I woke up early this morning to find these words from Brenna (Elijah’s mom) sitting in my inbox. Each day, Jesus has been giving her a specific ‘word’ to strengthen and encourage her . . . and they truly feel like a window into his ICU room.
First, though, a quick morning update on Elijah from Brenna:
Elijah’s morning update so far:
Randy reports to me that Elijah had a restless night and a midnight visit to get a CAT scan. The Dr. was concerned about pupil size. Elijah is still not awake/alert and is having more issues with pain management. For those of you who pray, and I am told there are over 70,000 views of this blog in more than 80 countries, please pray for wisdom in pain management. Also if you could pray for Elijah’s siblings; Evan, Heather, Grace, Spencer and Ezekiel. They are feeling the stress of all of this.
“My eyes are blurry and feel like sandpaper. This is the second time that I have felt so compelled to write about the journey that God has us on. From 2-4 o’clock I have been shaking off the compulsion. Surely I should be enjoying my one night in my bed? But I am up, it is four o’clock, and I am staring at my blank computer screen.
When Haley started this blog, it was always impressed upon me that this would be something bigger than just a report about medical conditions. It would be a testimony to the love that God has for his children. This is a walk by faith and not by sight. Just as Elijah prayed in the book of Kings seven times for rain (a significant word for a different post), we continue to pray –all the while believing. While we have very little “physical evidence” of Elijah’s progress or healing, there is much to report about how Jesus is working.
Last Tuesday, May 12 the “word” that I clung to was wait. The storm had begun that day. Elijah’s condition was changing from one of a neuro trauma to include the fearful brain injury: possibly the most severe brain injury imaginable. The Lord gave me the verse:
“Wait upon the Lord: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14 KJV).
It was that morning that a dear chaplain, Terry, visited me outside of Elijah’s ICU room. I first met Terry the night of the accident- she was the first person that I saw as I entered the ER. She wrapped her arm around me and, in her wonderful Kenyan accent, comforted me with her words. That Tuesday morning she poured out showers (a word you will later see…) of encouragement from a heart that loves God and was petitioning on our behalf. Terry encouraged me with Psalm 5:3 …
“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
Her version, the NIV, says to “wait expectantly”. My KJV says “and will look up”. She reminded me that we prayed in the ER for Elijah and Autumn’s healing and now we we were waiting expectantly. We look up to God for that answer. That afternoon, we waited for the MRI results and had a very difficult, frank discussion with the critical care doctor. Rushing to the waiting room, I prayed with whoever was there. I have never prayed like that before. As I fell to my knees with my circle of friends to petition God, I told Him that I would wait as long as it took and asked Him to give me the strength to do that. We are waiting, and God is healing. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. When he is done it will be good.
(If you scroll back somewhere on the blog and you will find that Cinnamon had this same word, ‘wait’, at the same time.)
Second Post from Brenna:
Yesterday (Wednesday) Elijah was so tired that all day he could only briefly open his eyes. Physical therapists worked with him on Tuesday and on Wednesday for and hour and a half (including Dr. Burton draining the hematoma on his back from his seatbelt injury). They did range of motion exercises with his wrists and elbows (OT) and shoulders, knees and hips. They monitor his tolerance of these activities by heart rate. He was tolerating all movement better on Wednesday than on Tuesday. He sat in the cardiac rehab chair for four hours. To help you imagine what this is like, the chair folds flat and rolls next to his bed. The therapists then lift Elijah over to the chair and raise his torso to a “sitting” position. There is a head rest on each side to hold his head steady and he is belted in. His pain is under control, and at every two hours he receives a dose of narcotic. He is down to one pain medication, praise God. I imagine as I write that he is sleeping peacefully in the ICU.
We were blessed beyond measure to have a visit from Scott, Autumn’s Dad. In the early days of this journey, Randy and I envisioned that we would be making the trip to see them first. Thankfully Autumn’s progress allowed him to come to see us! He arrived at 2, left the ICU at 5 and, I hear, joined the prayer group that had formed in the waiting room!
Scott has such a calm spirit; his love for Autumn and the closeness of their relationship is so touching. My first lengthy interaction with Scott (aside from debate tournaments) was the night he called me to tell me about the accident. I still remember him telling me the news in such a calm manner while he was so removed from what was happening up here. The hospital could not find Elijah’s identity and got ahold of Scott and asked him to contact us. I cannot imagine what he went through. Especially when I was freaking out backstage at Anne of Green Gables. After he told me about Autumn’s injuries he politely asked “can I please speak to your husband?” Poor guy. Sorry Scott! That night we talked multiple times and I was so saddened to tell him how bad Autumn was. I held the phone for him to talk to her and held her hand, which felt lifeless.
Randy and I were much encouraged by his visit. We visited, swapped stories, pieced together missing information, and prayed. Generally, we celebrated the inch stones that we have set up to remember the goodness of God. Scott showed us very encouraging and touching videos of Autumn’s progress. She has a shaved head on the front and many staples from the lacerations and facial surgery. Her right eye is still very swollen as is her face I believe. She was giving fist bumps and high fives and walking very short distances. Grace and I loved that after she did a double thumbs up she very cutely clasped her hands together and placed them in her lap. She looks as if she has been through a war but she is a trooper! The Schwinn family and Autumn have been through so much but the Lord has shown Himself gracious and faithful in her healing and theirs. I have fervently prayed that He would preserve her personality and memories, and we are seeing evidences of that!!
–I have been writing since 4 and it is now 5:15 a.m. The birds are chirping and His mercies are new every morning!!!”