Day 28 – post #2

I’ll try to keep tonight’s update short. I asked you early to pray for several things today. It’s strange because in a general sense Jason and Alyse made the decision to hunker down and chase Justus if you will; to really give our little warrior a chance to tell us how he’s doing. So they did take plasmapheresis out of the equation. And that sort of allowed a series of other things to happen. The net result is, Justus had a huge day! Thank you so much for praying. Here is a partial list of what happened today…
• Because the plasmapheresis was decided against, they removed the femoral catheter. As soon as the catheter came out Justus wiggled his toes and moved his leg. He couldn’t have said thank-you any clearer using words.
• They have continued to bring down his constant level of pain medication
• They put him on a plan to wean him of his sodium drip (significant because if it is successful they will be able to remove another one of the lines going into his body (leaving only 2 – he woke up this morning with 7)
• They removed his other catheter (the one that makes grown men squirm ) and he peed!!!!
• Big News!!!! And Big prayers!!!! Tonight at 8pm they removed his ventilator tube. He’s breathing completely on his own. There might have been some tears shed as we represented #TeamJustus at his bedside. Seeing him without the tube taped to his mouth for the first time in nearly 4 weeks was hard to take. The picture is him resting for the first time without a tube coming out of his mouth.

So long story short – Justus’ hunker down day turned into his biggest single day of his short life! They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. Well, yesterday wasn’t the darkest, but I know it was very discouraging for Alyse and Jason (and the rest of us). In many ways, because of a number of factors that had nothing to do with Justus, he took a tiny step backwards. To Jason and Alyse’s credit, they prayed, they counseled, and they rallied together. They were strong and kind today in outlining what they wanted to see happen. Is it for sure the right decision – we can’t know? But we are trusting God. I can tell you, today felt so much better than yesterday.

Yesterday the quote would have been – “Don’t forget in the darkness, what you learned in the light.” Because yesterday it was important to trust God even when it seemed like things were falling apart. We come into these dark times of life having learned a lot of truths about God and God’s character. We mustn’t forget that in the darkness.

Today would be my tweak to that quote – “Remember in the light, what got you through the darkness.” Today, I want to pray as diligently as I did yesterday. Yesterday I was begging the Lord to hear my cry for mercy; today I must praise the Lord as loudly and continue to petition Him on Justus’ behalf. I was reading in Matthew and discovered that God said it long before I thought it! Matthew10: 27 says, “ What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.” I would simply say don’t limit the idea here to only what God tells you, but also what you learn in the dark. Remember there are things you learn about God in the storm or the dark, which can only be learned in the dark. We have to remember those things when the light is shining. It’s way too easy to relax and take for granted His blessings in our lives.

In fact, and some of you will laugh at this. My daughter in a moment of honesty said, “Mom, dad, I’m afraid if Justus starts to get better everyone will stop praying.” First, if there is anything #TeamJustus has made crystal clear; you are here until the bitter (or should I say happy) end. Secondly, she knows all my theology about prayer.

So, let me finish my not so short update . Please pray specifically that Justus would be able to cough up all the secretions he has and get rid of them (always a concern when bringing someone off a ventilator). We are so excited he’s off the ventilator, but in order to not be re-intubated he has to be able to protect his airway. Pray for his brain. He’s still coming off the pentobarbital wean, so it’s impossible to know where he is neurologically for sure. So far, he certainly isn’t close to being able to do basic motor skills. Pray for his brain to recover and to be able to do all of the things he used to do. Remember, we are storming the throne room and asking for a miracle because God is able and God is good. But more than anything, we desire to be in God’s will. Go #TeamJustus.