Day 32 – Push the Button!

As you can see by all the pictures (I couldn’t pick just one) Justus has officially moved to the top floor of Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital. The picture with Alyse on the bed and her arms crossed while Jason is trying to encourage her out of the PICU is only slightly staged. In the end, there was no question as to what was best for Justus. If you read yesterday’s update then you know the anxiety that went along with “pushing the button”. The PICU’s approach and the regular pediatric floor’s approach are different because their patients are in different places. That was immediately obvious to us as we walked onto the tenth floor. In the PICU, we were careful to avoid peering into rooms as you passed by. Every room had huge glass doors because in every room was a very sick kid in need of constant attention. The sad reality is the attention they needed often was life or death. On the tenth floor it is very different. Generally speaking the kids there are much healthier. For the most part, they are in need of strengthening and improving their health in order to go home.

As soon as Justus was settled into his new room (which we spent all day decorating with bible verses and paper cranes) an obvious difference emerged. In the PICU, they spent a lot of time doing regular checks of his numbers (chasing numbers). That’s not a knock; it’s what you do in the PICU. Kids are in a fragile state so nurses are constantly monitoring their numbers, drawing blood, checking temperatures etc. In his new room, one of the first things I noticed was his monitor (with all the numbers) was quite a bit smaller. It might have been a coincidence, but it was a good visual of the change in priorities. For the most part on the tenth floor, the assumption is those numbers are fine let’s chase Justus. They still had to care for his respiratory issues, so we continue to ask for prayer for his coughing and managing his airway. Otherwise, the focus was PT (Physical Therapy) and OT (Occupational Therapy) and speech therapy and really just working Justus on the basics. He had a hard days work and now we are hoping for a really great night’s rest (another prayer request).

But I think there is a great lesson for all of us in our move today. There are times in our lives, especially in our faith journey, when we find ourselves needing to admit ourselves into the PICU. In fact, for some of you,‪#‎TeamJustus‬ has been just that. Your spiritual walk got a needed EKG, EEG, and MRI! But here’s the reality, Justus couldn’t stay in the PICU and neither can you. We all have to move to the tenth floor and if we’re being totally honest, eventually we have to leave the hospital all together. There are basics that Justus is going to be working at everyday. You and I have to do the same thing. What are those basics? One of them is what we’ve talked so much about and that’s prayer. But if we are going to be full of truth and grace then it does require us to start with truth. For me, that truth is found in the bible. I’m not saying you have to believe the same thing. All I’m saying is, there is a truth and please do whatever you have to do to discover the truth. It’s one of the basics that keep you out of the PICU.
The other beautiful picture I have engrained in my head forever was Justus’ PT/OT. The two therapists that worked with Justus are helping him do things he isn’t able to do right now. They were down on the floor literally doing everything with him. It’s such a great illustration of discipleship and the need we have to find someone further down the road to help us. I’d encourage you to find people that will disciple or mentor you in your spiritual life; only make sure they are headed someplace you want to go. For me, 2 Timothy 2:1-2 guided me ~ “you then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others”. I’ve had significant men that have taught me what they knew of truth and grace. And now my prayer is that God gives me the chance to do the same for others.

So pray now for Justus in this new season of his journey. So far God has not chosen to just have him wake up restored. He still might. But until then, Justus’ job, and Jason and Alyse’s job as his primary disciplers, becomes daily working on the basics. It isn’t sexy and it won’t be easy. But it’s the right thing to do for Justus and for you and I. We love you. Thanks for being on this journey with us.

We keep getting asked about how to go back and read through all the posts. The easiest and most convenient way to do that is by going to link below for the #TeamJustus page on the Axis Ministries website.

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