Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 - 6 Years of God's Faithfulness

It's truly amazing to think that it's been 6 years ago today that the Lord changed and redefined the life of our family. Can you believe it? Another thing that's hard to imagine is that is has been an entire year since I have come to this place to share with you about our family. From the time we began this blog, 6 years ago, I never thought I would see the day come that I didn't update for a year. And now, here I am. That, in and of itself is another miracle blessing in this story. To be able to live life for a year without major issues or needs in Jonathan's life is awesome! Oh, that's not to say that we haven't had moments of difficulty and things to deal with this last year, but overall, we have had a great year. God continues to bless and show Himself faithful in our family day after day, and today, I want to share this year of blessing with you and bring you up-to-date on where we are today.

We started out the year pretty well until early March when my Mom (Grandma Smith) suffered a mild stroke. God was very gracious and she only spent a little over a month in the hospital/rehab. She had some weakness in her right side and her biggest struggle was with swallowing. She had some wonderful therapists and we were able to walk through a time with her that was very similar to Jonathan. I don't have to tell you who her biggest supporter and cheerleader was. Jonathan, in all his compassion and understanding, was right there to encourage her every step of the way.  We had several opportunities to share Jonathan's miracle story with the therapist there. God continues to use us and Jonathan's story to share about His love and power. We also had a great opportunity to give back to my family who gave so much for us during Jonathan's illness and recovery. Three days after Mom's stroke, the Lord gave me a Scripture to claim for her. I believe it was His Word to me regarding her recovery

Ps. 103:1-5 - Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crown you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Today, each time I see her walk, watch her do every day things, or hear her speak, I and reminded of that Scripture and praise God for his power and mercy in her life.

Our next big event was Elizabeth's high school graduation. Wow! I have been keenly aware these past 5 years that this time was soon approaching, but I couldn't believe it was finally here.  It was a busy, stressful time in our family, but it was a beautiful, emotional, and awesome event that I will never forget. She sang a song called What Faith Can Do while we honored our Heavenly Father, who is the author of our faith, through pictures of our beloved Grandma Cooper, the miracle in Grandma Smith's life, and God's amazing grace in the life of our family.  Tears are streaming down my face as I write about this special moment and as I hear Elizabeth singing a testimony of a life of faith in God. What a beautiful treasure Elizabeth is to our family. We have been truly blessed. After the graduation ceremony, we had dinner together with all of our family and were able to share with the kids that part of this special celebration would include a cruise at the end of the summer. They, of course, were extatic! So our summer was filled with lots of fun!

Jonathan and I made our way to Denver, CO with the Clarion Choir in June. He did great and we had a wonderful time ministering and singing to the people there. We got to sing at the Children's Hospital as well as Denver Rescue Mission. We got to visit Pike's Peak, the Olympic Training Center, and Focus on the Family. The trip was wonderful and we were blessed by all we were able to do there. The girls went to New York City and Washington DC with the Chapel Choir. I was blessed to get to spend the first 2 days in NYC with them. We got to experience a worship service with the Brooklyn Tabernacle, which was incredible. We did some local ministry work, rode the subway together, and ended my short stay with seeing Wicked on Broadway. I lived a lifetime of dreams in those 2 days and I got to do it with my girls. What a blessing! Then we finished off the summer with a 7 day cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel aboard the Carnival Conquest. We had a wonderful time together as a family. We climbed a huge waterfall, rode a chair lift above the rainforest and rode a bobsled in Jamaica. We visited a turtle farm and swam with stingrays in Grand Cayman. And we went snuba diving in Cozumel. We made so many wonderful memories together and we are humbled and blessed to have had the chance to experience this together.

Jonathan is doing very well in many things and still experiencing some struggles in other things. Can you believe that he is in high school now? Another miracle in this precious boy's life! This first semester
of high school has been a great challenge. It has not been easy, but Jonathan is such a hard worker and he gets stronger and better each week. He is in the high school choir at church and actually went to the youth disciple now weekend by himself, without Dad or Mom. Jonathan has been blessed to have a couple of guys whom he calls his "best friends".  Eliott and John are not just a great blessing to Jonathan, but they bless me as well, and I'm so thankful for their presence in his life. Jonathan got his first cell phone for Christmas. To say he is proud of that is a complete understatement!

We continue to struggle with weight issues, but we were able to see some success in a plan we worked on throughout the year and are planning to begin working on it again in the new year. The biggest
concern right now is Jonathan' growth. A year ago, they did some growth testing (blood work) and advised us to do more testing to see if he is deficient in growth hormone. Right now he is in the 4% on the growth chart. He is growing, but just at a very slow rate. I am sure the doctor feels he is deficient after watching/charting him over the past few years. If he shows to be deficient, he would most likely begin to take growth hormone shots. We have not agreed to do the extra testing yet. We have struggled with knowing what is the right thing to do, trying to determine the necessity of it. We will continue to pray and research and try to decide what we should do. I know God will guide...He always has and always will.

So here we are today. God continues to bless and work in our lives 6 years later. Many of you remain faithful to pray for us and we are humbled by your love and care. If you are one who has come looking for a post throughout the year, I thank you for your intereest in our precious son. I am Believing God for a wonderful 2011 for our family. I feel as though I have come to a place where these post will be as this one - a once a year summary of how God has blessed and worked in our family. Of course, if anything major were to happen, I would be here in a heartbeat. If you would like to know when a post is made instead of checking every so often to see if there is one, please contact me with your email address and I will notify you when I post. There is a time for everything. Six years ago I needed this blog every day. It was vitally important to me, my family, and my precious son. It gave me hope knowing I could share our issues, needs and struggles, and you would be there to lift us up in prayer. I don't know what we would have done without you. While today, that need is no as great, I would still love to stay in touch with you and have the chance, if only once a year, to give a testimony of God's work and faithfulness in our family. All that we have, all that we are, and all that we enjoy are because of our gracious Lord and Saviour and we are honored to always speak of Him and honor Him with our story. So I pray that you will let us know how we can keep in touch with you, that when you think of us and you will continue to offer up a prayer for God's continued healing and work in Jonathan's life.

I want to leave you with a Scripture I found recently as I was praying for a very precious person in my life who is going through their own journey of suffering. Our goal in whatever we go through, the good and the bad, should be to become more like our Saviour. Unfortunately, that happens more during the bad times than the good. But praise God for those tough times that draw us near to Him and transform us into the likeness of His perfect Son! Isaiah 53 is a description of Jesus. My Bible titles it "The Suffering and Glory of the Servant." If you are going through your own time of suffering, know that your Saviour did too and be encouraged by this Word of God. We love each of you so much and we are so thankful to have had you walking beside us these past 6 years. Your continued prayers are always appreciated. We pray that God will bless you with His most incredible blessings in this New Year. Until the next time we meet...All Our Love and Blessings - The Cooper Family
Isaiah 53:10-11a - Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.