My Heart is the narrative of a young mother who was suddenly diagnosed with cardiomyopathy (aka Heart failure) during the birth of her child. She speaks of her journey through the ups and downs of a chronic illness, a journey traveled with the Lord. Julie has a special perspective, as she worked as an RN in the Cardiac PICU for five years before becoming a nurse practitioner.
If you didn’t already know…February is American Heart Month. It was cool to read the book during a month that celebrates those who have survived heart failure, and the families of people who have struggled with it. Working as a cardiac nurse has given me a special concern for people suffering from this disease. As a bedside nurse, I really enjoyed reading the perspective of someone who could very well have been my patient. It was like I was sitting down at a patient’s bedside hearing their story, with all the time in the world to listen.
Julie brought up things that I never had considered a patient might be feeling. For example, after the placement of her implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), Julie prays:
The times when my heart feels a little crazy–beating funny, palpitating, pockets of air trapped in my chest from my ICD surgery, and feeling the metal under my skin. I wonder if an when the ICD will shock me. Will I collapse in front of the kids? Will I be alone…Help me to trust in Your hand on my life. Forgive me for wanting to control the number of days. The number of my days rests in Your hands, not mine (48-49).
For anyone going through a difficult season, this book provides plenty of truth…We are fragile and weak humans, but God is sovereign ???? Our weaknesses may be physical, mental, or social in nature. No matter the type of weakness, it can be used to the glory of God.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I was also reminded me to live each day with thankfulness and enthusiasm! I may not have the diagnosis of a chronic disease, but that does not mean I am entitled to 60+ years on this earth…each day is a gift. Julie relates this to Jesus’ walk on earth:
I want my life to be filled with intentional memory making…Why do I want to press pause? Is it because I live with a chronic illness and because I have been told I am at risk to die suddenly… No. I desire to show them (my children) Jesus. Jesus was an intentional memory maker. Jesus was purposeful in conversation, purposeful in his actions, and purposeful in embracing every moment. He knew the cross was coming.(173-174).
I would recommend this book to any nurse, mother, sister, or someone needing encouragement to power through a trial with Jesus’ power!