Day 11 – post #1

Thank-you for getting as excited about poop as we were!!! In case you missed it, we were mildly concerned and praying for a bowel movement for Justus. It sounds like we got what you’d expect if you have thousands of people praying for poop! So thank-you!

I know the image I’ve posted doesn’t it justice (or Justus). But on the 20 minute drive to the hospital today we were treated to a beautiful sunrise. I wanted to stop the car to take a picture but we were late for our shift (the other image – I’ll explain later). So I took a picture looking out the window at the hospital at the same sunrise. As Kelli and I drove and prayed together Lamentations came to mind.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

In this particular season of this journey we are on, this truth was super timely. Because we are entrenched in the journey and not reflecting on it, we can’t be sure if this will be a short season or if this is a season we will visit again and again. We only know that today we are in a holding pattern. If you’ve been with us on this journey, you’ll know in a more volatile season we were watching closely this growing viral infection in Justus’ brain. During perhaps the most difficult family meeting I’ve ever been a part of, the Neurologist informed the family that the third MRI was much worse than the 2nd and the infection was growing with no end in sight. When pressed, he gave Justus a 50-50 chance of surviving the viral infection. It was the new low point.

The challenge now is that the prognosis has been simply forgotten… only it hasn’t, at least not by all of us. Rather it’s was set aside for more urgent and more treatable issues. We’ve watched them add, subtract and adjust medications in an attempt to reduce swelling, control seizures, and generally keep our little man comfortable. The latest and most extreme part of this process was the decision reached a few days ago to medically induce a coma in order to quiet and calm what they’ve described as an angry brain. So for the past 69 hours we’ve watched our grandson in a coma. His brain has been virtually put to sleep and we wait. The first several times I saw him lying there with tubes and wires connected everywhere, it produced immediate tears. I don’t cry anymore, but I can’t enter or leave the room without a short prayer and a quick kiss for my sweet grandson.

We were told he would likely be in his coma for 72 hours before they would begin the process of waking him up. So with the magic hour approaching, we anxiously wait. The problem is, when that hour arrives, nothing will change, at least visibly. They will begin weaning him off the medication. But they’ve warned us it could take literally days before he is actually responds during an exam. And here is the unsettling part and where we need the most prayer; we don’t know what will happen when he wakes up. Will the seizures start up again? How injured is his brain? As I’ve been saying all along, as far as we are concerned, these incredibly brilliant and gifted doctors are doing everything they can to save our little one and rescue his brain. But in a sense, they’ve done what they can. And now we’ve been begging God to do what the doctors couldn’t. So many of you have forgiven me for my sacrilegious comparison of God and Donatello and prayed your hearts out for Justus. We’ve all prayed that while Justus’ rested, God would do battle. I know He has.

This morning’s sunrise and this verse in Lamentations is how I’m looking at this next leg of the journey. Justus’ is about to experience a new morning and God is faithful. We’ve prayed for a complete healing and that could be realized in the next several hours. But we’ve also said all along, “God, your will be done.” God’s love and His compassion is new every morning… EVERY morning. And His love is new right now for Justus. His compassion for us is new right now. So we trust that if he awakens healed… if he awakens with a long battle ahead… whatever is before us we will remember that God is faithful. He will journey this next season with us, whether it is short or long, no matter what.

The word compassion carries with it the understanding of a strong desire to alleviate pain. God knows we are suffering. This morning on the drive here I was reminded that God wants to meet me, again and again, in that pain. It gives me the courage and the strength to face each new day… whether it’s the beginning of a new 24-hour day or as in Justus’ life, the beginning of a WHOLE new day! Great is God’s faithfulness.

So pray for the ending of our 72 hours. Number one that things stay on track. Second, that the brain will remain calm as it is awakened. They are going to do an MRI sometime in the next 24 hours just to get a little more information. They said it won’t necessarily change their treatment, but it might give them a little more insight as to what’s going on. I’m praying the MRI reveals a miracle. More importantly I’m praying for a clear path forward. God has done a miracle in the hearts of our family and he’s used all of you to do it. We, and I am speaking collectively for all of us (we’ve had so many of these conversations), have a great peace about God’s hand in this situation. It’s not about what specifically we know He’s going to do, only that He is faithful and we can rest in that.

I did think of a fun way we could make this real for Jason and Alyse. They haven’t left the hospital since this all started. Tomorrow morning if you think of it, would you take a picture of the sunrise from where you are? Then I’ll create a New Every Morning Post tomorrow (late tonight) and you can post the picture. If you want you can also add someway you’ve seen God these last 11 days.

Finally, I gave you an image of our schedule. I thought it would be fun for those of you supporting us from out there to see how those of us in here are supporting Alyse and Jason. Each night a schedule like this is created and everyone sets their alarm clock. We make sure there is always 2 people in the room awake the entire night. It allows Jason and Alyse to rest easier knowing family is on the watch. Kelli and I were late for our 6am shift this morning, but not before seeing a beautiful sunrise and being reminded of God’s faithfulness! Thank-you everyone for your faithfulness. Please keep praying.