Wow… what a week. Looks like Garrett is going to be in the hospital a couple of weeks. They have found a broken bone in his sternum and another broken vertebrae near his shoulder blade. Rather than a day or two in the hospital and a sore recovery… the prognosis now is for him to be in a back/hip immobilizer for 8 weeks, and probably in the hospital for a week or two.
The timing of my business trip next week from Monday to Friday could not be worse, but it is unavoidable. Not because my employer is heartless but because of the criticality of my participation. I’ve been chosen to be part of a group that is developing software that is critical to the entire operation of the company. It is literally a job change, a “new” job for me even though I’ll work for the same company. My delay or absence cannot put the entire company behind a couple of weeks because of my personal circumstances. I have a whole family to care for and can't lose my income. It really pains me to leave for 4 days right now, but you can see the necessity.
My parents are going to take Landis next week while I’m gone, and I have no doubt one of our wonderful Christian friends-family will take care of Sami.
For Michelle, she is going to have to juggle appointments for Abby and staying with Garrett. Garrett does have other family members (grandmother, aunt) who can stay with him but Uncle Michael is on the floor above him with a broken lumbar, and now they think a broken neck. So they have to spend time with him too as he is unmarried and has no other family here.
Abby is being put on a new very powerful drug to control her spinal fluid pressure but as with all powerful drugs, there is a nice set of side effects to deal with. Still, the side effects are preferable to brain/eye/hearing damage.
Michelle and I are beginning to feel like a burden to our friends. It is a complex and difficult time.
After the blizzard last week (yes, a real blizzard, not rhetorical) we are supposed to get another 2-3 inches tonight. To our northern friends, this is a yawner but it is rare for us to get this much snow in two weeks. The roads will be hazardous as we go back and forth to the hospital tonight/tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers for safety. I'm not sure another accident or "situation" is really what we could use right now.
Abby’s birthday is today and we haven’t even seen her. Our wonderful friends, the Meeks family (who you’ve seen on our blog many times), bought her a cake and threw her a little party. We’ll get to see Abby later this evening.
Thank you so much for all your wonderful encouragement and prayers. This situation would certainly be many times more difficult without the concern and prayers you have showered on us.
Most of all, we want people to know that rather than any of this shaking our faith, to the contrary, it only strengthens it. I have no idea how people endure such hardships without God.
What we have learned over the years is that the greater the trial, the more opportunity God has to show Himself faithful and true. The more intense the difficulty, the more opportunity we have to see God at work and to recognize His blessings and care.
While we don't wish for trials, we know they will come. As mature Believers, we receive hardship with joy because we know that these are the times when God is most real to us and our faith is most authentic to those who observe our life.
This holiday season, we have been blessed to witness God's care, protection and provision in so many ways. It seems strange to the unbelieving world but we consider ourselves privileged to have situations where God's participation is so clear:
- Abby has not relapsed and was home with us for Christmas. God is caring for her and guiding her doctors.
- My oldest daughter blew out (shredded) a FRONT tire on the highway a couple of nights ago right after the blizzard that could have resulted in a major accident. God protected her from injury and it ended up just being a minor inconvenience to drive and get her, repair the tire, and then go put the tire back on. God protected her from accident or incident being stranded on the highway at night, in the freezing cold out in the middle of nowhere.
- Garrett, Michael and Micalah could have easily been killed or even froze to death during this accident. They were on a remote rural road and pinned in the truck with no phones within reach. A car just "happened" to drive by. Medical helicopters quickly flew them for care. God protected them, rescued them and saw that they were cared for.
- My Mom had breast cancer last year and yet we just finished celebrating Christmas with her. God is our healer and care giver.
- My Dad survived life threatening bouts of blood clots and circulatory problems this year. My twin brother survived a bout of blood clots too, evidently there is something hereditary going on. God graciously protected their lives.
- Michelle's Dad has survived cancer and surgery in the past few months to still be here with us for Christmas. God is good and gracious.
Don't get me wrong. We don't WANT these difficulties, we don't go hunting for them. But living in this sin-cursed world guarantees you a share of the misery.
For Christians, we are to receive them with joy and thanks because it is in our suffering that God manifests His providential care and unfailing love.
Option two: we could just have a big ole pity party, moan and complain, and curse God because we don't "deserve this".
We'll take joy and God's goodness, thank you very much.