Wednesday, March 1, 2006

God continues to faithfully provide and guide us through each day. We have dealt with a wide variety of things this week: good news, not so good news, some things changing, some still unchanged, some blessings, some precious new memories, and some moments of hope for the future. To begin, last Wednesday, we got a call from the endocrinologist saying that the results were back from Jonathan’s Cushings test. The levels were “mildly elevated” and they wanted us to do the test again. I asked how elevated they were: the normal levels are 1-30; Jonathan’s was 34.5. If this test does not come back within normal range, they will do another type of test which involves giving him a steroid and if that does not come back normal, he would go to the hospital for more tests. Needless to say, I was devastated. I went back and looked at the journal entry where I so boldly proclaimed the profound conclusion I had come to that because we believed that God had healed Jonathan, there was no way that he could have any of these issues that they were testing for. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall ever praying for this test result, or asking anyone to pray about it. As I searched my disturbed heart, I began to wonder; did I presume upon this miracle of healing from God, just expecting Him to deliver yet again without feeling the need to come before Him and cry out to Him regarding this new obstacle in the journey? Did I exchange my faith and belief in this incredible gift for an attitude of arrogance, acting as though just because I believe this is what God is going to do? I struggled with these thoughts for some time and brought this matter before the Lord asking Him to cleanse me of anything that might stand in His way of accomplishing all that He wants to in Jonathan’s life and in my own life. Later on I read this from my Streams in the Desert devotional:

"If thou canst believe, all things are possible. to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).
Seldom have we heard a better definition of faith than was given once in one of our meetings, by a dear old colored woman, as she answered the question of a young man how to take the Lord for needed help.
In her characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great emphasis: "You've just got to believe that He's done it and it's done." The great danger with most of us is that, after we ask Him to do it, we do not believe that it is done, but we keep on helping Him, and getting others to help Him; and waiting to see how He is going to do it.
Faith adds its "Amen" to God's "Yea," and then takes its hands off, and leaves God to finish His work. Its language is, "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him; and he worketh.' --Days of Heaven upon Earth

I still fully believe that God has healed Jonathan and that he does not have Cushings, but I have agreed to redo the test. This time however, I will be mindful to pray for this outcome and ask for your prayers as well, just as we have always done before. The last thing I want to do is to ever take God’s precious gift for granted. I hope that you will join us in praying for the results of this test, even though we have not yet taken the collection. The Lord has blessed me by allowing me to get to know a wonderful young lady in Portland, ME who has prayed for Jonathan and followed his progress through this entire experience. She is studying to become a physician and she is also a Type 1 diabetic. She has been a wonderful source of information and encouragement to me over these last couple of weeks. I was able to ask her about Cushings and she was able to share with me in a way that I could understand what I needed to know. The reason we have not taken the collection for the test yet is because Jonathan started getting a cold on Wednesday last week, and all three of the kids had colds over the weekend. After consulting with my physician friend, Meghan, we decided to wait until he was well before collecting for the test. All of the kids are much better this week, so I am hoping to get this collection done in the next few days. Our schedule is starting to slow down some now that Upward Basketball is coming to a close. Last Saturday, Jonathan played a great game. His coach put him in four full periods. Jonathan got to do an entire play – he brought the ball down the court and dribbled right up to the basket and made the points for his team. It was great! He made two baskets for his team this week and did a great job on defense and offense. Needless to say, he was very tired and sweaty after that game! To show you how much he has improved in just two months of basketball; when Jonathan first started playing, he had to really push to get the ball into the basket. At the game on Saturday, he was shooting the ball completely over the basket! He has come a long way and it is such a great thing to watch. Almost all of our extended family was on hand to watch he and Sarah play their games this week, and after the games, we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs at our house for dinner. It was a fun day. On Sunday evening, our church had the privilege of having the Chapel Choir (High school choir) from First Baptist Church, Dallas come and sing for us. Uncle Timmy plays the drums and does percussion for them, so Jonathan was excited about getting to hang out with him while he was playing. During their practice, Uncle Timmy let Jonathan play the egg shaker, the tambourine, and make the chimes sound as the choir sang through their music. Jonathan did very well at keeping the beat. He sounded so good, if you weren’t watching him play those instruments, you would never have known it was him. He was so proud and felt so important just getting to do that. The choir director, Grady Chism, acknowledged Jonathan and the choir applauded him, which made him even more proud. All during the service, when he would hear Uncle Timmy playing those instruments, he would look at me and say, “That’s gonna be me someday.” The choir did a phenomenal job and it brought back many wonderful memories of the days when Lamar and I had the opportunity to be part of that great choir. Jonathan had basketball practice again on Monday evening. This was the last practice of the season. They played a fun game of basketball toward the end of the hour. Coach Ben had Jonathan on his team and helped him get in the middle of the game and really play. He had a great time and never stopped playing the entire time. This has been such a great experience for Jonathan all the way around. Another thing that happened on Monday was that we received an email verifying Jonathan’s lessons at SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center, starting on March 14, every Tuesday at 1 pm. We also found out that his therapist’s name is Linda and his horse’s name is Sterling. There is a picture of Sterling on their website if you would like to see him. Go to , click on OUR HORSES and scroll down until you find Sterling. We are very excited about starting this and hope it will help with strength and flexibility in his leg and hips. On Tuesday we went to see Mrs. Lori for our cranial therapy. She commented that his walking was rougher that day as he came walking in. As we talked, she began working with him on his walking. She would just put her hands on certain places (his hips, sides of his legs, in the middle of his stomach, and on his shoulders) and he would immediately adjust his posture and walk better. Jonathan has a tendency to lean back and tilt his head back to help balance himself. He also waddles instead of walks straight. Lori talked about retraining the brain to remember what the right way is to do these things instead of the way he has been doing them. He responded very quickly and very well to everything she did and she worked on his walking the entire hour. She said he has potential to make great progress if we can approach his therapy from a neurological standpoint. I completely agree with her assessment. She has given me the name of someone to check into once our insurance is effective, but she has also offered to work with him in this area as well if we are unable to use anyone else. Mrs. Lori is truly God’s provision for Jonathan right now and we are grateful for her willingness to be used by God and to give so sacrificially. Jonathan continues to struggle with his sleeping, although it seems to be changing in several ways. The pattern of sleeping pretty well without waking from about 4:30-8:00 has changed to where he cries 1-2 times an hour until it is time to get up and then usually cries when he wakes up. But now we may have a few hours in the middle of the night where he will sleep for about an hour or more without waking. He use to nap during the day without crying, but over the last week, he has begun to cry at least once or twice during his nap time. I don’t know if these changes are good or bad, but they are changes nonetheless. It is still very frustrating to deal with, but because there are a few hours when he sleeps pretty well, it does not seem as bad as it has been. But we will continue to pray about this, believing that the healing will come, and hope that you will continue to pray with us.
Thank you for your constant faithfulness to pray for us. Please continue to specifically pray for Jonathan’s sleeping issues. Pray for healing to come quickly, for peace when he sleeps and that his brain will be able to shut down and allow him to rest. Please pray that we will be able to get the right therapy for Jonathan, one that focuses on the neurological aspect that will help him improve even more in his walking. Pray that we will have wisdom as we seek our options and that we will know the Lord’s voice behind us telling us which way to go. Please begin now to pray for the Cushings test, even though we have not even done it yet. Pray that God will bring healing to this issue as well and that the levels will come back within normal range. Praise God with us for the wonderful benefits that Upward Basketball has brought to Jonathan and for the blessing of securing his therapy riding lessons that will begin soon. Please begin now to pray for Linda, his therapist, that she will once again be God’s chosen person for Jonathan at this time. And pray for Sterling, that he will be the perfect companion for Jonathan. Please continue to pray for Jonathan’s complete healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. This time last year, we were praising God for the daily improvement and miracles that God was bringing to Jonathan’s life as he was recovering in the OCH. Today, we still see so many miracles in Jonathan’s life and we celebrate these and give all the glory to the One who is in control of his life. Thank you for your part in Jonathan’s miracle. May God bless you this week.

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

PS: Before I had a chance to send this, I got a call back about Jonathan's A1C results - 6.4. This is improvement from the last one which was 8.6. I believe the goal is between 5-6, so we are doing pretty well. Praise the Lord!

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