One of the more interesting moments of the Randall Hospital family meeting yesterday happened near the end. If you recall, each week on Tuesday, the entire rehabilitation team, along with the lead doctor meet with the family to discuss the progress and the new goals for the coming week. At one point the speech therapist was talking about how much progress Justus was making. His next step was to really work on swallowing and his ability to handle secretions (how many of you cleared your throat as you read that?). Alyse asked whether his need to improve was just because of time or was it something she was worried about. Almost immediately a chorus went up from almost everyone… “Time!” But then the doctor went on, and this was the interesting part. In the nicest way I think he was reprimanding all of us. He reminded us that Justus is really, really early in the recovery phase. Listen to what he said next. He explained that Justus got sick and went down hill really fast, but the road to recovery will take time.
Which got me thinking… last year was a really good year for Kelli and I physically. We set out to stay healthy by working out. So for nearly an entire year, we worked out 3 to 4 times a week at our local YMCA. July 31st we stopped cold turkey and spent the next 50 days sitting around, eating, drinking Starbucks, snacking, and then sitting around some more. What took a year to accomplish was undone in less than 50 days. Somehow, I’m in worse shape than I was when I started over a year ago. And here is the kicker. Just like Justus, I went downhill really fast. Something tells me it’s going to take more than 50 days to get back on top!
Guess what, it’s the same with our spiritual life. It’s so easy to find ourselves in a place we know we shouldn’t be or in really poor spiritual shape. The problem is, a little like we were sounding to Justus’ doctor, we can get impatient with the road back to spiritual health. The difference is, often it’s not something that went bad really fast. Sometimes, we spend a lifetime digging a hole. Then we have an experience, maybe even like#TeamJustus, and we get excited. But after 30 days, we don’t see the results in our life we thought we would get… it’s easy to quit! It’s not the time to quit. It’s the time to hear the good doctor saying, “It’s early in the recovery phase.” We have to hang in there and persevere. Just like Justus! Keep doing the little things that don’t seem to be accomplishing much… read your bible, pray, go to church, join a bible study, get a mentor. Will any of these things bring instant results? No. But over time, you will change. Remember GRACE + TRUTH + TIME = CHANGE.
Here’s some good news about Justus. That secretion’s problem I spoke about (go ahead and clear your throat!), everyone today said he’s turned a corner. He was clearer today – all day. When respiratory therapy came by to do his treatment, he didn’t need to have it done. They still did it to help keep him that way, but he was keeping clear all on his own. So thank-you for your prayers about his respiratory processes. Pray now that he’d start to be able to open his mouth. That will allow him to take the next step in tasting, eating and eventually talking. But again, we are so thankful for the turn he’s taken with his swallowing and his secretions. For that matter we’re so thankful to be in a process at all!
Let’s continue to pray for all the requests on the #TeamJustus page. Please also pray for an earlier surgery date. Pray for patience for mom and dad (grammy and papa are already patient ☺). And pray for a Godly perspective of time… even the doctor encouraged us to have a better perspective of where Justus is in the recovery process… we want to trust God’s perfect timing with all of this. After all, whether it takes a week, a month, a year or a lifetime… the moon is round!