There are days when we needed one another to remind us… the moon is round. Today wasn’t one of those days. While we don’t know what tomorrow holds and we are compassionate towards those who are happy, yet tender; today was a day to celebrate, and it’s been a long time coming. October 27th has been on our prayer list for a long time (even when we were praying to change the date). And then to think of the days leading up to the surgery… I mean he starts to go on the toilet and he starts to walk! Which reminds me, I need to tell you the rest of the walking story . I started to share this yesterday, but the update was already getting really long. At any rate, on Friday, the Physical Therapist started talking to Alyse and Jason about maybe fitting our little ninja with some braces and maybe some Botox injections and a few other things intended to try to help stimulate his legs so he could eventually walk. He was having trouble just standing up straight let alone walk. Then after a pretty normal night they showed up at PT on Saturday morning and Justus begins to walk. Nicole, his PT wants to know what Jason and Alyse did to him the night before. The answer of course was nothing. Personally, I think Justus wanted nothing to do with more braces and shots! Plus, he had to get ready to show off for his friends back at Doernbecher.
So with that kind of a lead up, we were both excited and nervous about the big day. But today, it turns out, was God’s turn to showoff. I know many of you followed the events of today and we are grateful for the thousands of prayers that were lifted on behalf of our grandson. Even more so, it did my heart good to know that Justus played a role in thousands of you choosing to carry on a relationship with God today; for some maybe just a beginning, but it’s still a start.
As you might be able to tell from the picture, his head looks fantastic. Yes, the surgery was delayed and we ended up hanging out in the waiting from 7:15am until just now at 8:45pm when some of us had to leave. But it was worth it to see him put back together again. I can’t imagine it won’t make a difference to his personality to not feel like his brains might fall out of his head. It reminded me of one of Justus’ therapy sessions on Monday. The Speech and Occupational Therapists were working with Justus and they explained to me what they were trying to do. One of the big prayer items for his therapy is his mouth and jaw. He needs to be more willing and able to open his mouth in order to eat, brush his teeth, and even talk.
Their plan was to put him into his old wheel chair. You might remember that chair, it strapped him in, supported his head, and both arms. The theory is, if we can get him aligned correctly and secure enough that he’s sitting without worry of falling, then he’s better able to apply his attention and focus to his mouth (or whatever else). They’ve seen patients make dramatic improvement in relaxing if they first help then feel straight and stable. To me that makes sense. I think of myself tightening my jaw when I’m using my hands and focused hard on a complicated project. And a little side note, both Kelli and I thought we noticed, even in the short time since his surgery, his mouth appearing more relaxed. We aren’t banking on that observation being legitimate, but the point I’m making is when things are lined up and stable, Justus is better able to show improvement on important areas like eating or speaking. We’re praying that includes feeling completion with his bone flap replaced.
I think there is a life application for all of us. I know there have been times in my life when I’ve tried to work on a particular habit or character quality… being a better father comes to mind. I remember thinking, it didn’t matter if I had a few bad habits on the side, that didn’t effect my ability to be a good father. Listening to the Occupational Therapist talk about Justus reminded me of what I learned about myself… everything is connected. The better I did at lining up and stabilizing my life in the little things, the better I did at those important issues I was working on. It’s really a principle for life, Jesus taught something similar in Luke 16:10:
One who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much, and one who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
We can’t compartmentalize our lives any more than Justus can compartmentalize his body. Everything is connected because we are one complete person. I’m not trying to preach at you, but it seemed like a good lesson for us to learn from Justus’ struggles. If you have some big areas in your life you’re trying to work on, make sure you’re taking care of those little details in your life first.
But on a day that started and ended so wonderfully, let me finish where I started… we don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we are celebrating tonight. Justus is going potty, he’s walking, and now his skull is whole. They even took a quick MRI and confirmed that not only did his brain look beautiful to the surgeon, it looked beautiful to the doctor reading the MRI. If the sky where you are is clear tonight and you looked up, then undoubtedly you were treated to a beautiful full moon; proof that the moon is round. Of course if you’ve been following #TeamJustus, you didn’t need a clear night to know the moon is round! We love you and thanks for your faithful prayers.