Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Sweetest of Loves

If You Want Me To By: Ginny Owens
The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

'Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

I have been spending some incredibly sweet time with the Lord, begging him to let me just touch the threads of his robe, he gently said "how much sweeter that I have washed you in my blood and covered you with my grace and love."  How quick I am to forget how much sweeter it is what God has already done for me rather than focusing on what I want him to do for me still.  How much more must it mean to God when we come before Him and praise Him wholeheartedly than only to present our requests to Him?  Over and over in the gospels Jesus tells us that he desires mercy rather than sacrifice.  Often I come to him wanting to offer only sacrifice and withhold my heart, not recognizing that the sacrifice has already been offered for me through His blood.  But as Jesus is guiding me, He is showing me just how sweet it is to walk with him, to be aware of His presence, of His unfailing love., grabbing hold of Him out of pure desire and longing that I have never before experienced.

As I am going through the new testament in my quiet time in the morning, I am noticing how often Jesus went off to be alone or to have a time of solitude.  As we read, I see he seeks God and prays in his quiet time before God.  Unburdening his soul onto God, just as we are called to do, Jesus set an example for us.  Quiet time with God, praising Him, desperately seeking God's presence. 

With a renewed passion I have set aside weekly date nights with God.  This time is not my daily time in the word, but time where I just worship, giving God access to all of me, no distractions, time set aside just for Jesus.  Previous on this blog I have mentioned my past of dating God, when I was single and shortly after being saved, I did much the same thing.  It is the sweetest of time, I truly date God, much as I would date my husband.  I worship him, listen to all He wants to tell me, pour out my heart and soul to Him.  Approaching these nights with the same enthusiasm as I would a much coveted date night with my husband.  I light candles, I get dressed up much the same way I would if Adam were able to take me out on a date.  I get excited for these evenings with great anticipation, because God has truly met me every single time.

The idea of passionately dating God, came out of a desperation of wanting to date my husband in the way that we once had.  Around Christmas time when so many friends were posting on facebook and instagram the holiday parties, the date nights they shared with their spouses and I began to become jealous and bitter that my life was not anything what I imagined it would be, nothing of what I desired it to be.  Adam doesn't always like the idea that we are married and going on dates is often very exhausting.  We try weekly to have time also to go on a date and even when I am not in the mood to go, to bear the weight of the conversations, and all the memories of our relationship, can sometimes be overwhelming.  My heart was breaking and I was becoming incredibly angry over the circumstances in my life.  I recognized that I was even starting to question God, something I truly never want to do, I don't want to question, just trust.  I had a choice to make, continue to become resentful, angry, upset, bitter, or worship God, trust Him no matter the calling He chose for our marriage.  I wanted to know God's goodness, the sweetness of His love, I desperately desire to be consumed by Him.  I realized the only way to make this happen is to give God what I desired.  Seek Him the way I wanted to be loved and pursued. To seek Him for a love that I so desperately wanted.

The more I pursue Him like this, the more I seek Him, the more I spend time with Him... the more He reveals the sweetness of his love, that He is truly making it complete in me.  People will always fail to make us feel special, to feel loved, but God, God is unfailing love and when I seek Him to fill me with the love I so badly desire, He fills me abundantly.  He overflows me with His love and with this love I am able to love others, to love Adam more deeply,  more passionately, than seems humanly possible.  I love Adam with the love Jesus pours out into me and daily my desire and love for both God and my husband grows.  God is love, love is not a feeling, not a verb... love is GOD. 

Last I updated we were discharged from Harborview.  Adam was struggling in so many ways.  Adam has continued to work hard, persevere, and press on in this journey.  His walking has improved, his speech has improved, everything physically he has made remarkable improvements on.  Even his memory has improved.  With his memory improving, Adam has struggled like never before.  He is aware now of his injury, aware that he is not the same person he once was, aware that life has seemed to forget him.  He is aware of the date and can't figure out how to process the time that he feels he has lost.  He is in the worst depression I have ever witnessed. 

Adam needs prayer like he has never before needed.  He has been able to express how he feels and why he feels the way to does, this is truly miraculous and this alone has left his team of doctors amazed.  Working with a neuropsychologist, he has expressed feelings of worthlessness, of incompetence, of not understanding why he is still alive.  He tends to focus on what he has lost, rather than the miracle that God has spared him and still has plans for him.  It is incredibly challenging taking care of him during this time, he doesn't want to get out of bed, has very little interest in doing much of anything.  Everyday I force him to get out of the house with me, and this has been very exhausting and hard for both of us but I know it is best for him to get out and experience life.  I love my man so much and it is so difficult to see him hurting like he is.

We met with Adam's team just this week and we have decided to make some changes to help Adam.  Prior to his severe depression he was at his best I have seen in the entire recovery.  With doing so well it brought forth an amazing awareness for who he is and that he isn't the same person he once was.  This is HUGE progress, while the depression is a terrible side effect of this awareness and breaks my heart daily, I can't help but rejoice in the significance of this progress!  While his team is trying to figure out the best route to treat the depression, we need prayer for wisdom, guidance, and strength.  Until we get the depression under control, Adam's recovery is really at a halt.  I pray daily that the joy of the Lord will be Adam's strength for the day, please join me in praying this, as well as peace and comfort for Adam.  Pray also that Adam will start to face the facts and find joy every day instead of retreating back to bed.

Thankfully, God has brought us into a church community during this time.  Weekly, Adam is encouraged by the pastor, another man!  Praise God, this has been an answer to prayer that brings tears to my eyes every time, I hear him encourage Adam, watch Adam around another man, and smile at the mention that God still has plans for Adam.  He even asks Adam to spend time with him, a friend in the truest sense, an answer to many prayers.  For the first time since being on the west coast we have finally been able to attend church weekly, and be in community and fellowship with other believers!  Praise God!

I don't know what may come of all of this, but I know God has been continuously faithful in answering the cry of my heart to not leave us like this.  To daily place His fingerprints on our lives by changing us, not allowing us to enter the next day the same as we were when we entered the day before.  God is doing this in Adam's physical recovery as well as our hearts.  We praise God for what He has done, for what He is doing, and for what is still to come, we wait in expectation and anticipation to see God bring healing every day.

Adam has been able to do the back stroke unassisted in therapy

Adam and I have been enjoying weekly dates to the bowling alley near us, he has even been able to bowl strikes!
Since Goldie has been with Mackenzie, Adam needed a companion, this is Ranger.

My kiddo, my heart... love her

Adam and I have been blessed to be able to spend our Saturdays with our niece Abby
She brings great joy and love into our home! 
Our beautiful daughter Mackenzie and one her loves.

Adam and I went on a walk and we were accompanied by the deer below.


Our family is in need of your prayers as we continue to walk forward in this journey and face difficult decisions.  Prayer that we will continue to walk this as a family, that we will all trust God with the future and where that might lead.  Thank you for your prayers, support, love, and patience.  I will try to not let such a long time go between posts.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

ROOT ROOT... It's Discharge for us!!!

The last six weeks of living life confined inside the walls of hospital may have been some of the most humbling moments I may have ever experienced.  What a journey we have been on.  Surrounded by so many people who are just beginning their own journeys and hearing their stories has been both heart breaking and an honor.  Heart breaking because I can honestly say I know the pain maybe not the exact pain but one so very similar, I know the difficult road that comes with a journey, I know the grief from life changing in an instant.  BUT I also know and can speak from experience there is so much joy in the journey. I was just sharing with a family last night how much easier I laugh these days then before Adam's injury.  When life hands you an unexpected journey it really puts life into perspective.  Moments and memories are never taken for granted but celebrated and cherished.  Hope is never lost, never crushed, never far... because Hope is not a feeling, Hope is alive, it's Jesus. 

My prayer is that these families that we have been surrounded by, the families that have graciously shared their hearts with us will see Hope like they may have never seen it before.  I pray that all of us on journeys will seek to find Hope from Christ and Christ alone and not from the doctors, therapists, or anyone else.  May we all experience hope like we have never experienced it before.

Romans 15:13 (AMP)  "May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over)with hope.

One of my all time favorite worship songs is In Christ Alone...

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
The Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

The song continues on and I encourage you to listen to it, but I just love these lyrics.  Walking this journey for 4 years now.  We have experienced ups and downs, highs and lows, moments of despair and moments of unexplainable peace.  My feet have wavered from time to time, my eyes have wondered off the cross, but God has remained the same.  Faithful and true, comforter and peace.  God is continuing to show me His unfailing love for me.  He has been my encourager, my only source of hope.  And as we prepare to start yet another chapter of this journey, I pray that my feet will be planted firm on Christ alone,  that I will never once think of our situation as hopeless but hopeful, HOPE FULL!  Pray for us please.  While we are not starting from the beginning and our journey is not new, we are facing challenges very similar to what it once felt like at the beginning. Pray specifically against discouragement.

Praise God we are not alone, that He has been guiding and directing our steps and Adam's care, that He has supplied our needs and provided in ways that have been truly unfathomable.  We are continuing to trust Him as we embark on our next steps.

Today we are celebrating DISCHARGE!!!  When in a hospital setting this might be my favorite word!  Nearly 6 weeks in the hospital has been long enough!   We're hoping to break out of here sometime before lunch. 

We are praising God for His provisions once again!!!  Adam was approved for Rehab Without Walls!!!  This will be the first time ever that we will have help in our home with Adam.  We have very strict guidelines in taking Adam home and they will be very confining, but having support in the home even for a few hours a week is going to be amazing!  Adam is very sensitive to stimulation and going out in public as been posing some challenges.  Adam's doctor is requesting for every hour of stimulation, whether in the house or not Adam will require 3-4 hours of quite and rest.  His brain is just really sensitive and unable to process too much at one time while it is continuing to heal from all that it has been through.  It is also recommended that we limit our outings to appointments only and that Adam takes the next 4-6 weeks to be at home with controlled stimulation.  Pray that this won't be challenging for wither of us but a time of peace and reprieve, of healing and joy unspeakable.  Thank you for praying for us and for walking this journey with us, we are so blessed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Marriage, My Man... God's Plan

What a privilege it is to stand by my man.  To be one as we walk the difficult road before us, to united by God's grace and love.  My role as a wife is different than most, I am thankful daily for Adam, even when he is agitated and all that seems to fly out of his mouth are 4 letter words... I am thankful that he is speaking... perspective.  I have to keep my eyes on the blessing God has bestowed upon me so that I won't get lost in the longing I have for my husband to be what he once was, but to see the gift he is and the gift we have been given to share this moment together.  It's easy to get caught up focusing on what I don't have or wishing for something different than what God has given me, it takes practice keeping my eyes fixed on God and recognizing that the life and journey I am walking is because He has allowed it and therefore is orchestrating all things for His good and for His glory.

I challenge all of you who are married, the next time you might be temped to be upset, mad, or angry at your spouse try to see what a blessing they are.  That you both have the ability to share life together, conversations, laughter, that you can create memories, share in life's celebrations and sorrows.  Ask God what He is teaching you about Him through your spouse.  God is teaching me so much about who He is and His characteristics through my role as Adam's wife. I have so much to be thankful for and I am incredibly blessed that I have the privilege to walk daily with my maker, allowing Him to ill any gaps in my marriage.  God has continued to shape and mold Adam's and my life, just because Adam may not remember being married, or even me as his wife, it doesn't stop God from working and knitting our marriage together not just our lives.

We are continuing to rejoice as we see God's hands throughout all of Adam's recovery!  It's been a successful week in rehab for Adam!  It's an incredible blessing to see all the hard work going into Adam's recovery both from Adam and from all those who have been working with Adam.  Thank you Jesus for giving Adam strength and for your provisions around Adam's team!

It's so awesome to be working with a team that will continue to follow Adam as we discharge.  It's helping as we develop a plan of care for Adam and not just a "survival plan".  Adam's physiatrist sat down with me multiple times this week and we worked together to determine a long term plan of care as well as played through some scenarios and how best to treat Adam if these situations should arise.  For example if Adam should become agitated beyond my ability to stay safe or to keep Adam safe, she and I worked on a plan of action.  We came up with a plan to continue to check with neurosurgery to keep an eye on Adam's shunt levels and making sure the pressure in Adam's head is maintained at a safe level. 

Adam's doctor also listened to my concerns about Adam's agitation, I believe he gets most agitated when he can't remember specific things about his life.  Most of his agitation is in response to his memory loss and confusion.   Awhile ago, before we switched physiatrists, I had asked about certain drugs that stimulate the production of acetylcholine which our bodies make naturally but those with dementia or Alzheimer's it produces at a much lower rate and those with brain injuries similar to Adam's it suppresses the ability for his brain and body to make enough if any at all.  When I had asked about this awhile ago, Adam hadn't been stable enough with all his seizures and other medical issues that it wasn't a possibility to try something like this.  Since Adam is inpatient there is no better time to try... the other blessing... ADAM HAS BEEN SEIZURE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If Adam's seizures were going to continue with the fierce intensity that they had been he most likely would have had seizures right after surgery and with multiple surgeries he would have had a greater risk.  This isn't to say he won't ever have another seizure but continuing to maintain the pressure in Adam's brain this is helping to keep the seizures under control.  PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!!  With this awesome and exciting news we also have been able to work Adam off one of the 4 medications he takes for seizures.  This is only the beginning, hopefully we will continue to work him down to just one seizure medication.

One of the goals we have been working on while Adam is inpatient is how to work through the agitation and still be successful in getting out in the community.  This last year for us has been extremely isolating. We have been working with the doctors, therapists, social worker, and psychologist to come up with a long term plan as to where our family will end up and evaluating our support team and our quality of life.  This has been difficult as we have been so blessed with amazing support and incredible health care but the two don't always come in the same package.  So it looks like we will have more decisions to make.  Placing yet another life altering decision in the hands of God.  Pray for protection and guidance as we make this decision.  We won't be changing locations right away, as Adam still has quite a bit of recovery ahead of him.

We are hoping for a discharge date of next week sometime, but that will depend on what will be available to Adam as an outpatient.  The team here believes Adam needs intensive therapies and care to continue.  We have contacted a program called Rehab Without Walls, we are hoping our insurance will approve this as an option.  RWW will provide therapists, nurses, and other support teams to come into our home and work with Adam in his environment.  This would allow him to become stable at home before beginning outpatient therapies here at Harborview. This will help with the transition and with the stimulation issues that we are seeing arise in Adam.  RWW is a short term transitional option for us pending insurance approval.  I would love for God to provide RWW as long as God sees fit for Adam and not what insurance decides is best.  God has been incredibly faithful at providing all our needs and we are continuing to do trust Him.

Please pray for Adam's cognition to improve beyond what limitations man has put on him.  We know Adam's true physician is God and God alone and there are no limitations as to what He can do and is doing in Adam's recovery.  Pray for Adam's memory to be restored fully.  Pray for me and our family, there is more going on than I have the freedom to share and I could really use prayer.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

God Meeting Us Right Where We Are

My heart is so heavy and for so many reasons.

Often I don't understand all that we have to face in a day, I don't understand the mounting stresses and frustrations that have complied on top of Adam's injury.  God has asked only of me that I trust Him and place my trust in Him alone.  That is all I can do right now, because nothing about life in this moment makes sense to me. All that I am processing through both in Adam's recovery and in day to day life truly makes me feel like I am about to be crushed under the weight of it all.  But God is bigger and He is my strength and I am keeping my eyes fixed on Him and not on all the circumstances around me.

While I may not understand why we are facing all that we are facing, God has met me right where I am.  My time with God lately has truly been some of the best I can remember, He is truly showing me how sufficient His grace is.  He's protecting me in the palm of his hands.  He is walking with me through some difficult circumstances and pulling me closer to Him in the process.  I am so incredibly amazed how closely He is walking with me. 
The last couple of days I have spent processing all that has been going on.  I have spent time meditating on God's word and praying for direction and protection.

At the end of last week I learned that the doctors believe Adam is suffering from a brand new brain injury.  They believe that the trauma from the 3 brain surgeries, the complications of the fluid and air that built up on Adam's brain, and the 4 shunt and pressure adjustments was just too much for Adam's already fragile brain to handle.  This has resulted in new injuries, new deficits, new complications, new challenges, and the beginning of a "new normal". 

Adam has had a significant increase in agitation and has been unable to manage stimulation well.  This has been an expected turn in his recovery.  When his injury first happened I had prepared myself for a change in his personality based on what the doctors and therapists had educated and trained me.  I wasn't prepared for it to happen all these years later.  It hadn't crossed my mind that it could happen now, years after his injury.  But as a result from this new injury we are seeing what looks like a change in his personality and ability to cope with stimulation.  I am praying this is temporary.  Listening to Adam swear in anger and frustration over and over again all day long is very difficult. Thankfully the Lord has sprinkled some relief here and there.  Yesterday Adam had a great day, and was easily distractible... today, not so much.  There is no rhyme or reason as to what triggers his anger. 

After talking with Adam's doctor this evening she was realistically said that there is no way to know what Adam can and will overcome.  He has already come through so much and much than he was ever expected to.  No one can look at Adam's chart and read through his medical history and not see that Adam is here because God is working in Adam and not by chance.  Medically speaking most doctors can't understand how Adam has survived all that he has.  Adam has survived his initial injury, 14 brain surgeries, 2 life threatening infections, 5 craniectomies, facility related medication mishaps, a silver alert, and probably more than I can recall.  It truly is by God's grace and purpose that my man is still alive.   I can't wait to see all that God has planned through for Adam. 

One thing I know for sure is God has definitely had purpose in our time here.  From conversations with the staff to Adam's roommate.  With permission I am share this... Adam's roommate is a homeless man who truly has been given a second chance at life.  We have not only been able to live our faith out, but share it as well.  The last couple nights as the lights have been out, he has been discussing the changes in life that he wants to make and I have been able to share God's love, explaining, that God wants to give the gift of His grace through forgiving his sins.  I told him there is nothing God can't forgive.  I have loved the opportunity to talk about Jesus and our faith, it's nothing short of a divine appointment.   Join me in praying for this man's salvation and for his eyes to be open to God's purposes and plans for his life.

Matthew 5:14-16 Message "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be a light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.  We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.   If I make you light bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket do you?  I'm putting you on a light stand.  Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand -- SHINE!  Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."

PS:  Mackenzie had her first day in high school, please pray for her as she walks through this time, and especially because we don't know where we will end up through all of this.  I hate the thought of moving her around in high school, but all of this is in God's hands.  We will continue to trust Him for guidance and direction.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

God's Plans Are Higher

A decision I made early on when I decided to live my life for Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, was that I was all in.  In good times and bad, in difficulties and celebrations... I don't want to wake up in the morning being the same person I am today.  I want to consistently be in the hands of my maker, shaping me and molding me to be more like Him.  I don't want to go one day without His hands working in and through my life.  This has been my prayer and my heart since that day in 2005 when I asked God to forgive me of my sins and to allow me to live for Him all the days of my life.  This hasn't been an easy prayer to keep praying, especially when God has chosen very challenging circumstances, or even challenging relationships to grow me.  The growing pains are rough sometimes.

Everything that Adam and I have gone through prior to his injury and even since his injury has taught me a great deal about the importance of growing to be holy and making that my focus rather than my focus of just "being happy".  A long time ago, I remember saying frequently that "life's too short not to be happy", in reality life's too short to not focus on allowing God to refine me and make me more holy.  We learn a lot about God through our relationships with others.  God often uses our spouse to be the vessel to build in us Christ likeness.  This evening I was reminded how much I have changed and how much God is growing me through my marriage to Adam and even other relationships in my life.

We learn a lot about the character of God and who is when we follow the examples He has set before us.  God forgives; we learn forgiveness by refusing to give up on those who’ve disappointed us. God loves; we learn to love by enduring in friendship with those who are at times unlovely. God is gracious; we learn grace by blessing others when they haven’t earned our blessing.

I loved this example from a devotion I read earlier today as I was seeking wisdom and guidance from the Lord… “The Bible borrows an image from the world of architecture and construction to describe God’s plan for relationships: “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another” (Romans 14:19 – NASB).  Relationships among Christians are like construction sites; each person is being built up spiritually, made more and more like Jesus. God is doing this work, and the tools he uses include our interactions with one another.”

When we disengage from difficult relationships (and or difficult circumstances), it’s like leaving the construction site. We miss out on the opportunity to grow in our likeness to Christ through the very difficulties we so desperately want to avoid.  The notion of pursuing peace is critical. It suggests that harmony is something we ought to crave so much we’ll chase it down at great expense to ourselves. Obviously, a primary obstacle to growing in our relationships is complacency – simply not caring enough to do the hard work of forgiving, accepting, forbearing. It is, after all, so much easier to disengage, ignore, marginalize. 
Marriage is the perfect platform for us to learn such great tools, to grow closer to Christ, and to become more like Him as we allow Him to use us to accomplish His will and for Him to have His way in our life.  Marriage also offers the perfect platform to put into practice what the Bible teaches.  Forging through the storms so that we might grow and become more like Jesus.  Not easy by any means but critical to our walk with God.  It might seem easier just to walk away from our difficulties, whether people or circumstances, but in the long it would be me who would be missing out on all that God has planned to be good through these storms of life.  Because I believe in God I believe this to be true, that no matter the difficulties God is still good and still working all things together for good.
I can see Him working things together for good as I watch Him knit Adam back together.  How thankful I am that Adam is still here and persevering through it all. It might have been a day of challenges and Adam was extremely agitated on and off throughout the day but, I sure can see God working all things together for good just by allowing Adam to be getting the help he needs at this time.  God’s provisions are amazing.  My man is amazing all that he is persevering and fighting through.
Adam had another full day of therapy nearly 6 hours of therapy plus a team meeting and a meeting with the vocational counselor.  I am so proud of my man!  He truly is the strongest man I know for all that he fights through daily and all that he has come through in the last 4 and a half years.  During our team meeting today as we were discussing goals and plans for Adam’s few weeks here as inpatient, my heart was heavy.  I explained to the team what baseline looked for Adam and even discussed some of the things he was capable of with his right hand only a couple of weeks ago.  His doctor told me that he believed some further damage may have been caused whether form the surgeries or the complications its unsure… but he believes it will take 6 months to a year to get Adam back to where he once was.
It’s incredibly hard to not be discouraged or sad when I think about it.  But just like I have been saying, God has a plan for all of this and there are no steps backwards.  He is still a miracle working God so please pray for Adam’s miracle.  Pray that this will be just another statistic he will defy and overcome.  I am so thankful God is in the miracle business, I am still hoping, praying, and believing for the miracle of Adam’s full restoration.  Not a sign of his injury left behind.  I truly believe this will happen.  When Jesus healed, he ALWAYS miraculously and instantaneously did so.  He never healing part way.  While He has allowed Adam to make it this far, I am still believing He will heal Adam completely.
Please continue to pray for Adam and our time here.  Pray against discouragement and frustration, pray for continued perseverance and strength.  Pray also for Mackenzie.  She is going through rough transition as she is preparing for high school to start on Wednesday.  She had her orientation today and it was a struggle for her, she felt so alone.  Please pray that God will provide her with good girlfriends and a positive 4 years at high school.  Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement, it really helps us get through our days.
If you would like to send something Adam can put on his walls in his room the address is:
Inpatient Traumatic Rehab
Room 465-2 Root
325 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Celebrating Our Anniversary

Happy 7th Anniversary Adam!  I love you in ways words cannot explain and my heart may never fully comprehend!
Today Adam and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  We're not like most couples, we won't be celebrating by going to dinner or taking a vacation, instead we'll be celebrating that we are still able to say "I love you" to each other.  We'll be celebrating our love for each other and God's grace allowing us time in each other's arms.  We'll celebrate once again bedside in the hospital but at least we're together.  For that my heart is so grateful and for that tears well in my eyes as I do not take a moment with Adam for granted. 

As we have spent so much time this year back in a hospital and especially the last couple of weeks, I often find myself reflecting on our marriage.  Lately I have been reflecting on our journey as husband and wife, the blessings and the sorrows, the times grief and the times of celebrations.  God has gifted us and blessed us with a love so strong, a love that I am convinced most do not experience in a lifetime.  Our love has been tested and tried, almost taken from us more than once... yet it is not us holding our love together but the strength of God's grip on our marriage.  Nothing we have done in our own strength and power allows us to be where we are today.  It is truly by the hands of God and His grace alone that I am able to hug, kiss, and tell my man I love him.

Adam and I made a very conscience choice to place our marriage in God's hands from the beginning.  Even before we were engaged, we placed our relationship in God's hands, it was His to do as He wills. I don't allow myself (okay at try really hard to not allow myself) to feel sorry for us or even be mad or upset with where our journey has brought us.  Because over and over again before Adam's injury we had placed our plans, our marriage, our ideals, our dreams into God's hands and told Him to do as He wills.  We asked to be used as a vessel for His glory.  While no one could have seen this path as the means to accomplish His works, it is what He has chosen for us.  Because of this, we can see so many blessings, we experience so much joy even in the midst of the hardships.  We can see God using us and our journey to impact our friends, family, medical community, and many people we have not even met.  His path is difficult but worth the journey when He is leading.  I pray that we may not go to the right or left without first hearing His voice of guidance.  Continuing daily to make the conscience decision to trust Him, to follow Him, and to submit to His ways... they are so much higher!

I may have shared this already but, I can remember praying for very specific characteristics, asking God over and over for Him to work on and in my heart.  He is answering these requests.  It is taking this road, this journey, these struggles and challenges but God is refining me and purifying us along the way.  Adam's injury has made me a better person.  Being Adam's wife and sharing life with him is teaching me patience, kindness, gentleness, acceptance, unconditional love, unconditional respect, self control, thankfulness, contentment, selflessness, love as a verb, trust, team work, and so much more.  Much of the list above is being learned from walking the path set before us.  I can choose to sink under the weight of all these circumstances or I can choose to continue to walk with Him, trusting Him that He is working this all for good and His glory.    I choose to continue to walk with Him, submitting to His will for our marriage, our life, and all that He has planned for us.  Good, bad, sorrow, joy, blessings, and difficulties.  I choose God.

Today as we celebrate our anniversary, we also celebrate making it into rehab!!!!  Adam was admitted into the traumatic rehabilitation unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.  I will post an address tomorrow, Adam could use some mail, encouragement and anything to decorate his walls with that would encourage him or brighten his days.  We haven't met any of the therapists or much of the team, we spent most of the day just in the admitting process.  Tomorrow begins a new chapter of this journey.  I have more I want to share and more I want to type, but Adam has an early morning and it's hard typing in complete darkness.  So for now I will share a couple pictures and continue tomorrow.


Anniversary celebration!  Thanks family!

Adam's room needs some love...

Starting rehab with a busy schedule tomorrow.  Pray for endurance and strength.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Gaining Real Ground

We're gaining ground!!!!  Praise the Lord!!!!  With God, Adam continues to defy the odds and is just amazing!  Sometimes what man sees as going backwards and loosing ground, God uses to do amazing things to increase our faith and dependence on Him.  He uses what might seem like steps in the wrong direction to show His unfailing love to others who might not otherwise be able to or have opportunity to see Him at work.  Because we know that when God is in control, when we truly trust Him in every way and every moment, there is no such thing as steps backwards.  The bible says "I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run you will not stumble." Proverbs 4:11-12 "he has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. These clearly state that God knows and is in control. 

Over the last 4 and half years of walking this journey I know God has grown me.  He is increasing my faith, increasing my desire for Him, and showing me how trusting Him completely and depending on Him fully is a way of life, a choice.  Not just when we need Him to show up, but a lifestyle to live by moment by moment.  What does your lifestyle look like, is trusting God and His plans your priority or only if they fit into your plans?  These are questions that I have had to ask myself and I challenge you to do the same.  Would you trust God completely and wholly, knowing He is good and being able to rejoice and praise Him if you were facing a very difficult journey?  If you are on a journey, are you praising Him or angry with Him?  Heart checks are always good.  These 2 weeks being in the hospital I have asked God to search my heart and to do a heart check up.  Believe me, He is. Allowing God to grow us in difficult circumstances and through challenging journeys is truly how we gain ground, eternal ground. 

My man is getting a little antsy, but overall he is doing amazing!  Making steps everyday to persevere through each and every detail and unplanned circumstance that has come up over the last couple of weeks. The neurosurgeons said that the air on Adam's brain has decreased a little.  Which means laying flat and being on oxygen is working.  He also said that it will take 2-3 months before it will be resolved.  Still this is better than another surgery!!!  Adam can be up to participate in therapy, eat meals, and visit a little and the rest of the time has to be in bed flat on oxygen.  Laying flat is not his favorite thing to do, but for now it is saving us another surgery so I will do whatever I can to encourage Adam to make it through the next couple of months.  We will have another CT scan in 4 weeks to see the progress of the air pocket and to make sure that it is continuing to decrease in size.

If you can think of fun activities or games we can do while laying completely flat, please share your ideas with us!

We are currently waiting to hear if we can be discharged from this hospital and be admitted into Harborview Medical Center for the brain injury rehab unit.  I am crossing my fingers we can move forward.  We were only suppose to be here for 3-4 days and it's been 2 weeks and 3 surgeries later.  I am ready to close this chapter and start the next.  We are taking baby steps and making progress!  Praise the Lord!

Adam and I were blessed to be surrounded by family all weekend.  Every day his room was full and laughter was shared.  Even Mackenzie made a surprise visit!!!! 

I am thanking God for these two, for their fellowship, conversation, meals, and laundry.  The hours that my brother and sister in law have spent with Adam and I while we have been in the hospital have been such a blessing and I have treasure what we have shared.  Love you both and thank you!

My KIDDO!!!  Love her!!!

I believe at one point there were 12 of us in Adam's room.  We had a pizza party surrounded by family!