I was talking to Eric the other night about a thought God has given me… First a little background :-)
I’ve always been fascinated by the brain – from as early as I can remember, I wanted to grow up to be a brain scientist (that would be a neurologist, but I didn’t know that word back then!) Anyway, the hook for me was the mystery of it all. And after all the technical and scientific progress we’ve experienced since my childhood, the brain still remains a mystery to the medical community.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but… before the accident, I would climb the stairs to Anne’s darkened room, make my way to her sleeping form, kneel beside her bed and thank God for her brain. Sometimes, I would even put my forehead against hers – just to drink in what I perceived as the awesomeness of her brain. She was so complex, so deeply emotional, fiercely intuitive… Now she is simple…. so very simple.
I was crying out to God about how much I missed Anne… Why her brain, Lord? Her brain – it was beautiful; it was amazing, and now it is… even more amazing… If you look at Anne’s MRI, it is dismal. Severe, diffuse brain damage… diffuse meaning everywhere. Yet she is able to reason, laugh and spontaneously say, “I love you, Mommy.” Anne’s brain is a miracle, and a testimony to the Master Creator. It was like God was saying to me… “You can still marvel, Kathryn.” As Anne regains function, it’s like a layer of the mystery is peeled away, and I get to see a little of how He knits together His masterpiece. Anne’s brain is neuroamazing :-)
Control. It’s every woman’s greatest temptation. And I’ve fallen… again.
We’re thinking about moving. Well, we’re more than thinking, we are working to put our house on the market. I remember thinking that after this past year and all the lessons God has (tried) to teach me about trust, that trusting Him to sell our home would be easy… It’s a house – not my daughter. If I could learn to trust God with my own flesh and blood, how much easier would it be to trust Him with a temporary object?
Ugh. I give myself way too much credit.
From the moment we decided to pursue moving, I jumped in… cleaning, de-cluttering – trying to get the house perfect as fast as I possibly could. And when Eric decides to go at a different pace, or use a different strategy – well… Hear me Roar!
Oh Jesus, you’d think I would have learned just a little about trust – just a little? Tonight’s devotional from Streams in the Desert was like a punch right in my gut: Remain still before Him, and stop your own restless working until He begins to work. Do nothing that He Himself has not commanded you to do. Allow God time to work and He surely will.
Trust, Kathryn! Stop trying to control everything. Stop. Stop! Help your husband and trust God to work. …As Anne would say, “Easy-Peasy.” HA!
Summer vacation is here! I’m excited to have Anne at home, and I’m anxious to have Anne at home :-) It reminds me of how I felt when Anne graduated from the Day Rehab program last October. I was tempted to feel anxious about bringing Anne home for good – but I had a sense that God was working on Anne’s behalf in ways I couldn’t see… yet! After one week at home, God brought both a Speech Pathologist and a Physical Therapist across our path. God continues to use those women in Anne’s life. So I’m excited to see what He has in store for this summer…
Especially, because I think Anne’s on the brink of something big. On the surface, it appears as if she’s regressed… She’s more orally fixated, more fidgety; her impulsivity seems to be off the charts. But in the past, what looked like regression was really something new awakening in Anne’s brain, and it just took her time to sort it all out. I’m hoping this is the beginning of another amazing work of God in Anne!
I also pray that I have the wisdom to balance rest and therapy. I’ve found that Anne makes large strides in her recovery after periods of rest.
So please pray for our time at home. It’s tough for me to balance all of my household responsibilities with caring for Anne at home AND spending time with all three children. It’s a bit overwhelming for me frankly… So, pray for energy and patience for all of us Jacksons this summer! Also, please pray for Anne’s continued healing… less impulsivity, improved cognitive abilities – and for her feet. Her poor feet, especially her left foot… I wrote a whole entry about Anne’s feet last fall, and her left foot is still as weak as ever. I pray earnestly for God to heal the part of her brain that controls her feet.
Thank you for staying close to our family in prayer this summer!
Sorry for the long absence. The month of May marks the end of school, and since my three children are in three different schools… well, we’ve been busy. Kate’s last day was Friday; Canon & Anne both finish Wednesday, and our summer will begin.
Frankly, I’m a little anxious about summer. I usually love having my children at home, but Anne is in a “demanding” phase which makes life difficult. But it forces me to interact with her, which is vital for her continued development and recovery.
Adding to my anxiety is the fact that I have been a bit lazy about reading the bible lately – which is always a source of great comfort for me. I’m sure God still has a good plan for Anne’s life – it’s just hard for God to remind me when I’m not reading His word!
Sigh. I can’t wait for heaven :-)
I can’t tell you how many times God has shown up in the most personal of ways to encourage me in my darkest moments. One of my favorite moments happened just two days after the accident. I couldn’t even walk to the PICU to see Anne; I had to be pushed in a child-sized wheel chair by my friend, Christy. Anne’s head was swollen to twice its normal size and the pressure in her brain was dangerously high. Her survival was still in question, and I wasn’t well enough to stay with her. Leaving my little girl – not knowing if she would live – was one of my lowest points. Continue reading
This has been a hard week …but a good one. Anne started to get a stuffy nose on Sunday night – which turned into a very bad cold. She’s been up alot during the night, coughing and crying because her throat hurts. Neither one of us has had much sleep. I tried to take her to school on Wednesday, but after her PT session, it was obvious that she was miserable, so she hasn’t been back. I took her to the doctor yesterday, and thankfully, she just has a cold, so we’ll wait for her body to fight it off. Meanwhile, both Kate and I have caught Anne’s cold. Fun, fun.
But, there’s always an upside to everything :-)
- I’ve enjoyed my times in the middle of the night with Anne. She is so sleepy that she is able to totally relax while I hold and rock her. That’s a special treat for both of us.
- When I took Anne to school on Wednesday, I was able to stay and observe her PT session. Even though Anne was miserable, I still got to see her walk with her cane. The PT helps Anne move her cane forward. She then directs Anne to lean down on her cane and move her left, then right foot. The PT encourages Anne to take those steps by herself. Sometimes Anne can take two steps and balance well, other times she will fall backwards (and the PT will catch her). Anne does really well when the PT holds her left hand. The improvement from the last time I saw her is amazing. She went twice as far, and she had much more fluid movements. Anne moves her legs really well; she just needs to improve her balance.
- Lastly… Today Anne said, “I need to go tee-tee.” There was something about the way she said it that made me believe her, so I carried her to the potty, and voila – she went!!!! This hasn’t happened since the accident. She will tell me when she needs to have a bowel movement, but she’s never been able to tell when she needs to go tee-tee. So as with every new skill, it will take a while before it becomes consistent, but I’m encouraged that there might be a day when Anne doesn’t need diapers! Woo-Hoo!
Now, I need to take a nap!
Just weeks after the accident, I had a hard conversation with Canon about Anne… “Anne’s brain has been hurt. We don’t know how that will affect Anne. There could be things about her that will be different.” Canon, in honorable big-brother fashion, took all this in, cried a bit and turned brave. All the time Anne was in the hospital, Canon prayed, “God, please help Anne talk and walk and run again. But we know that none of these things matter compared to this: please let her remember her faith in you.” The first time he prayed this, I inwardly screamed, “NO! Those things DO matter. I want her to talk. I want her to walk.” And if I were honest, I wanted my Anne back more than I wanted her to “remember her faith” in God.
God has changed me. That’s the only explanation for what I’m about to write. Now – my greatest desire is for her to remember her faith in God… For her to know Him intimately, and to tell of His mighty works in her life. For her to know His love that is wider and higher and deeper than her wildest dreams. If from eternity past, God knew that Anne would have to pass through this tragedy and suffer physical and cognitive disability in order to win her heart for Himself – well so be it. We’ll walk this road and rejoice for the eternity we’ll spend made whole in heaven.
Canon doesn’t pray that prayer anymore… but I pray it for him. God let Anne know you…. and she will be healed, forever.
I’m reading three books right now… This seems all too common, but it’s new ground for me. I’m not used to having three different authors competing for my attention. It just leads to lots of unorganized thoughts swirling around in my head, but I think the clearest voice right now comes from Nancy Guthrie. Her book, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow is excellent.
She lost two infants to the same rare genetic disorder. She knows sorrow. And her questions are the same questions I’ve grappled with. Why doesn’t Jesus heal today like He did when He walked the earth? How do we reconcile His promises of protection and peace in the midst of hurricanes and terrorists (and brain injuries)? Who is responsible for my sorrow… me? Satan? God? Did God just allow the accident to happen – or did He ordain it?
These are hard questions, and she gives satisfying answers. She writes that it is our eternal home that is most important to God. My honest reaction to that reminds me of Kate whining when she has to wait ’til after dinner to get her desert. Seriously, child? Don’t you have any concept of delayed gratification? Well, I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from… me.
Which leads me to the 2nd book I’m reading… Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Her book is all about how to “Live Fully Right Where You Are.” It’s a great book about how thankfulness opens the door to joy, but I’m too busy whining (like Kate) to experience very much gratitude- at least for now…
My third book is a Romanian pastor’s doctoral thesis on suffering, matyrdom and the rewards of heaven… He argues that suffering on earth advances the Kingdom of Heaven – the prime example being Jesus, Himself. If we are called to suffer and/or die for the Kingdom, it is a great Eternal victory! There’s that word again… eternal.
I’ve actually learned alot about eternal perspective from Canon. I think I’ll write about that tomorrow. Good night for now…
May 2011’s prayer requests:
- That Anne would push through her fears and hypersensitivity to have the courage to retrain her body to move (walk, reach, stand, scoot, stand, twist…)
- For Anne to continue to come alive cognitively. She is amazing. God is so good.
- That Anne would continue to learn how to read, write and walk.
- Lastly, please thank God for being very close to Anne and giving her the comfort and peace she needs to persevere in her recovery.
God has moved mightily to answer ALL of April’s prayer requests. Anne is adjusting to her seizure med, seems less tired, has stopped stuttering and is filled with a sweet love for Jesus! She started reading; she wrote the letter “A” and she took two steps with her cane by herself! Thank you for praying!!