For the past six weeks, our friend Michael Einfeldt has been at Stony Brook Hospital. He was initially admitted because of a bad infection but it was a few other infections that kept him there for so long. The doctors ended up having to remove his shunt and place an external one. Last Friday, he was set to have surgery for his new shunt but that too was cancelled due to another infection.
I drove up to visit Michael this afternoon. And as I rode the elevator up to his 18th floor room, I felt such a heavy sadness. It is so hard when people you love struggle for so long. Many of us have experienced this on some level or another. Sometimes the struggles end suddenly and we are left to try to piece together the brokenness of those tragedies. And other times, the struggles are long. The rollercoaster of the journey seems never-ending and you find yourself just struggling to hold on.
Dear friends, it seems as though Michael’s struggle has been such a long and hard and difficult one. My heart continually grieves not only for him, but also for his family and his many loved ones. Though their faith and strength have helped to carry them through, it’s still so hard at times to know that they are struggling with sadness and pain.
Michael didn’t wake during my visit. So I talked and prayed and read a few verses to him. When I held his hand, for a brief time he held onto mine as well. He made a few soft sounds as I shared updates on church things and how all of his friends were doing. When I told him about Christian turning 13 this weekend, my voice caught because I was overcome with emotions thinking of how much time has gone by since January 8th, 2016, the day of his terrible accident.
To be honest, it’s so hard to even know what to write today. Sometimes in all of this, I don’t feel like I know much of anything, but I do continue to firmly believe that God is with Michael and that He will work what is best. I pray often for his complete healing, but also know that sometimes life doesn’t always go the ways I think it should. I do however know believe that God sees the bigger picture and that He will continue to work on Michael’s behalf and this is what I trust in.
When I was little, I remember learning this song about the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. The end part was the same as the actual verse and said, “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” What stuck in my mind today were the words peace and long-suffering (which is another word for patience). And these are my focus as I continue to pray for Michael and his family. I pray that they will have peace, amidst all of the struggles that Michael is enduring. And even though my mind breaks up the word and tends to focus on the concept that Michael has suffered for so long, I’ll instead focus on it’s true meaning and that is patience, in spite of troubles.
I did have a nice talk with Sally after I got home (she was on her way up when I was driving home). She shared that Michael now has a scheduled surgery for his new shunt this Friday but also that they are working to finalize details.
Thank you for taking time to read this update today. Thank you for keeping Michael in your thoughts and prayers and please continue to pray for all that is best for him and his family.