ln February 1996 the Got a Minute for Your Family? syndicated radio program was airing on 130 outlets across the country. In addition to producing this radio program, I was heavily immersed in my writing, and almost every weekend I had speaking appointments. The writing and speaking brought in the necessary funds to keep the radio program on the air.
Then on the icy, cold night of February 8, my 59-year-old husband, Jan, had a massive stroke. Nothing could have been more shocking. Jan had been the specimen of health, except for a heart defect that caused an irregular heartbeat—and threw a clot.
At that moment, 7:20 p.m., life as I had known it for the past five years just stopped. I cradled my husband in my arms as we waited for the ambulance, wondering what would happen to us. Later that night I left him in ICU and returned to a cold house and lonely bed, where I tossed and turned until dawn. Then, as the sun began to poke through the fog, I left the house and my desk piled with unfinished work, and I didn’t return home again for a week.
I’ll never forget the awful empty feeling when I learned that the damage was severe and that there was little hope. Jan had lost all left-side movement, and there was evidence of difficulty with spatial perceptions, time, and analytic thinking; and he had attention deficit. The doctor advised that he should apply for permanent disability.
That next week I spent my nights on a hospital cot next to his bed. When he was restless, I pushed the tubes out of the way and crawled in beside him to cuddle or read to him. My only thought was “What can I do to help Jan recover his normal functions?”
The Lord was merciful. That week we experienced a miracle. Much of Jan’s left-side functions returned.
Doubtless, Jan’s previous healthy lifestyle was a contributing factor, but still the cardiologist was amazed at his incredible recovery. The neurologist used the word “luck” when explaining how the clot must have rapidly disintegrated. The radiologist said, “The human brain has incredible potential, but this was certainly an act of God.”
I canceled most of my speaking appointments for 1996. Instead, for weeks I chauffeured Jan to physical, speech, and occupational therapy. We traveled to places where he could have the benefit of warm weather and water therapy. In effect, I gave up my ministry.
A year later, Family Matters was in incredibly good shape. Not only was it still alive, but it was thriving. In January 1997 I began taking speaking appointments once again, with Jan now accompanying me. He helped to sell books and supported me with his indomitable optimism. Soon almost every weekend was booked! In the first few months of 1997 ten new books I had either written or edited came off the press, and in just 15 months the radio program had jumped from 130 to 578 outlets.
I’ve learned one thing: If you keep your priorities straight and put God and your family first, God can take care of the rest.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink. . . . Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25, 26, NKJV).
By Kay Kuzma
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