Saturday, September 17, 2005

Rebecca's Journey - 67

17 Sept., 2005

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Genval! Annie is back in France for the next surgery on her hand this coming week. Judy and Carolyn arrived safely. Today some of our dear friends, Robert & Sue Grant arrive. These days are full of joys of many kinds.

Two days ago Judy, Carolyn, and I were invited to come into Rebecca's room during her physical therapy. Donatienne wanted us to see what Rebecca was doing: sitting on the side of the bed, kicking both legs up, moving her left leg far to the left and back to the center; stretching her legs forward and 'stepping' back and to the side from her sitting position. Some of these moves are new in the last couple of days. Thanks for your prayers.

From Rebecca: "Autumn is coming to my garden. Our nights are quite cool. The sumac tree is bright orange, and the flowers are fading. The leaves on the trees have turned to an almost-olive green, and will soon be putting on their scarlet and yellow robes of autumn.

This morning was very cold, so we bundled me up to go down in the garden for my quiet-time. I had a red & blue plaid African blanket around my legs, my bright green ski jacket, and a grey wool scarf from the Farrow Islands. The color combination was rather hilarious, but I was warm - and we took a photo.

One of the most common responses that we receive from you is about my joy and confidence in the Lord. I realized the other day that I want to be sure you know the emotional challenges too. There are two times in my day that I seem most vulnerable. Often I awake early in the morning with a heaviness, sadness, and discouragement. The feeling of how can I go on this way for 'the rest of my life'.

The next time in my day when I am vulnerable is in the evening. I stay up in my chair until I reach my capacity for sitting, then I'm back in my bed. This is the time when fatigue, and often pain, steal my joy and turn my focus to myself. Amy Carmichael spoke of pain as a robber who came into her house and stole her hope and vision, making it difficult to hold on.

In light of my vulnerability and frailty, the most important determination of my soul is that I must begin the day in His presence, hearing His perspective and His word.

Whether I am in my garden, or in my room, we guard those quiet moments. All of my family and care-givers know the importance of that time. I begin early in my bed with thankfulness, no matter how I feel. Thankfulness turns my heart to him, and I begin to listen. From this I have a sense of where I should go in the scriptures. Later, as I turn there and begin to read & seek Him, by just being in His presence, He speaks; and, oh, such joy!

I leave that quiet time with His perspective for my day.

The Scripture for today would be Ps. 62: 5-8.

'My soul waits silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense...

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.'

You all are such a source of encouragement to me. We recently had a 24 hour time of prayer for me, and my strength has improved noticeably. It is amazing to me that so many of you are still standing with us after so long. God has truly done a wonderful thing for us all, and I am so deeply humbled by your love and care.

We are 'standing' together in His good purpose on the earth."

Paul again: As some of you know, our daughter Susannah will be coming here for 6-8 months, starting the end of November to help care for Rebecca. We're grateful for this provision, and the joy it will be to have her home for a longer stay.

Our love to all,

Paul & Rebecca