Showing posts with label miracles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miracles. Show all posts

thankful for miracles

 
A few weeks ago we had our small group from our former church over to our new place. I was busy in the kitchen when the first family arrived: Scott, Emily and Calvin. Calvin. Miracle boy Calvin who I have prayed for since he was 20 weeks old inside of his mama. And there he was... standing in my kitchen. A miracle looking back at me.

You might remember me writing about Calvin here and here. He is the son of our good friends Scott and Emily, born with his heart and liver on the outside of his body. He is a miracle in our midst. After hearing about his life in the ICU for his first seven months, praying with might as he endured numerous risky and bold surgeries and getting to know him through stories, pictures and caring bridge posts, there he was in my kitchen.

I asked Emily if I could share a post they wrote on their Caring Bridge site on November 7th. When I read this and my heart was overflowing with joy, remembering once again that I believe in miracles. I forget that sometimes. But read the following. I can think of nothing more fitting to post on thanksgiving, a day to reflect on everything we are grateful for. At the top of the list: a loving God who is still active and at work in the lives and hearts of all of his children.

One year . . . it’s been one year since Calvin came home for the very first time! What a year it has been! Here’s a recap of what the past year has brought:

Calvin came home at the age of 7 1/2 months, he could not sit on his own, he could not breath on his own. He had never made a cry or a noise with his voice. He came home connected to a ventilator 24/7. One year ago, he had a G and J tube down his nasal passages. His heart was not completely healed over with skin. He was missing the middle of his diaphragm. His liver was still protruding from his abdomen. Our nursing care was a required 24 hours a day 7 days a week. He had not met most of his family prior to coming home. He was in 12 month clothes! He could only sign the word “dog”. The only place he had ever been was the hospital and the yard of the hospital.

Calvin is now 19 1/2 months, he can sit, scoot, stand and walk on his own. He can breath on his own. He loves to make audible voice sounds. He is not connected to a ventilator. He no longer has two feeding tubes going through his nose, instead he has one tube going directly into his stomach through the side of his abdomen. His heart his completely covered with his own skin. He now has a whole diaphragm. His liver has been put back into his abdominal cavity. We have 16 hours of nursing a day (on average). He has met most of his family multiple times. He is still in 12 months clothes, but does wear 18 and 24 sometimes. He has a signing vocabulary of 30+ signs. He has made trips to the zoo, a couple stores, the park, his grandparents among a few other places.

Some more current things about Calvin: he loves cars, I mean LOVES, he asks multiple times a day to go in the car; he likes to point out everything that he sees all day long; he no longer takes naps; he likes to make us (and himself) laugh; he is finally wanting to snuggle us sometimes; he LOVES television although he isn’t allowed to watch it much; he loves to kiss everybody and everything (and they are the best little kisses ever); he has learned how to whine; and he thinks that people in blue scrubs are scary. 
 
The past year at home has brought many joys, tears, and challenges. We have had a few hospitalizations, but in general he was home most of the year. Calvin has been blessed by God with good health, healing and continued progress without any hiccups along the way. We love our little boy so much and wouldn’t change a thing about him. This coming year will be sure to bring many changes and challenges as well as we work to get his trach out and he works on learning how to eat. Thank you for walking this journey with us. Please continue to pray for us. 
 
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

This battle belongs to the Lord and is more than a health condition, it’s for His glory.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Aunt Annie

I have a 10 year journal that I have been HORRIBLE at keeping up with, but I'm trying to do it again (just jot down a sentence each day of something memorable.) So I just looked through it and on November 12th I have written under 2006: "Shepherd of the Valley's 25th anniversary celebration at Eastview Highschool. Family went out for pizza after. AUNT ANNIE HAS BEEN HEALED!!! Amazing story we got to hear over pizza. Praise God!"

This is why you keep a 10 year journal. I loved remembering that moment of hearing my Aunt Annie's healing story. My Aunt Annie had chronic fatigue syndrome for over a decade. Much of the time she was unable to be out of bed for more than an hour or two at a time. And then she went to a prayer retreat to pray for missionary work all over the world. And in one of the services, she went forward for prayer and was healed. Absolutely, in that moment, healed.

I wrote an email to Annie after reading this blurb in my journal. I wrote, "Made me so happy to think of that moment of hearing you share that miracle. I remember talking to Rory at length that afternoon about how I need to pray like I believe something will happen. You know how you forget that sometimes? Like prayer is just routine, but without the belief in God's power behind it? I just did a Bible study all about not just believing in God, but absolutely believing God can do what he says he can do. Love that. I think I'll be learning this lesson my whole life long."

And then I just got this email back. Breathe deep as you read this. Aunt Annie is gentle, thoughtful and wise. You'll want to savor every word.

Thanks Becca for the reminder of that amazing time of worship and the quiet, overwhelming knowing that God was reaching out to touch me and heal me. He is such an awesome God and totally faithful to His promises and His people. Good health is a wonderful gift and blessing, best treasured by those who had lost it and now have received it back. Love and Joy, Aunt Annie

He is Risen!

Now all the vault of heaven resounds
In praise of love that still abounds:
"Christ has triumphed! He is living!"
Sing, choirs of angels, loud and clear!
Repeat their song of glory here:
"Christ has triumped! Christ has trumped Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!"

Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds, by Paul Strodach

Worried. Concerned. Nervous.

I'm in the middle of reading Exodus right now and cannot believe how hard it is for Moses and God to convince the Israelites that God will provide for their needs. They are crying for freedom and God displays very obvious signs of his power and authority over all things by turning the Nile into blood, sending frogs and flies and gnats and locusts in disgusting, gross numbers, spreading boils over the skin of the Egyptians and their animals and finally displaying his wrath and anger regarding Pharoah's inability to cooperate, the first born of every Egyptian household is killed.

It paints a picture of a very serious God on a very serious mission to free his people.

The Israelites saw all of this with their own eyes. Wonders that no one could concoct on their own. But immediately upon their release the Israelites are complaining, wondering why they ever left the slavery and bondage they had in Egypt. They assume they will die between the Red Sea the Egyptians, but here comes God again, sending up a pillar of fire to slow the Egyptians and parting the entire red sea. And even after walking between two walls of water, they still can't comprehend God's provision. Because next they are hungry, and are worried they might starve. Again, always faithful, God sends quail and then consistently provides manna. But if you give a mouse a cookie...or if you give some Israelites some manna, they're going to want something to drink. So this time, God provides water from a rock and even still WITH ALL OF THESE MIRACLES nothing seems to help them relax into the consistent, never-failing provision of their God.

At camp we have sent out 70 staff contracts for our summer staff. And just in the past week we have had multiple people email and call saying they will not be returning their contract as other things have come up for their summer. And being that we're supposed to run a camp in 8 weeks, I've been left a little worried. Concerned. Nervous. Wondering in what ways I can use my might and my power to get more contracts in. But today, when I wrote in the margin of my bible yet again, "why can't they just trust God?!!" I heard my own God quite clearly, "why can't you just trust me?"

Yowch. Humbleness.

"Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit," says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6

Great Grandma's Miracle Moth

On the farm my grandmother raised her family on there were two homes right next to each other. The white house was where Great grandma lived (pictured below), the original farm house on the family farmstead. The yellow house was the new house, where my grandma and grandpa lived.

My uncle Wayne was home from Alaska, and they call caught up over coffee in Great Grandma's house, the white house. Wayne and Grandma and Grandpa returned to the yellow house, as Great Grandma climbed the stairs to her bedroom, alone. She went down the hall to close the window when the window lost his grippings and slammed down on both of her hands. Great Grandma was old and frail and with her fingers trapped under this window, she could neither sit nor stand. She was left hunched over.

The window was facing the field, opposite of the yellow house. She cried, “Help me. Help. Help me.” An hour passed. She continued to cry and her voice grew weak and soft. She turned her cries to God. Unable to sit or stand, her legs were growing weak and three more hours passed as she continued to cry for help, “Help me. Help me, God.”

The sun was setting and back in the brightly lit yellow house a moth landed on the living room window. The moth was grey with brown spots, three inches across. Uncle Wayne saw it and commented on how  his nephews would love that moth for their 4H bug collection. So he and Grandpa walked outside to catch it. But just as they got close enough to the window, the moth snuck away and flew towards the white house. Again and again the moth would land and each time they’d just miss it, taking them farther from the yellow house and closer to the white house. And when they came around the white house closest to the field, the moth landed and they caught it.

As they sat to inspect this moth they heard the strangest sqeeking coming from Great Grandma’s. Wayne commented that there must be an owl on the roof. But Grandpa replied, “that is not an owl. That is your grandma!” They looked up and saw great grandma hunched over in the window, whimpering in pain.

My grandma tells me that as they sat on the bed, Great Grandma rubbed her hands and asked Wayne if she could see the moth. And when she saw it she cried and proclaimed, “That’s my miracle. That miracle moth was sent for me. God heard me when I cried.”

We still have that moth and my grandma brings it out and tells this story frequently with her voice proclaiming our all-powerful God who still works miracles today.
***

I love that God used a dusty grey and brown moth to be his messenger. Isn't that just like God? He didn't send a butterfly with turquoise wings and a magenta body. He sent a not-so-special, run-of-the-mill moth to perform his miracle. Which is good news for us not-so-special, run-of-the-mill messengers willing to do his good work.


Incredible evening.

I had just finished posting that last blog entry, and Rory came into the bedroom. I commented that I want us to move the computer desk away from the window and put it against the wall. The way it is set up, I can peer directly into the apartments that are no more than 30 yards across the driveway. Because we still have boxes all over, we decided to wait until tomorrow.

Moments later I looked up, and watched a frying pan catch fire, which turned into a stove on fire, and I realized I was witnessing the beginnings of an apartment fire. I can't explain how slowly my mind processed this. I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing. I had just called my mom to tell her I had put pictures of our apartment on the blog and ran and asked Rory if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.

I called 911, called the landlord, and Rory ran down to the family. The dad had been in the shower and had a half shaven head. He had a three year old and a five year old with him and none of them had shoes or coats. We brought them to our apartment and Rory gave the dad shoes and a sweater and sweatshirt. The dad used my phone to call his wife who was at work, and then his mom and then his brother. Then the dad and Rory went down to meet the fire trucks and I kept the kids in our apartment.

I tried to distract them with string cheese and Planet Earth, but basically we watched the fire move from their kitchen to the living room and into the bedroom. We watched the blinds melt off of the windows, and could still see the television on through the fire.

The firemen arrived and we watched them work, talked about how we didn't need to be scared of their masks because those help them breathe when they are by the fire.

After 20 minutes, the whole extended family came to our apartment to get the kids and to watch the fire. The mom had come home from work and swooped up her boy. I could not fathom what she was going through. I sent them with blankets and socks and since then I have been watching the firemen work in the dark apartment across the way. I just took this picture to show the relation between my laptop and their window.

apartment

I don't know how God works, but we just moved this desk into this room this afternoon. And I just moved my laptop on it tonight. And when 911 asked for the address of where I live I couldn't think straight and said we have only lived here one week. But I know I was the only one to see this fire, and even in the minutes while waiting for the fire trucks, no one else was around to help.

So keep Tristin and Raven in your prayers- two sweet kids who just lost all their favorite things. Thank the Lord everyone is safe tonight.