Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Expanding things a bit...

Jake is asleep. He is in his own bed. From the laundry room where I type, I can hear Jensen and Robbie as they negotiate through a video game together. Helping each other. Debbie is up reading on the mattress that we have thrown on the floor next to Jacob. It has been there since Jacob went upstairs to his room. Debbie has slept next to him each night since - well since he has woken up. She will not leave his side for neither of us want to miss his needs during the night; neither of us want him to wake up and get up and fall down. Though he is incredibly stable, he still has no skull cap and he still hardly is able to use his right arm.

The toll that this whole journey has taken is tough on family. It sneaks up on, this toil, for you do not really think about what needs to be done you just do it. There is absolutely nothing you won't do when you are fighting for the life of your son. My heart is with the Keller family as their boys are in ICU. (see the last post or the side panel for a link) I also can't shake thinking about Jessica's and Andrew - though there is progress - they will all be in the hospital for Christmas. I am also praying often for Sarah's family. How do you go through this family season having lost your teenage daughter? I suspect from the little I know about them, you do so with the community that you have around you - surrounding you and holding you up.

Faith is truly tested in these moments. Life is truly put on the line when you face these trials. We are so quick to give pat answers, quick conclusions, and naive judgments. Though we do not know the trials that others walk we call upon a heart of compassion and gracious mercy to try to understand and pour our hearts out in prayer.

I do not quite understand right now - why I should be so blessed. What a blessing it is to be unemployed right now. I am able to focus on my family and be a part of helping my son finish his senior year...we have a long way to go and need to double our efforts but we can do it together - what a blessing. Jake is getting stronger. Though we are still watching closely over his thumb we do see growth and it does continue to move slowly in a positive growth direction. We are still hoping for surgery on his skull by the end of January.

I have recently been reading Philippians over and over again. These verses are not dogma but are the expression of the heart of a man who has known suffering. There is in them challenge, correction, comfort and just plain pouring out of his loving heart. He is writing to a community that he deeply cares about. Paul wrote this sentence that so many have used time again:  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (4:13) Taken by itself that verse gives me great guilt. For I really can't do everything. If that is dogma, I am an utter failure. But if I read it in context it is far from dogmatic - it is the heart of one on a journey.

Here is part of the context...read all of Philippians and perhaps portions of Acts to really understand but this helps:

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

This is all about community and God's presence. In the midst of those two things I am strengthened and can move forward and find in the midst of the journey that I am on a contentedness that has nothing to do with the external circumstances: that is where hope begins, that is where faith sustains, that is where peace holds on. It seems to me that this brings a whole lot more freedom. I am so thankful for community. I am so thankful that God is not restricted to what I think that he should be like or should do. For miracles do still happen - I have seen them.
Miracles do still happen.
Tom (Daddy)

1 comment:

Eric Williamson said...

Tom and family,

I swing by from time to time to catch up on Jake and all y'all, and this morning was no different. But today as I read, my heart resonated with the similarities between your experience and ours - the sleeping apart, the 24-hour response team that we've become as we fight for our sons. I wanted to just drop a note to let you know that we are still out here, praying for y'all and for Jacob, and to just offer you some encouragement. It pleases me to hear of Jake's progress, of God's provision for you, and to see your attitude conforming so closely to Christ's. Keep your eyes on the author and finisher of your faith!

Connor's Dad