Thursday, February 16, 2012

Personal History

As I am writing this a dear friend, Rob Miller, is undergoing heart surgery. They thought there were 3 blockages to bypass, but the news is that there are up to 6 the surgeons are correcting while they have his chest open. When I learned of the news of his mild heart attack, it caught me at such surprise, I felt a bit out of wind.

Rob Miller. He is and shall always be an important part of my family history. When I moved to Louisville to begin working after college, Rob was, as he continues to be, the preacher at Gardiner Lane church. I don't quite recall when I met Rob and his wife Lynn, but soon after I had settled into Gardiner Lane as my church family, I have memories of being invited to their home for dinner, going out after church for meals. It was not long before I was fully in love with their family, including their children Taylor and Logan, who at the time were very young. I found myself spending more and more time at their home, enjoying their company and soon feeling like just part of the family.

Rob was like an older brother to me. He was protective and encouraging and honestly, he spoiled me rotten. His generosity is like none I have ever known. He gives of himself, his time and his money with such generosity, it is hard to know how to receive at times. When Nate and I began to date and became engaged, he offered a marriage class and then volunteered to do our pre-marital counseling.

Rob supported our relationship and helped us to build it up as we prepared for our marriage, charging us with the task of talking out all manner of things, we left to our own devices would not have thought to talk about. He ministered to us individually and as a couple and when he then pronounced us husband and wife, it felt only natural that it was he who would be forever linked to our marriage, by his signature on our license, but more importantly as focusing our thoughts on what our marriage would be.

Just after our marriage, Rob knew Nathan and I wanted to buy a house. He had a house in his charge where his mother and aunt had lived. He approached us, shared a plan for us to own our own home. He again ministered to us, encouraging us to think through what we could afford, what we needed, and then again with great generosity offered us a plan to purchase our very first home with his help. Once again, Rob was a fixture in our purchasing our first home. Conveniently, he and his family lived just around the corner and it would allow us to spend a lot of time with them.

When Nathan and I found out we were pregnant with Noah, Rob again was a support for us. When I went into labor, the first person at the hospital was Rob and he sat with us while we waited for a room to open for me. He kept me entertained when I really was scared out of my mind. Just his presence with us helped me. Just like that big brother I had never had, he seemed to make the world a better place for me. The week after I had Noah, I needed to take him to the doctor, but could not drive because I had an epidural. Rob came and picked me and Noah up and took us to the doctor's office. As I took Noah back to the room for his exam, Rob was questioned if he was the grandfather, Rob is only 14 years older than me. When I came out with Noah, he met me so tickled by this conversation. I heard him tell that story over and over, each time with more laughter.

Whenever I needed anything, I could call Rob and he would come and help. When I was scared, he came to comfort. When I was sick, he came to mow grass or bring food. When Nate and I were in trouble, he would minister to us and would help us through difficult conversations.

When Nathan was offered a job and we knew we were to move, the people I dreaded telling the most were Rob and Lynn. Nathan and I knew we would miss them of all our friends the most, for they were more family than friends. I asked them to meet me for lunch and I broke the news to them. I will never forget the disappointment and hurt in their faces that contrasted the words of support they spoke. I knew we were letting them down by moving on. It hurts my heart to think that any action we would do would bring them hurt or sadness.

It has been 9 years since we moved from Louisville. As time and distance tend to do, we don't share the same closeness, the same easy relationship that we once shared. It is among my life disappointments that what needed to be done for our family required us to be at a distance from Rob and Lynn. There is never a time I don't hold them in my heart. Rob will forever be my big brother, a vital part of my personal history.

So today as he undergoes this surgery, I find myself more prayerful than I tend to be. I pray for his health and recovery because I know I was not special in the attentions he gave. That was Rob, he offered all that he offered me to most he came into contact with. The world is a better place because Rob is in it and personal histories are being made with him as a pillar in them.

Noah and I plan to travel to visit with Rob tomorrow and my heart yearns to see him ok, to give him a hug and to share with him just how much I love him. I wish only it did not take a medical emergency to bring to my remembrance the importance of sharing the love and the thankfulness I have for him and his family.

Dear God in Heaven,
Please be with my dear friend Rob as he continues to be in surgery. Heal him Lord, bring him through this surgery. Help me and all those who have been ministered to by Rob, return that service with love and thankfulness. Lord I trust in You,
Because of Jesus,

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