Saturday, July 22, 2006

I hope everyone is doing well this week. The update is later than it should be for a couple of reasons: one, we have had a very busy week this week, and two, the website is down as I write this. So hopefully in the next day or so, you will get this update. Our week has been very busy because we have been at VBS at our church every morning this week. This is Sarah’s last year to be in VBS, so she has had a great time getting to do some extra curricular fun things each day. Elizabeth and I were floaters for Jonathan’s class which means we got to walk the kids from class to class and enjoy VBS with them. We had a great group of 4 th graders and they were all very good with Jonathan. Jonathan had a great time as well. He participated in just about everything that happened. He made crafts each day, he helped with the Bible study, learned about missions and all about the Artic from our wonderful teacher and friend, Mrs. Cathy, he learned 6 new songs and all the motions to go with them, and he played several games during Rec throughout the week. We learned about the courage of Elijah to stand up and proclaim that he knew God was the one and only true God to the prophets of Baal. We learned about Queen Esther’s courage to trust God and His plan for her life even as she and her people were facing certain death. We learned about Nicodemus’ courage to believe even though it went against his position as a religious leader. We learned about Saul and his courage to follow the very one that he had spent his entire career persecuting after his encounter with Christ on the Damascus road. And finally, we learned about Peter and John’s courage to continue to speak about Christ even though they were arrested and told to stop. It’s amazing how much an adult can hear and learn from something like VBS that is centered on teaching children. Most of the time I was so busy helping Jonathan learn the moves to the songs this week (and trying to learn them myself!) that I never stopped to listen to the words until Thursday evening at the Parent service. The kid’s got up to show the parents the motions to the songs and this time I sat and watched and the words began to jump out at me. One of my favorite songs: I know that I know that I know that only the Lord is God. I know that I know that I know that He is in control and I am not. I know that I know that I know that I’ve got to have the courage to show the world who he is, cause people need to know that they know that they know that only the Lord is God. There is no other besides Him; there is no other like Him, that’s why I put my faith and hope in him alone. I needed that reminder that God is in control, no matter what happens, because He alone is God. My next favorite song: In the middle of trouble I’ll be trustin God. In the middle of confusion I’ll be trustin God. In my good days, in my bad days, in each and everything that comes my way, I will be trustin God with all my heart no matter what no matter where no matter when. I will depend on Him; I will not lean on my own understanding. In everything I do I’ve got to have the courage to trust in God. Only trust Him, only trust Him, only trust Him now. He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now. Do I really have the courage to trust God, especially when I don’t understand what’s going on or why? And another favorite that really spoke to me: You are my hope, You are my strength. You are my friend, my everything. Your hand made me, You gave me breath. How could I fear what lies ahead? I will follow You, Jesus because I believe in God’s plan for me. I will follow You, Jesus cause I know for sure You hold my future and You love me so. I will follow. Isn’t that beautiful? I can have courage to follow God and not fear my future, or Jonathan’s future, or my family’s future because God’s plans for us are for good and not evil and they give us hope. (Jer. 29:11) Even as an adult, I needed the messages of these songs. Besides VBS in the mornings, we went swimming at least 3 days during the afternoon and we spent one day in Ft. Worth with Grandma Smith. It was good to finally make it to the weekend!
I wanted to share a couple of things with you that we would appreciate your specific prayers about in the days ahead. On Wednesday, Aug. 2, we have an appointment with a specialized optometrist that was recommended to us by the therapy office we talked with earlier this year. They had very good things to say about this guy and said they had referred many of their patients to him. We are hoping that he will be able to do more to help Jonathan with his vision issues than the average optometrist might. Please pray specifically for this appointment and for this doctor, Charles Shidlofsky. Also, on Thursday, Aug. 17, we will be going to see a new neurologist, Dr. Jeffrey McGlothlin. He was the first neurologist that was recommended to us when I began seeking a new one a few months ago. Needless to say, Jonathan’s sleeping issues are not improving, so I made the call this week and was able to get an appointment. I’m not sure how I feel about it. The truth of the matter is that I hate doctors, I’m tired of them and I don’t want to go see another one. At the same time, I feel as though I am prolonging Jonathan’s suffering by not getting him to someone who has the potential to help him with this issue. Yes, I am confident that God can heal Jonathan of this and I know that many of you have joined me in praying that specific prayer. I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that I can’t understand why He has not answered that prayer and healed Jonathan by now; it’s been 9 months. But I know that God knows exactly how He wants to handle this situation and who He wants to use to fulfill His purpose in this particular situation in Jonathan’s life. So I am trying to Rest in this situation even though at times I want to be consumed with thoughts of fear and uncertainty. How can we fear what lies ahead? We will follow You, Jesus because we believe in Your plan for Jonathan. We will follow You, Jesus cause we know for sure You hold our future and You love us so. We will follow. So we are asking you to begin now to pray for this appointment, that God will use this man for good in Jonathan’s healing process and that he will be able to help him especially with his sleeping issues. Also, please continue to pray with us about our weight loss journey. Pray that God will give me wisdom as I try to lead in this process. I am also praying that God would provide a dietician or a nutritionalist for us that might be able to help us in this process. I know that this is something that God has called us to do and I know He will be faithful to provide us with everything and everyone we need to accomplish it.
Thank you so much for always faithfully lifting us up in prayer. God continues to work in our lives individually and as a family. As I continue my quest in learning what it means to Rest in the Lord, I have found many wonderful Scriptures that have encouraged me and spoken hope to my heart. I want to leave you with some Scriptures I found already marked in my Bible that I remember claiming early on in Jonathan’s illness. These promises are as true today as they were then and I am thankful that the Lord led me here again to renew my hope and trust in Him. God bless you this week. We love all of you so very much.

Isaiah 30:18-21 Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. 19 O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

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