Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rebecca's Journey - 113

Dear Friends,

This is Paul! Rebecca will write a "Journey" update tomorrow, but I wanted to get a little information to you regarding our daughter's wedding and the trip.

Rebecca's first flights in nearly 8 years went well, though not without several complications. (I think these are just the realities of life for which we are to give thanks and exercise faith.) We have been home now for 3 days, and Rebecca is doing remarkably well--His grace really is sufficient for all things!

The wedding ceremony, on 16 May, took place in the Orthodox Cathedral in Skopje, the capital. (Macedonia is an historically Orthodox country.) It was presided over by the Arch-Bishop and the Bishop, with a number of priests. The Orthodox Church uses no instruments, so the magnificent choir provided music throughout, including music for Susannah and me to process. It was a beautiful ceremony, Biblically rich and resplendent with mystery, metaphor, and meaning.

That evening there was a dinner up on the mountain overlooking Skopje, hosted by Vlatko's father. Vlatko and Susannah stood together above the building, by an 8th century monastery, receiving each of the 550+ guests, and being photographed with each couple as they arrived with flowers and gifts. The photographs were distributed to each guest by the end of the evening.

The band was one of the best in Macedonia, and they played none-stop from 8 o'clock PM till after 1 o'clock in the morning. Much dancing and celebration! Among the guests were the Macedonian President, Prime Minister, President of the Parliament, Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians, the American Ambassador to Macedonia, and the Macedonian Ambassador to the US. What a happy and blessed occasion! There are so many more details which we'll try to share in future "Journey" updates.

Of course the press was at the events, and the videos were shown on the evening news, and photos were in many of the newspapers, including two front-page.

Susannah's photographer has posted some preliminary photos, including some which were published in the newspapers, on her blog: http://www.andrejkaphotographyblog.com

Look under archives for Macedonian wedding. The rest of the 1500 photos will be edited and put on a web-site in 4 to 6 weeks. We'll let you know when and where.

It was a joy to see so many of you at the wedding. Many thanks!

Love to all,

Paul and Rebecca

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rebecca's Journey - 112

Dear Ones,

Often at night, just before bed, my caregivers and I have quiet moments together to pray and share. One of the characteristics of Stacey, my present caregiver, is her wonderful ability to ask poignant questions, questions that stimulate thought and conversation. The other night she said, "Where is your quiet, safe place?" She was thinking perhaps the garden, the seaside, or a quiet room. My immediate response was, "My quiet, safe place is within". As I explained, I remembered when it all began.

It was more than twenty years ago and Paul was in a very difficult time in his life. He had experience classic burnout. It was a terrible time for me, too. I have always said that one of the hardest things for a woman is to see her man in great pain. Paul had always been there for me, always taken care of me, and always led me. And now he was unable to do that.

One afternoon we had laid down to take a nap. He had his back turned to me and was sleeping. I began to weep. I felt afraid and disoriented, yet I had to be strong. We had two pre-teens, a toddler, and a baby. They desperately needed me. I had to find the resources to be what I needed to be in that hour. As I laid there weeping, I began to hear the Lord speak. He simply said, "Run to Me, run to Me". How can I explain it? As I ran to Him, He was there for me. We got through that time, day by day, and powerfully. Paul rested and recovered and, miraculously, I had all that I needed. I made a wonderful discovery: I could run to Him, my high tower, my hiding place, the One who prepared me, strengthened me and enabled me. It's a miracle!
You've heard me say that after my accident I was in blinding pain, disoriented, confused, and, in the beginning, really had no sense of the Lord's presence. But, I had a secret! I knew where to hide my soul. I ran to Him. I said, "Lord, I don't know where You are. I don't know what has happened to me. What is this blinding pain? Why can't I move my body? But, I run to You! Do for me! I know You are good. I run to You."

The other day I was in reading Psalm 143: 8-10, "For in You I trust. Cause me to know the way to walk, for I lift up my soul to You. In You do I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. For I am Your servant."
Today is a lovely, quiet day - beautiful spring! We are preparing for ME to go to Macedonia for our precious Susannah's wonderful wedding. Now what quadriplegic do you know who travels like this? It's an adventure, and it's a bit terrifying! But, I have a quiet place for my soul. I know where to run and He will enable and give me all that I need.

Run to Him today. Give Him your shaky places. Give Him your broken places. Let Him work his miracle for you.

All my love, Rebecca