Monday, December 17, 2012

thankful for this today

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations."
Deuteronomy 7:9

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

by the grace of God

Well I'm not even sure where to begin...

Lately when folks ask me how it's going I've taken to saying, "We're about the same."  It's so much easier than saying: Lindsey is still super sick and feels basically nasty every day. Her head is pounding. Her body is aching. She's exhausted. She's spent. Eliana is revving....her little engine is on red and headed for overdrive. Eliana is anxious and afraid and often right on the edge of raging at the drop of a hat. I'm stressed and I feel overwhelmed. To summarize I say we're about the same.

I've noticed how folks so want there to be a bow on top of our story right now.  People want to hear the silver lining, the trajectory, the path, the plan, the steps. As I explain that things really aren't changing I watch the wheels turn in their minds as they search for a solution to offer. It's usually something like, "have you tried ____ ." As I stammer through an explanation of why we haven't (or how we have) tried their suggestion I usually feel caught and on the defense - wanting to prove that we're doing all we can. I know that these are well meaning, sincere, loving friends who are honestly asking us how we're doing but as they search for ways to fix us I feel alone. It sounds so bizarre, but I don't want to be fixed. I do want healing and freedom and life for both of my girls but somehow that feels all together different than getting fixed.  The most refreshing response to our situation is when folks shake their heads and say, "I don't know how you do it."  That I love. Then I get to say, "by the Grace of God."

It is the Grace of God that allows us to move forward each long night and to embrace each new day. I've never been more convinced that this life is hard and fragile and brief. I know that we're not promised comfort.  In all of this we so want to glorify God. We so want to keep perspective. We so want to allow His light to shine through us.

Confession time - at some point in each day I really battle comparison. I know, I know, "Comparison is the Thief of Joy." That being said, I keep finding myself looking at other individuals or families who on the surface appear to have everything rolling and if I'm honest I'm jealous. At the same time when I hear folks complaining about their scenarios I compare and think, "Are you for real...that's what you're worried about!" That sounds so ugly to admit...because it is. That's my brokenness spilling out. That's the part that God is working to redeem in me through all this pain.

I listened to a sermon today by Andy Stanley and he referred to "Hope Migration" as a way to describe how our focus often shifts from Jesus to the temporal things of this world. I keep finding myself putting my Hope or at least my focus on petty things to distract myself from all of this stress and hard stuff. Oh how I want to grow in this season and be the man who keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus despite the ruggedness of the day.

I know/ believe that our lives will not always be this hard - I remind Lindsey of it all the time. Right now these are the cards we've been that through it God will be Glorified. To all who pray - thank you please don't stop. We're counting on you to be the ones to hold our arms up in this battle. To those who have given money or purchased a Pallet Wood Christmas Tree - THANK YOU. God has literally used you to be his conduit of provision. Thank you for standing with us. Your words of encouragement are often the flicker of the flame that we need to keep us moving forward. 

We're gonna make it.
Grace and Peace,

Chris Wheeler
Husband to Lindsey, Dad to Eliana

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

one step forward and two steps back

I thought I would start off with a picture of the "real" tenderhearted, hilarious Eliana.  She is so giving, so compassionate.  She cries watching things that are sad and rejoices when things are great for someone.  She loves it when the three of us are doing fun things together.  Tonight we ate at the coffee table (because the kitchen table has 5 loads of laundry on it) and said, "this is so much fun."  She is constantly cracking jokes and loves nothing more than staying at home all day, every day.  Her seizures seem to be under control with her medication.  That is a HUGE blessing!!  We are just praying that it will continue that way.  Nothing was worse at her MRI...her brain looks okay. 

So, the problem is that we are watching this sweet child of ours go from a fun, lively 5 year old to an angry, raging child in a split second more and more often lately.  I feel like I need to say this every time I post, so I will keep it up. This is not her fault.  This precious child went through something very traumatic.  She obviously doesn't remember details, but her subconscious does.  She is terrified of the night (we feel CERTAIN her trauma happened at night).  The problem is that she is incredibly strong and is getting older with each day.  Yesterday, I ended up in a situation alone with E when an uncontrollable rage started.  It was scary.  It is devastating watching your child suffer and scream and cry and you can't do anything but pray and let her wear herself out.  There are days I feel like I'm living in a prison (but with a cute child right next to me).  She doesn't want to leave anymore...running errands is few and far between.  She likes the safety of her house, her dog, and her parents.  Chris and I estimated the other night that we spend a total of 20-25 hours a week just actively trying to get Eliana to sleep (it used to be unbelievably more).  We have to fight feeling jealous of parents that can read their child a book, pray and say goodnight.  There are nights where we feel patient and peaceful and other nights we would give anything to have time for ourselves.  Please join us in praying for her sweet spirit...that God would comfort her in a way that no medication or therapy every could (even though we are doing those things).  We are begging God for HEALING!!  And while you're at it, please keep praying for me. Love you all so much.  I can't thank you enough for your support.

Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.


P.S.  Thank you so much for those of you that have purchased one of our pallet wood Christmas trees to help with my Lyme debt.  A few have asked how they can still give to us...thanks for caring!!  I put a paypal donation button on the right of our blog if you want to help. 

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