We drove up to visit our friend Michael today. As we walked in, we met up with Sally and Sarah in the lobby. It was so good to see them both, as it always is. We caught up on how Michael was doing as we were unable to visit yesterday. On Sunday after church, Mike and Sally were able to go out to the beach for a walk with Cody (the family’s much loved Golden Doodle). They soaked in the sun and even got to see seals out by the ocean. Sally brought back shells for Michael and with a smile told us how he held them in his hands.
Our visit was good and it’s always a nice comfort to be able to see Michael. Depending on the day and time of our visit, he alternates between time spend in his bed or in a special supportive hospital chair. Today he was in his bed getting ready for some tests that would be done later in the afternoon. When I held his hand and told him stories of the past few days, he looked back and forth between Jeremy and I and it was good to see him slowly taking everything in. He responded with movement in his arms and when Sarah asked, small movements in his feet and legs as well.
And later that afternoon, as we were walking back to the van, I reflected with Jeremy just how far Michael’s come over the past few months. On this blog and with a smaller circle of prayer warriors, we’ve watched Michael go through the initial trauma and surgeries of his accident. We’ve prayed through some more intense days of his brain swelling and then days of fevers as well. Most recently, we’ve prayed for the storming that was so strong and for small infections that have been the cause for antibiotics and monitoring.
And through it all, God has been so faithful in answering all of our prayers. And I’ve learned that working through traumatic brain injury, is a bit like setting up a row of dominoes. It takes time and patiences. There are times when something may trigger the dominoes to fall, but then you just work to set them up again and from there you keep on working.
And I have to say that tonight, dear friends, I’m reminded that Michael is a fighter. He’s strong and determined, and he will keep working and achieving the steps that are needed as he moves forward to recovering. And the truth is, that Michael has really come through so much. Sally asked me to share that she is so thankful that even in the past week or so, the storming episodes have been less frequent and less severe. He is also getting less pain medication and he has been so much more relaxed. The biggest thing, is that he needs to get cleared for his shunt surgery so that he can be on his way to rehab.
Sally finished her text with, “Please share that I am so thankful.” And I told her that absolutely I would. Mike and Sally and their entire family have felt the power of the love and the prayers for Michael. They’ve seen God work in mighty ways and they are so grateful for everyone who has come to support them through this difficult time.
Sally shared a picture of the sun setting tonight from the bridge up at Stony Brook Hospital. And it reminded me of this verse in Psalm 36:5 that tells us, oh so beautifully, that “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” And it’s been so true and so evident in seeing how great God’s love has been for Michael and how that love has been shown in the many people who are loving him and praying so faithfully for him.
And as we go forward with prayers for Michael, we can know for certain that God’s faithfulness, which stretches up the to skies, will continue in Michael’s life. God knows the day that will be best for Michael’s surgery and He will continue to work in everything as we continue to ask. Thank you so much for all that you’ve done in supporting this wonderful family.
2 thoughts on “To the Heavens”
Many blessing upon this family praying for Michael keeps getting stronger for is upcoming surgery.
Thank you for your faithfulness to record and write this journey…there are many of us reading it daily and praying for both Michael and his family. We lived on LI for 3 years (2010-2013) and I learned of Michael’s accident thru a nurse-friend I worked with at Peconic Bay. I have shared his story with our Sunday night small group and we are praying for Michael. It is so difficult, in this day of ‘instant’ everything, to sloooowww everything down…to be wildly encouraged by the smallest step forward, and to resolve to not become discouraged those disheartening ‘setbacks’. As parents–and yes, as nurses–we long to just ‘fix’ things. We wish we could just hang an IV bag of “Revert Serum” and everything that has happened would slowly ‘right’ itself and start becoming just a bad memory. And, if we possessed the ‘power’ to do that, we would–because we can only see that part of the ‘parade’ of life that is marching within our vision, while remaining largely unaware of what the ‘parade-master’, (who not only purposed it from the foundation of the world, but sees it all from the beginning to the end from high above), has planned it for. So many of us are quick to say that we want to be ‘used by God’, without ever giving some serious thought as to what that might look like. We tend to think it means to ‘be’ someone ultra-spiritual or ‘do’ something really bold and daring for Christ. Which, if you think about it, kind of puts ‘us’ in the driver’s seat, doesn’t it? But how many of us would dare to say we wanted to be ‘used by God’ if it meant being cut out of a mangled wreck, enduring excruciating pain from not only the injuries, but from the processes used to treat them? How many of us would willingly ‘submit’ ourselves to the endless hours of just lying there…perhaps drifting in and out of consciousness, and each time surfacing into the terror of a nightmare of whirring machines and tubes and strange faces and the inability to move? How many of us would consider for one moment ‘allowing’ ourselves to face the rigors of rehab to ‘relearn’ basic skills? Not many. Many none of us. We so blithely read scripture without letting the meaning really soak in. We talk about ‘the cross’ as if it was like those we see at Easter–pristine in construction and beautifully decorated with a purple drape and colorful spring flowers. But is that a true representation of what the cross REALLY was? UhUh. It was a horrific, sickening method of torture and pain and horror and hopelessness. Yet it was used by the eternal God in His unfathomable plan to ultimately rescue a people for Himself. We so blithely sing that we ‘love’ the cross! And yes, it is easy to ‘love’ JESUS’ cross–for it bought OUR redemption with HIS blood. But what about the cross He calls on US to ‘take up’? Daily. What does it mean, really, to ‘deny’ ourselves? Jesus didn’t say “take up your zeal to ‘go’, take up your resolve to ‘do’, take up your plans to ‘change the world’…and ‘follow me'”. Rather, He said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up HIS cross daily and follow me”. None of us would likely ‘choose’ the cross set out for us, for crosses demand that we take a path we did not choose, that we live a ‘reality’ we do not understand, and that we suffer at the hand of the very one who loves us and died for us–for nothing happens without the express consent of a sovereign God. And so it is that crosses are chosen for us, and we must ‘take them up’–however reluctantly or fearfully we do so, being ever aware that if we ourselves are not under that load right now, we must ‘be there’ for those who are struggling beneath the weight they are called on to bear–recognizing that they are being used by God for His purpose and plan.