Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 38

Dear Friends,

Thanks for you constancy in prayer. As we mentioned in the last e-mail, Rebecca is experiencing some concerning symptoms. The neurosurgeon ordered X-rays and an MRI. Those are now done, and we're waiting for the results. We'll let you know as soon as we hear from the doctors.

Rebecca: "Dear Ones, Paul is in such a busy season, but we realized that we wanted to communicate with you this week. We've shared each step along the journey. At first I found a hesitation in sharing the things that seemed negative, but that is part of our story. In recent months it has been progress and progress. During the last month, however, my condition has deteriorated. But our confidence is in Him, to see what He will unfold.

About two weeks ago I was having lots of spacticity, not having been able to do physiotherapy for several days because of it. I was experiencing increased numbness, and generally felt bad. I went down for my nap, but could not sleep. My mind went from one thing to another. At one point I thought about my scripture that morning in Ps. 37. In two different places it says: 'Do not fret'. My deteriorating physical situation had been a source of pressure for me. A rush of anxious thoughts flooded in upon me. Then I remembered the Ps.: 'When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul'.

I thought, 'Well Lord, console me!' He spoke, 'I will take care of you'. I immediately fell asleep. When I wakened after a good nap, Paul came down to tell me that he'd been able to talk directly to Professor Goffin, the neurosurgeon, and we had an appointment in two days.

Surely our lives are made of a series of seasons of confidence and rest, followed by waves of insecurity and pressure. Each one perfectly designed to press us back into the loving arms of the One who cares for us, more than we can ever comprehend.

We are grateful for these new stretching days, and for your prayers.

I must say this. Later that week, the morning of the MRI, He gave me Isa. 63:9: 'In all their distresses, He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.'

Do you remember when we were going to London for the surgeries? He gave me
Deut. 33:12: 'The one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders'. Gee,
we're being carried again. What will this next phase hold? We don't know,
but we know Him, and we thank you that you're praying. We'll keep you

Love from us both,

Paul & Rebecca

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 37

Greetings Friends,

I've again been gone for some weeks. Judy, Josifine, and Annie, as well as Stephen, have been here taking care of Rebecca. (Though Stephen has been in the finals for his volleyball team, and very busy.)

Rebecca has had some concerning changes in her physical condition: increased numbness and spacticity, among other things. The spacticity limits her continued progress. We hope to see the neurologist later this week for consultation.

From Rebecca: "The progress in my new room is most exciting. We're looking at my moving into it in 3-4 weeks - hopefully by Christmas. For the last weeks, every weekday morning at 7 o'clock the doorbell has rung; the plumbers, the electricians, the tile men, or the bricklayers have come - a parade of workmen all working together to complete my room.

But inside the house, the Lord is building an even more beautiful temple for Himself. Judy, Annie, Josefine, and I are being built together into His Body. (I Pet. 2:5: 'You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.")

We gather together every morning around my bed to pray and commit the day to the Lord. We ask Him to help us support Paul and to love one another, as well as receive whomever He sends with His love and care. Many days there is almost a constant flow of workers and visitors, as well as nurses, doctors, and therapists. My Paul always says that God is a relational God. His heart, in every expression, is that we love one another.

We find our greatest challenge and joy is to practically love each other deeply, as the Apostle Paul encouraged us in so many of his letters. What great joy we are finding in serving Him together, and, I trust, ever becoming a clearer expression of the life of Jesus.

I Pet. 4:7-11."

This is Paul again. One of the great gifts of life is to have our perspective changed. Part of His kindness to us is to adjust us, and our way of seeing and interpreting situations, so that we can see them, and "feel" them, from His point of view. Life looks so different when it is seen through His eyes and not ours only.

For those of you who are Americans, you're coming close to your Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Our love, in Him,

Paul and Rebecca