Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rebecca's Journey - 74

13 April, 2006

Greetings Friends,

It has been too many weeks since we wrote - a busy season around our home with lots of visitors. Spring is late! Even though It is now mid-April, we're still experiencing mid-March weather. There are, however, a few daffodils out, the forsythia is in bloom, and birds a-plenty (doves, pigeons, robins, nut hatches, etc.). Now we're anxious for warmer temperatures.

Rebecca and I are in her room. She's sitting up in bed: blue sheet and booties, and a lovely peach sweater that was a gift from one of you friends. Her Bible is open on her tray-table. Some of her birthday flowers are still brightening the room. Outside it is cold and rainy, but greening.

From Rebecca: "One day not long ago, one of our friends was discouraged. I looked out my window and I said to her: 'You know, whatever happens, even though it is struggling this year, spring will come! The daffodils will bloom and the pear tree will bud.' I guess that's why I love this time of year: new life, new hope, new encouragement all around us.

I also love April because it brings my birthday. I love my birthday - even when I'm turning 61 :<) This year my special day was filled with dear friends, flowers, and 67 cards from many of you.

On my birthday mornings I usually meditate on Isa. 46:3&4, and Ps. 139. These are passages that speak of our lives being held in His hands, written in His book, planned in His heart.

This year I turned then to Eph. 1. He had a lovely birthday surprise for me. Verses 4 & 5: 'For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.'

When I read these verses I understood something for the first time!

We have friends who have adopted children from India, and other friends who have just adopted a baby from Central America. In both cases the parents had the joy of going to the orphanages and 'choosing' their wee ones, 'Setting their hearts upon them.' Then the children came home and became their very own. In the first case they became Finnish. In the second, the new baby is now an American. Paul and I have been able to share the wonderful joy of both couples. The Lord reminded me of these experiences, and He said: 'That's how I chose you.' It was as if I could see Him going to some great orphanage before the foundation of the world and choosing me, and bringing me into His family, His Kingdom, and into His abundant plan for my life. I have a new identity, a new citizenship, and I am the joy of His heart. Wasn't this a wonderful birthday gift? I pray that you will be able to touch it for yourself. He chose you before the foundation of the world to be His very own because He delights in you. You are His 'special treasure'.

On another topic, we have some good news to share. Once again, on my birthday, a group of some of you held a 24 hour prayer vigil for me. You prayed specifically for my spacticity to decrease. It has been hindering progress in my physical therapy. The very day after you prayed, Donatienne, my physical therapist, said: 'Your spacticity is almost gone! Are they praying?' It was a joy to tell her that indeed you had prayed. Since then I have had almost no spacticity, and we are moving on in the physical therapy. I have also experienced a noticeable increase in my strength and endurance; and I have been very much encouraged in my soul. What a joy it is to have you continuing to stand with us.

I also want to begin telling you a little bit each time about some detail of my care. This time I would like to tell you about Delphine. Delphine and Olivier, and their two children, live in our neighborhood. We first met them many years ago in France. They moved to Belgium with his job several years ago, and it has been a special delight to have them so close. Delphine comes each Thursday and does all our ironing. What a gift! She has also begun to come on Friday nights to do the midnight turn (a nightly routine to guard me against bed sores) - a great gift for Susannah and Annie to give them a break. I'm amazed when I consider the goodness of the Lord in putting together a team of loving friends to manage my care."

Rebecca and I want to wish you a wonderful Easter. We celebrate the resurrection Him who died that we might become His, the One who gives us life.

Love Paul & Rebecca