Saturday, June 28, 2008

Well, this has been such a busy month for our family. One thing after another has happened since I last posted. Let me back up to Jonathan’s week at Junior Camp. Thank you so much for your prayers for him during that week. It was one of the hardest weeks we have gone through, but I am so thankful that we took the challenge and went. We left for Junior Camp on Sunday, June the 8th, right after church. Since I was an advisor and both of the girls were helpers on the rec crew, we needed to be out there Sunday evening to be prepared for everyone’s arrival on Monday morning. I hesitated to do that because I figured one more night at home would be better for Jonathan instead of one more night away. But it was just going to be easier for us to already be out there instead of having to get there by 8 am on Monday morning. We got Jonathan all set up in his cabin with his counselors, Mr. Buford, and two teen guys, Ryan and David. All three of them were wonderful to Jonathan all week long. They were very patient and encouraging and made sure he was well taken care of at all times. I had a great time eating meals and getting to know both the teen guys better each day. Jonathan slept fine with them on Sunday night and we met for breakfast on Monday morning. There were nine other guys in his cabin. As the week went on, I watched all the kids in his cabin talk with him, encourage him, and help him anytime they could. They were always kind and never mean. God has blessed us so much by the other children we have encountered over these 3 1/2 years since Jonathan’s illness. I know that kids can be brutal with other kids, but I will tell you that we have seen the good side of kids as they have encountered Jonathan…the side that doesn’t get talked about much. We have been blessed to see that kind, good side of kids over and over again and for that we are so thankful.
Junior Camp is a very intense week of non-stop activity - something Jonathan is really not used to. Going to bed late and getting up early everyday cause some distress for Jonathan each day. He did pretty good on Monday, but he ended up falling a couple of times and scraping his elbow pretty bad. He cried a lot and it took quite a bit for me to get him back into action with the rest of his cabin, but he finally did. I thought he would be better on Tuesday at breakfast, but I was wrong. The instant he saw me he started crying. I had to send him on his way with his counselors crying, telling him I knew he could handle the morning and when I would see him next. By the time lunch got there, he seemed to have turned a corner and was doing much better. I decided that day that I would break up my responsibilities during recreation time and spend an hour or so with him during things I knew he would not be able to do. That seemed to help. On Wednesday, Jonathan and I both took a turn on the zip line. We both loved it and he, of course, did it without screaming, unlike his mother! I’m so glad we attempted it because he had the chance to do something many of the other kids did as well. Thursday was the longest day of the week. There is so much to do on Thursday because it is the last full day of camp. The most important thing for Joanthan was the talent show that evening. Uncle Timmy put together a drum solo for him to play and he was really looking forward to it all week long. During rec time, I sent Jonathan to the nurses office to take a nap for a couple of hours so he would be up and ready for the talent show. That helped quite a bit. He played great and all the kids really enjoyed his playing. They were awesome in their encouragement and applause. Unfortunately, the talent show lasted until almost midnight and Jonathan was completely worn out. But Friday morning, we were met by Dad and made our way home, accomplishing what we set out to do. God was faithful and Jonathan was brave. I am very proud of him.
The most important thing that happened was on Tuesday night after worship time. Jonathan spent some time talking to the camp pastor and our good friend Mr. Scott. Jonathan loves Mr. Scott and thinks so much of him. Jonathan had been feeling the tugging of the Holy Spirit in his heart, but didn’t know exactly what it was about. I was trying to figure out if it really was the Holy Spirit or just the emotions of the week there. We talked with Mr. Scott and he helped Jonathan understand what was going on in his heart. I’m so thankful he was there, because I knew I could not appropriately deal with this important issue for Jonathan at that time. Jonathan rededicated his life to the Lord on Tuesday evening. He was so proud, that everyone he talked to for the next 24 hours knew of his rededication. I saw the peace of God pass over him, I saw understanding and truth touch his ears and his mind each time he listened to Mr. Scott’s messages. It was such a precious thing to see.
We were not home from Junior Camp for 36 hours before Sarah left to go on Choir Tour to Memphis, TN for a week. We spent a week without her and now Elizabeth is on her Choir Tour to Hawaii for the next 10 days. Jonathan loves his sisters and he misses them when they are gone. He had an endocrine appointment while Sarah was gone. He had to have blood drawn as well and he handled it with such bravery and grace. We are struggling with higher blood sugars right now for some reason and I’m not sure why. He has gained back his weight over this year which is a little discouraging, but he has grown an inch since the last visit.
I have found myself stuggling some with Jonathan’s situation over these last few weeks. I’m not sure if it is just the emotion of being at junior camp and then missing my girls one at a time as they go off on their tours, or what it is exactly. But there are times when my focus turns to the reality of Jonathan and the limitations or differences that I see in him, instead of the God who created him, recreated him and has a perfect plan for his life. I cry as I watch him struggle with things that seem so normal for every other kid. I think I cried as much at Junior Camp as he did. There are times when I ache for him to be the kid he was before because there are many things that used to be part of him that are no longer part of him. And then I stop and remember all the miraculous things God has done in Jonathan’s life and that deep down what I really want is for him to be what God wants him to be. It’s so hard to remember that. I fail miserably so many times. So I know that just as God is working in Jonathan’s life and making him what he wants him to be, he is also working in my heart and recreating this mom to trust in Him with my whole heart, not relying on my own understanding of Jonathan’s life, but believing that He will complete the incredible work that He has begun to the praise and glory of our Heavenly Father.
I hope you will continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for us as we continue to work with him to help him live his life to the fullest. There is so much that needs to be done during these summer months…so much that I am easily overwhelmed and find myself getting nothing done. Pray that I will focus on what is important and not worry about the rest. Pray for Jonathan’s blood sugars to be within normal range. Pray that God will give us wisdom as we help Jonathan develope important disciplines in his life that will make him a good steward of the life that God has given back to him. Thank you for checking on us and for your continued prayers for our family. I am encouraged to press on and not give up on this journey each time I sit down to write because I know many of you will read and will hold us up before the Lord with your intercession on our behalf. We love you all so very much.

Psalm 138:8 - the Lord will accomplish (perfect, bring to completion) what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Thy hands.

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