Thursday, August 28, 2014

God's Plans Are Higher


A decision I made early on when I decided to live my life for Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, was that I was all in.  In good times and bad, in difficulties and celebrations... I don't want to wake up in the morning being the same person I am today.  I want to consistently be in the hands of my maker, shaping me and molding me to be more like Him.  I don't want to go one day without His hands working in and through my life.  This has been my prayer and my heart since that day in 2005 when I asked God to forgive me of my sins and to allow me to live for Him all the days of my life.  This hasn't been an easy prayer to keep praying, especially when God has chosen very challenging circumstances, or even challenging relationships to grow me.  The growing pains are rough sometimes.

Everything that Adam and I have gone through prior to his injury and even since his injury has taught me a great deal about the importance of growing to be holy and making that my focus rather than my focus of just "being happy".  A long time ago, I remember saying frequently that "life's too short not to be happy", in reality life's too short to not focus on allowing God to refine me and make me more holy.  We learn a lot about God through our relationships with others.  God often uses our spouse to be the vessel to build in us Christ likeness.  This evening I was reminded how much I have changed and how much God is growing me through my marriage to Adam and even other relationships in my life.

We learn a lot about the character of God and who is when we follow the examples He has set before us.  God forgives; we learn forgiveness by refusing to give up on those who’ve disappointed us. God loves; we learn to love by enduring in friendship with those who are at times unlovely. God is gracious; we learn grace by blessing others when they haven’t earned our blessing.

I loved this example from a devotion I read earlier today as I was seeking wisdom and guidance from the Lord… “The Bible borrows an image from the world of architecture and construction to describe God’s plan for relationships: “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another” (Romans 14:19 – NASB).  Relationships among Christians are like construction sites; each person is being built up spiritually, made more and more like Jesus. God is doing this work, and the tools he uses include our interactions with one another.”

When we disengage from difficult relationships (and or difficult circumstances), it’s like leaving the construction site. We miss out on the opportunity to grow in our likeness to Christ through the very difficulties we so desperately want to avoid.  The notion of pursuing peace is critical. It suggests that harmony is something we ought to crave so much we’ll chase it down at great expense to ourselves. Obviously, a primary obstacle to growing in our relationships is complacency – simply not caring enough to do the hard work of forgiving, accepting, forbearing. It is, after all, so much easier to disengage, ignore, marginalize. 
Marriage is the perfect platform for us to learn such great tools, to grow closer to Christ, and to become more like Him as we allow Him to use us to accomplish His will and for Him to have His way in our life.  Marriage also offers the perfect platform to put into practice what the Bible teaches.  Forging through the storms so that we might grow and become more like Jesus.  Not easy by any means but critical to our walk with God.  It might seem easier just to walk away from our difficulties, whether people or circumstances, but in the long it would be me who would be missing out on all that God has planned to be good through these storms of life.  Because I believe in God I believe this to be true, that no matter the difficulties God is still good and still working all things together for good.
I can see Him working things together for good as I watch Him knit Adam back together.  How thankful I am that Adam is still here and persevering through it all. It might have been a day of challenges and Adam was extremely agitated on and off throughout the day but, I sure can see God working all things together for good just by allowing Adam to be getting the help he needs at this time.  God’s provisions are amazing.  My man is amazing all that he is persevering and fighting through.
Adam had another full day of therapy nearly 6 hours of therapy plus a team meeting and a meeting with the vocational counselor.  I am so proud of my man!  He truly is the strongest man I know for all that he fights through daily and all that he has come through in the last 4 and a half years.  During our team meeting today as we were discussing goals and plans for Adam’s few weeks here as inpatient, my heart was heavy.  I explained to the team what baseline looked for Adam and even discussed some of the things he was capable of with his right hand only a couple of weeks ago.  His doctor told me that he believed some further damage may have been caused whether form the surgeries or the complications its unsure… but he believes it will take 6 months to a year to get Adam back to where he once was.
It’s incredibly hard to not be discouraged or sad when I think about it.  But just like I have been saying, God has a plan for all of this and there are no steps backwards.  He is still a miracle working God so please pray for Adam’s miracle.  Pray that this will be just another statistic he will defy and overcome.  I am so thankful God is in the miracle business, I am still hoping, praying, and believing for the miracle of Adam’s full restoration.  Not a sign of his injury left behind.  I truly believe this will happen.  When Jesus healed, he ALWAYS miraculously and instantaneously did so.  He never healing part way.  While He has allowed Adam to make it this far, I am still believing He will heal Adam completely.
Please continue to pray for Adam and our time here.  Pray against discouragement and frustration, pray for continued perseverance and strength.  Pray also for Mackenzie.  She is going through rough transition as she is preparing for high school to start on Wednesday.  She had her orientation today and it was a struggle for her, she felt so alone.  Please pray that God will provide her with good girlfriends and a positive 4 years at high school.  Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement, it really helps us get through our days.
If you would like to send something Adam can put on his walls in his room the address is:
Inpatient Traumatic Rehab
Room 465-2 Root
325 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Celebrating Our Anniversary

Happy 7th Anniversary Adam!  I love you in ways words cannot explain and my heart may never fully comprehend!
 
 
Today Adam and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  We're not like most couples, we won't be celebrating by going to dinner or taking a vacation, instead we'll be celebrating that we are still able to say "I love you" to each other.  We'll be celebrating our love for each other and God's grace allowing us time in each other's arms.  We'll celebrate once again bedside in the hospital but at least we're together.  For that my heart is so grateful and for that tears well in my eyes as I do not take a moment with Adam for granted. 

As we have spent so much time this year back in a hospital and especially the last couple of weeks, I often find myself reflecting on our marriage.  Lately I have been reflecting on our journey as husband and wife, the blessings and the sorrows, the times grief and the times of celebrations.  God has gifted us and blessed us with a love so strong, a love that I am convinced most do not experience in a lifetime.  Our love has been tested and tried, almost taken from us more than once... yet it is not us holding our love together but the strength of God's grip on our marriage.  Nothing we have done in our own strength and power allows us to be where we are today.  It is truly by the hands of God and His grace alone that I am able to hug, kiss, and tell my man I love him.

Adam and I made a very conscience choice to place our marriage in God's hands from the beginning.  Even before we were engaged, we placed our relationship in God's hands, it was His to do as He wills. I don't allow myself (okay at try really hard to not allow myself) to feel sorry for us or even be mad or upset with where our journey has brought us.  Because over and over again before Adam's injury we had placed our plans, our marriage, our ideals, our dreams into God's hands and told Him to do as He wills.  We asked to be used as a vessel for His glory.  While no one could have seen this path as the means to accomplish His works, it is what He has chosen for us.  Because of this, we can see so many blessings, we experience so much joy even in the midst of the hardships.  We can see God using us and our journey to impact our friends, family, medical community, and many people we have not even met.  His path is difficult but worth the journey when He is leading.  I pray that we may not go to the right or left without first hearing His voice of guidance.  Continuing daily to make the conscience decision to trust Him, to follow Him, and to submit to His ways... they are so much higher!

I may have shared this already but, I can remember praying for very specific characteristics, asking God over and over for Him to work on and in my heart.  He is answering these requests.  It is taking this road, this journey, these struggles and challenges but God is refining me and purifying us along the way.  Adam's injury has made me a better person.  Being Adam's wife and sharing life with him is teaching me patience, kindness, gentleness, acceptance, unconditional love, unconditional respect, self control, thankfulness, contentment, selflessness, love as a verb, trust, team work, and so much more.  Much of the list above is being learned from walking the path set before us.  I can choose to sink under the weight of all these circumstances or I can choose to continue to walk with Him, trusting Him that He is working this all for good and His glory.    I choose to continue to walk with Him, submitting to His will for our marriage, our life, and all that He has planned for us.  Good, bad, sorrow, joy, blessings, and difficulties.  I choose God.

Today as we celebrate our anniversary, we also celebrate making it into rehab!!!!  Adam was admitted into the traumatic rehabilitation unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.  I will post an address tomorrow, Adam could use some mail, encouragement and anything to decorate his walls with that would encourage him or brighten his days.  We haven't met any of the therapists or much of the team, we spent most of the day just in the admitting process.  Tomorrow begins a new chapter of this journey.  I have more I want to share and more I want to type, but Adam has an early morning and it's hard typing in complete darkness.  So for now I will share a couple pictures and continue tomorrow.

 

Anniversary celebration!  Thanks family!

Adam's room needs some love...

Starting rehab with a busy schedule tomorrow.  Pray for endurance and strength.

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gaining Real Ground

We're gaining ground!!!!  Praise the Lord!!!!  With God, Adam continues to defy the odds and is just amazing!  Sometimes what man sees as going backwards and loosing ground, God uses to do amazing things to increase our faith and dependence on Him.  He uses what might seem like steps in the wrong direction to show His unfailing love to others who might not otherwise be able to or have opportunity to see Him at work.  Because we know that when God is in control, when we truly trust Him in every way and every moment, there is no such thing as steps backwards.  The bible says "I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run you will not stumble." Proverbs 4:11-12 "he has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. These clearly state that God knows and is in control. 

Over the last 4 and half years of walking this journey I know God has grown me.  He is increasing my faith, increasing my desire for Him, and showing me how trusting Him completely and depending on Him fully is a way of life, a choice.  Not just when we need Him to show up, but a lifestyle to live by moment by moment.  What does your lifestyle look like, is trusting God and His plans your priority or only if they fit into your plans?  These are questions that I have had to ask myself and I challenge you to do the same.  Would you trust God completely and wholly, knowing He is good and being able to rejoice and praise Him if you were facing a very difficult journey?  If you are on a journey, are you praising Him or angry with Him?  Heart checks are always good.  These 2 weeks being in the hospital I have asked God to search my heart and to do a heart check up.  Believe me, He is. Allowing God to grow us in difficult circumstances and through challenging journeys is truly how we gain ground, eternal ground. 

My man is getting a little antsy, but overall he is doing amazing!  Making steps everyday to persevere through each and every detail and unplanned circumstance that has come up over the last couple of weeks. The neurosurgeons said that the air on Adam's brain has decreased a little.  Which means laying flat and being on oxygen is working.  He also said that it will take 2-3 months before it will be resolved.  Still this is better than another surgery!!!  Adam can be up to participate in therapy, eat meals, and visit a little and the rest of the time has to be in bed flat on oxygen.  Laying flat is not his favorite thing to do, but for now it is saving us another surgery so I will do whatever I can to encourage Adam to make it through the next couple of months.  We will have another CT scan in 4 weeks to see the progress of the air pocket and to make sure that it is continuing to decrease in size.

If you can think of fun activities or games we can do while laying completely flat, please share your ideas with us!

We are currently waiting to hear if we can be discharged from this hospital and be admitted into Harborview Medical Center for the brain injury rehab unit.  I am crossing my fingers we can move forward.  We were only suppose to be here for 3-4 days and it's been 2 weeks and 3 surgeries later.  I am ready to close this chapter and start the next.  We are taking baby steps and making progress!  Praise the Lord!

Adam and I were blessed to be surrounded by family all weekend.  Every day his room was full and laughter was shared.  Even Mackenzie made a surprise visit!!!! 

I am thanking God for these two, for their fellowship, conversation, meals, and laundry.  The hours that my brother and sister in law have spent with Adam and I while we have been in the hospital have been such a blessing and I have treasure what we have shared.  Love you both and thank you!

My KIDDO!!!  Love her!!!

I believe at one point there were 12 of us in Adam's room.  We had a pizza party surrounded by family!






Thursday, August 21, 2014

God Is A Shelter of Hope In Our Storm

The Lord is faithful to ALL his promises and loving toward ALL he has made. The Lord is near to ALL who come to him, To all who call on him in truth.  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he HEARS their Cray and SAVES them.  The Lord watches over ALL who love him.  Psalm 146:13, 18-20

I love promises from the God.  I love the guidance from the Holy Spirit over my time in His word this morning.  No matter the circumstance or challenges we face, God is good ALL the time.  He is faithful ALL the time, and He is comforting us in His unending love.

I am so thankful for the peace God continues to pour into my soul, so thankful that even with discouraging news, it doesn't rob me of my peace or my hope.  Because it is not in what the doctors say, but only in the unfailing love of my Savior.  With this I write with tears, because it's the precious truth.

We had a very rough night last night and early this morning with another medical setback.  A pocket of air has developed in Adam's brain. It has put pressure on his brain that has caused Adam's right arm and leg to barely move.  It has caused some other issues as well.  Adam's team of doctors put him on oxygen and put him on a flat bed order, meaning he can only lay flat in bed, other than meals and using the restroom.  They are hoping that the oxygen and laying flat will help the air pocket to dissolve.  They also adjusted Adam's shunt again.  The shunt will help to increase the ventricles making the brain a little larger in hopes to decrease the pocket of air on Adam's brain.  His shunt has been adjusted multiple times since we have been here.  The doctors are really trying to stabilize Adam's brain.

Adam will have another follow up CT scan tomorrow to see if the shunt, oxygen, and laying flat are all doing the trick to dissolve the air.  Adam's neurosurgeon has finally admitted that nothing about Adam is text book.  Nothing.  I knew this from the beginning... there is nothing text book about our God either.  He tends to work in miraculous ways, weaving his plans perfectly in and through our lives.  He is Adam's physician and He is at work in a mighty way.  Not just in Adam's brain but in the hearts of the doctors as they stand by amazed by there being no medical explanation as to why and how Adam is still here... He is still here because GOD is at work in my man!  God is our hope, our refuge, our strength, our healer, our statistic annihilator.  Praise the Lord that He has Adam in the safety of His arms, covered by His grace, and comforted with His love.

The doctors are baffled and I can't help but to rejoice knowing that God is not lost in how to handle Adam.  Thank you Jesus that you are our hope.

Continue to pray for Adam's FULL restoration. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Humbled By God's Presence

The word is so refreshing. Even more so than the refreshing 4 hours of consecutive sleep Adam and I both got for the first time in a week.

I am so thankful for the time God has given me every morning in the hospital to have time with him.  Last time when we were going through all the hospital time I coveted just moments with God.  But over this last week, He has immersed me with His unfailing love every morning. Psalm 143:8-11 was once prayed over us at church on December 30, 2012.  I often go back to this passage.  In the last couple of weeks I have really seen this passage come to life.  God is bringing me word of His unfailing love every morning as I continue to put my hope and trust in God alone.  I pray that He will make us aware and obedient to his will.  Even in this difficult journey God has made His joy so very present.

As I had my quiet time this morning, it truly refreshed me to face the day.  Adam surgery was late afternoon and was a very quick surgery.  On Saturday when Adam came out of surgery he wasn't awake, he was unable to communicate, or take care of is personal needs.  It took Sunday and Monday working again on those and still he isn't where he once was but he was able to communicate, take a very few unsteady steps, and take care of his personal needs again.  I was fighting quite a bit of fear going into this surgery not knowing if he was going to come out of surgery like he did on Saturday.  I cast my fear to the Lord and prayed continuously. 

The hospital Chaplin came in and spent some time in prayer with Adam, Cookie, and I before Adam's surgery.  Adam even wanted to pray and when he did he prayed for all the workers.  Adam's surgery was quick!  When I was able to see him, he was awake, alert, talking, and asking to take care of his personal needs!  Praise the Lord!!!!!  We are back on track!  When I was helping him to the restroom, even his steps were better than yesterday and better than this morning!  I'm rejoicing in all the answered prayers!

Yesterday when the neurosurgeon came to tell me that Adam was once again going back to the operating room, he told me that he operates on people very day that are in unlucky circumstances or situations.  He went on to say that while that might have been the case for Adam in the beginning of all this, Adam is now one of the luckiest people he has come across.  He said that given Adam's medical history and all that he has pulled through, he couldn't believe Adam was still here and fighting ever so hard through it all.  I told the neurosurgeon that luck had nothing to do with it.  That Adam is where he is today and has made it through all that he has because of God's grace and nothing more.

It seems that every surgery Adam has had here we have ended up with a different anesthesiologist every time.  Today when he came to get my consent on the surgery I didn't think anything of it.  Nothing out of the ordinary, just a routine signature.  Usually that is my only interactions with the anesthesiologist.  But today after he finished in surgery he came to find me.  Just to tell me how honored he felt caring for our family.  He said that after reading Adam's medical history and some conversation they had in the OR, he was incredibly touched by the love that Adam and I share.  He said that he's been doing this for years and have seen couples not make it through in far less circumstances than what we have faced.  He said that it was a humbling experience seeing our vows in action (PRAISE GOD).  He intentionally came to find me just to tell me that.  God is working here in Seattle.  His presence is being noticed!  Thank you for praying these prayers for us.  The medical staff here is seeing God at work.

Both conversation with the Neurosurgeon and with the Anesthesiologist were so humbling and encouraging.  Adam and I are getting ready to celebrate our 7th Anniversary, we prayed God would use are marriage and he really is.  I can stand and rejoice and sing in the storms of our circumstances because I can see the hand of God in it all.

Tonight we are finally out of the ICU again.  I am so thankful for the ICU and the staff, but I am glad Adam is stable enough to move out of there! We're hoping to get Adam back working with the hospital therapies tomorrow.  They will most likely have to redo all their evaluations from last week and get us back on our discharge plan.  Thank you all for your continued prayers in our journey.  They are the best gift our family has received.

This evening Adam and I enjoyed dinner with my brother and sister in law, who have faithfully been here hours on end since Saturday... I am so thankful for their company and for the hours they have spent with Adam and I.   Having them around, and Cookie here with Mackenzie has really made feel so blessed to be surrounded by family.  It's been a real comfort for sure. 

Tonight I am recounting all my blessings and thanking God for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that He is going to do in this journey.  Thank you Jesus lives are being touched my the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you God for supportive family and friends near and far. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Trusting God As Adam Goes Back to Surgery

This morning as I was helping Adam get ready to go to a CT scan, we had a few moments of waiting... okay more like 30.  We decided to toke advantage of the time and I asked him if I could read to him and he said yes.  I opened my bible and when I saw the passage it opened to I decided to read it to him because it seemed so appropriate.  It's a familiar passage Matthew 6:25-34. We are called specifically not to worry in this passage, we are reminded that God gives us all that we need when we need it.  I was thankful for the reminder again while reading it, but had no idea how important it was going to be as our day unfolded.

Adam is going back into surgery again tomorrow. 

So having read this first and having spent time in prayer for Adam and with Adam I was incredibly touched by how God threw that into our morning before we found out we would even be facing the OR again.  It's just like God to give us all we need.  All day as we waited and waited results, these scripture verses rang in my head.  All day I was reminded not to worry but instead lift into God's hands through prayer.

After the last 2 surgeries Adam had to have a drain placed in his brain to drain off excess fluid, after the first surgery part of why Adam was rushed into surgery is because the drain had already been removed and the pressure kept building shifting his brain and adding lots of pressure.  The drain from this last surgery was going to be taken out today.  The first drain came out smoothly and quick.  The drain today came out half way and then got stuck, so the physician assistant, then got another physician assistant and he couldn't get it out either.  Next came a neurosurgeon, who also couldn't get it out.  So they decided to order an x-ray to see if it was stuck on anything.  The neurosurgeon who performed the emergency surgery on Saturday came walking into Adam's room and instantly my heart sunk into my stomach. 

However, he didn't know any of this was going on, he was coming to tell me the results of Adam's CT scan from this morning and took another look at his shunt.  The neurosurgeon adjusted Adam's shunt yesterday turning it down half way.  Adam's brain has been through 2 surgeries and 3 shunt adjustments.  When I filled him in that we were just waiting for someone from neurosurgery to review the x-ray and tell us the plans he said he would do that.  He pulled up Adam's scan in the room and showed me.  It's wasn't stuck on anything but the drain was in a tight squeeze.  He then decided to give it one more shot, so he slowly and steadily was pulling when it broke.  About 3 inches of tubing is stuck inside.  So back into surgery Adam goes to have it removed. 

His surgery isn't scheduled so I have no idea what time he'll be in surgery tomorrow.  Please pray for Adam all day tomorrow.  He has been through so much and it's only been 6 days since we started all of this.  Pray for his strength, insurance, perseverance, and courage to keep fighting.  After each surgery we have seen some significant setbacks, and we are slipping further from his baseline.  Like I have said before... When God is directing the journey, there are no steps backwards.  Everything is in HIs hands and in His plans.

I am in awe of how incredibly strong my man is, how incredibly sweet and thoughtful he is, and what.fighter he is.  He inspires me to keep my eyes fixed on God,   After all God is the only one that knows what's going on in all of this and my hope and trust is in him.

PS.  I will update more on Adam another time... I am so tired and I need to close my computer and fall asleep.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mighty Warrior Meets Surgery Again

Thank you to all of you who received word or saw my frantic post and got down on your knees and prayed for us.  Today has been a roller coaster of a day. 

Let's start from the beginning... MY MAN IS A MIGHTY WARRIOR!  I have said that since the beginning, he is a warrior in God's army.

Adam slept through the night very well, almost too well, but I chalked it up to him being post surgical and needing rest.  He was easy to arouse when it came to breakfast so again, I took this as a good sign..  It kind of started from here... when Adam was up eating breakfast with my I noticed he was very swollen in the face, but again he just has his drain removed yesterday so I expected to see some swelling.  Next the occupational therapist who worked with Adam yesterday felt that Adam was doing much better today in his session than yesterday and I agreed. He washed himself, brushed his teeth, moved around well... he was doing so good!  After OT Adam wanted to climb back into bed and all he wanted to do was sleep.

Adam's parents have been in town since Adam's surgery on Wednesday and came to the hospital on their way out of town which was around noon.  As Adam continued to sleep and sleep, he would wake up to go to the bathroom and his speech was much worse very quickly.  I asked Adam's nurse to page the doctor so I could ask some questions.  I wanted to know if what I was seeing was typical post surgery and having just taken the drain out yesterday or if I needed to be concerned.  He told me he would like to get a CT scan just to make sure there were no brain bleeds from the surgery, and after asking if he was doing this just for my benefit, he said no it was for his, then I was relieved to know that it would be only a matter of minutes and I would know Adam would be fine.

Only... that wasn't the case.

Thankfully there were no brain bleeds, but instead there was a large collection of fluid, creating an huge increase of pressure in Adam's brain.  It caused Adam's brain to shift significantly in just a short amount of time.  This meant emergency surgery to get the pressure relieved quickly before it could get worse or cause damage.  Adam was in surgery with 40 minutes of the results being shared with me.  Not a lot of time to process all that was going on. To be honest I still haven't processed it fully, my emotions are all over from relieved to a complete sobbing mess.  And. I am sure I speak for Adam's parents too, that they feel the same way... Adam's parents got all the way home (about 4 hours) and Adam's mom came all the way back. (Bringing my kiddo with her)

Oswald Chambers writes "We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties." Prayer requests were sent out quickly and the response was humbling and overwhelming... thank you! I said this morning in my post and I will say it again, you all play a huge role in the "Root For Adam" team, your prayers mean more to me than I could ever express.  It's because of these prayers and God's hand in it all that there was peace as I waited out surgery.  Peace that once again washed over me.  God's peace, His hand was in all of this and just as I blogged about this morning, he has allowed this and I still believe all that the Bible says about how good God is!  God is so good! 

Adam's surgery went very well, neurosurgeon said that he was pleased how things turned out.  He also talked about Adam's shunt, he decided to turn it up to the maximum setting which is going to plump things up a little and hopefully help to stabilize the pressure.  They will be doing follow up CT scans to monitor this significant change.  Adam's shunt was on the second to lowest setting before this adjustment so it is a big change.  The neurosurgeon also said that they were able to catch it quickly enough and said that was very encouraging.

Please pray for Adam to recover quickly and with NO more complications.  Pray for rest and comfort as know he is dealing with pain on top of pain.  Pray also that he will be able to take things by mouth soon.  This is important as he has his seizure medications that he is used to taking, while he is lethargic and unable to take pills they had to put him on a different medication via IV.  So please pray with all these changes and surgeries that there will be no seizures.  Pray for quick stability so that we can get out of the ICU.  I will update more when I can, I am exhausted and still processing all of this.

I am rejoicing again for God's sovereignty and his protection over Adam as he under went surgery again.  God is so good!  My man is a might warrior for sure! 

PS... It felt so good to hug and kiss my kiddo!

ADAM NEEDS PRAYER NOW!!!!!

PLEASE PRAY FOR ADAM, HE IS IN EMERGENCEY SURGERY.  I will update more later as I process this myself.

Actions Speak Louder

I am really learning throughout my life, whether as a mom, or an advocate for my man, living out my faith is far more important than just sharing with words my faith.  I am not discounting the importance of words and especially when it come to sharing our faith but it all comes down the that old saying "actions speak louder than words". 

Last night I was blessed to see God at work through our actions as a family. A nurse came into Adam's room to thank me for all the help that I have been in taking care of my man.  She began asking questions about Adam and as I shared bits and pieces of our life before and of our journey I explained that I never see Adam's injury as an accident. (If you have been reading the blog for awhile, you have heard me say this)  There has been so much good that has come from Adam's injury, and I can see my own prayers answered through this.  Before Adam's injury I can remember praying asking God very specifically for certain characteristics and God is answering those prayers through this journey.  Not the path I would have chosen but because God did I know it is good.  He is at work in and all the way through this journey. 

As I was sharing this with the nurse, she couldn't understand my outlook.  She said "but it's been so long, why aren't you angry that Adam's not better?". I told her I believe what the bible says I told her the bible says that God has all the days ordained for us and were written before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16). I also told her that God has a plans to give hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
I also told her that God knew it wasn't always going to be easy (John 16:33) but that he would supply our every needs (Philippians 4:19) and His grace would be sufficient no matter what we were facing or how long time has passed (2 Corinthians 12:9.  I explained that God has been our comfort and strength through it all (2 Corinthians 1:4, Psalm 28:7).  I can't only believe part of this, if I truly believe the bible I have to believe all of this, trust Him completely, and never giving up on faith but persevere the race marked before us.

Such a sweet moment shared with Adam's nurse.  Not sure she fully understood, but God planted a seed none the less.  Please continue to pray for all those involved in Adam's care, pray for opportunities like we had last night and for showing God's love and peace not just telling of it.

Well, as far as my man... He's amazing!  I just love him.  It doesn't look like we will be transferring to the rehab hospital until Monday or Tuesday, again, this is pending insurance also.  But for now the surgeons are still closely watching his incision and managing his pain.  Please pray for Adam, as his pain has increased, so has his agitation.  His agitation I believe is a result of his pain.  He keeps telling his nurses and doctors that he's not in pain and when I ask him he'll say he is.  He is struggling more with his Aphasia and unable to accurately let them know when he is in pain.

Adam spent the day in and out of sleep, but when he was awake, he's working hard to make sense of everything.  Pray for clarity to come quickly.  He played a game with his mom, was able to take about 20 steps with the assistance of the physical therapist.  Not anywhere near baseline, but we are on the road to get back!!!  He's so amazing and his ability to persevere is truly an inspiration. He worked also with occupational therapy, we are noticing an uninvited, and not welcomed muscle tone.  Adam had a lot of muscle tone after injury and we have spent the last 4 years battling it. Since his injury Adam has really worked through a lot of the tone.  On a daily basis, he battles just a little bit but since Thursday he has had an increase of uncomfortable muscle tone.  This will be something we can we can focus on more as we get into the inpatient rehab.  All this to say, please continue to pray for Adam's complete healing, FULL RESTORATION! 

Thank you all for walking this journey with us, your role as members of the "Root For Adam" team is so valued and appreciated!  We love you and couldn't do this without the love, support, and prayers you have blessed our family with.  Thank you!
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rejoicing In The Battle

Oh my goodness, it's been a long 24 hours and yet it has flown by.  I will begin tonight by catching you all up from last night...

Adam's surgery went very well and his bone flap looks amazing.  Like I shared last night Adam was speaking after waking up from the surgery.  Not only did he know his name last night, but he also was able to ask for me by name as well... so much to be thankful for! 

Adam did not sleep well last night at all, he was very uncomfortable and being in the ICU is the toughest unit to be in, he tends to be interrupted the most.  Thankfully today Adam was stable enough to be sent to a step down unit so no more ICU!!!  Adam spent most of his day in therapy evaluations and pain.  All therapy evaluations agree with doctor recommendations for inpatient rehab.  Hopefully we will find out tomorrow if insurance will approve it and if there is a bed available for Adam.  Please pray for these very specific needs.  For Adam to get back to a normal baseline quickly this seems like the best plan.  We know no matter what, God is directing Adam's recovery and wherever we will end up will be by His design. We are trusting Him completely.

We were able to get Adam out of bed this morning with occupational therapy and he did pretty good with assistance.  AMAZING for just having brain surgery!  GO ADAM!!!!  This afternoon was a struggle... He wasn't able to make it through the entire physical therapy evaluation and was very unsteady on his feet, I really think this was because he was so tired and in quite a bit of pain.  Last evaluation of the day was speech therapy.  I was impressed by how well he was able to participate even though he was exhausted.  He has been able to get an hour of sleep here and there but could really benefit from a good night's sleep tonight.  He's relaxed now relaxing and I'm hoping on the verge of sleep. 

Tomorrow we should finish working with the staff here on goals and planning for the days ahead.  Thank you all for praying for us.  It's been an amazing journey to get here.  It's been interesting being back in a hospital setting again surrounded in the Neuro ICU and in the Neuro step down unit by so many just beginning a journey of their own.  Not only has it provided opportunity to share our story and God's love, the power of His healing, and tell of the miracles we have seen in Adam's journey because of God, but it also has been startling and overwhelming to see just how far we have come. 

We have so much to rejoice and a God to rejoice in.  I am laying here next to Adam in the hospital in tears at all that we have to rejoice in.  Jesus loves me this I know! 

All our sickness, all our sorrow
Jesus carried up the hill
He has walked this path before
He is walking with us still

Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessings in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed

Rejoice, when you cry to Him he hears
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice in the midst of suffering
And He will help you sing

Above are just a few of the lyrics from what has become my favorite worship song.  It's rejoice by Dustin Kensuke

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME

GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!

My man's surgery went remarkably well!  Thank you all who have been praying for my Adam, the prayers were very evident... And the peace of God surrounded all of throughout the day.

I will do a much longer update tomorrow, but wanted to let those "Rooting For Adam" know that surgery went well and Adam is recovering.  Upon waking up Adam was talking and knew his name.  Now that he has been out of surgery for a couple of hours he has been very vocal!  PRAISE GOD!!!!  This is so incredibly God at work in my man!  I can't wait to see what God has on the horizon for Adam's recovery.

Thank you all for praying, please pray now against any infections, the next couple of days will be critical.  Thank you all for your love and support.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Surgery Time Is Scheduled

My man amazes me... he truly lives out our vows every day, cherishing and honoring me daily.  He points me to Jesus regularly as I watch him completely seek God with all his heart.  Those of you who have been around us know that Adam prays over everything.  He prays even before taking a sip of water, thanking God.  Truly an example for me to live by.  Today I was in awe as he even prayed before taking his medication, thanking God for all the blessings in his life.  In the midst of all that we are walking through, my man's eyes are fixed on God and he is counting all his blessing.  What an honor it is to be my man's wife.

For all you "Root For Adam" prayer warriors, Adam is scheduled to check in at the hospital is 10:00am (PST) and 12:00pm (PST) for a surgery start time.  Thank you all for praying for us and for ROOTing for us!  We are blessed!

My word today that I am holding onto... Psalm 126:5-6 "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." I love what my foot note says... "God's ability to restore life is beyond our understanding.  Forests burn down and are able to grow back. Broken bones heal.  Even grief is not a permanent condition.  Our tears can be seeds that will grow unto a harvest of joy because God is able to bring good out of tragedy.  When burdened by sorrow, know that your times of grief will end and that you will again find joy.  We must be patient as we wait.  God's great harvest of joy is coming!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Heart Strong for Jesus

We serve a very faithful God, He has been faithful to every need, comforting when I have needed reassurance, ever present with His grace, and surrounding us in His peace.

I have been making a daily effort  to practice the example that the prophet Daniel set before us. Daniel 6:10 "He (Daniel) went to his room where the windows owned toward Jerusalem.  Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God". True contentment is only found through a heart of thanksgiving, NO MATTER the circumstances.  Giving thanks for me is a way I practice keeping my eyes fixed on God and not drown in the circumstances that surround us daily.  The more I give thanks and covet that time with the Lord, the more I find myself giving thanks throughout my day without having to think about it, the less discouraged and overwhelmed I feel.

God is truly answering your prayer, so please keep them coming!  We haven't heard the conclusive results from Adam's echocardiogram yet, but I take it as "no news is always good news".  It's when you are getting called from the doctors office that you should be worried, not when they are not calling you ;) The technician who administered Adam's echocardiogram was really encouraged and pleased with how strong Adam's heart is!  PRAISE THE LORD my man has a strong heart both physically and spiritually!   
Adam's heart on the monitor... It's God strength in Adam that makes his heart so strong!

I can honestly say the peace that God has washed me these last few days is very similar to the peace I felt on the drive to the hospital the day of Adam's injury.  God is a God of peace and the God of Hope.  I have both abundantly, thank you JESUS!!!  We have found encouragement in sharing our journey with others, but especially the medical community so please continue to pray God's presence will be felt through us not just noticed in us. I thank God that others comment about how "different" we are... we are different because of God's peace and the Hope of Christ in us.  Praise God we are "different".  May our difference make a difference!

WE NEED YOUR HELP...

Well... if you have been a blog follower since the beginning of this journey you know that I am not shy about asking for you all to participate in Adam's journey through projects that will bring encouragement to Adam.  The last time we spent a length of time in hospitals you remember we had quite the postcard collection with written encouragement from all over the world.  This time I am asking for something a little different. 

Adam's family gave us this book with many of his family members holding a sign printed with "We Believe" I would love it if you all would do the same thing.  Take pictures of you all holding a sign or note, a message for Adam.  Follow with a word of encouragement for him... it doesn't have to be anything lengthy.  If all you want to do is just the picture that works too.  Adam could use all the encouragement we can gather for him.  So if you would please do this for us it would be incredibly awesome!  Please send them to 4017 152nd PL SE Bothell, WA 98012, they will ALL be added to his photo album so please make sure that the picture size is a 4X6.  THANK YOU!!!
This is what is in the current picture album, to give you an idea of what we are asking for!
 
Adam and his new haircut, getting already for surgeries on Wednesday
 
We talked with our pre registration nurse today and we will find out tomorrow the time that Adam's surgeries will be scheduled for on Wednesday.  (I will do my best to post once I know since many of you have asked so that you can be praying)... Thank you for your prayers... keep 'em coming!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

JOURNEY: FAITH REQUIRED

 Today I need You
Just to get through
Today I'm breaking
Under the weight of it all
And I'm afraid I might fall

Today I'm empty
But I am willing
To keep listening
And looking for You in the noise
For Your quiet voice

o     Are You telling me to go?
Are You telling me to stay?
Are You telling me to hold on to You for another day?
Cause I got nothing left
And I'm hanging by a thread

I give You all my weakness, You give me
Your strength
Cause I'm here again,
Here at my end
Where You begin

Above are some of the lyrics from a song that feels like it was written from the depths of my heart.  The song is "Where you Begin" by Mandisa  I underlined the last part because I am believing this, I am at my end and I believe when we reach the point that there is nothing more we can do, it is for us to trust God and stand back in expectation of Him showing up in a mighty way, taking control and bringing healing and restoration that can only be pointed at Him. 
 
Prayer is our greatest need as we begin to head towards surgery week. Or what we are still hoping to be surgery week... read on for the details...
 
As we are doing our best to prepare we are meeting a fair share of obstacles, I want to share these with you all so you have a better idea how to pray for our family in the coming days.  Two weeks ago we met with our physiatrist (a physiatrist is a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, this doctor directs and helps guide the recovery process from the brain injury CLICK here for more understanding what a physiatrist does )  Adam is currently working with two physiatrists and together with the rest of Adam's team believe that getting Adam back to his baseline as quickly as possible is going to be very important.  The best way they see this happening is through inpatient rehabilitation.  Meaning Adam would be in the hospital for roughly 4 weeks to maximize his ability to recover quickly.  While I completely understand the benefit and there is no doubt in my mind that this what is best for Adam medically speaking, it's difficult to comprehend living in the hospital again for weeks. 
 
Having Adam home and living life with us is so normal, despite how different it looks now compared to before his injury, it's our normal.  There is nothing normal about life in a hospital... nothing. Because Adam has been home for so long and going back to hospital without him cognitively fully able to remember and understand why he is there we have decided it is best that I stay with him.  This will minimize confusion if I can help orientate him to where and why he is where he is.  It's difficult processing all these changes that are taking place in our home and being separated as family.

All I can do is trust God even though none of this is making sense.  I heard a sermon a few months back and the pastor was talking about God requiring our faith, especially when it doesn't make sense.  So I am working on keeping my eyes fixed on above, rather than in the mess of the circumstances around me.  When nothing makes sense and when troubles seem more than you can bear, remember that God gives strength.  He just requires our faith and for us to take our eyes off our circumstances and fix them on Him.  Habakkuk 3:19 "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."  I often forget that before we can enjoy the view from the mountain tops, there is ALWAYS a journey testing our strength to it's limits in order to reach the top. But He gives us the strength to endure the climb to the top.
 
Today Adam had his pre operation appointment to check his blood, heart, and make sure he has no infection brewing.  We were a little surprised when his EKG was abnormal.  Adam has not had an EKG to my knowledge so there was nothing to compare it to.  The doctor ended up doing 5 separate reads on the EKG and all were coming back abnormal.  She said she was a little concerned and wanted to talk to the cardiologist.  Less than an hour later I received a phone call letting us know that Adam's EKG was abnormal and far enough from normal that had them concerned.  Before going under anesthesia they want to rule out any complications.  The cardiologist wants to do a echocardiogram to rule out any blood clots that could potentially cause the right side of his heart to be enlarged and could also cause the abnormal read out from his EKG.  This has caught us a little off guard so we ask that you pray for Adam's upcoming appointment on Monday.  If all goes well surgery will go on as scheduled, if not then we are going to have to adjust our plans accordingly. 

Prayer requests that we have:
  • Pray that Adam's cardiologist will be able to find cause for the abnormal EKG and that it will not be anything serious
  • Pray against any infections or complications
  • Pray for no seizure activity
  • Pray for Adam's entire team of doctors and surgeons, for guidance, wisdom, and God's strength to be at work in them.
  • Pray for insurance coverage for an opening at the right inpatient rehabilitation facility
  • Pray for Adam to regain his strength quickly after surgery
  • Pray that Adam will return and surpass his baseline
  • Pray for Adam's speech and language to be in tact after surgery
  • Pray for full use of the right side of Adam's body
  • Pray against any hemorrhaging during Adam's surgery
  • Pray for all team members of Adam's medical team to cooperate on what's best for Adam
  • Pray that this would propel Adam's recovery in ways that doesn't seem fathomable, but can only be described as miraculous
  • Pray that God will be glorified in all of this
  • Pray that we will be His light where ever we are
  • Pray that anyone touching Adam can feel God's touch through him
  • Pray that we have abundant opportunities to show God's love not just tell of it
  • Pray for me to walk by faith, to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and to trust Him without doubt, fear or anxiety
  • Pray for us as a family as we are separated during this time (Mackenzie has been with Adam's parents so that I can be with Adam)
  • Pray for Adam's parents as they travel to Washington for Adam's surgery and for their strength as they now have a teenager once again under their roof
  • Pray for Mackenzie as she starts her first day of high school in all of this craziness
  • PRAY FOR COMPLETE RESTORATION AND HEALING IN ADAM'S BODY AND BRAIN
Thank you for your prayers, comments, messages, and love that you all have poured out on our family as we walk this journey.  Your words, messages, and love encourage me greatly... thank you.



Saturday, August 2, 2014

Casting My Cares and Laying Fears At God's Feet

I cast all my cares upon you
I lay all of my burdens
Down at your feet
And anytime
I don't know what to do
I just cast all my cares upon you

This was lyrics to a song that I sung in kids choir at my church growing up... when Mackenzie was younger I used to sing it to her as part of our bedtime routine.  And it's been years since I have thought about this song.  Today as I Adam and I were talking and he was processing life, the song came back to me.  After talking to Adam about his upcoming surgery, I asked if he was scared... and I told him it was okay, that I am scared too.  I sang this song to him and we prayed together.  Asking God to take our heavy hearts, our burdens, our fears and fill us with His peace, comfort, and remind us of His unending love in all that we are facing.

God is so faithful.

Oh how I want to walk with God steadfastly, seeking Him and faithfully submitting to His plans without fear, without doubt, without anxiety... Just complete trust that no matter the outcome of all of this, His will is being done.  In truth, I am trying really hard to lay my burdens down at His feet.  As I mentioned in my last post, it is an hourly practice for me.  Some days I lay my heavy heart at God's feet just to turn around and pick up burdens all over again.  These burdens I bare are not for me to carry, but for me to trust God in and through them, for me to hand over to Him and not to carry.

I love 1 Peter 5:7 in the Amplified version, it says... "Casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on Him, for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully."  I just LOVE this!

I was sitting in church this weekend (down in Oregon).  Adam's uncle Roger was preaching and he was speaking on spiritual warfare and equipping yourself.  He gave an illustration about practicing and preparing for battles and brought it around to practicing and preparing ourselves for whatever life sends our way through being in God's word and recognizing God's presence all around us.  I am practicing now laying my burdens at His feet and come what may the day of Adam's surgery I will be prepared and ready.  God is preparing me now, meeting me every time I lay my fears down.  I know God is in this, all around this, and going before us every moment and even when I can't feel Him near, I am trusting He is there and giving thanks for His presence.

I wasn't sure if I was going to share this or not, but in full disclosure it gives a glimpse into how incredibly amazing our marriage is.  In the beginning of this journey I blogged about the last conversation I had with Adam before his injury... but for those who are new to the blog I will give you a quick "readers digest" version...  Driving out to the track the day of Adam's injury, Adam uncharacteristically professed his love for me, and his appreciation of me as his wife, best friend, and helpmate.  Neither one of us knew at the time, this was the last time I would hear him speak for nearly almost a year.  It was the last time he fully knew me as his wife.

I love this man with every breath, every fiber of my being, and with every heartbeat!  He is my gift!

As we have been preparing for surgery, Adam has once again taken up uncharacteristically professing his love for me.  He has woken me up in the middle of the night on multiple occasions, just to tell me that he thinks I am so special and that he loves me so much.  We'll be driving in the car and he'll all of sudden put his arm around me and tell me how much he loves me and that he wants me to be his best friend forever.  He has told me that I am his favorite gift.  I'm trying so hard to appreciate his sentiments for what they are and not let my fear take over.  My fear of "what if this is his way of saying goodbye" "what if he won't speak again"... fears and "what ifs" are a dangerous path.  I did a bible study just weeks before Adam's injury and one of the assignments was to say the "what ifs" and write them down like this IF this_________________, THEN GOD.  So I am reminding myself that if my fears happen... THEN GOD!  Equipping, practicing, and preparing for what is to come. Trusting, believing, and claiming that God's ways are higher and more vast than I could ever begin to understand and He is in control and guiding every step of Adam's recovery.  Adam is in God's hands, and He loves Adam more than my heart can begin to comprehend.  

SO...

I cast all my cares upon you
I lay all of my burdens
Down at your feet
And anytime
I don't know what to do
I just cast all my cares upon you.

Mackenzie participated in her first equine competition, taking home 1st Place for barrel racing and 4 2nd place ribbons for other events!  So proud of this kid and the hard work she puts in! 

Mackenzie doing what she loves the most!
 
Playing the game of life with my niece and nephews! So much fun playing with these kids!

Yes... this was my occupation during the game... so thankful it is not in real life!
 
Mackenzie and Adam having fun painting different projects.

This kid is amazing and I have been missing her as she has been with Adam's parents most of the summer.  I am so thankful to Jack and Cookie and to my brothers in law and sisters in law for their help, love, and encouragement they have given to Mackenzie.  Thankful for Adam's parents introducing Mackenzie to so many new passions and safe outlets... I love you all so much!  Mackenzie will remain in Oregon through Adam's surgery and recovery... letting her be a kid and have an enjoyable summer! 
(And she has Goldie too, I miss them both)

My mom treated me to a day of pampering!  It's not often we have time together just the 2 of us, it was so incredibly special.  (My toes are pretty now too, thanks mom!)
 
This might now mean much to anyone else, but we have been waiting and waiting for these to hit most cash registers at Starbucks!  A VISUAL MENU!!!  For those with disabilities with speech difficulties or sigh impairments this is HUGE help! 
 
 
I will be doing my best to post once a week as we walk through this season, thank you all for your prayer!
(An updated prayer list will be posted soon)
 




 
 


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