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Here is an update on Josiah as of Monday, January 3 at 7:30 PM:

Today marked the start of the fourth week that Josiah has been here at Mary Free Bed.  If you had told me four weeks ago that Josiah would have been to this point already, I would probably not have believed you.  I have always thought that he would get better, but to progress this far so quickly has been just amazing!  He has worked so hard and been the recipient of so many prayers that I can only say this has been a God-thing to get him to this point so soon.  Especially after seeing all of the other kids up here.  Thank God for all He has done in Josiah!

Here are some highlights from the day:

  • Josiah’s doctor said this morning that he would be home by the end of the week!  I know he is excited for that… well, we all are!  It will be good to be al together again!
  • Josiah’s therapists took it up another notch today.  His PT crew basically had him running in the halls!  It was all I could do to keep up with my camera strapped around my neck!
  • He mood has been fantastic today!  We both said that it was going to be a very positive week, and we would do anything to keep it that way!  Our goal is getting home, so he is focused, working like a dog and keeping it positive!
  • He has gone three nights now without his sleeping medication. He has slept very well!
  • He got a surprise visit from his girlfriend and her mom this afternoon! He was thrilled to have her up here for a bit!  It brought a smile to his face, that is for sure!

Here are some specific prayer requests to remember for Josiah and the family:

  • We are excited to have him released, but please remember to pray for his outpatient therapy.  We want him to get just what he needs to continue his recovery.  This is very important to us!
  • Continue to pray for the right side of his face.  We are confident that God can repair the nerve without the need for surgery.  In fact, we believe that will happen!
  • Pray for the travel that will happen this week.  Depending on what I hear tomorrow during the team meeting will depend on when I get back to work this week. I really need to get back as soon as I can.
  • Pray that we leave this place having impacted the lives of those we have met.  More than anything else, we want God to have been lifted up and made big in the lives of people!

Psalm 32:7-8 “You are my hiding place! You protect me from trouble, and you put songs in my heart because you have saved me. You said to me, “I will point out the road that you should follow. I will be your teacher and watch over you.”

Here is an update on Josiah as of Sunday, January 2nd at 4:15 PM:

Since it is the weekend, Josiah does not have as many therapy sessions, though he works very hard for each session he does have.  I watch him work, and he just amazes me with the determination and drive that he has.  He is so cooperative and strong! If you did not know him, you would never know that he was young man laying in ICU fighting for his life just a mere month ago. God has been so good to us to bring him back so far, so quickly!

Here are a few highlights from the day:

  • Today was the first time in over a month that we were all able to go to church together.  We visited Mars Hill Bible Church here in Grand Rapids.  Josiah really seemed to enjoy it! Lord willing, we will be back home at our church next weekend!
  • We said goodbye to Jennifer and the kids after lunch.  Their visits the last two weekends have kept us sane!  It has been nice to spend time with them.  We look forward to being back home soon!
  • We are also enjoying watching football!
  • I am seeing him use his left side more and more.  It is still weak compared to the right side, but it is coming along very well.
  • He walking is also very solid now.  He still has to be supervised, but he has not had any near falls at all.  He will probably lose the wheelchair tomorrow.

Here are some specific requests to remember for Josiah and the family:

  • Please pray that his care after release is set up and that it will be exactly what he needs to continue to fully recover.
  • Pray that the strength in his left side will increase exponentially this week. He is getting so much stronger, but I would say he is still only about 60 percent on that side.
  • Please pray for the nerve damage on the right side of his face. We are asking God to heal it without surgery.  I fully believe God can do this!
  • We are also asking God to make known any conversations that we need to have this week with those that are far from Him.  We want to leave this place knowing that those around us realize that they matter to God.

Psalm 103:1-2 “With all my heart I praise the Lord, and with all that I am I praise his holy name! With all my heart I praise the Lord! I will never forget how kind he has been.

Here is an update on Josiah as of Saturday, January 1, at 8:30 PM:

Today was a day off as far as therapy sessions were concerned.  It was a well-deserved day of rest for Josiah, and a great day for a family day out!  We took advantage of his day pass and went out on the town!

Here are some highlights from our day our with Josiah:

  • We decided to go to the mall here in Grand Rapids (Grandville actually).  It was a very nice mall, and we had a great time shopping and just being together in a setting that we have not been in for quite some time.  Josiah was able to spend some of his gift cards from Christmas as well.
  • Josiah did very well in this setting.  He did not seem to get over stimulated at all.  He dealt with everything just fine.
  • We also got to eat at Applebees today thanks to some gift cards that we had received.  After eating so much hospital food, it was a treat to get to eat out!  Josiah’s girlfriend and her family were on their way home from a ski trip and stopped at the restaurant to say high as well.  He enjoyed getting to see her!
  • We also got word that he has no therapy until afternoon tomorrow.  Weekends are a bit less scheduled, so we requested a little alter start so we could take Josiah to church. We are really looking forward to this!

Here are some specific requests we would ask you to pray for as we pray as well:

  • The doctors and therapists are anticipating his release this next week. We are excited for that, but also are concerned that he gets the right treatment once he leaves. Please pray for the right program to be set up for him.
  • Pray that he acclimates back into living at home and getting use to a new schedule as well.  We will hopefully find out more this week about what this new schedule will be like.
  • Pray for the right side of his face.  We still are expecting the nerves to “wake up” any day and show us movement again!
  • Pray for Jennifer and the kids as they travel home tomorrow.
  • Pray for continued opportunity to show the love of God to those that are hurting and searching.

Psalm 99:3 “Only you are God! And your power alone, so great and fearsome, is worthy of praise.”

Update on Josiah as of Friday, December 31 at 4 PM:

We have had a nice relaxing day for the most part.  Well, I should say everyone but Josiah.  He woke up to physical therapy at 8AM, which is the earliest he has had to be up and around for any of his sessions.  He did a great job with everything today, and is now resting in our room with us for the rest of the day.  He does not have any therapy until Sunday at 12:30 PM, so he just gets to hang out with us!

Here are some highlights from the day:

  • Since we found out that we have until Sunday afternoon until another therapy session, we will all get to go to church together for the first time in over a month. We are certainly looking forward to that!
  • Josiah pretty much flew through his physical therapy today.  He is recovering so quickly. There are still hurdles to cross, but overall, he is in such a good place physically.
  • We were fortunate enough to get a room at The Inn, which is connected to the hospital where Josiah is staying.  It is bigger than any hotel room I have ever stayed in!
  • So far, Josiah has walked everywhere with us today; even down to the cafeteria!  He will likely lose his wheelchair in the next day or so.
  • He had opportunity to play with his new game system last night.  He loves it, and I love seeing him interact as he plays!  He sounds just like my Josiah!
  • His doctor pretty much said today he would be going home some time next week. This is great news for us, but also makes us a bit nervous

Here are a few things to remember in prayer for Josiah and the family:

  • Pray for his return home.  Pray for his safety at home as he continues to gain his independence.  Pray that he is able to get the care that is needed when it comes to therapy.  One of my big concerns is that they are just going to cut him loose, and he is no where ready for that. Please pray that we get good news about his outpatient care this week!
  • Pray for safety as the family will be traveling back Sunday.
  • Pray for the nerves on the right side of his face.  We want to see movement in them!  He will likely still have a trip to U of M sometime in the next couple of weeks to meet with the specialist.
  • Pray for us as we strive to communicate God’s love to those around us through word and deed.  Pray that we can help people realize that they matter to God and to us.

Psalm 90:16-17 “Do wonderful things for us, your servants, and show your mighty power to our children. Our Lord and our God, treat us with kindness and let all go well for us. Please let all go well!”

Here is an update on Josiah as of 7:00 PM on Thursday, December 30th:

I want to stop for a moment and once again just thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, notes of encouragement and even gifts during this time.  The outpouring of love shed on us has been a comfort and encouragement each day.  There will never be words to express our gratitude, and certainly no way that we can repay all of you for the energy and time spent in prayer for us.  Thank you!

Today brought another round of highly active therapy for Josiah.  The difficulty of his sessions has really increased, especially his physical therapy where it is a solid, non-stop exercise and brisk walking.  He has responded well to all of it, both physically and with his attitude.  He just keeps pushing on!

Here are some highlights from the day:

  • He was told yesterday that he could now walk with parental supervision, and today, his physical therapist told him he was going to take his wheelchair away very soon!  That made Josiah a bit nervous (and I would have to admit, it did me as well).  But it is exciting to know that he is that much closer to going home.
  • He has gained about 4 pounds in that last two weeks! I knew his appetite was good!
  • Jennifer and the kids arrived safely this afternoon! We are glad to be able to spend the weekend with them again.
  • Josiah also had several family members come up to see him also.  It is really nice having the family up, and Josiah loved having visitors!
  • Football! Josiah and I have looked forward to having some bowl games to watch during the day!  Our weekend will be filled with football and family.  We are also hoping to get out and catch a church service here in the area this Sunday!

We would ask for you to pray for the following specific things with us:

  • Continue to pray for the right side of his face as it heals.  We are asking God to heal Josiah completely without any surgery if that would be His will.  I believe God will do this!
  • Our next team meeting is next Tuesday. This is where we meet with the entire team of doctors and therapists that are working with him to get updates progress reports.  We will also get a better idea of the length of stay they are thinking about.
  • Please pray for his release date.  The hospital is getting pressure from Medicaid for a release date.  I certainly want to get home but I want it to be at the right time for Josiah and his recovery.
  • Pray for the light of God’s love and grace to shine through us here.  We are part of HIS story as it intersects with the stories of people up here that are experiencing hurt, sorrow, joy and victory.

Phil. 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”