Saturday, April 8, 2006

It has taken me 4 days to get this update written. So I apologize and appreciate your patience and faithfulness to check on us. I hope this update finds each of you doing well. We have had our ups and downs this week, but overall, it has been a pretty good week. Jonathan did well with his drum lessons last Thursday, and he actually slept better that night than he had in a while. It was a wonderful blessing. Our mission over the weekend was to shop for Easter clothes. We worked hard to get our school work done early in the day on Friday and set out during the afternoon to go looking. We spent the rest of the day shopping and then stopped off by Grandma and Grandpa Cooper’s house to wish Aunt Ruth a happy birthday and have some cake and ice cream. On Saturday, we spent a good portion of the day trying to finish our Easter shopping. I will tell you that this was the most difficult shopping experience for us. We went a lot of different places and found very little to choose from. Grandma and Grandpa Cooper went with us to help. We went to a store to try to find Jonathan a suit. Jonathan has always loved suits and since he has outgrown his old one, he was hoping to get a new one for Easter. Bless his heart, he has gained so much weight, most of it in his belly, and it was very difficult to find something that fit him. We tried lots of different coats at a few different places, and it completely wore me out. At one point, I had to go to the bathroom and cry because it was so hard for me to see him have to deal with this already in his young life. But fortunately, because of my recent journey in prayer, I was able to take my focus off of the issue and just thank God for the gift of my sweet son. We were able to find clothes for everyone and we are looking forward to Easter Sunday. Sunday was another positive church experience for us. One of us usually goes by and picks Jonathan up from Sunday School, helping him go to the bathroom before going to church. We got out of Sunday School late, so we just went to the Sanctuary, expecting Elizabeth or Sarah to have picked him up. We saw Jonathan walking down the center isle and found his stuff lying in the pew that we usually sit in. When he walked up, I told him I was glad Sarah picked him up since we were late. He told me that she didn’t pick him up, but that he came by himself and even went to the bathroom by himself! That was exciting! On Sunday afternoon, while Lamar and I were in a class, Jonathan stayed downstairs to watch the practice for our church’s Easter program. When he was tired of being down there or had to tell us something, he walked all the way up to the 3 rd floor to our class, all by himself. He went back and forth from our class to the practice a couple of times on his own, then he went to class by himself again. He seems to be getting better at getting back to doing things on his own. We did not do school on Monday because our good friend Brooke was in from out of town staying with us. On Tuesday, Jonathan had his cranial therapy and his horse therapy again. Right after we got to Mrs. Lori’s, Jonathan seemed to get nervous and fearful. He said when he laid down he felt like he couldn’t breath. This has never happened at her house before, so I’m not sure what caused it this time. So instead of doing the usual cranial work, she talked to him and worked on dealing with some of this emotional stuff he seemed to be experiencing. He did fine and then we ate lunch on our way to horse therapy. Jonathan did another great job in horse therapy. Each week he gets better and better at handling the responsibilities of riding Skip. Mrs. Tammy taught Jonathan how to back the horse up so he could get him going in a different direction. Jonathan did really well at riding and turning Skip. At one point, Skip got a little spooked because a cat was coming through the bushes, so we learned how to handle the horse in that situation. After riding Skip around the trail, we went into one of the fenced areas to work on some things. Mrs. Tammy had Jonathan stand up in the stirrups as long as he could. That is pretty difficult for Jonathan because he doesn’t have much flexibility in his legs. Then she had him practice riding Skip through a figure 8 around some cones. He did this pretty well also. Jonathan gave Skip a special treat – he brought him an apple. He enjoyed it very much too! Mrs. Tammy is always very good at giving us extra interesting information about horses. She makes it very enjoyable for all of us.
Jonathan continues to struggle with sleeping. Last week, he slept from about 4-10 each morning without waking up much. Even though it meant we started school late every day and nothing else got done, at least we were getting some kind of uninterrupted sleep time. This week, there has been very little, if any, uninterrupted sleep time. These last few days, I think he has been up every 10-20 minutes all night long. He even wakes up crying. I spent some time every day last week and have continued this week to pray earnestly about this issue. I am trying to learn what God desires to teach me through this. I truly feel that He is not leading me to call a neurologist yet. I have gotten no confirmation about this each time I have prayed. However, it is difficult to stand by that when the only change I see in this situation is that it is getting worse. I hope you will continue to intercede for us about this. Pray that we will know exactly what the will of God is for this specific situation. Also pray that we will continue to stand on the promise of healing that God has given us and that we will allow Him to reveal that healing in His time. Over the weekend, Sarah shared something with us that really touched my heart. She said she had been having trouble going to sleep for a couple of nights. She told me she thought that God spoke to her, but she was afraid to say anything because she didn’t want anyone to think she was crazy. I asked her to tell me what He said to her. She said she was sitting in her bed staring at the wall when a face popped out at her. It scared her and she immediately hid her face in her pillow. She heard Him tell her not to be afraid. He told her she needed to trust Him for everything, that Jonathan was going to stop crying soon, and that Mom was going to get more sleep. I have been asking the Lord to speak to me about this sleeping issue, but I had no idea that He would use my sweet daughter to speak to me. I have thought a lot about her experience this week and pray that God will be faithful to speak to us and show us His will for Jonathan and our family as we continue on this journey.
I just want to tell you all what an incredible blessing you are to us. I know that many of you pray faithfully for Jonathan and our family. Knowing that brings us so much comfort, especially when we are dealing with difficult issues. Many of you share with us that you continue to follow Jonathan’s progress and read the updates faithfully. It means a great deal to us to know that you care enough about our precious miracle to check on him so regularly. Each week we receive wonderful emails from many of you. I can’t tell you the joy I get each time I open my mail and see a “Letter to the family” or a “Letter to Jonathan.” Thank you for taking the time to write and encourage us. We read every one of them to Jonathan. I hope you will continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for his continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that he will continue to gain strength in his legs, ankles and feet. Pray for his continued independence and an increased initiative to do things on his own. Pray for any emotional healing that he may need and that the Lord would show us what needs to be dealt with and how to deal with it effectively. Please continue to pray earnestly that his sleeping would improve and God will answer our prayer for deliverance from this very soon. Pray that we will continue to trust the Lord until He brings that healing and deliverance and that we would not grow weary in waiting for His perfect will and timing.
It is amazing to think that one year ago today, April 8, we brought Jonathan home from the hospital for the first time in 3 ½ months. I remember every detail of that day as though it happened yesterday. God has been faithful to carry us through each day of this journey that He called us to take. Some days have been easier than others, some have brought tears and discouragement and others have brought great joy and happiness. Though our situation may change daily, our God is great and He never changes. We praise His name forever. God bless you all.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

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