This Hymn has brought me great comfort from childhood till now. It was the hymn of consolation my parents sang in difficult times. There were many such times, growing up in a family of 15 children (Yes. From the same parents). It was the hymn chosen to be sung at both my parents’ funerals, which left me with a lump in my throat for many years after, whenever it was sung at a funeral.
It was the hymn my husband sang to me when I was suffering from extreme pain from my yet un-diagnosed double hernia. And it has been the hymn that has been playing in my head often these days, because of my circumstances.
We have been going through some difficult times with relocating to Canada after Tim graduated from Seminary in Pittsburgh. First, my dental issues have spun out of control since moving back to Canada.
A bridge which had been installed in my mouth just before leaving Pittsburgh, broke a few days after we got here in November. Next, my back flared up for 3 weeks after just one night of sleeping on a terrible mattress. It took many trips to the Chiropractor to help that condition. And now, the bridge replacement saga continues.
This all started in July 2017, with the need for a root canal on a molar. The ring used to isolate the molar, loosened the 2-unit bridge which abutted the molar. By February 2018, the bridge, which was fixed to the premolar, was unstable enough to result in a root canal for the premolar also. My original bridge had lasted me well over 12 years.
Nine months and many hundreds of dollars later, a bridge was installed but it was ill-fitting and had to be redone. The replacement bridge (bridge #2) which was installed just before we left Pittsburgh, broke just as we arrived in Canada. I was given a date in late November to come in for an assessment. This resulted in 2 assessments and 1 surgery in the same week, followed by a post-op visit to remove stitches 2 weeks later. This surgery was just part 1 of 2.
Now it should be a straightforward thing for us to just show our passports and cross the border to conduct legitimate business, shouldn’t it? But no! Not so straightforward for us.
On the last occasion to have part 2 of dental surgery on Tuesday January 8, (which had to happen before replacing the bridge) a dedicated, but a little too enthusiastic, letter-of-the-law border guard decided to give us a hard time getting in to the US.
He eventually had us ‘paroled’ in so I could have the surgery based on ‘humanitarian grounds’. I informed him that I would have to go back in 2 weeks to have stitches removed. He said there was ‘no guarantee’ we would be let in at that time.
So, I sat in the dentist chair in Pittsburgh, and explained our situation to him. His boss CANCELLED my surgery on the grounds that unless I could guarantee that I could come back and see them in a week or 2 after surgery, they cannot do the surgery. It is a case of liability in case of infection.
I have been given a letter from the dentist indicating that I am in active dental care and I need to be given safe passage to Pittsburgh. And so I wait… for a bridge that has already been paid for, for another trip to the border at the end of January, for surgery on January 31st and a post op on February 18th.
In the meantime, I work and pray. I have research to be done, a course to complete and classes to record. I had set up one of our rooms in Pittsburgh as a recording studio for recording my lessons. In our current living situation, I have less than perfect conditions for recording my lessons and finishing my course.
My Heavenly Father, Who owns all things (Yes. Even your resources), has chosen to bless me with an expensive, portable, sound-absorbing system which was no longer useful to its owner. And THAT, My Friend, is why I have ‘peace like a river’, and can sing with Horatio Spafford, ‘It is well with my soul’.