As most of you know from my Instagram post below, that was a day no one plans in their weekly schedule. It was easily the hardest day to this point of my life.

I will never forget standing outside the emergency room at 5 AM and sipping coffee, having already been there for 3 hours. My mind and body were functioning, but I knew my emotions had not yet caught up with me.

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At about 2:40am this morning my wife, Hayley, went into the bathroom. I was sleeping. She typically goes to the bathroom around that time and it doesnโ€™t wake me up. But I heard her fall down. She passed out, and I couldnโ€™t get her back awake for about a minute. I checked her pulse, and moved her out of the bathroom and laid her on her side. I mentally began preparing for my action steps and training with CPR. Honestly, I thought I was losing my wife in that moment. Time slowed down. And then she came to, but not fully there. She kept saying that she was not okay. I woke the kids up, and we took her to the ER. I texted a group of close friends to ask them to pray. One of those friends, @felipezamora came to the hospital to get the kids at 3:56am. With COVID precautions only one person could be back with my wife, so without Felipe stepping up to take the kids, I would have been in a pickle. The nurses and doctor checked my wife and quickly did a CT scan, and they found that she has, pericardial effusion. This is fluid around the heart. We are waiting to see what they are going to do, and what caused it, but they need the fluid to drain. They are going to admit her to a regular room in the hospital for 3 days from this ER room. They have to make sure the fluid doesnโ€™t increase and collapse the heart. I will update soon, but please pray for my wife. Pray that the fluid drains quickly, that her heart continues to work with strength, and that our kids have peace during this time as well. Thank you. Love you guys.

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As I began emotionally processing everything and preparing a text message update for our family, the ER medical team rushed into a room a few rooms down from me responding to a critical patient. I stood there. Listening. Praying. Drinking my coffee. Observing how fragile human life truly is.

My life leading up to this morning was focused on planning for growth and mentally preparing to succeed at the challenges ahead this week with my family, my career, and in my community. But one moment changed my plans and my perspective. One moment reminded me how every breath is truly a gift, and that gift has a shelf life.

In moments like those, only a few things truly matter. As I am writing this blog in the hospital room, looking at a wife who is still sick, I am not sure how this recovery process will go. But I feel an urgency in my heart to share these few lessons with you, to invite you into this moment with me in a serious way. A moment where we are all reminded of our mortality and what truly matters in this life. A moment where our confidence doesnโ€™t depend on the strength of our plans for tomorrow, but an assurance in the strength of the One who holds our next moments in His hands.

  1. When we go through pain out of our control, we are abruptly reminded of our need for the prayers of others outside of our situation. My soul is fatigued, my body is fatigued, and I don’t have the typical desire I have to pray. I feel weak. In this moment, it is incredible to know that people outside of this hospital room are praying for my wife’s healing and for my family’s well being. I hope we can all learn to become more dependent on the prayers of the people around us more frequently, and not just in times of hardships.

  2. When hardships hit, we are reminded how insignificant some of our differences truly are. As I made the post on social media sharing what happened and asking for prayer, my soul was enriched to see how many people with different political and theological views than me are praying for my wife and loving my family. It has blessed my soul more than I can put into words. So, first off, thank you, and second, it challenged me to commit to truly love my neighbor with more passion than ever before. I believe love will conquer our feelings about our indifferences.

  3. True friendships don’t care about your filters and likes, they care about your needs and emotions. This one is easy to write, but honestly it makes me feel very uncomfortable to live out. I like hiding behind filters and likes. Embarrassing to say, right? Well, it’s true. And I am realizing how I need to work on that. This moment has taught me that friendships are actually very uncomfortable. They happen sometimes when your breath stinks, when you haven’t put deodorant on, when you look exhausted, and when you can’t control the tears from rolling down your face. True friendships are better than any “comfort” we think we can find hiding behind the filters and likes.

  4. Community needs to be built before the storm, not during the storm. If you’re like me, you think something like this: “I’ll make time to grow in community when my schedule frees up.” Please, don’t listen to that thought. You will always find an excuse to not walk into community. It’s in community that you will find friends, and like I said in the previous post, friendships are uncomfortable. Our mind wants to find excuses to not take that step. Our mind wants to be comfortable. But let me tell youโ€”take that step. If you’re a man, let me personally invite you into the Gibborim Community. Just search Gibborim in any App Store and join over 1,250 men from around the world that will love you without filters and likes. They will pray for you and encourage you. They won’t expect you to be perfect, but they will challenge you be the best you. They will also encourage you to not sit down and give up when the hard times hit. They will truly love you. The Gibborim brotherhood showed that to me during this time, and I will never forget it. No matter where you’re at, make an excuse to get plugged into community. The storms of this life hit us all very hard. And when they hit (not if they hit) you will be grateful that you invested the time into community before that storm made landfall.

  5. “Life is hard, but God is good.” This is one of my favorite quotes from Tony Dungy after he lost his son to suicide. Tony is one of my heroes. He exemplifies the love of Jesus more than most men I’ve seen. He faced the hardest thing a parent can imagine, and he invited us into that moment. He didn’t try to make life sound easy, or that God would take away all of our problems. He shared that this life is hard. And we all know it is. But he also shared that in our darkest times, God is still good. I am learning that, and I can testify to this same thing. Even though this day isn’t as dark for me as that day was for Tony, this is still the hardest time I’ve faced, and I can say that God is good.

I hope this post took you to a special place with me. A place where we can accept that life is hard, that true friendships are uncomfortable, and that nothing is more important than loving like Jesus commanded us to. Loving without strings attached. Loving because we genuinely care about others.

And again, thank you for your prayers and support during this time. It means more than you know. If this encouraged you, click the share button below and share it with your friends and family. Hopefully we can all be reminded of what is truly important during these stressful times of 2020.

Love you guys,