Here’s an update from Brenna. She refers to her amazement at the blog stats; this website has been viewed over 209,000 times by over 55,000 people, in over 100 countries. We are so grateful for those of you who have joined us in prayer; it brought so much hope, especially in the first few days after the accident. In seeing how the Lord was burdening his people all over the world to pray for the preservation of Autumn’s and Elijah’s lives, it made me confident that He intended to do a mighty work. He has, and He is! Here’s a look at the schedule for Elijah’s big day tomorrow (long-awaited answer to prayer!), as well as a glimpse into more of his character.
“This week I was speaking with Haley about the blog. She interfaces with the readers and some of it she forwards on. She was telling me the statistics on the blog that hardly anyone is aware of; we are amazed at the numbers of people who are keeping up on Elijah and Autumn who have never met them before… thank you!
Because many of you don’t know Elijah, I thought I would use Elijah’s words to help you know the kind of person that he is. Since the accident, some people have shared with me thank you cards, emails and voice messages that Elijah had sent them. Elijah tends to be a thinker. When he was about 8 or 9 years old he said he didn’t want to go to an amusement park because amuse means “without thought”. As he grew older, he enjoyed putting those thoughts into words – in sermons and speeches and debates. So, here are a few of his printed words:
From my birthday card April 2015 (3 wks before the accident):
Dear Mom, Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day! Just as much as this is a happy birthday card, it is also a thank you card. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I truly appreciate everything you did to raise me. I know that nothing I do could ever repay you for what you have done for us, but I want you to know that I love you and am grateful for all you do. Thanks for being a great mom, teacher, mentor, inspirational speaker, and debate partner. Love you!
From a thank you card summer 2014:
“Those with a positive outlook on life are indubitably the most uplifting to be around. Your family has an uplifting effect on others, because of your optimistic perspective and your joyful demeanor. Thank you for the encouraging presence you always have and for the friendship you have shared with me. In the somewhat less abstract and more immediate realm, I would also like to convey my no less warmly felt gratitude for your generous monetary gift for my graduation. I truly appreciate it.
“I began reading Job this morning and I realized: Job had the foundational understanding that everything we own is the Lord’s and that he has merely lent it to us for a time. Even after he has lost everything and his wife urges him to “curse God and die.” He replies “How can we receive good from the Lord if we cannot receive adversity?” This simple faith is what we need today; simply understanding that all is the Lord’s and that all He does has a purpose. Just thought I’d pass along the challenge to be content with our lot.”
These words, God’s words, speak to us all, wherever we are.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will move to Craig at 9:00 a.m. We hope the transition will be smooth and Elijah will have a plan in place quickly. We look forward with hope and prayer for the progress that Elijah will be able to make with more intense therapy. He is definitely ready. The changes this week have been less dramatic; more subtle. Elijah has been able to interject thoughts into conversations going on around his bedside and answer some questions. His understanding of language is fully intact and as the neurons reconnect to form different pathways, he is sometimes able(or willing?) to answer questions. He is averaging maybe 2-3 phrases/sentences per day so he definitely chooses his times and audience carefully and some days does not say anything. Friday, the OT stretched out Elijah’s hand and as it was contracting back down to a fist, she asked him to keep his fingers out and he was slowly able to do that. Similiarly, he was able to close them slowly when asked. This is a step. His arms are overall still very contracted at the bicep and mostly he cannot extend past 90 degrees.
Please continue to pray for Elijah’s siblings. The younger boys are experiencing the stress and have been able to express their feelings about that this weekend.
Thank you for faithfully standing by us as we walk this path…God is capable and faithful to finish what he started.
~Brenna for all