Justus cried!!! I’ve never been so happy to hear a child cry in my entire life!! We hadn’t heard his voice in nearly 40 days. While we were sad because he was sad, the entire room cried tears of joy (kind of). Earlier in the day, to be honest, things didn’t start off so well. We were coming off a really good day and a half, but this morning didn’t get off to a very good beginning. As he was waking he was clearly a little agitated. He looked sad. We didn’t have much luck figuring out the cause of the irritation. Then the respiratory therapist (RT) came and things got a little worse. The morning before he woke up alert and interactive; this morning he was gazing straight ahead with very little response. We’ve tried to be prepared for the ups and downs this journey will bring, but it didn’t keep us from being disappointed.
And then to add insult to injury the doctor from Randall’s children hospital, the next destination for Justus’ rehabilitation, came to evaluate him. He left without offering much encouragement. It wasn’t his fault. His job is to evaluate the readiness of patients. The issue is two fold. First, they have limited space and want to maximize their time on patients that are appropriately ready for the intense rehab at Randall. The other issue has to do with insurance and maximizing the time covered through insurance. The goal is to accomplish as much as possible with the inpatient rehab time Justus is allowed. In this doctor’s estimation, because there was hardly any response, he felt Justus was far from being ready. So after such a great day before, it was a little discouraging.
So as we sat around, we did our best to keep things in perspective. Relative to some of our other disappointments, this was very minor. But it was still a disappointment. So as we were sitting there, in walks our favorite physical therapy team, only the dynamic duo was missing half their team! Before we had time to be disappointed, Rebecca (the PT) jumped up on the bed and began working with Justus. Again, she was amazing! After working with Justus for over an hour, she had him smiling, sitting up almost by himself, holding his head up, and looking around. It truly changed the tone of the day… but the best was yet to come!
When they brought Justus back to the room and put him in bed, he was alert and looking around. Suddenly he started to make faces like he was sad. We hadn’t seen that before so he had all of our attention. As we were watching him, he started to whimper and then let out a full-blown cry! It was terrible and wonderful at the same time! I know it’s just a cry, but it represented a small step and a chance to celebrate. We haven’t wavered in our prayer and desire to have Justus fully restored. But, we’ve learned that if we wait until he’s dancing and singing before we rejoice, we’ll never get to party. We have to look for opportunities to celebrate the little victories. Today was one of those victories!
I’ve found that principle to be true in life as well, especially in our spiritual walk. We know because of Philippians 1 that the work Jesus has begun in us He is faithful to see it through to completion. But again, that is the unexplainable part, but there is an explainable part for us to be responsible with. In my journey there have been changes the Lord began in me. I mentioned earlier my struggle with pornography and I think about my wrestling with anger. As the Lord convicted me and began to help me change, if I had waited until I had fully conquered those mountains to celebrate, I believe they’d still be issues in my life today. Instead, together with Kelli, we celebrated the small victories… choosing to turn the channel on the TV or deciding to stay off a computer during a stressful time. In and of themselves they weren’t that big of a deal, but it represented movement in the right direction! It eventually led to a point of victory over those battles. Please don’t misunderstand. I never believe we are beyond temptation or the ability to fall; we must always be on guard. What I am saying is, gaining a sense of victory over these battles is possible with the Lord’s help. But like Justus’ journey, it happens best when we celebrate those milestones along the way.
So thanks for your continued prayers, not just for Justus, but for Ellie and Gavin too. I’m trying to forward updates as I receive them, just so everyone can keep up on the progress for the things we’re asking #TeamJustus to pray for. Obviously everyone should pray for whatever the Lord is laying on your heart, but for now, we’ll try to keep a few things in front of #TeamJustus to pray for. I said this in an earlier post; I don’t think God is necessarily impressed because there are 1000 people praying for something as opposed to 100. After all, God will be God no matter who’s praying or how many are praying. His power isn’t dependent on our numbers. But He calls us to prayer. There is something powerful that happens when God’s people pray. So we pray and how encouraging for us to know we have an army of folks praying together in community. In the end, it’s God and God’s will that matters. But prayer matters. Another one of those tensions God calls us into!!! I’m hoping you’ll think to pray for Justus when you see a sunrise, a moon, the color purple, a turtle, and now when you hear a crying baby!
I love the picture of Justus on two legs. Obviously he’s not standing – Rebecca is holding him up from behind. But as he looks out the window you get a sense of him looking out into a vision for his future. Go #TeamJustus. The moon is round!