Apr 30, 2007
Mary and I klutzed around with his feeding, with his meds, and with transferring him in and out of his wheelchair. Round-the-clock attendant care was approved, but the staffing hasn't happened yet. It's started, but there's a long way to go to get full coverage. Until that happens we'll continue to klutz.
It's good to have him home. It's good to know he's going to wake up tomorrow in familiar surroundings and with familiar people.
Please keep praying for Ian to wake up.
P.S. This is a picture of where we started. Ian is sleeping just about where the wheelbarrow is in the picture.
Apr 29, 2007
Apr 28, 2007
Apr 27, 2007
He's coming home.
- Don't talk down to him like he's a little child. Talk to him like the Ian you remember.
- Don't talk to us in front of him as if he can't hear you. It's likely that he can hear and understand you, so assume that he can.
- As awkward as it could be for you, do your best to overcome that awkwardness and act naturally. We're hoping you will, because that's what will help him most.
- One evidence of his injury is his inability to talk, so don't expect him to respond to you.
- Pray for him. I know that he would appreciate it.
Apr 26, 2007
I never thought that Ian would still be in a coma when he came home, but then again, after the first few days in the hospital we didn't think he'd come home again at all. Praise God for all of the countless miracles He has performed in Ian's life. Ian is still with us! God is forever true to His promises and, as Charles Spurgeon says so well, God would sooner cease to be than cease to be faithful.
We are bringing Ian home with or without the driveway. Please pray that the driveway would be completed soon however, to make transportation more convenient. The agency we are hoping to use seems to really be working on getting the amount of staffing together that we need. They are tentatively going to hire a family friend, Frank, to be a full-time worker with Ian. Please continue to pray that funding and staffing would be approved for 24/7 care.
Thank you for faithfully praying with us for seven months
Apr 25, 2007
Apr 23, 2007
The sidewalk around Ian's room should be finished tomorrow. In the foreground of this picture is where a small patio area will be so we can sit outside under the shade or in the sun. We're looking forward to Ian coming home.
For prayer, please remember the issue of the attendant care (we're asking for 24/7 coverage); it still hasn't been resolved. Also, we're praying that the weather holds and that we remain a priority for the paving company to put a driveway in to get Ian and all of his equipment to his room. Pray for strength for us. Pray that Ian would wake up.
Mary went to see Ian today, and he seemed as alert as we've seen him. She had another session of training in how to care for Ian's needs.
Pray for Ian.
Apr 22, 2007
On the way home from the hospital today, a Chris Tomlin song was on the radio that sings about the greatness of our God and His worthiness to be praised. I was reminded of and encouraged by the thought that everything that God does is great. What excitement that should instill in me! The works of the Lord are great and all that He does is "full of splendor and majesty." Even if I can't always see it now, Ian's situation is great. It is ordained by God and is His work-therefore it is full of splendor and majesty. There is no work that is mediocre with God and God will never look back and say, "well, maybe I should've handled that situation with Ian differently." Greatness is His nature. What a blessing to be on the receiving end of that greatness.
Apr 21, 2007
Once the sidewalk goes in, the paving company will come in to do the driveway; they'll pave right up to the sidewalk. The guy that will be doing the sidewalk made an interesting comment after discussing all these plans with us. He said, "You think your yard is torn up now! Wait till this is done."
For all this effort, I want very much to see on the other side of the fence that is the future, because I think somehow that will comfort me. I can't see, though, and I know that no matter what the outcome of all this is only God can comfort me. I have to keep myself focused on the next step the Lord gives me and keep walking looking to the Lord and His Word for help.
Thank you to so many I don't even know who are praying for Ian. I know you're there, because I occasionally meet someone for the first time who tells me they're praying for Ian. That affects us deeply. Thank you!!!
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now...*
They want to discharge Ian and have him home by the 30th. However, he may not be approved to have 24-hour nursing care by then (it usually takes a while to get approved). This means my parents (who have been getting training) need to take care of him between the time he comes home and the time he is approved for around-the-clock care. This is not out of the question, but it will be really hard for them. Please pray to God that he will provide another way, such as getting the nursing care approved by the 30th.
Thank you so much for praying. God is good, and this is a small need compared to what he's already done for us.
Apr 19, 2007
It's just all so unbelievable. I remember when I took this picture of Ian and Lydia that Easter day; he was just with us. His condition is so shocking. We're so grieved. It's so tempting to challenge the actions of the Almighty, but how ridiculous that would be to do it. He is silent about His reasons.
But, there are some things about which He has not been silent. He has spoken loudly and clearly. He will never let the guilty go unpunished, and I am as guilty as anyone of rebellion against Him. But he has already punished me - and Ian - by punishing Christ on the cross, so I go free. By doing that to His own Son, it's as though He shouted at the top His lungs that He favors me. How can I argue or complain about any bad thing that happens to me? "I lay my hand on my mouth" and remain silent.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
-Horatio Spafford -
Pray for Ian.
Apr 18, 2007
"Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water,and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
It's God's beautiful design that in suffering our longing for heaven is increased. Before Ian's accident, I was secure in my life on earth. I was secure thinking that not only had I met the man who God designed for me to marry but that he loved me in return. I had never suffered through any significant trials. I was in love with my life on earth, and had no perception of heaven and no longing for heaven in my heart. Not that I have an exact understanding of heaven now, but these past few months have made me long to be with the Lord. And I don't think that's a bad thing. If it steals me of my joy here on earth and if I can't see any good in why I'm here, then yes, it's bad. But it is good to desire to forever be with the Lord, to long to sin no more, and to long for our new heavenly bodies.
I know that many of you who read this blog are going through huge trials in your lives. Keep looking to heaven and know that we are but dust. These trials will end and one day we will be with our Lord.
Thank you for praying for Ian. He has been opening his eyes more often over the past few days. He has been awake off and on today. Right now we're watching Clifford- one of his favorite movies. Hopefully it's bringing back some of his hilarious memories. Our new discharge date is April 30. I heard from one source today that there is no longer any infection in his right eye, but it still seems to be a little bit sensitive. God is answering our prayers!
Apr 17, 2007
Apr 16, 2007
So what are we to make of this? We've prayed that Ian would be healed and he hasn't.
Sadly, my prayer life has reflected how I've interpreted this. I've found instead of praying for Ian, I've just felt sad for Ian. I've slipped into a prayerless-hopelessness. Why has this happened? Though I'd never verbalize it, my actions are saying, "Well, God promised that he would answer my prayers. I prayed, and he didn't answer. God has lied."
And to that, our loving, holy Father would say very loudly, "
God promises and God answers! Not one promise has Jesus made that he hasn't fulfilled. And Jesus promised that if we ask of our Father, he will answer us.
Ask. Seek. Knock.
Think of it this way. Imagine a little boy who needs something of his father.
If his dad is standing right beside him, the boy just looks up and simply asks his dad for whatever he needs.
If the boy comes into the house, and his dad isn't standing right there, the boy calls out: "Dad, where are you?" And then the boy begins to search the house, seeking his dad, until he finds him. No matter how long it takes. He may have to look in the garage, the attic, the shed, the bedrooms...He may have to search the entire house. But he knows his father is home...
If the father is in the study with the door shut, the boy knocks until the dad answers. And when the father lovingly says, "Come in." The boy boldly opens the door and asks for whatever he needs.
It may seem like our Father is no where to be found. But he says, "Seek me my beloved sons and daughters, and you'll find me." It may seem like God is behind a brass door. But he says, "I hear and answer the faintest of knocks."
Our Father loves it when we pray!
"Ask - receive. Seek - find. Knock - the door will be opened." We have every reason to keep lifting up hope-filled prayers for our friend Ian.
We've been seeking for 7 months and haven't found yet...we've been knocking for 212 days and we haven't seen the door opened. But God has promised! He's our father, we're his children.
Today is Ian's 22nd birthday. Let's give him the gift of our prayers! Today, by the grace of God, let's resolve to pray all the harder for Ian's complete healing. Let's keep asking, seeking, and knocking!
Apr 15, 2007
Apr 14, 2007
My parents came for the day and brought Ian an early birthday gift. It was in a little gift bag so I put Ian's hand on the bag and told him to take his gift out. So first he pulled all of the tissue paper out. Then I put his hand in the bag and told him to pull the gift out. And he did! He grabbed the DVD and pulled it out. Then he went back into the bag and found the box of golf balls that were at the very bottom and pulled those out too. Then I showed him his card and ripped it a little bit to give him a start. He kept pulling the paper that he could feel. He eventually opened the envelope and then actually grabbed the card and pulled it out. My mom and I were just laughing the whole time, almost in disbelief because it seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing. It was so exciting to see him do something so functional!
He was very aware of us today too. He would often reach for our hands. He reached for my arm a few times and pushed my sleeves up. Then he would feel his way up my arm to my shoulder and then pull my shoulder toward him like he wanted a hug. Then when he was done giving me a hug, he wasn't shy to just push me away. One time he basically choked me by pushing me away, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't know he was choking me:)
I know it's probably really confusing to hear about all the things that Ian does but then hear that he's still in a coma. I definitely didn't understand comas until Ian. It's not like what we see in the movies, where someone in a coma just sleeps all the time. He definitely sleeps more than us but he is awake too. When he's awake, he can hear us and seems to be aware of what's going on around him. We've heard that being in a coma is like being in a tub of vaseline- anything you do takes a million times more effort than it should. I tend to think of it like he can hear us and know what's going on, but just hasn't made the connection yet of how to respond. It's like he just has to discover and re-learn everything again. And he will always be on the coma scale, just like us. He's at a 3, we're at an 8. He goes up on the scale as he gains function.
Apr 12, 2007
We continue to pray for the infection in Ian's eye. They put a patch over the right eye, the one that's infected, just so he won't rub it and make it worse. The installation of the sidewalk and driveway has still not begun because of the weather. Apart from those two major things, there are smaller things that need to be finished up, though he could move in if he could get into it.
In a conference message, David Powlison used an analogy that helps me understand what I have to do as I walk through these difficult days with Ian. He said that our worst experiences of suffering and difficulty have to be riveted to Scripture.
Rivets secure two pieces of metal together that then form a functional unit. The only picture I have of riveting is when gutters and downspouts are riveted together. When one is riveted and sealed to another, they maintain their shape and hang together, and water flows where it's supposed to flow.
If I fail to understand my circumstances in light of Scripture and to embrace the truth of Scripture, I'm going to be anxious and in despair. That's where my thoughts and emotions naturally go, though. My thoughts that would naturally lead me into self-pity and anxiety need to be directed upward to God who has been merciful to me, a sinner, and riveted to the truth of Scripture that God is still in control. I'm called to focus moment by moment on the One who will help me. I'm called not to worry about tomorrow. If I can daily remind myself of the truth of Scripture, I will not only be strengthened, I might actually be a channel for God's grace to flow to others. How hard it is to reign in my thoughts and emotions! I'm noticing that's a common theme now in our posts, but how crucial it is. Help me, Lord.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
- How Firm a Foundation -
His nurse said that he was being pretty feisty this morning. He kept pushing her hand away when she was trying to brush his teeth. In speech today Val was putting some things in his mouth but he kept pushing her hand away too. He’s much more oriented to his body so that when he wants to push someone away, he finds their hand almost immediately.
Tonight while I was praying with Ian, I started feeling very anxious, even in my prayers. I want so badly for him to just wake up. Sometimes that fact that I know God can heal him with one breath makes it even more frustrating! I just want to say “come on God, just do it! I know you can!” But just because I know that God is able, doesn’t mean that He has to. Just because we have faith that He can, doesn’t mean that He is going to. He will do what is perfect for us, in His perfect timing.
I knew in my anxiousness that I was not trusting God. He commands us not to worry and I need to obey Him. So I sat down in the chair next to Ian’s bed and decided that I should probably start learning what it means to “cast your cares on the Lord.” (Psalm 55:21-23) My anxiousness about when Ian will wake does not glorify God or change the situation. I found it most helpful in those few minutes to just close my eyes and try to focus on the cross. To let go of the worries about tomorrow and try to delight in what God has already accomplished for me through Jesus' blood. Changing my thought pattern in that moment was not in my own doing or strength- on my own, I would’ve left the hospital feeling pretty discouraged. But God graciously reveals sin to us and provides a way out.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
-How Firm a Foundation
Apr 11, 2007
Regarding Jesus, as he hung on a cross...
"to us, sensations such as our Lord endured would have been insupportable, and kind unconscious would have come to our rescue; but in his case, he was wounded, he felt the sword; he drained the cup and tasted every drop." -C.H. Spurgeon
Jesus experienced pain so that our pain - Ian's pain - would be temporary (2 Cor 4:14-18, "slight momentary affliction").
There's nothing greater than knowing that hard times are overshadowed (or, more accurately, made negligible) by the fact that what we need most has already been provided for:
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins..."
(1 Corinthians 15:3).
Pray big things to our God who has done the big thing already.
Pray that Ian would be healed.
But most importantly, pray that we would recognize God as he really is, however that may best be done.
Apr 10, 2007
...he is our help and our shield." That's from Ps 33:20. Donna reminded me of this verse tonight. That's exactly where we need to be with all that's happening around us:
- Ian is in a coma (Frank noticed that Ian followed him with his head and his eyes from one side of the bed to the other and that he seems more agitated than the last time he saw Ian).
- To get him home and get him into familiar surroundings we need good weather to get a sidewalk and driveway in, but the weather isn't cooperating.
- We learned tonight that Ian's primary care doctor at The Children's Institute is no longer working for the Institute as of today - an abrupt departure - and we don't know why.
- Tomorrow we go in for training to learn how to care for Ian. I can't speak for Mary, but I'm intimidated.
And so we wait for the Lord. He is our help and our shield. "Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you" (Ps 33:22).
Thank you for your prayers for us and for Ian.
Apr 9, 2007
"Today, we thought he was moving to his new treatment facility, but at the last minute they discovered fluid on his brain. He won’t relocate today, but instead he will have surgery on Friday to install a shunt in his head. My son, Caleb, highlighted the kindness of God in this new development when he noted that God showed the doctors this problem before Ian moved. It’s not what I would have chosen; I’m too impatient to get moving with his therapy. But, God knows what’s right and best."
I remember what IUP classroom I was in when Steve called and told me about the surgery for the shunt. I remember that Ben, my friend Jan and I stayed at the hospital Thursday night so we could be there on Friday while he was in surgery for his shunt. I remember that as soon as we saw him after the surgery, the swelling was visibly less on the right side of his head and he already seemed more responsive to us.
God was with us then and He is with us now. He delivered Ian from and sustained him through those seemingly dangerous surgeries and he has delivered us from nights spent sleeping on hospital floors. He has performed miracle after miracle in Ian's body and I believe that there are more miracles on the way. In the past few days, Ian has been more able to tell us when he is uncomfortable or even angry. He pushes the nurses away when they try to put the braces on his left arm and last night he was using his voice for at least five minutes. He is able to communicate with us through facial expressions when he is uncomfortable and then we are able to help him, which is an answer to prayer.
Apr 8, 2007
We celebrate Easter as the day Christ rose from the dead declaring to us that God was satisfied with what Christ had done. What Christ did was enough to secure our forgiveness and freedom from guilt. I remind myself of that night at Youth Camp now more than ever, because it comforts me knowing that my Savior is his Savior, too. God is for Ian, because Christ died and rose again and because I know that what Christ did He did for Ian. Happy Easter, Ian!
Pray for Ian. Pray that he would come out of this coma.
(The cards on Ian's wall are thanks to the students at Jubilee Christian School. They mean a lot to us. We're going to save them for Ian, so he can see them when he wakes up. Thank you!)
Apr 7, 2007
But Jesus isn't like me. He is full of infinite tenderness and compassion towards Ian. If I feel compassion for Ian, how much more does the heart of Jesus beat with compassion! If my heart breaks over the thought of Ian suffering, how much more does the heart of Jesus break! The Bible tells us that Jesus prays for His people. I want to pray for Ian and see God exalted through Ian's sufferings. Jesus, the great creator of all things, is also praying for Ian. Doesn't that encourage you to pray? When we pray, we are joining with our Savior.
Jesus, I pray that you would heal Ian's broken body. If I feel tender compassion towards Ian, I know that you feel infinitely more compassion towards him. Would you please heal Ian out of Your infinite compassion?
Apr 5, 2007
"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,' even the darkeness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you" (Psalm 139:7-12).
Ian has been keeping his eyes open more than he had been, but at times he still seems to be in pain from them.
Thank you for praying.
But then I realize this is a perfect opportunity for me to see God in greater, more accurate way. When I can't do anything, that's when I see the reality that I'm a dependent person, and my only choice is to rely on God, anyway. This is when I'm reminded God is in control of everything, and he knows what he's doing (Romans 8:28).
April 20th is the hospital's target date for when he'll finally come home to the handicap-accessible addition our church built for him. He can come home as soon as we build a driveway around the house to his room.
But join me in praying that he won't need the addition. Pray that he'll be able to walk home.
Thanks a million,
Apr 4, 2007
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Apr 3, 2007
Please pray that his eyes would heal. Pray for wisdom for the doctors. Pray that Ian would talk to us again.