Saturday, February 26, 2011

His Dream Came True on Saturday

Throughout all the near death experiences Bruce had this past year, there was an important goal that kept him from giving up.  He wanted to be at the wedding of our grandson.  It was the first grandchild to get married and he wanted, so badly, to be there, and even to taking part in the ceremony.

But at times that goal seemed like nothing more than an idle dream, an impossibility.  Even when his body started to heal, his mind kept going down hill.  I didn't know how we would get him to the wedding, and I certainly didn't expect him to be able to take part.
He couldn't even remember simple words.  And he couldn't read.

It would take a miracle!  And that is precisely what happened!  A miracle took place!  See My Husband's Letter of Thanks, and Bruce's video talking about how the healing happened with coconut oil

Bruce was not only at his grandson's wedding, but he also took part in the ceremony, giving the introduction.  By the grace of God, a dream come true! 
Here is a short video clip of him praying at the wedding.

My tears started when Bruce walked up the isle with the pastor and the groom.  God has been so good!

For the previous post see: The Encouragement of a FaceBook Friend

Friday, February 18, 2011

The encouragement of a FB friend

God blessed me with encouragement from a FaceBook friend.  She didn't know I had been up during the night; She didn't know about our concern or the discussion my husband and I had at 5AM.  She wrote at 5:42.

When you've just gone through a series of trials, and your body is tired, and everyone is saying you need to take time out now for you, it is like the sight of an ice cream cone on a hot day, very tempting.  You could even say it was necessary to help prevent your body from becoming overheated.

But what if taking time out for myself meant sacrificing the spiritual health of someone else?  Could I not keep going in His strength, if that was His will for me?

I was battling this issue during the night.  I knew it made logical sense to take a break.  But my heart said 'no'.  I poured my heart out to God.  I talked to my husband who was also having trouble sleeping.  I knew that two little lives would be affected by my decision.  And I knew I couldn't slack off.

Then I got the message from the friend I had never met.  It told of how my life had been an encouragement to her, and had helped her see what being a woman is all about.

It broke me up. The Lord used her when I was at my weakest to encourage and give me renewed vigor to keep going. 

This is a thank you to all of you who comment, not only on my blog or FB wall, but wherever you feel led to lend a word of encouragement.  You never know when your word will be used to bless someone.

For the next post see: His Dream Came True
For the previous post see: Wow! He Still Wants to Use Us
For more about the battle I faced see my grandparent post: Do grandparents have responsibilities to their grandchildren

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Wow! He still wants to use us!

"We can't do it." I argued halfheartedly. "Even if by some miracle God sent us that much money, we are committed to paying off all our debts."

Bruce wouldn't let it drop that easily.  He wanted so very much to be at the ACE International Student Convention again.  We had been going and judging competitions for the last five years and had been blessed every time we went.  We knew that God had used us to bless others there, too, and I guess I was still hoping He could use us again, but I tried not to let it show too much.

Bruce was more openly optimistic, or maybe he just had more faith.  "Well, what if we got money that was specifically designated?  God could do that, you know."  I had to laugh.  I loved his optimism even if I didn't show it myself. He prayed that if it was God's will He would provide the needed funds.

The next day, on our 44th anniversary, the PSW worker was here, and she offered to go to the mailbox for us.  Bruce looked over my shoulder as I opened a small envelop.  "Is it a check for $2,500?" he joked.  It wasn't, but it did have a totally unexpected check in it which someone had blessed us with.  We were thrilled to see how God was providing for our needs, but this check wasn't specifically designated for travel or ministry.  Bruce took the rest of the less interesting mail and sat down to glance through it. 

Bruce had just started getting interested in the mail again.  A year ago he had handled everything, but when he got sick  eight months ago, I took over.  It had been a bit confusing at first because of a  charitable organization Bruce and a minister friend had set up back when they needed to give out receipts. There was money in it, but it wasn't for us.  I learned to ignore any bank statements except our own personal joint account.

There were two bank statements in the mail that day.  One was the personal account, and the other was the one I had presumed was the charitable organization.  When Bruce opened the statement he started getting excited.  "Hey! It says we have over two thousand dollars in this account!"

"But that's not ours," I reminded him. "That's the ministry account."

"No, you're thinking of a different account," he explained.  "This is my own personal account that I kept for ministry.  I had completely forgotten about it."  All this time, when I saw those bank statements I ignored them, not realizing that God had planned for us to use the money when He was ready to send us out again.

The bank statement did more than tell us we had money to go to ISC.  It told us that God still had a work for us to do, and that He knew we would be strong enough for a trip to Harrisburg Virginia. 

But that's not all.  You'll love this part too!

Just a couple of days earlier I had mentioned to Bruce that I wondered if the Lord was going to use us to do speaking engagements again.  I have always loved testifying of what God has done, and Bruce loves to give his testimony, too.

I told Bruce in the morning that I was wondering if God would give us that kind of ministry, and in the evening I received an email from someone I don't think I have ever met, asking if I would consider doing a talk for a ladies event at a church a few miles from here.  We used to live near there and attended there for a while but she didn't know that. I don't even know how she connected with me.  I just know that God directed the timing of her email to coincide with our discussion.

Praise the Lord! He is not through with us yet!

For the next post see Encouragement from a FaceBook Friend

For the previous post see: Our 44th Anniversary that we didn't expect to celebrate

Friday, February 04, 2011

Our 44th anniversary that we didn't expect to happen

Two months ago I wasn't expecting a joyful celebration on this day.  And less than two weeks ago Bruce didn't know if I would even remember that we had an anniversary.
Bruce had been progressing so well, doing everything for himself again even to the point of giving himself his own insulin.  The signs of dementia have been disappearing daily since he started taking the coconut oil and about the only thing left is his shaking hands, and we are watching that gradually lessen day by day.

The strain on me was gone.  Everything should have been fine.  I could relax again.  I guess that's what my subconsciousness was thinking when it decided to take a time out.  At least that's what I've been told.

I have no recollection of the incident.  The last thing I can remember from that day is giving my husband and grandchildren breakfast. And then, vaguely, seeing my doctor in the hall of the hospital. From that point on the memory is a bit foggy but I can recall bits and pieces for the next few hours. 

Later I was told that I started crying and had a memory loss, still recognizing my immediate family but forgetting almost everything else.  I didn't remember Bruce's heart valve operation.  The Personal Support Worker was in that day, but I didn't recognize her. I didn't remember that my grandson was getting married in a couple of weeks, but when I started coming out of it I wondered if he was already married.

All of this was horribly frightening to my poor husband who had been clinging tightly to me for emotional support.  Still weak from his own ordeal, I can only imagine what he must have been going through.

Our family rallied round.  My granddaughter took me to the hospital while others came to stay with Bruce. I kept on saying, "I think I had a stroke," over and over.  I couldn't remember what I had said from one minute to the next.  But I knew my memory was gone.

They did some tests on me in the hospital, which I have no memory of, and decided that, no, I had not had a stroke.  Gradually my memory of the past returned and I was able to retain my short term memory again, but they tell me I will never remember those scary hours.

What I had is called temporal global amnesia, and can be triggered by stress or headache or a fall.  I didn't have a headache or a fall so the stress of the passed seven months must have finally caught up with me.

Today, on our forty fourth anniversary we are both doing well.  We went out yesterday and bought a new suit for Bruce for the wedding because he had lost so much weight.  But the real anniversary gift we have been given this year is each other.  I think we appreciate one another more than we ever have before, and that, in itself, is a precious gift from God.

Just before I was ready to hit publish we got another special blessing from God but I will have to let that wait for the next post.

For the next post see: Wow! He still wants to use us! 
For the previous post see: Bruce's video thank you