Lea had a restful day today, from the perspective of working on the ventilator. She was so frustrated trying to make us understand what she wanted that her blood pressure would skyrocket, and she would begin breathing too fast, and have to get a small dose of a tranquilizer to settle her anxiety.

It was a good day, however, in that she was trying to communicate with us, expressing needs, and requesting help . . . mostly through mouth movement, since she still can’t talk nor move her hands enough to point at words or symbols on the communication board.

We praise God for each moment we spend with her, and pray for the wisdom and strength to be able to meet her needs during this difficult time. She is likely to go back to work on the ventilator tomorrow, working toward that goal of being able to breathe on her own. That will be a major step to recovery.

Below is a joyful email we received, which helps to put into perspective the challenges we often go through in trying to understand God’s workings in our lives. It is edited only slightly to protect the identity of the writer.

“Larry and Lea, What an amazing joy to see the words that Lea is awake!! God is AWESOME and prayers are answered.

. . . . Now is the time to share with you my story of how Lea’s illness has helped me. I wanted the time to be right and I wanted to feel comfortable in sharing it. As I approach the 4th year that my dad has been gone, I can’t say that it is any easier just easier to live with. I miss him and want to see him again–it already seems like it has been an eternity since I have touched that tattooed arm or had him check on me with a nightly phone call. What a marvelous, special man he was to me–his only child.

After his death, I went through all the normal feelings of being mad, sad, hurt, etc. but one feeling I hadn’t counted on dealing with was the shattering of my faith –not crushed or destroyed, just shattered. I couldn’t understand how or why and remember saying that I wasn’t ready for all of this. I went through the motions and made shadow boxes for my children about their grandpa, helped mom, dealt with life but there was always an underlying, nagging, doubtful feeling that I just wasn’t willing to deal with—Would I see my dad again in Heaven?

We moved . . . out of State. . . and tried various churches but just couldn’t ‘t get a feeling or sense of belonging that I needed. We would attend sporadically. It wasn’t until my husband brought up the fact that I just wasn’t truly dealing with dad’s death that I started questioning myself and my feelings. We talked and talked and I tried sorting through things trying to get a handle on that nagging feeling of how I would know where dad was–how dad could he be anywhere else because he was such a good man.

I was in the middle of sorting through all of this –keep in mind 3 1/2 yrs. after dad’s death, when all of this with Lea took place. I had a lunch date with a good friend from church–one that I met at the first church we actually placed membership with, and just cried sitting at Applebee’s talking to her about Lea and Dad and my feelings. It was right then, that a peace came over me, and I realized that God is in control. I can leave it all to God and let Him handle it—all my doubts, all my fears, all my questions.

I also realized because of how fast things happened with Lea, that life is short and I needed to be living my life correctly. You see deep down, I knew this because I have always had a strong faith in God, but for a few moments in time, the faith was shattered. I first thought that made me a weak person, but I also realized that I am human and God does understand. My questions may have made me pull away from what I know is important, but God is always there as long as we reach for Him. There is a sign on one of the churches here that says so much—God can move mountains, but we need to keep climbing!!

My favorite verses in the Bible have always been, Proverbs 3:5, 6 — Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

May God continue to bless you both; Our prayers will continue to be with you. And don’t forget, we want an invitation to that huge welcome home party for Lea!!!!!!!!!”

Thank you for sharing. God’s love has truly been with us throughout this ordeal, and He continues to work through us, and you, to bring others to His Word. My prayer for this evening:

Thank you, Father, for the miracles and blessings worked in Lea, and through Lea, during this time of illness. Thank you for blessing all those who have gained wisdom and insight because of her daily trials with severe sickness. Thank you for spreading the love shared by Christians joining together for a common cause, though separated by many miles, cultures, and geographical borders, and for opening eyes to the power and prayer, and that miracles are real. In the holy name of Jesus Christ, our savior. Amen.