Monday, January 16, 2006

I have another week worth of great, miraculous things to share with you. God continues to bless us, show Himself strong on our behalf, and reveal more miracles in Jonathan’s life. Jonathan began basketball practice again last Monday, after the holiday break. He continues to do very well and works hard to participate as much as he can. His coaches continue to involve him, work with him and push him to work hard. Every time he gets to shoot a basket, his coach gives it to him again and again, until he makes a basket. They are very attentive to him, not too hard on him, but not too soft with him. Once again, God hand picked the perfect coach for Jonathan. It’s amazing how God has been faithful to hand picked all those who have been a significant part of Jonathan’s recovery process. How can we not continue to trust Him for every detail of Jonathan’s healing? We started back to school on Monday as well. We had a good week of school and were able to stay on a pretty good schedule all week long. We changed things up a bit and added a 30 minute walk in the morning that we all do together instead of each of the girls taking turns going on walks with Jonathan. He did a good job of keeping up with the walk and we were able to do it every day last week. We also did therapy or practiced basketball every afternoon, and had some activity during the evening. We had some good and not so good results from that. The good results were that we had much lower, much more normal blood sugars for the entire week. The not so good results were that because of the extra walking, Jonathan has two pretty big blisters on his big toes. He still walks on the insides of his feet, and we have walked 10 times more this past week than we have since he has been out of the hospital. So we may have to back off a little and let them heal before we keep going with this. Just pray that we can continue to exercise and that God will reward our diligent efforts by allowing us to get in shape and lose some weight. He is doing such a great job and I am so very proud of him. We are also working on trying to get him to drink more water, so after each exercise time, he drinks about 6-8 oz. of water before he drinks anything else. He has such a good attitude and is willing to do whatever I ask to be cooperative. Jonathan is doing very well in school. We started to tackle multiplication this week, as well as cursive writing. He handled both very well. We were suppose to go back and see Dr. McDonald from Our Children’s House at Baylor on Wednesday, but had to reschedule due to getting our insurance coverage in order. I did ask to have him call me with any thoughts or suggestions about Jonathan’s sleeping issues, but have not received word back from him yet. Jonathan’s sleeping seemed worse this week. A couple of nights I think he woke up 2-3 times an hour, every hour. He has been sleeping on a mat beside my bed for several weeks now, because it’s a little easier for me to deal with him when he is close by. However, this week, I have borrowed a guard rail again for his bed and am going to work on getting him to sleep back in his bed again. Please continue to pray earnestly about this. Jonathan asks me almost every morning how he slept last night. When I tell him whether he cried or not, he will say, “I sure wish I could get over that. Even thought I don’t remember doing it, I just hate it when I cry.” I know healing for this will come. Please pray for us until it does come. Our weekend was full of wonderful miracles and memories. On Friday, instead of taking our walk during the morning, Jonathan rode his bike for the first time in over a year! What a milestone! For his anniversary on December 30, we got him a set of training wheels so that he could ride his bike again. He did very well for the first time. There were times when I could tell that he was balancing on the two wheels instead of leaning on the training wheels. It was a great moment for us and a great accomplishment for Jonathan. That night we left to go camping for the weekend with some other families from our church. Our weekend turned out to be a little too busy to enjoy much camping, but I wouldn’t trade the activity we had for anything. Saturday morning we got up and Jonathan, Dad and I went on a walk to the lake. We had a good time talking with Jonathan and getting our exercise in the process. That afternoon, at 3 pm, Jonathan played his first Upward Basketball game in 2 years. I asked him before we went if he was going to walk or run out when they called his name. He told me he was going to run out. He was very excited, but a little nervous just before the game. I on the other hand, was very nervous. I stayed with him until it was almost time for his team to be announced. He started to cry as I prayed with him before he went in, and then he was fine. I had no idea how emotional this was going to be for me. Not wanting to upset him in any way, I had to swallow the lump in my throat more times than I can tell you. When it came time to announce his name, the announcement was made, “The triumphant return of Jonathan Cooper!” and he ran out to meet his team on the court. My eyes are full of tears, even as I sit here reliving that moment for you. Jonathan got to play one 5-6 minute period in each half, and he also got to go in for a couple of minutes for another boy who got hurt. His place was right beside the basket. Sometimes, it seemed as though he would just get down to one end of the court when he would have to turn around and go to the other end. As we watched the first part of the game, Lamar and I talked about how we had no idea how he was going to be able to play or keep up with such a fast paced game. But he did. We watched him run back and forth across the court several times which made us cry and laugh all at the same time. The other boys made opportunities for him to shoot some baskets. Although he didn’t make any shots in this game, he helped assist in getting a basket for his team. He never lost his balance when he was in the midst of all the kids either. He did an incredible job. I was much more emotional than I expected, although I’m not sure why I didn’t expect to be emotional. It wasn’t that I was worried about him, although I was a little worried about him falling down or losing his balance. But I couldn’t help but shed tears of awe and wonder at the miracles of this precious little boy’s life and what a miracle it was just seeing him run again. I stand in awe of my God who alone receives all the glory for yet another miracle in Jonathan’s life. There were Grandpas, Grandmas, Uncles and Aunts on hand to watch Jonathan and Sarah both play their games. Sarah’s game was after Jonathan’s and she did as great a job as she always does. After the games, we went out to eat with our families before returning to our camper. I was completely wiped out by the end of the day. I went to bed exhausted, but full of joy. Sunday morning, we went to Davis Boulevard Baptist Church in Ft. Worth. Sarah was asked to sing a song for their Sanctity of Life Service. The music minister there, Adron Ming, used to be on staff at Lakeland and was the one who wrote the play, Ebenezer, in which Jonathan played Tiny Tim just two weeks before he got sick. Their church has prayed for Jonathan and many of them came to see him play Tiny Tim. The pastor’s wife who is a nurse at Children’s came by to see us when we were in the ICU during those first 2 weeks in the hospital. She had not seen Jonathan since then, and we had the chance to visit with her while we were there. Sarah did a beautiful job on her song and I am thankful for the opportunity she had to share and minister with her beautiful voice. I know that when we focus on Sanctity of Life each year in our churches, most of the time our focus is on abortion, as it should be. We were blessed, however, to have Jonathan’s story shared in the Texas Baptist Crossroads magazine in January, along with the emphases on Sanctity of Life. I know many of you have seen the article and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our story with as many people as possible. It is our prayer that God will use it to touch lives and bring others to know Him in a deeper way.
God continues to do amazing things in Jonathan’s life and He remains faithful to provide for all of our needs. We are grateful for your continued prayer support. Please continue to pray for Jonathan’s healing. Continue praying specifically for his sleeping. I know many of you are doing this on a regular basis, and I know that God hears all of our prayers. So please continue to faithfully pray about this, believing that God’s healing will be revealed soon. Please continue to pray for his mobility, his balance and his flexibility. Pray that we will be able to continue a good exercise schedule to help him stay healthy and fit and to help strengthen and tone up his muscles. Pray for his hips, his legs, his feet and ankles. Also pray that the blisters will go away and that he will be able to continue to walk regularly without this pain. Pray that his balance will improve and that he will continue to do well riding his bike and playing basketball.
As I sat down to write this update, I looked back at 1-16-05 and this is what it said:

10:00 pm - Praise the Lord for His blessings. Tonight as the Coopers were telling Jonathan goodnight he began smiling. It was a perfect ending to the Lord's day. Thank you for your continued prayers and may the Lord continue to glorify Himself through His awesome work in Jonathan's life. Please remember to praise the Lord for these reminders of His presence.

I remember this moment as if it happened yesterday. God has brought us a very long way in a year. We praise His name for every step. May God be glorified through His awesome work in your life and may you know His presence in a powerful way this week.

Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonde rfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.

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