Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 35

Dear Friends,

Paul here! I leave in the morning for 11 days, so Rebecca and I wanted you to hear from us before I go.

Judy arrived safely on Saturday. Josefine arrived yesterday, and Jane arrived this morning. So Rebecca will be well cared for in my absence. The addition is progressing quickly at this stage. They began the roof yesterday. It is a joy to watch that which we conceptualized become a reality.

From Rebecca: "Each morning at 6 o'clock, Paul wakens me with a kiss to give me my morning meds and to turn me on my side. I then have an hour to rest before starting the day. Sometimes I drift back to sleep. Usually I meditate and pray. But one morning this past week I was facing a particularly busy schedule, and couldn't really see how it was all going to work out.

I remembered a similar situation 3 years ago. I was in my quite time, meditating on the end of Matt. 11 where Jesus said: 'Come to Me, and I will give you rest.' I was reading it from the Message, and it was so full of fresh life. I thought that I'd never be anxious again. I got up from my quiet time, walked upstairs and began getting dressed. Then the pressures of the day started to crowd upon me. I had a knot in my stomach, and I thought: 'This is just too much. I'll never be able to handle it.' As I ran the comb through my hair the Lord said: 'You do the human part, and I'll do the God part.' I remembered Matt. 11, and I knew that the human part was very small, and that the Lord would take care of all the rest.

The other morning as I recalled this encouragement from the Father, such peace came over me, and I thought: 'What fun it will be to see what You will do for us. Show me Lord, moment by moment, my part, and I will watch with joy to see You unfold Your goodness and strength.'

'Are you tired? Worn out? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.' (The end of Matt. 11, The Message.)

Thank you for your prayers, Rebecca"

Paul again. Rebecca has had increased spacticity in her right hand and arm. This limits movement. As you pray for Rebecca, please keep this in mind.

Blessings to you all,


Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 34

Our Dear Friends,

This is Paul. I'm sitting with Rebecca. It's been nearly a month since we communicated. Rebecca's new room off the back of the house is well under way. The basic structure is almost complete. The roof will go on the end of September, and we hope to have the interior finished for her to move in by Christmas. We're delighted with the progress. The back yard/garden is being reworked, really transformed in its basic character, and will be a lovely place for Rebecca and friends to enjoy.

These last weeks have been very full. Stephen, Robert, and Tracey have been in Congo for a profitable month, returning the day before yesterday. Stephen started school today. Thank you for your prayers for them.

After returning to France, Annie is back for several days - a life-giver for me. This allows me some needed breathing room for my work. Judy arrives next Saturday; we're so looking forward to her being back. Josefine arrives the following Monday, and then our dear friend Jane Winegardner comes to help for nearly a week. I'll be leaving for the Middle East the day after Jane gets here. Bill Camenish, a friend from the Lexington area, will arrive on the 12th to build a fence in the back and do some necessary work in the interior of our home. My goal is to have all basic aspects of the construction and redecorating done by Christmas so that we can get settled into our new life here. It will have been 2 ½ years of transition, and we're very much looking forward to getting settled into our new life together.

From Rebecca: "Dear Ones, it has been so long since we've communicated, and the last month has been one of extreme victories and extreme challenges. I weepingly said to Paul the other day: 'I'm living in the middle of a construction site.'

As you know, my bed is in our living/dinning room, so that every day there is a constant flow of precious people, from construction workers to family and friends. We're all living amidst the din of cement mixers and pounding, sawing and cutting. It starts about 7:15 and ends about 4:15. It is amazing how one gets used to it all.

But in the process, I've had moments of being very fragile and weepy. We've also had lots of changes in nursing staff. So between changes and confusion, it's been a stretching time for me.

On the other hand, on August 16th many of you joined together in a 24 hours prayer vigil for me. I would say that the results have been stunning.

My physiotherapist said, with tears in her eyes: 'I can't believe it! You have new movement in every limb.' In my situation, one is not supposed to gain any new movement after the earlier stages of recovery. Now, two years later, for the first time, I'm able to hold my right foot it in an upright position. I have new movement in my left thigh, which is beginning to enable me to pull my knee up. I'm able to move my left arm so that it touches the pillow above my head. My upper right arm is beginning to show movement. I'm able to sit unsupported on the side of the bed, and move left and right, backwards and forwards. It is all just beginning, but it is all evidence of increased re-enervation of neurological pathways. Every day is hard work, but I'm so encouraged by all of your prayers and support.

One day, when the nursing staff had changed again, and the cement mixer was pounding in my ears, and I was so tired, I cried out to the Lord and said: 'How can I live like this?' He reminded me: 'Thank me in all things' (I Thes. 5:18). Many years ago the Lord challenged Paul and me to not complain, but instead, to thank Him. Sometimes, in the big things, we remember to thank Him, but often forget in the daily frustrations and struggles. Covering every day with the umbrella of thanksgiving enables us to release circumstances into our Father's loving hands, and reach up and find Him, and receive His grace. He brings His joy and peace, even in the midst of pounding and confusion.

Paul and I once again thank you for standing with us.

All my love, Rebecca"

And my love too,