Gabriel: Answered Prayers!

Back in June, I wrote a desperate request for prayer for Gabriel (In Need of Prayer). Then again, in August (Prayers for Gabriel).

It’s been a couple of years of seeing Gabriel decline, and for close to a year, he has struggled with his eyes, closing them almost 100% of the time, walking around like a blind man, fighting “Iritis”. We have done all sorts of tests on him and have found no cause for the recurring issue. It has been incredibly frustrating. We have also started Gabriel on psych medication for the first time. The process has been long and emotionally taxing.

But today I’m writing with more hope and better expectations, for the following reasons:

  1. Gabriel has been fully opening his eyes for almost 2 weeks! He hasn’t gotten car sick (a side effect of car rides with closed eyes), he is not running into people, and he has been drawing and writing more, just like he used to. This is so encouraging! It is so fantastic to see his beautiful, blue eyes, which have been in hiding for so long!

  2. He seems happier, overall. This means his eyes are probably not hurting and his mood is normalizing again. This also means that the psych meds are probably helping him. Again, encouraging signs for my heart!

  3. He has been approved in a program where I can hire people to work with him at home. I can choose the workers myself and design a program specifically for him! I am currently (and urgently) looking for workers… so message me if you are local and interested 😉

So for all of you who have prayed for Gabriel, THANK YOU! I’m not sure if the Iritis will return or not. I really hope it doesn’t. So I ask you to continue to lift him up in prayer. Please ask the Lord to send us the right people to work with him as well, and to design the program that works best for him.

I am so grateful for all of you. The Lord is attentive to the prayers of his people.

About a month ago, Gabriel posing for the camera with his eyes closed

About a month ago, Gabriel posing for the camera with his eyes closed

It’s Your Breath in Our Lungs

I’m sitting at the table doing the mundane: Checking my email, filling out my calendar with upcoming events, wasting my last minutes of the day playing a few rounds of Scramble online, and then I hear them. My husband and one of my daughters singing downstairs. Juan is at the piano. Elise is harmonizing to his voice. They blend and make a beautiful sound together. They’re worshiping, going from one song to another and another.

And I listen to the words of one of the songs they’re singing, “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. The chorus says

It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only.

And I remember a summer just like this one, exactly three years ago. Juan was hospitalized. A good portion of his lung had been removed because he had, what we later came to find out, a rare lung infection. But the removal of the lobe did not make him well. It made him sicker. He was deteriorating quickly, unable to breathe. Unbeknownst to us, there was another infection brewing, a post-surgical one. His heart was working overtime. He looked and felt as if he were dying. He would soon need to undergo a second, emergency surgery, but this time, in a very weak body. This was one of the scariest times in the life of our family.

I remember we celebrated Daniel’s birthday by his bedside in the hospital room. He was awake long enough for Daniel to blow the candles and eat a piece of cake. We took pictures and smiled, but we were terrified.

Then came the second surgery, the intubation, and the very long recovery process. How many weeks? Months? It felt like years in that hospital room. Ultimately, there was healing. He slowly walked out of the hospital sometime in October. We went home. My husband was alive.

I remember the first time he returned to church and sang. The box of tissues made a few rotations through the congregation that Sunday morning. It was glorious. 

Today I recall that trial and I am so thankful that my husband is sitting at the piano with his sweet daughter, and they are both singing It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only. 

Aug. 19th, Daniel’s 18th birthday

Kissing the birthday boy

Kissing the birthday boy

The birthday table

The birthday table

In ICU, right after the tube was removed after surgery #2.

In ICU, right after the tube was removed after surgery #2.

In ICU, celebrating life!

In ICU, celebrating life!

John 9:6-7 (Mud In The Eye)

I just loved this perspective. It’s just what I needed to read today…

THE RIVER WALK

Mud Edit

Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing! (John 9:6-7)

Read: Proverbs 30:1 – 31:31

Relate: Getting dirty is a right of passage for kids. If a parent sends their eight year old out to play and they come back two hours later not covered in dirt, then there is probably cause for concern. Getting down in the ground, experimenting with the combination of water and dirt, seeing what kinds of bugs live under which rocks… this is all natural and good and healthy.

And most of us grow out of it. If I get dirt on my knees today, that’s no big deal, but at the first opportunity I will be putting on…

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Book Review: A Place of Healing

I just finished reading A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty by Joni Eareckson Tada, and I give it my highest recommendation.

Joni was paralyzed in a diving accident more than 40 years ago. Now, in her 60s, she’s writes this book while going through a new trial: constant, unshakable pain. What I like most about this book is Joni’s high view of God. Every page oozes with his character, calling, and work, putting all things, especially suffering, into perspective.

If you are struggling with the idea of being a Christian yet not delivered from suffering and pain, buy this book today. If you are dealing with physical illness or disability, this book is for you! Even if you are not presently suffering, this book will minister to you and equip you to be a good friend to those who do suffer. It will encourage you greatly. For me, it has renewed my sense of gratitude and contentment, knowing that my hope in the Lord is unwavering and true.