In the evenings on Wednesday, all throughout the summer, we meet up at the beach. It’s been our tradition for quite a few summers and one that we know well and love.
It’s always a nice gathering, no matter how big or small the group.
And it’s a great time to connect and share lives, while breathing in the salty air of the ocean and sinking down into the warm summer sand.
To be honest, on this particular Wednesday evening, I have no idea what we talked about.
But we met up with this group and enjoyed our usual routine of hanging out, playing games and ending with a Bible lesson and some small group time.
It was a fun evening, as it always is.
And judging by the date and the fact that Michael was sporting this cool shirt, I remember that it these pictures were from a Vacation Bible School week. I have no idea why Michael was carrying Liam, but I do remember that Liam was one of our VBS kids and that because of the good connections that he made that night, he would go on to be an important part of our youth group that year.
On the way up to the hospital this morning, I again listened to an Andy Stanley sermon. And it again talked about the importance of connection and how vital it is in our every day lives. We all need someone to connect with and in most cases, we need lots of someones. Michael made many connections throughout our church and our youth group and it was something that was a bit of a theme today.
I have to say, that I’m so excited to be writing these next few paragraphs. Because there were lots of great connections made today, so here goes.
I got to the hospital early today. It was just Michael and I for about a half hour or so, so we talked and I as I held his hand, I worked to help stretch out his fingers and thumb as I’ve observed Sally do. I wanted to do something productive that would be helpful for Michael and I’m happy to share that it went pretty well.
Sally arrived a bit later and I enjoyed some nice time catching up with her. I got to be in the room when a few of the doctors stopped by and it was really good to be able to hear their input on how Michael’s doing and the status of his recovery. I learned that Michael will be having a surgery on Thursday to change the location of his drain and that hopefully this will help to clear up the infections that they are still finding. We are praying that this will be successful so that Michael can move forward with the surgery for his shunt.
Towards the end of my visit, our friend Scott Paskiewicz came up to see Michael for the first time. He’s known Michael over the years from church and youth group and actually shared a funny story of Michael coming to his house to enjoy some very fresh turkey one year. Anyhow, it was nice to have him there to visit and support Michael. Before he left, we took time to pray with Michael. And as he prayed, he specifically asked that God would work miracles in Michael’s life. I remember thinking that maybe I should start to ask for more of that too.
I left the hospital feeling quite good about my visit. Michael was about the same as the past few days and as always it was good to see him and his family.
But later this evening was where the real exciting part came in. I got a call from Sally just after I picked up our kids from the Good News Club that they attend at their school. She shared some beautiful news that brought tears to my eyes. That afternoon, Michael had his occupational therapist and physical therapist come in to work with him. Sally shared that they sat him up on the side of his bed and that he did a great job with balancing and holding his head up.
She told me that they asked him to see if he could turn and look at Sally, who was standing off to the side. And he did! Then they asked him to turn and look at Sarah who was standing in another part of the room and he turned and looked at her as well. Michael made the connections to looking to the right people when asked, and this was so exciting, because it not only shows great movement, but also that Michael is recognizing and responding. And for that we praise God! Sally shared that the OT was so happy with this and that many people on the floor were coming to see Michael and were excited to see him doing such good things. And I couldn’t help but have such joy and thanksgiving in my heart for this wonderful news.
Psalm 100 is this great chapter of the Bible. In my Bible, it’s titled “A psalm. For giving thanks.” And I couldn’t think of one more appropriate for tonight. I had my Pandora app set to some great Jesus music tonight as I was making dinner. And I was belting out the songs with a heart so full of joy for how God is working in Michael’s life. And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when we pray for God to work miracles, and He does. Because that is the amazing God that we love and serve. And as Psalm 100 says, we can “Shout for joy to the Lord and worship him with gladness.” Every day, we can “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.” Because He is a God that loves us and that is working good for us.
Tonight, I just want to again, thank everyone who has been so faithful in praying for Michael. God has answered to many of our prayers and today even blessed us with one more thing to be thankful for. Please continue to pray. Michael will have a surgery on Thursday to change the location of his drain and hopefully this will help to clear up the infection. We know God’s timing is best and pray for everything to work out in the best possible way.