Monday, January 9, 2006

Wow! I can’t believe we have already lived through the first full week of 2006! I have gone back through the journal of this time last year almost every day just to see what we were going through on each particular day, compared to what we are doing a year later. It has been a phenomenal comparison. I hope you don’t mind my sharing some of those comparisons.
On New Year’s Eve, we spent a great day just hanging out together as a family. We got ready for bed early and waited for midnight to arrive. Just before midnight, we went downstairs to watch the countdown on TV. Jonathan was beside himself with excitement as we counted down the last couple of minutes of 2005. When we hit midnight and all said our Happy New Year, I realized at that moment how precious this New Year really was for us. You see, this year our family was all together to celebrate the New Year. But last year, we were scattered all over the area. Lamar and I were exhausted in a hotel room in Dallas, Elizabeth and Sarah were together at Aunt Keby’s house, and Jonathan was deep in a coma being prayed over and cared for by my sweet friend Susan. We started out last New Year with uncertainty about what the future held for our family and our precious little boy. Our only hope was that God was in control of everything, and we believed and prayed for His will to be done. On New Year’s Day this year, we had the blessed opportunity to lead worship for the service at our church. The interesting thing about that is that we were supposed to do the exact same thing last year on the first Sunday in January. Instead, this is where we were:

After additional tests today they have discovered that Jonathan's brain stem has severe damage. It will take a miracle from our Lord for the stem to repair itself and there is no option for any type of surgery at this point. They plan to monitor Jonathan's condition this week before making any decisions regarding life support. Please pray for Jonathan's deliverance during these days. Ask God for wisdom and guidance as the Cooper's seek God's divine plan fulfilled in Jonathan's life. Pray in faith for God's intervention.

On this New Year’s Day, we were blessed to stand together as a family and sing “How Great is Our God” as we remembered God’s faithfulness and healing in our lives throughout 2005. It was another wonderful day of celebration for our family. We were going to start school again this week, but Mom was just too emotionally and physically exhausted to do it, so we put it off another week. It’s one of the wonderful benefits of homeschooling. We spent the week trying to get things back in order after the holidays. We spent part of the day on Wednesday with our Grandpa and Grandma Smith in Ft. Worth, along with a couple of our cousins, Bobby and Marissa. We started back to Awana that evening as well. Jonathan was able to say all the pages he had worked on and prepared to say. After he finished saying his verses, I sat down with him to look at what he had to do next. It was a review page where we had to pick out 8 verses he had already said so far in the book, and he had to say 4 of those verses to his teacher. Jonathan never ceases to amaze me. All I had to do was say the reference and the first 1-2 words of the Scripture and he recited all 8 Scriptures perfectly! He might not ever be able to remember where his glasses are, or where his shoes are, or he may ask me the same questions 25 times, but he can remember the Scriptures. Isn’t that awesome?! Friday was another special day for us. We made a visit to Our Children’s House at Baylor to see our therapist and friends there. When we went in, we were told none of the therapists were there, so we were afraid it was going to be a pointless visit. Instead, all but one of them was there and we got to visit with a lot of special people there. We also got to see both of Jonathan’s doctors. Everyone is always so encouraged to see him and talk with him. I can tell you that visiting Children’s Medical Center really does nothing for me. I still get an uneasy feeling every time I got there. Although I was thrilled to leave the OCH after 2 months of living there, I can say that we enjoy going back to visit there. We saw God do so many miracles there and we watched Jonathan progress so much there. Even though I remember not wanting to go there at all, God’s healing plan was revealed there through the doctors and therapists that He hand picked to carry out His will for us. While we were there, we had the chance to visit with a family who has a 3 year old boy there. We had been contacted about a month or so ago by our friend from Children’s who asked us if we would visit with this family. Unfortunately, we were never able to make contact with them. I knew the little boy was going to rehab and I assumed it was at the OCH. So we decided to try to meet them while we were there. We were able to see and touch this little boy and meet his grandmother. This is a Christian family with an incredible faith in God, even though their prognosis is not positive and the healing seems to be slow in coming. Please remember to pray for the Shannon family, that God would work a miracle in the life of their little Benjamin, and that He would give them grace and faith to accept His will for their lives, whatever that may be. We got to go see the Chronicles of Narnia on Saturday for Grandpa Cooper’s birthday. We also had a great day of worship on Sunday.
This is where we were one year ago today: Please pray fervently for Jonathan over the next 24 hours. They have placed the respirator on auto and Jonathan has been breathing on his own since early afternoon. They plan to take the breathing tube out tomorrow provided things go well tonight. Jonathan has opened his eyes slightly but not completely. Thank you for your faithful intercession as God reminds you of Jonathan and the Cooper family. Isn’t God awesome? At the New Year’s Day service, our pastor encouraged us to look at the new year differently this year. Instead of making resolutions of what we were going to do this year, he encouraged us to list two things that we wanted God to do for us this year. I must admit, I never thought of that before, but after what we went through last year and all of the many things we specifically asked God to do – each one He faithfully answered according to His will – I gave that idea a lot of thought. I decided to ask Jonathan that question to see what he would ask God for. He told me he wanted God to heal him of his diabetes and to completely heal his brain. Does he believe that God will do this for him? Absolutely – we all believe. And we will continue to pray, believing that we HAVE received this from God because we stand on the promise of Mark 11:24. Above all that we will pray, ask and believe God for in each of our lives, we desire His will to be done, not ours. God’s will, God’s way and God’s timing are always perfect. They are never late a single day. Therefore we can come boldly before His throne and ask anything of Him knowing that He hears us, loves us and wants to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think. We hope that what you have experienced with our family over this past year has strengthened your faith and belief in our awesome God. His promises are true for everyone.
We continue to ask God for some specific miracles in Jonathan’s life. Please continue to pray for his sleeping issues. They are still present, some nights worse than others. Please pray that his brain will continue to heal and that we will be able to determine what we can do to help him through this issue. Please pray for us as we focus on healthy eating and increased activity and exercise each day to help Jonathan stay healthy, balance out his weight and have more normal blood sugar. Please pray that we will be able to determine which direction we should go as far as his therapy. He has done very well with the outpatient therapy we have done the past 8 months, and we will continue to see them once a month to allow them to evaluate his progress. However, I think it’s time for something new. We are not seeing the significant progress with the current therapy that I think we might see if we tried a new direction. Hippotherapy is what we are considering, so please pray that we will get all the information we need and that God will provide the coverage and means for us to be able to utilize this unique therapy. We have gotten a lot of positive information about it from a number of medical professionals. Also, please pray for Jonathan on Saturday, December 14, at 3 pm. He will play his first Upward Basketball game in 2 years. He was so disappointed last year when he got sick that he was going to miss his first game. Little did he know he would miss the entire season. This will be another opportunity for us to be a witness to many people who have prayed for us and allow them to see a living miracle. Please pray for his safety and ability to participate in the game without anxiety or injury. We continue to look forward to our New Year with great anticipation for what God has in store for our family. We continue to seek His face and ask Him to give us opportunities to share with others about the God we serve. Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. You are a blessing to us and we praise God for each of you. I leave you with a Scripture that the Lord gave to me as I contemplated what I wanted to ask of Him for this New Year. I pray that it will be His word for you this year as well. Our love and blessings to you all.

Psalm 2:7-8 I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'Thou art My Child , Today I have begotten Thee. 8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.

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