July 10, 2013

Be still and know

Why does it always seem that through tragedy one is almost always brought closer to God? I have always considered myself to be a spiritual person; however, with all of the recent things that have happened in my life, I have often found myself questioning, "Why, God?" This is not the question that I should be asking and it seems as though God has been trying to show me that He is in fact, here, all around me.
Walt and I went to church two Sundays ago for the first time since Lauren's fall.  The sermon topic: How to respond when disaster strikes your family. It was quite the moving sermon, and the entire time I felt as though God were speaking to me. Ever since that sermon I have really been trying to look at positives and notice how God is all around.

Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Be Still and Know" has popped into my head every night as I am putting my girls to sleep, and when rocking sweet Case.

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease
Be still

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that he has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still

Be Still, and know that He is God
Be Still, and know that He is God
Be Still, and know that He is God

Be Still; Be speechless

Be still and know that he is God
Be still and know he is our Father
Come rest your head upon his breast
Listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still

As I look at the simplicity of the lyrics to this song, I have found myself realizing that God is trying to show me how he is working.
The first verse, to me, is apparent every day when I am with my two precious girls and around my nephew, Case. Watching those 3 play together, all of the noise and clamor ceases when I honestly take a moment to live in their moment, and see all of the innocence that they portray. To see Case getting excited about certain songs that we all sing together, to watch Emerson walk over to Case with a bottle because she can tell he is hungry, and to see Eloise break down with frustration and say that she is "disappointed in herself" because she made the wrong choice....these are all moments of God. Moments where these children are just being children, and where I am able to see just how pure they really are.

And as I study the second verse.  This verse speaks volumes to me, and I often find myself replaying this verse over and over. I know that God is faithful. Case and I went to see Lauren (his momma, my sister in law) on Monday. I left standing in awe, and being amazed...and I looked at what all God has done since May 26, when Lauren fell. While at TIRR on Monday, I know in fact, that I witnessed the greatest love story I have ever seen. Lauren knows that Spencer loves her more than anything in this world, and that his vows have been tested and she responds to him like no other. My brother, told me just the other day that he is more in love with Lauren today, than when he married her. God is there. God is a HUGE part of their marriage and every time I see them together, I am reminded of that. I see the progress that Lauren has made from the first time that I saw her after her fall, and I DO consider all the God has done. I was in awe when I saw Case take off Lauren's glasses on Monday, and light up all over because he knew that that was HIS momma (she wears contacts), and I was amazed when I heard Lauren singing as sweetly as she could to him. God is constant....and God will continue to allow more progress for Lauren.

Be still. Be speechless.....
I am speechless. Speechless with how God has intertwined so many lives because of Lauren.
If I am correct Lauren's occupational therapist, speech therapist and physical therapist, all have some tie to Lauren...whether it is going to grad school with my sister, Poco, or knowing someone from UT who knew her... it is crazy. I was teaching Vacation Bible School right when this all happened, and my partner (who I did not know at the time), her sister, was one of Lauren's best friends in pharmacy school. How crazy is it that Lauren ended up at TIRR, in Houston, and Spencer and Lauren just happen to have family who is located here, and we are all able to help out. I can't help but stand in awe and be speechless with how God has allowed things to work.

And the third verse. I can only hope that through all of this that has happened to Lauren, that someone has read about her story and prayed to God for the first time and then came to know Him. Or that someone found their way back to God after hearing of the miraculous things he has done for Lauren. And I know for sure that because of Lauren, prayer has become much more powerful and meaningful for me...and for so many other people. I have seen that the power of prayer has worked. And I have also seen how strong my brother's faith is, and this has inspired me.

So, I have been reminded recently to just be still. Let God do his work. As a human this is difficult, and I fail many times and question many things...however, when I am still, I can see how he is all around me.

I ask that you please continue to pray for my sweet sister in law, Lauren. Please pray that Lauren would become more alert.
That she would begin to initiate conversation.
That as she becomes more aware she wouldn't get depressed.
Pray for complete restoration.

Pray for my brother, Spencer, also. Pray that God would continue to give him strength in this time. That he would focus on today and remember the progress she has made instead of thinking too far into the future.

Continue to share Lauren's story. Ask all you know to pray for her. God is good and he is working.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

July 3, 2013

Quick Update

Since my last post, Lauren has been moved to TIRR, in Houston.  Lauren has been there for a little over a week and made incredible progress. 
Since coming to TIRR, Lauren has passed her swallow study and is now eating food, and drinking from a cup. She still gets her PEG feedings because she can't eat enough to get all the nutrition she needs yet. Physical Therapy will stand her up from time to time so she can feel weight throughout her legs. Her right side is strongest and she can hold herself up pretty well with a little support and something to lean on. She is starting to move her left hand more purposefully and has waved with it.
Lauren's TRACH was removed early yesterday morning. This is a big deal because not only is she much more comfortable but it should be easier for her to speak. She is still not initiating communication on her own but she is able to answer most questions accurately with time. She knows their dogs' names, address, birthday, son's name, city they live in, where she works, etc... She is having issues with her vision and we are not sure if she is sensitive to light or seeing double. She wears an eye patch because of this. Lauren is still very fatigued throughout the day but is slowly becoming more alert.

Case, their son, is staying in Houston as well.  He is getting loads of attention from cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  The Lord definitely knew what he was doing when he blessed Spencer and Lauren with Case, as he is quite possibly the happiest baby that has ever graced this planet.
Spencer is proving every day that he is one of the most compassionate, loving, supportive men on the face of the Earth. We are all so proud of him and honored to say that he is in fact, our brother, son and friend.

 Please keep praying. God is working. I will update again soon.

Jeremiah 32:17
Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.