Cannot believe Jenna is 13 today! Love this girl!
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Today is Josiah’s birthday, so I want to say “happy birthday son” and take a moment to share publicly that I am proud of you. You love Jesus and have been such an display of God’s grace as you have gone through the process of healing after your accident. You still bear, and always will, the physical marks of God’s grace in your life. Those scars are there to always remind you of His love for you, and that He has a great plan for you. When you look on those scars, remember that. You have been an inspiration to many. Continue to use that for God’s glory. Here is your story, or better yet, God’s story written in your life over the last 15 months.
It has been quite some time since I wrote about Josiah’s progress. God continues to do great and mighty things through Josiah’s recovery. I still will weep and just stand in awe as I look at Josiah and see him now compared to what I saw the first night at the hospital. Maybe I am a wimp for being so emotional about it, but I am humbled and in awe of not only how God made the body to heal, but also in how God chose to spare Josiah’s life and heal him.
Medically speaking, he is doing great. We had our last visit to Ann Arbor last week. They said that his facial nerves will continue to heal and they really do not think he needs to come back. We visit Mary Free Bed next month, and hopefully he will be released there as well!
He graduated and started back at his job all in the same week of June. He just recently got his full-time work schedule back too! We have filled out all of his paperwork for college and are shooting for attending Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo this January. He has a drive and passion for youth, and will be pursuing that in school.
We are in the process of getting drivers rehab started so that he can drive again. He is SO anxious to get a car and start driving again. More anxious than I am for him to drive, that is for sure!
Once again, I would have never chosen this path for our family, but the last 8 months have been a time of growth, humility and a display of God’s grace that I would not want any of us to have missed. Josiah will carry the marks of God’s grace the rest of his life through the scars that are left on his body. I pray they will remind him daily that God loves him and has a great plan and purpose for his life. God has a plan and a purpose for all of us. You may feel insignificant, unloved or without direction, but God, by His love, mercy and grace does have a purpose for you. Seek Him and you will find all you are looking for.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – God told me, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”
Today we had a follow-up appointment at the University of Michigan with Josiah. The doctors here have been looking at his facial paralysis over the last few months and tracking his progress. His nerves had already started growing back together. We knew that, as we could see his smile coming back. But today we received some great news! They informed us after the testing that his nerves had made significant progress, that there would definitely be no surgery needed and that he would not even have to go through this procedure again (sticking needles in his face to test the nerves). He was thrilled about that! He still has to come back to Ann Arbor one more time for a hearing test and check up. And he has at least one follow-up visit at Mary Free Bed and with the eye doctor, as well as a bit of therapy to complete, but other than those visits, we think he may actually be done seeing doctors for the near future! God has continued to pour his love, grace and mercy on us in regards to Josiah and his health! We are so grateful for all that He has done! We appreciate all the prayers, kind words and notes over the last several months. Please continue to pray for the following specific things:
- Pray that he finishes strong in school. I am so proud of his hard work to get caught up in his work so that he can graduate with his class this year.
- Pray that his strength continues to return. He still has some weakness in his body.
- Pray for him as he contemplates his future. His plans have been put on hold for at least 6 months to a year. That is frustrating to a teen boy who is looking forward to his independence.
- Pray for us that we would be prepared and ready when the time comes for him to get behind the wheel to drive again. That is not something we are quite ready for and probably never will be, but it will come.
There are no words to describe the wonder, awe and humility that we feel at God’s goodness, comfort and providence in our lives. It has been an amazing road that we have walked the last few months. We look forward to seeing what God has next for Josiah and our family!
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”