Another incredible look at this path through the valley of shadows, and the Good Shepherd who leads His people through it:
“Happy Birthday to Elijah!! Nineteen today!
It is 3:30 a.m. Elijah had a fairly restful 8 hours. They put him back on another pain medicine – so he receives one IV and one in his PEG tube. The neurosurgeon is anxious to spread out the pain relief more than every two hours in an effort to wake him up. He needs to wake up and follow simple commands in order to progress to rehab. I won’t belabor the other possibilities right now. Increasing time between pain medicine proves to be very difficult. Distinguishing between pain and his ‘neural storming’ is essentially a guessing game. At times his heart rate soars to 180 with respiration at more than 50 per minute his arms posture and legs stiffen, his eyes fixate and do not blink and he sweats profusely – pouring down his face. And, to our chagrin he has recently begun grinding his teeth. Usually the only way to give him any relief is the pain medication and sometimes that does not work or we are too soon between doses. He has had one of these neural storms for the past hour until his heart rate got to 198 and they gave meds early. Even then it took us another 30 minutes or more to help him calm down. Now I am wide awake. It is quiet and so I write.
Storms. We all have them. Some more severe than others. And truth be told we all make a bigger deal out of some than we should. It is all a matter of perspective. Jesus did say, in this life you will have troubles. He also reminded us “I have overcome the world”.
Saturday night May 16th was my night to be home with the kids. As I was shutting the kitchen blinds I noticed the words I had printed on my kitchen window nearly two weeks before. “Oh Happy Day!” I had written these words in celebration of the life we were living at the time. They are written backwards so that when people come to our house, they might see the words. Determinedly, I erased those words and replaced them with “We will Praise Him in the Storm”.
Amazingly, Sunday morning I received two separate texts from special friends while I was at the hospital. They both referenced storms:
1. “Be of good courage as you wait upon Him, Your faithfulness and willingness to praise him in this storm is such a light for those around you! He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed! Praying the waves of the sea would be hushed”
2. “Singing prayers and praise this morning on behalf of all of you. May you find peace in the midst of this storm today. ((hugs))”
That same day was the first day that Dr. Neurosurgeon mentioned the ‘neural storming’. By now both Randy and I are well acquainted with the symptoms of these neuro storms. By now we wish the storm was over. It isn’t. We wait.
Thankfully in the midst of storms the Lord provides rain showers. Tuesday May 19th, I was driving to the hospital in the rain. Quite honestly, I love rain. But that day I was tired of the rain – it was raining when Elijah had his accident and it seems to have not stopped raining since. Literally and figuratively. My spirit was parched, my soul dried up and discouraged. Even more so when I arrived at ICU and the staff was frantically preparing Elijah for a CAT scan to check what they thought to be more internal injuries. Would this rain ever stop?
In His perfect timing, God sent showers of encouragement to me right then! An unknown number came across my phone as a missed call. A brave, willing, compassionate young man made a phone call to a discouraged family that he didn’t even know! He left a message saying that one day what we were going through ‘would be a distant memory’. When he was 17, he had an accident on I-25. He himself had suffered a tragic accident that had resulted in multiple leg fractures. He was close to Elijah’s age at the time and now, 3 years later, was fully recovered and living a full life. Embracing how God changed his life through this accident, he told me that he would not change a thing that he had gone through. He would not go back and change his storm. Our Lord had refined his faith through the many miracles that he had experienced in his storm. He encouraged me to believe our Lord will do that for us too.
The story didn’t end with a voicemail. We talked on the phone, texted and, finally, he asked if he could come pray with us. He purchased a ticket to fly home so that he could pray with Elijah, Randy and me! We look forward to meeting and praying with this young man today! The refreshing rain shower in the midst of this storm. Thank you, Luke!
May I always be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit to encourage someone else in their storm. And may Elijah be that young man one day.
The storm has not yet subsided, but may we find the strength and faith to endure and to continue to praise Him.
~Brenna, for all