Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 30, 2009

DECEMBER 30, 2009

Today we celebrate the 5 year anniversary of God's amazing grace in our family. On this day 5 years ago, as our lives began to change moment by moment, I truly could not see or imagine anything beyond the moment we were in, much less imagine 5 years from then. And yet, by the overwhelming grace of God that was all sufficient for each of those difficult moments then, and every moment since then, we are here 5 years later at this moment in our lives. It takes very little for me to recall the thousands of memories that surrounded that life changing event...the exact hour that certain things happened, the faces of the people in the hospital that I did not know that God ordained to care for us, the hugs and tears of family and friends who were there in those early, very dark hours, the waiting room full of people there praying and lifting us up before our Father who was listening and acting on our behalf, even when we could not see it. There are a million more memories that I imagine I will never ever forget, nor do I want to. I could go on and on and on sharing all those memories with you again. But you can read them all again right here on this blog. They are precious memories, though some of them very difficult, yet each one a precious part of God's will and plan for our lives. We are not the same family today that we were 5 years ago. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago. Our lives have been forever changed and for that I praise God. As long as God gives us life and breath on this earth, we pledge to honor Him and share, with anyone who will listen, all the He has done for us.

This anniversary would not be so precious without each and every one of you who have loved us, cared for us, prayed for us, and supported us in so many ways over the last 5 years. You will never know the impact that your prayers and notes to us during those 3 1/2 months we were in the hospital had on our family. Each one was a deposit of God's sustaining grace in our lives. We could not have made it without you. As I sit here and write, tears stream down my face as I remember the presence of our parents, our brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, our pastors, friends young and old from both of our churches, friends near and far, friends we didn't even know that heard and just wanted to come and support us, and the hundreds of notes that were printed out and saved (to this day) from people all over the world who were praying for us. It overwhelms me and humbles me. And yet, it wasn't just then, during those 3 1/2 months, but day after day, month after month, year after year over these last 5 years you have stayed with us, encouraged us, loved us and supported us through all the ups and downs of our journey. Many of you didn't know us 5 years ago but have come into our lives since then and added your love and support as well. I'm so glad we are part of the family of God! Your presence and support in our family through these years has changed our lives forever.

While this special anniversary reminds of us God's work in our lives, His mighty power to heal and deliver, His faithfulness to hear and answer the prayers of His people, it is not a place to reside. Just like the Children of Israel, it is an event we will remember each year and one that we will talk of often. But God has so much more to do and accomplish in Jonathan's life and in the life of our family. We want to be faithful to honor Him with the life He has given us and allow Him to use us as He desires to make Him known. Thank you from the depths of our heart for sharing these years with us. You will never fully know, this side of heaven, the impact that each of you has made in our lives. I don't have words adequate to tell you. But God knows and He has been honored by your love. We pray His most incredible blessings on your lives for the overwhelming blessing you have been to us.

Each year we have celebrated together as a family on December 30. We just spend that day thanking God for our family and remembering how very precious the gift of life is. This year, thanks to the generosity of many of our amazing family and friends, we were given the gift of a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. We had an awesome room and wore ourselves out at the water park inside. We had a wonderful time together as we always do. We ended our wonderful day having dinner with some of our family. As Jonathan said, it was the most special way to celebrate this 5 year anniversary. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

As we look forward to 2010 we know there are miracles yet to happen in Jonathan's life. Yes, there will be issues and struggles that we will face, just as there have been over the last 5 years. But faithful is He who has called us, who will also do it...whatever it is we will face (1 Thes. 5:24). God has done incredibly more than we could ever have imagined in our lives these past 5 years, and we look forward with great anticipation to see His will and purpose continue to unfold in Jonathan's life.

Thank you again for your faithful presence in the life of our family. Thank you most of all for your prayers for Jonathan. Thank you for your love and encouragement to him and being the hands and feet that have brought him to this place in this amazing journey. You are dearly loved by Jonathan and our entire family. May God's blessings in this new year be more than you could dream for. And may God be praised, both now and in the days ahead, for His great love and His amazing Grace.


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