Sunday, July 22, 2007

I hope this update finds you all having a great summer! We are enjoying ours very much. It pains me to think that school is literally around the corner. I have a very little time left to get things done that I want to get done and to be honest I’m just not ready for school to start again. I have some great things to share with you this time so let me jump right in and tell you what the Lord has done in Jonathan’s life these past two weeks. On Monday, July 9, we began our week of VBS at First Baptist. It has been about 10 years since we were at VBS there, so we were very excited to go again. Jonathan is really the only one who got to “go” to VBS, but we all had a job to do that week. Jonathan was in a class of 5th grade boys and I worked in the room next to him with the 5th grade girls. Jonathan’s class had about 15-20 boys each day and about 4-5 college guys leading it. The director of his class was a college guy who fills in for Jonathan’s Sunday School class when his teachers are out, so Jonathan already knew him. He likes Campbell a lot and Campbell took good care of Jonathan and helped him really enjoy himself at VBS. I saw Jonathan just briefly a couple of days during the week, but otherwise, he did the entire VBS week on his own, without me in his class. That is a praise and a wonderful testimony of the miraculous work of God in Jonathan’s life. I stayed busy in the next room with about 38-46 5th grade girls every day. Elizabeth worked with about 20 1st grade boys and girls and Sarah spent the week working at the homes of some of the widows of our church in the Dallas area since she is too young to work in VBS. Every day but Thursday we rode into downtown on a charter bus which was great fun for all of us, but a real treat for me especially! The only reason we didn’t ride on Thursday was because of Jonathan’s doctor appointment which was right after VBS which I will tell you about later. Overall, it was a great week at VBS. If VBS was all we had to do that week it probably wouldn’t have been so bad. But each day was full of other things that had to be done that week which made the whole week very exhausting. On Monday I had to finish birthday shopping for Elizabeth since her birthday was the next day. We spent the rest of the evening with Uncle Timmy and Aunt Keby which was also a lot of fun. Tuesday was Elizabeth’s 15th birthday. During the afternoon we baked her cake and then spent the evening with all of our family to celebrate her birthday. We had a special visitor with us for this birthday; Lamar’s grandmother, the kid’s great-grandmother, Mamaw, was visiting from Mississippi and this was the first time she has been here for one of the kid’s birthdays. We enjoyed seeing her and got lots of pictures with her while she was here. We had a fun time celebrating Elizabeth’s birthday and we thank God for the precious gift He has given us in her. On Wednesday we went swimming in the afternoon and then I had a doctor’s appointment to go to and on Thursday, we went straight from VBS to Jonathan’s endocrine appointment at Children’s Medical Center. I know that many of you were praying for us as we went to that appointment because I felt it. I spent the entire week praying about that appointment and trying to get my heart and my thoughts right about it. By the time we got to that appointment, here were my thoughts: Yes, there were many things that we had done over the last 7 months that were completely opposite from what we were told to do at our last appointment with Cooks back in December. If I were to go back to Cooks and tell them all that we had done, their response to everything would have been, “Oh, that’s not good.” So needless to say after hearing that response to everything I tried for at least a year, I was not the least bit thrilled about sharing this with Childrens, as I expected to hear the same from them. I am completely confident that what we have done during this time is the exact direction that the Lord led us to walk in regarding Jonathan’s health care. We have seen God’s blessing not only in Jonathan’s life but in ours as well as we have followed this direction. So I began to think, what am I afraid of? Why should I be afraid of having followed the will of God in this particular circumstance? I always tell people that being in the center of God’s will is the safest, most blessed place to be. We have been there with this particular part of Jonathan’s healthcare and the Lord has been faithful to bless. Why should I be afraid of anyone’s response to that? To be sure, I had no intention of going in and defending myself to this doctor by saying, “This is what God told us to do.” However, I was able to find rest in my anxious heart and mind knowing that God would honor our obedience and that He would be our defense. Psalm 118:5-8 says: Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. This Scripture and the prayers of many faithful friends and family gave us the confidence we needed to walk into this appointment. When we got there, Jonathan told me he was a little nervous about it. We talked about God’s faithfulness in his life and that He would again be faithful to him that day. Dr. Ham remembered us. She seemed genuinely glad to see us. She asked us how things had been going over the last 2 ½ years and I began to share our journey with her. She listened very intently to everything I told her. Not one time did she reprimand me for anything that we had done over the last 7 months. She looked at his blood sugar numbers and after talking to us for a while, she seemed encouraged and pleased by what she saw. In regards to lowering his insulin by almost 25 points, she said he was exactly where he needed to be. She was pleased with his weight loss and with the exercise program that we are currently doing. She made some changes regarding his meal time insulin to help keep in at a more consistent level. She was very encouraging and supportive of us which is the exact opposite of what I expected. Jonathan talked to her a lot and seemed to be at ease with her. He asked her what she thought about his possibly using the insulin pump. She said she thought that he would be a good candidate for using the pump. He has shown a great deal of maturity and responsibility, especially over the last 7 months in checking his sugar on his own and giving himself his shots after I draw them up. She said we are already doing half of the things they would require us to do to begin using the pump, so she thought it would be a great idea. I loved it because Jonathan took the initiative to ask her this question on his own. He seems very excited about the possibility of the pump. This coming Tuesday, July 24 we go back to the Diabetes class and we will discuss the pump while we are there. Needless to say, we left that appointment praising God for His faithfulness to answer our prayers once again and to increase our faith through this experience. Thank you for praying for us during that appointment. God heard your prayers and answered them again. We were finally able to rest up some from our busy week over the weekend. On Monday, we were out early again going to our appointment at Scottish Rite. I don’t know how you feel about doctor appointments, but all of them cause me some degree of nervousness. Jonathan was also a little nervous about this appointment. We had no idea what to expect, so we simply had to trust the Lord about what we would hear from them. We were, however, able to feed upon the fresh faithfulness of God in our lives and we were able to approach this appointment with much less anxiety. We saw three people while we were there. The first one was an assistant to the orthopedic doctor. We talked about what happened to Jonathan, what we had been told to date about his foot and what we were seeing and concerned about from our perspective. We also saw a physical therapist who gave us some suggestions of things we could do to strengthen his legs. After that we saw Dr. Cusato, the head orthopedic doctor. We liked him very much. This is what we were told. They do not think he needs surgery on his foot. Originally we were told he needed the muscle lengthened in the back of his foot in order for it to work properly. They said that he is able to get it to a standing position, which I believe is better than what it was back in December. I think that this is a result of the workout that Jonathan has been doing with his feet over the past three months. They said the reason he walks the way he does is because his hip and thigh are very weak and because he does not have the strength to lift them properly he compensates by walking the way he does. So basically they told us that we are doing all the right things by exercising and losing weight. They assured me that he will not destroy his hip by the way he is walking, which was a concern of mine. They told us to continue doing what we are doing and that they would see us back in a year. Depending on what they see in a year, they could possibly take an x-ray at that time, but he did not feel it was necessary right now. What a blessing! The Lord reaffirmed our present course and our obedience to His leading in our lives in this area. We were thrilled to hear that no surgery was needed and it has given us a greater enthusiasm to continue our weight loss and exercise program that we have been working on. We are changing some things in Jonathan’s exercise routine that will help specifically strengthen his hip and thigh and we will continue to work in that direction and see what God wants to do. Again, thank you for praying for us about this appointment as well. We are always comforted by the knowledge that you are faithfully praying for us. I don’t know how we would have made it through this journey without you. God knew we needed you and we have been blessed to have you walk alongside us in this journey.
Well, this is where we are today. Please continue to lift Jonathan up in your prayers. Pray that we will continue to see Jonathan lose weight over the next 6 months. Our goal is for him to lose another 15 pounds by the end of the year which will put him at 100 pounds. He is looking so good! We are thrilled with his progress. He still has quite a big stomach for his frame, but it is gradually getting smaller. I believe that his walking will improve even more when his stomach returns to a normal size. Losing 15 pounds will help that. You could take your prayers to the next level by asking God to help him learn when he is full and when he needs to stop eating. I’m not sure he knows when that is. He either just stops because his plate is empty or because we tell him he doesn’t need any more. So pray that he will learn how to control that part of his eating. Continue to pray for his exercise program. Pray that God will strengthen the legs that are weak, especially his right hip and thigh, and that his walking will improve in God’s perfect time. Pray that I will be content to let God heal this in His perfect time, and that I would not be so anxious to have it taken care of now. Pray for our Diabetes class coming up this week. Pray that we will gain more understanding and knowledge of how to effectively treat Jonathan’s diabetes. Pray for us as we make the decision about the pump. Pray for all the things that will accompany that, including insurance, etc. Thank you for your prayers for Jonathan’s sleeping. He is doing well with it. He does not wake up every night and when he does, it is just briefly, once or twice. We are pleased with his progress in this area as well. Please pray for Elizabeth and Sarah this week as they will be leaving early in the morning to go to youth camp in Corpus Christi. Pray for Jonathan as well while they are gone. We have a busy week ahead of us which will hopefully help the week go by quickly and we won’t miss them so much. Each of you are a priceless treasure to our family. We are the most blessed family on the face of the earth! Thank you for loving and supporting Jonathan and our family. We love each of you and pray that God will bless abundantly bless your lives because of the blessing you have been to us. Have a wonderfully blessed week!

Hebrews 12:11 – All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

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