Lea is continuing to hold steady, remaining in stable, though critical condition. She has not gone backwards since the weekend, thank God, and is making tiny steps of progress. Her doctor wanted to avoid doing any more tweaking of her medications or support today, letting her rest at her current level. She is doing a little more of the breathing herself, and keeping her oxygen level up where it needs to be.

Her lungs seem to be clearing pretty well, although they will not be completely clear for at least two weeks. The bed she has been on has helped keep the pneumonia from settling into any particular location, and a suction device added to her ventilator is periodically removing small amounts of fluid from her lungs. Since her breathing has improved, she has been able to have the rocking motion of the bed reduced from the initial 60 degree rotation to each side, down to 45 degrees this afternoon, and 30 degrees tonight. She may be able to get back into a regular bed within the next couple of days, barring any nasty problems.

As soon as the pneumonia is under control, treatment for other problems can be resumed. She still has an open incision in her abdomen, a pretty severe drug addiction, kidneys that are not quite healthy yet, and a lingering dependence on the ventilator. Hopefully, we will be able to wean her from the ventilator within the next couple of weeks, and get that abdomen closed up. Then, I think, we’ll be able to start on some real serious recovery and rehabilitation programs.

I thank God for the miracles He has bestowed upon us in this crisis situation, and, as you know, we have seen several. Even Dr. Kirton, speaking to us at Lea’s beside said, “She has had a spectacular day! Praise God!” Dr. Kirton has spoken of being “surprised” by her quick healing; “marveled” at her rate of surgical healing; “celebrated” the healing that took place in such a short period of time. All of these, of course, were the result of the power of prayer and God’s granting of miraculous healing for Lea.

This miraculous healing we have seen occurring has been the source of my motivation for these writings I’ve been doing. And, I have been very moved by the love, kindness and generosity I’ve experienced over the past several difficult weeks. I have had all kinds of notes of appreciation expressing how folks have been motivated by the messages to communicate better with their loved ones, or, that they are going back to church for the first time in years! It has been extremely heart-warming to receive the loving notes relating that the writer finally understands what the power of prayer is all about, because they experienced it for the first time through Lea’s ordeal.

It is very evident that Lea means more to many, many more people than I realized. She IS really special, isn’t she? What a gift she has been to me! I think it was probably the “vision” I had a while back that started me thinking about the depths of my love for her, and prepared me to bare my soul in this series of emails. It is certainly therapeutic for me, but, I think, is also serving a higher purpose, as I am lead to pray for the words of each night’s message prior to writing it.

I feel that I am serving God’s purpose in some manner, and pray that Lea and I might continue to minister for Him in the years ahead. I don’t know what shape that ministry would be, but I’m sure He will let us know. 🙂

Here is a prayer that my son, Lance, penned during this past weekend on behalf of his mother. It isn’t yet a finely polished prayer, but rather, a prayer pouring from an aching heart. I think you will see clearly that her inner beauty is seen by many others . . . even her sons.

Lance’s Prayer:

“Holy and Almighty God, you are awesome, glorious, and majestic. THANK
YOU, LORD, for the countless blessings you share with us every day.
Thank you for the gift of this life on Earth, the gift of fellowship
and compassion and prayer, and most of all, the gift of eternal life
in heaven. Lord, we thank you for blessing us with the miracle of our
angel, Leona Marie. She has touched so many of us so deeply with her
genuine ways and heavenly grace.

I must confess, Lord, that I have struggled with understanding the
purpose of her suffering and the grief it has caused for so many who
care for her. But after much praying and fellowship, I now have
renewed faith that your plan for her, though extremely difficult to
appreciate, is truly perfect. I trust that you, Lord, are in control
of all things, and that your plan for us is the most perfect plan, the
only plan. If you choose to take my mother home at such a young age, I
have to believe that in your infinite wisdom, you know that doing so
will better serve you than if you were to let her stay with us longer.
Lord, I must confess that I find this hard to fathom, but with all my
might I will embrace it as best I can.

Lord, I humbly ask that you lift up my father and fill his heart with
your love. He needs you now more than ever and we ask that you
continue to guide him, support him, and comfort him by sharing with
him your wisdom in these emotional times.

Please, God, I pray for your healing mercy for my mother, our angel,
Leona Marie.

Your will be done.

In Jesus’ name,

A quick word about our friend Joe, who suffered the heart problems that caused us to stop here in Conneticutt. He called me today from his hospital room in Indiana to report that he was feeling very well, was sailing through his physical therapy, and may be able to move to an in-patient rehabiitation facility within the next week or so. He is enjoying being back home with his family and friends, and sends his sincere appreciation for your prayers on his behlf while he was in such serious condition. He joins you in prayer for Lea’s recovery, and is looking forward to a time when we can be together again.

I know I haven’t taken time to write many individual notes, but wanted to say “Thank you” for your very kind cards, letters and emails. They are the source of much encouragement and strength. Please don’t stop sending them! Thank you for your continued expressions of love and support, too. May God’s blessings flow richly into your life and love.

Warmest regards,