I know! It’s also day 53! But I couldn’t miss the opportunity to recognize the significance of this day. We prayed for a miracle and here we are at Randall Children’s Hospital preparing to embark on an intense phase of this journey of healing. The picture is Justus, strapped in and ready for a medical transport to his new home. If you had to pick, one of the top 3 or 4 defining qualities of this journey we’ve taken together would have to be sunrises.
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. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23
You all have sent me some of the most gorgeous pictures of sunrises. And the point has been simple; God’s mercies are new every morning. This promise wasn’t dependent upon circumstances or how we felt. In the brightest of days or the darkest of nights, we can rest in the knowledge that His mercies are new. If you hang around Justus’ little sister long enough you will hear her belt out an amazing rendition (at least for a 2 year old!) of “Tomorrow” from the movie Annie. We love Annie in our home and the song “Tomorrow” is a big reason. Such a great reminder that no matter what we face today, tomorrow the sun is going to come out. That sun that comes out every morning reminds us of God’s mercies and compassion. His faithfulness and mercy is what we clung to some of those sleepless nights of prayer. The hope of a new day!
The new day, God’s compassions, the sun coming out, they all signal a fresh start and a new beginning. Please hear me on this! We loved Doernbecher and their staff. They were phenomenal – we feel forever indebted to them. But it’s hard to describe the feeling of arriving at Randall today. It helps that they have a new facility and a beautiful setting and view. But more than that, it was this sense of a brand new start. We’ll never forget the past and what the staff at Doerbecher did for Justus. At the same time, it represents a really hard season of our life – quite honestly not one we would ever choose to repeat again. Coming to Randall allows us the opportunity to let go of all that hurt and pain and fully enter into what the future has in store for Justus. We are so grateful!
But I’m reminded, that’s what happened when I said yes to Jesus. I had this past that was ok, but it wasn’t one I was particularly proud of. There were too many times my selfishness, my desire to have things my way, led to bad decisions. The challenge with denying there’s a God, is too often it’s a convenient way of saying I’m going to decide what is ok for me. When I recognized this truth, turned my back on that rationalization, and asked God to forgive me, it was a lot like our day at Randall. Because of what Jesus did in my place, God was able to fully forgive me and give me a fresh start. It was like this chance to start over. I won’t ever fully forget the past, but I get to let go of the hurt and pain and fully enter into what God has in store for my future! It’s hope for tomorrow.
Listen, we’ve built up a lot of trust over the last 53 days. I’m not asking you to believe what I believe. But I am saying, if you’ve been trying to make a change and you just can’t seem to do it; I don’t care if it’s been 53 days or 53 years, God wants to give you another chance… a fresh start. Just like Justus got a new start at Randall, today you could get a new start with your creator. I don’t want to start preaching, but I want you to know, like I’ve been saying for the past 53 days… God is chasing you! He wants to have a relationship with you and He’s created you to long for that relationship. That’s why there’s always this little longing inside of you. Someone once said, there’s a God shaped vacuum in each of us that only God can fill. Like Jason and Alyse taking a tour of Randall, I hope you’ll at least talk to someone and take a tour of what this fresh start might look like.
As for Justus, can I just say, the Randall staff doesn’t mess around! Within minutes of arriving, his nurse was checking him in and checking his vitals and getting him situated. It seemed like just a few minutes had passed and in walked Occupational therapy to do an intake and work with him a little. No sooner had she left than a speech therapist came to assess where he was and to begin working on his mouth. She walked out the door and in walked the attending doctor to do his complete check over. He left just in time for the respiratory therapist to walk in and give him a breathing treatment. Only, before she could finish, the physical therapy team walked in wanting to steal him away. After reluctantly waiting their turn, they began assessing and working with Justus. They even brought him what every young man desires – a new set of wheels! They brought him the perfect sized wheelchair. By this time, he was wiped out! But not before he had totally dazzled and surprised all of his new nurses, doctors and therapists.
So thanks for your prayers. It was a great first day at Randall. And though it’s day 53, and we acknowledge the weariness from the journey, it’s a new day for us… new mercies… new compassions… a new start! We will never forget the last 53, but we launch into an exciting new leg of the journey. Day 1 of the rest of the way!