Monday, December 31, 2012

Faithful in Miracles... 2012 What A Year!

I was reminiscing tonight with friends about our journey, and I was giving thanks for creating memories as a family... I know that I have blogged about this before, but I want to share again... it is truly a miracle and a gift that we have been given to create the memories we have this year.  I remember laying in Adam's hospital bed with him in Boston crying because I so badly wanted to create memories as family outside of a hospital... this year 2012, Adam returned home and the memories we have cherished will never be taken for granted.

Psalm 57:10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

I have spent most of the last week reflecting on the 2012 and all that God has done for us.  But before I share with you the list of all the miracles we have seen... we have one more to share!!!!!

ADAM RODE A BICYCLE!!!!!  Yes!!!! A Bicycle!!!!  Unassisted!
This is Adam and I riding bikes in our neighborhood!  Adam has the biggest smile on his face!
 

This is me telling Adam how incredible he is and what a blessing it is to be his wife!
 
 
In 2012 we celebrated Adam's return to living at home!  We have watched as God has restored Adam's ability to speak in a normal tone of voice.  We watched not just Adam's walk improve, but we watched him run!  We stood in awe and wonder as Adam wrote and read for the first time in 2 years.  I was amazed as I watched Adam mow the yard, golf 9 holes, bowl a 112, typed his first email, cooked me dinner, ate sushi with chopsticks, traveled cross country, kayaked, casted his own vote... wow... wow, as I sit here and type I am wiping tears from my face, I am in awe and adoration of what a mighty God we serve and how far He has brought us.  THANK YOU JESUS, YOU ARE SO FAITHFUL!!!  Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God.
 
The video below is created using only pictures from this year... just look how much we have to rejoice and give thanks for!
video



I can't wait to see what God is going to do in 2013!  Healing is happening!  God is healing Adam EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY... keep praying and believing with us for Adam's FULL restoration.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Seasons

What a whirlwind of a month.  In a little over a week, we have had 60 hours of appointments, 700 miles of travels for appointments and 3 exhausted people!  This has been typical of this entire month.  I am so thankful for those who have reached out to encourage us whether by letter, texts, meals, errands, and even the sweet gifts that are under our tree because of you.  God's faithfulness through all of you lifts me up, encourages me, renews my faith, and teaches me that to daily trust Him at His word is worth every difficult moment we have faced in the last several weeks.

Adam this week, he was under going some tests and monitoring




I took this picture on the ways home from one of my days at UNC
 

The greatest gift I have receieved over the last year has been the richness God has given me in His word.  Teaching me and showing me that I can truly take Him at His word.  Whether I go before Him competely broken with what seems like nothing to offer except my broken heart or whether I go before Him with complete and utter adoration and humility filled with inexpressible joy or whether it's with tears of sorrow or tears of joy... God has faithfully met me and continues to meet me daily in His word.  I recently went through my journal over this last year and I was so humbled and blessed by the richness of God's word and the people He has placed in my path to share a story of encouragement, and those that He has called into our journey.

One of the most difficult lessons I am having to learn is that God brings people in and out of our lives for seasons.  Some stay for the long seasons, while others may serve a short season... some we are blessed with for life!  (This is not meant to offend anyone, this is just from my heart)  I have grieved many relationships over the last year... One day while I was crying out to God questioning why dear friends have walked away from our difficult season, God revealed this concept of seasons to me... that even our friends have seasons in our lives.  We ourselves even go through seasons, sometimes we are in seasons when we can give ourselves abundantly in friendships and there are seasons when God allows us to receive from our friendships. 

He has also showed me that He is removing those whose season has come to an end, or even those who no longer believe in or encourage us while we wait patiently and hopeful of Adam's FULL restoration.  BUT in God's faithfulness and in His way of being our Jehoviah Jirah, He has also faithfully provided and called people into our journey.  That while He might remove, He will always provide.  I am blessed by all who have shared a season of their life with us... and I am thankful for the those who are stepping into our lives to share a season together.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
 
I just wanted to share some pictures from our month with you all... hope you enjoy!
Sunset in Fuquay Varina, NC a couple of weeks ago

We had the wonderful blessing to worship with The Katinas
 
Adam and his good friend Kelly
Adam and John playing basketball
 
Adam and Debbie making Christmas decorations

Apples to Apples!  Adam won, but I must say it was a close game!

Kenny teaching Adam guitar
 
Adam and our dear friend Jan
(Jan I don't know where I would be without you these last few weeks, I love you)

Adam strung the lights on our tree with no help!  Praise the Lord for this!  I am not very good at it.
 
Mackenzie placing the angel on the top of the tree
 
Adam with Mackenzie at her paino recital! 
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sorrow, Seizure, & JOY


I was reminded this week of the gift the joy of the Lord is.  I was reflecting on how God's mercies are new every morning, His grace is new every morning... and so is His JOY for us, it is new every morning. Most every morning I pray for God's joy to fill Adam and I, because receiving the gift of God's joy is what separates us from the world.  When we give thanks, praise God, and are filled with unexplainable joy even in dark hours or circumstances that don't make any sense... we become testimonies of the LIVING God. 

This week has been a particularly difficult week, so many things hitting us from so many different directions... there was a day earlier this week that if it wasn't for a very close family friend I wasn't sure I was going to make it off my bedroom floor.  I was in sheer anguish, pain, deep sorrow, this pain I feel I cannot put words to.  Even as I type now, the tears won't stop.  I laid on my bedroom floor crying out to God continuing to cry out to him for Adam's full restoration, for a deliverance from all these things that are hitting us... as I laid there I pictured myself with my arms wrapping tightly around the feet of Jesus and my head resting on the top of His feet... when I heard His soft sweet voice.  "Look up... This is where you are" as I looked up He was holding His fist tightly closed, I was in the palm of His hands.  I was reminded that nothing could touch me without first going through Him.  Out of desperation I was at His feet, but out of His grace, out of His love, I was being held tightly in the palm of His hands to remain untouched and safe... HE IS MY REFUGE.  Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

The next morning as I prayed for the joy of the Lord to be ever so present and near, I was reminded of the scripture verse in Lamentations about His mercies and grace being new every morning... I realized so is His joy for me and given to me... it is new every morning.  So through my tears even the next morning, again I had the choice to choose joy, to accept this amazing gift I was given.  I am not saying we choose joy and ignore our grief, we walk both.  We walk through our pain, our difficult circumstances, our grief, our sorrow... we allow these feelings, but we walk through them with joy... I choose joy in the midst of these circumstances that make no sense, I choose joy in the midst of my sorrow, I choose joy in the midst of my pain... I accept the gift of God's joy.  I take delight in knowing His joy for me is new every morning.

I cannot dwell on the uncertainty of my circumstances, this creates feelings of anxiousness, of worry... I place my burdens at the cross, I LOOK UP and I trust.  I do what I need to do just that day and don't think to the next, this allows me to stay in the moment, to rejoice in the moment I have been given, I take all my worries, my circumstances, my pain, and give them to God through praying without ceasing.  And this is where I am today... praying without ceasing.  I ask you to please join me in praying for Adam once again without ceasing.  PLEASE.

This weekend Adam and I made the trek up to DC to see Cale and Kathleen, Cale is in an inpatient program at Walter Reed Hospital and we thought it would be nice to see them before they are discharged home and back to Washington state.
Cale and Adam
Kathleen, Cale, Adam, & I
 
Friday night after dinner on our way back to Walter Reed, Adam suffered a severe Grand Mal Seizure in the car.  This might not seem like the ideal place for a seizure, but for us, it was... we were only one in half miles from Suburban Hospital a John Hopkins Medical center (God provided a great hospital)... we called 911 and decided it was faster for us just to drive than to wait for an ambulance.  At this point Adam wasn't breathing so I know I made the right decision.  We were able to get a medical team out to our car pretty quickly, Adam seized for 22 minutes.  This might sound completely strange, but I felt so prepared for this and I had peace that Adam was okay and would be okay.

My whole drive to DC, I was reflecting on the healing that has taken place this year.  I was reminded that last Christmas day we spent it in the ER of a hospital because Adam had a seizure and how much progress came from that.  When Adam seized Friday I know God was reminding me that He can work this for His good... and I am trusting and believing that.  As I drove home, I know there were other reasons we were there... Kathleen and I spent quite a bit of time in prayer while we were there.  Specifically I prayed for the doctor that was treating Adam, I even let him know I was praying for him.  The next morning when we were getting ready to leave I went to pick up Adam's CT scan and the doctor said to me, "I may not share your faith, but I do recognize that I needed prayer, thank you."  I am trusting God will continue to grow the seed that was planted and I will continue to pray for this doctor.  Often I feel like Adam and I are on a missions field, our missions field are the doctors, nurses, and therapists we come in contact with... every single one of them are being prayed for.

We made it home and we now have a week FULL of appointments and follow up exams and tests to figure out the cause and make sure Adam is okay.  I am praying specifically that this will be a breakthrough seizure specifically for his memory.  PLEASE pray for Adam's memory, pray specifically that Adam will be able to start retaining memory.  Prayer is our greatest need and I beg you all to join me in praying specifically for his memory.

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 31:2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

Psalm 33:20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Update With WRAL TONIGHT!!!

Friday night I received a phone call from WRAL asking if they could do an update on our family and our journey.  My first response was "it's been a difficult few days for Adam", then I stopped... and I asked for time to think about it and pray over it.  Because I realized I wanted to say no because it was a difficult time and I had some fear around sharing that... If they were going to do an update, my hearts desire was for them to see Adam at his best... I was instantly convicted.  God is in control even when it feels like chaos in my own world.  He knew this update was coming and it was no surprise to him... I spent the next 24 hours praying to make the right decision about what to do... here is what God gave me...
 
I placed my name in the following scripture verses...
 
There is no fear in love. But perfect love, MY love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  Have I not commanded you?  Amy, be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for I the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Amy trust ME (rely on, lean on, and be confident) and do good.  Feed on my faithfulness and truly you shall be fed.  Amy, delight yourself in ME, and I will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.  Commit your way to ME (roll and repose each care of your load on ME); Amy trust in ME and I will bring it to pass.  Be still and rest in ME Amy, wait for ME and patiently lean yourself upon ME. 
 
Amy, do not fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.  You have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish MY will, and thus receive and carry away and enjoy to the full what I have promised you.
 
Amy, you are MY chosen person, you are MY very own possession.  As a result you can show others MY goodness, for I called you out of darkness and into my wonderful light.  My love will quiet your fears and give you confidence.
 
(Scripture verses 1John 4:18, Joshua 1:9, Pslam 37:3-7, Hebrews 10:35&36, and 1 Peter 2:9)
 
My answer... I am humbled and honored to get to share God's goodness, it is because of God's goodness and His grace that Adam is here, walking, talking, and even living in our own home!  How can I not share that through JESUS Adam is being healed and renewed EVERY day.  I continue to give thanks for the healing that has taken place, the healing that is taking place, and for the healing that is still yet to come.  I continue to approach His throne with boldness and expectancy for Adam's FULL restoration... we have only just seen a glimpse of what is still yet to come.  I know Jesus heals, I am seeing it every day! Adam is in God's hands and so are we!
 
Watch for an update from our journey on WRAL tonight at 6:00pm EST!  I will post a link to our story later for those who don't live in the area!
 
Adam with Sloan

Filming our journey!
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksliving

Thankful doesn't even begin to describe the over flowing gratitude my heart feels.  Getting to spend Thanksgiving in our own home without even having to ask permission for Adam to join us!!!  This was an incredible gift!

The last few weeks all 3 of us have been sick and with little time to rest... so being able to be home for an entire day was amazing!

Many of you have done an amazing job at posting on facebook all that you are thankful for, and I have so enjoyed reading them and rejoicing and praising the Lord alongside of you all.  Those of you who have been faithfully reading have heard me say this time and time again... I often write down what I am thankful for especially in times when it seems like my world is falling apart and I am hurting.  It really does help create contentment.  Paul writes in Philippians 4:11-13I 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 all this through him who gives me strength. AND in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

So a couple of months ago, I decided I needed my thankful notes to be visible... I needed to always be reminded how much I have to be thankful for... more important now as the weariness for our journey has moments of really taking it's toll on me.  So I put Adam to work and this is what we made...
This is our "Wall of Thankfulness"
 
I designed it and Adam helped me create it and bring it to life!  It has been so much fun adding to it and even seeing what our friends and family write as they visit.  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holy Moly... Kerri Pomarolli

Adam, Mackenzie, and I have had one amazing week (last week)!  Where to begin...

God is doing some amazing things with our journey... including growing me beyond my comfort level.  I was recently asked to speak at a conference for health care professionals, I was so humbled and honored that I would be asked to share our story, our journey, our lives with those who work in the field of helping so many other families just like ours.  What a blessing it truly was, I have been asked to speak at a couple more conferences over the next few months and would love prayer for these, praying that God would be glorified, it is His journey.  Speaking in front of large crowds is quite a stretch for my comfort.

While Adam was hospitalized in Boston, Mackenzie and I would climb into his bed with him and watch videos on youtube that would make us all laugh.  We started with America's Funniest Videos and we soon discovered awesome christian comedians.  One that we would watch regularly was Kerri Pomarolli (http://kerripom.com/).  Her witty sense of humor always gets us rolling.  I found out in September that she was coming to our church and I instantly began figuring out how Mackenzie and I could make a date night to go see her.  I was counting down and so excited.

About a week ago, I was asked if I would like to pick her up and take her back to the airport, I jumped at the opportunity and could barely sleep I was so excited.  It was so amazing how God brought us together, 2 journeys, 2 difficult roads, both of us approaching the Throne of Grace with confidence, expecting to see God in the midst of it all, ONE AMAZING GOD!  I find that others going through their own journeys, believing and trusting God for His faithfulness and miracles, it creates an instant bond.  I feel so honored to come in agreeance praying for her daughter Ruby's FULL restoration and waiting in expectancy to see God through it all.  Mackenzie and Adam were both able to meet her as well, it was such an incredible honor and an unforgettable memory made!
Adam and I with Kerri
 
MORE UPDATES AHEAD, even one that is YUMmy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

God's Help In Adam's Progress

I still am so amazed by how God is continuing to work through Adam's recovery.  I have some amazing results to share.  Many of you have asked for an update on Adam's recovery... and all I can think to say is WE SERVE ONE AMAZING GOD!!!  Adam continues to baffle the medical community by continuing to show documented progress weekly!  This is very significant, from what I am told most people will plateau in their recovery, and yet Adam continues to make significant progress... THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Adam continues to be treated in all disciplines of therapy and most of our week is spent in therapy or travelling to and from.  Adam recently started speech therapy in a new outpatient clinic and in order to assess where he is the speech therapist tested Adam in attention, memory, executive functions, language, and visuospatial skills... the results literally brought me to tears.  The test confirmed what I already knew, Adam's deficits are in memory and language.  He struggles the most with memory (please pray for his memory) and his language is improving almost daily.  The part that brought tears to my eyes... his executive functions, attention, and visuospatial skills tested with very mild struggles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This is amazing!  Originally, Adam was diagnosed with the inability to ever be able to use his executive functioning.  Today while this speech therapist was giving me these results she explained that anyone with a brain injury that tested as well as Adam has an excellent chance at making an incredible recovery.  AMAZING... GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!  Jeremiah 32:17 'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

Adam continues to work hard EVERY day.  Some days are better than others but we all feel that way.  This morning I asked Adam what his favorite worship song is and he said "Helper" and I said I wasn't familiar with that song, I asked how it went and he started to sing "Jesus help me".  I loved his song, and it was truly from his heart and this is often his prayer in our morning devotions.  I ask you all to please join Adam in his prayer for Jesus to help him, for complete healing, FULL restoration.

There is more to update on, but we are in between appointments and this is all have time for today. 
Adam with his speech therapist after he just finished testing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Summer Time Adventure

I have received many questions about Adam's progress over the last couple of months.  So I just wanted to give an "Adam Update".  Consider this Part 1 of his update...

Adam was discharged from all rehab therapy in the end of April and was moved home 100% of the time!  I was really nervous about this transition, but honestly can't believe how smoothly it has gone!  We spent most of May running around for check ups and doctor visits and preparing for our cross country adventure.  The for the next 2 months we were with our families on the west coast... so there wasn't a chance to get used to our new normal until we returned to North Carolina.

Our time on the west coast was amazing. Just the miracle in and of itself that we were travelling and spending time with family and friends was a glimpse to me that Adam's recovery has only just begun.  The blessing of the journey was meeting so many of you who have been praying for Adam and our family.  This was such a gift to me.

Before I go into Adam's progress and update, I wanted to share some photos of our summer time adventure...

Meeting Dottie was one of my favorite memories of our trip.  Dottie is my best friend Debbie's mom, she lives in Louisville, KY and opened her home to us in our travels.  We had a ball staying with her and sight seeing around Kentucky.  Dottie faithfully sends encouraging cards and messages to Adam, it was so special for them to meet!
 
Next was Colorado where we stayed with Brett Adam's cousin.  The last time Brett saw Adam, Adam was in the ICU in North Carolina, so this was an incredible change.  Christie is also Adam's cousin and it was so good to see them and their families.

 
Yes, Adam even jumped on the trampoline at Brett's house, I think my adventurous husband is back :)
 
We also had the incredible blessing of staying with Cale and Kathleen for a night on our trip.  This was the first time we had seen each other since both our men were hospitalized together in North Carolina. 

Adam and Cale playing video games!
 
Because we were going to be gone for so long, I didn't want Adam to fall out of routine of therapies or activities, so we had a VERY busy time.  Adam and I joined a swimming class 2 times a week, took classes and created as many opportunities for Adam to participate in "therapeutic exercises" as possible... here are few...
Adam and his brother Tristan making kabobs to grill.

Adam crafting a model space ship

Adam mowing Tristan's yard

My sister Renae and Adam baking dessert together, one of Adam's favorite things to do.

Adam and Bob crafting a World War II fighter plane
 
Visiting with family and friends was by far the best and most relaxing part of our trip, we cherished the memories we created and the time we had.
 
Adam's mom Cookie came up to Seattle to spend the day with us
 
Adam's brother Tristan gave us a tour of where he works, the statue should be a clue.
 
Like I mentioned before, meeting our prayer warriors was such a gift, this is Sheri... one of our encourager's and prayer warriors.

My sister Renae and I spent HOURS on my mom's deck.  And once you see the view in some pictures below, you will see why.  Adam took this picture of us!

Adam holding our really good friends Tim & Carlee's newest edition, meet Jude.  Such a sweet baby!
 
Views from my mom's deck...

There truly isn't anything like a west coast sunset, that is one thing I miss the most about living in the east.
 
 
And to think I'm not even sure I am half way through yet...  Onto our Oregon visit, visiting Adam's family.  Adam's family has a horse farm and they bread and train race horses... one day we went to the track with his mom and dad to watch the training.
Meet Kenzie Carolina named after Mackenzie.

Mackenzie and Kenzie

Adam watching the training

Adam and I hanging out in the barn, doesn't my man look amazing!
Adam enjoying dinner on the patio with his mom and grandma

Adam's dog Vince LOVING the farm life

Adam and his dad

Mackenzie out on the paddle boat

The view from the kitchen window... what's not to love, flowers and horses

LOTS of chickens on their farm, they were so much fun to watch
Adam and his uncle Doug (another prayer warrior)

Adam on the right and Mackenzie on the left


Our nephew Hunter, yes, he golfed in a cape... it was so adorable

The sunset as we golfed or for me as I tired to golf
 
Adam and I enjoying the St. Paul Rodeo, I was really nervous about the crowd and the direct sun we were sitting in, I was worried about how Adam was going to respond... I never thought about how it would effect me as I watched a young cowboy bucked off a bull and watched as the bull trampled his head... I still have not recovered.  Not sure many of you know this, but I witnessed Adam's accident, I watched the whole thing unfold before my eyes and I often have sleepless nights and horrific flash backs from this, it doesn't take much to trigger it.
 
Adam and I spent a lot of time travelling back to familiar territory, we went on a tour of Adam's life and I took a ton of pictures, I am currently making it into a memory book for Adam. 

While travelling to the place we got married we stopped at this roadside seafood restaurant where we met these two ladies and joined them for lunch... it was amazing how God brought us together for lunch to encourage them.  One of the ladies was going through something very difficult and tragic and it was amazing how God used our journey of faith to bring encouragement into their journey. 

Up on that hill is where Adam and I exchanged our marriage vows

Adam I love you so much and knowing what I know now, I would say "I do" all over again in a heartbeat.

Adam and his dad answering a vet call

Adam assisting his dad in the call
Adam with 2 of his 3 brothers, mom, dad, and sister in law

Ben, Jack, Adam, & Brad

Mackenzie helping Granny pick out her baby chicks
 
Adam and his mom, Adam looks amazing!

On the ferry boat, one of our favorite past times
Mackenzie and I at my brother's wedding

My brother and his new wife Amy... this could get confusing

In Montana on our way home, we were hungry in what seemed like the middle of no where, we had to travel nearly 6 miles off the beaten path to find a restaurant... little did I know God had this in mind the whole time... meet cowboy Jim.  While Jim was saying "howdie" to Adam, Adam mearly yelled at the man and walked away... I walked Adam to our table, but returned to the Jim and apologized explaining to the man that my husband was recovering from a brain injury.  He then went on to tell me his journey through brain injury, 25 years post injury from a rodeo accident.  He gave God the glory for his recovery.  It was pretty incredible.  He came over and encouraged Adam and Adam began to light up as he shared his story.  He was a gift God sent to us.  Thank you God for our 12 mile detour so that we could meet Jim.

 Adam and I have a special moment during one of our hikes. We would stop and take hikes at national parks to stretch our legs. Mackenzie did a beautiful job capturing this sweet moment.
 
Adam and I enjoying ice coffee while making the trek home

If you could, you know you would... we toured the Jelly Belly factory on our way home... and oh how SWEET it was.
 
How blessed we are and how much we truly have to be thankful for... this was one incredible summer and not one moment was taken for granted.  These pictures refelct what a MIGHTY GOD we serve, they reflect His goodness, and His faithfulness.  God is so good and He continues to direct our steps.  His word is our guide... Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
 
More on Adam's update, recovery, and progress to come.  Rejoicing in God's love today and thankful for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that is still to come!