and rumors going around Impact! Church. So much so I felt the need to at least update what Denise and I know so far.
Several weeks ago – as I was mowing my lawn – I began to experience shortness of breath and a severe sharp pain where the aneurysm is located. Before I could get inside my house to sit down I passed out. When I came to I was unable to really walk or clear my head. I managed to crawl under a tree – call Denise at work and call an ambulance (thank goodness for Siri). Once at the hospital multiple tests were run – both my primary care doctor and cardiologist came in to see me. They released me later that night with instructions for more tests to follow.
From the test results over the past weeks it has been determined that the aneurysm has grown a little more and that the leaking of the aorta valve has greatly increased. This combined with further lung issues and the Epstein-Barr created the “perfect storm” where my oxygen levels dropped extremely low. They also discovered a calcium build up in my arteries which further complicates the problem. It was again determined – because of the close proximity of the aneurysm to the aorta valve – that surgery is not an option.
Over the past few weeks there have been quite a few conversations with my doctors. Some of the conversations have been disturbing and tense. They have centered around the fact that my lifestyle must dramatically change. Some of that is with diet and light exercise. I’ve been working hard to eat right and walk – losing over 15 pounds in three weeks. However, much of the conversation centered around my work life – in specific my involvement with Impact! Church. It has been no secret that the church has struggled numerically and financially in the past year. As a result I have had to go back to substitute teaching full-time to make ends meet. All the while I have maintained my normal workload as Senior Pastor of Impact! Church. It has taken a tremendous toll on my health – and I cannot continue on this path.
The doctors expect my health to continue to decline and the prognosis is not very promising. Any surgical scenarios come with extreme risks – none of which are available to me at this point. I know that lowering my stress and increasing my rest is essential for maintaining my health. With this in mind, Denise and I know that my involvement with Impact! Church will have to greatly change. We are talking through – and praying through – possible changes in my role at the church. None of us know what this looks like or even if it is possible. Our greatest desire is to work out a plan where I can continue to preach, develop leaders and cast vision at Impact! Church while still following what the doctors have asked me to do.
Please continue to pray for Denise and I. Also pray for the leadership at Impact! Church. I know that God is still on the throne, that He is the God of miracles and that greater things are still to come.