Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Miracle of Hope

If you read my post "The Cost of Missions," I completed the post leaving you at my lowest point where Satan had found my weakness, and he had delivered the fatal blow - so he had thought!  I'm so glad our story didn't end there, but I never dreamed how incredible our story would transform from that point.  It all began with the most amazing miracle!

After a difficult day of work on December 20 caring for my patient while dealing with phone calls between Josh's school's principal, our behavior specialist, and Tim, I was emotionally drained and extremely stressed and frustrated.  I left work to go pick up Josh from Tim's office since Tim had to pick him up from school early due to behavior issues.  On my way, I had yet another difficult and frustrating phone call with Josh's principal which led to another call with the behavior specialist at which point I arrived at Tim's office an emotional mess having spent the majority of my day sobbing over the circumstances, crying at the pain and injustice Josh was experiencing, frustrated that I was stuck at work unable to be with my son when he needed me most, and stressed to get home because I knew David's bus would be dropping him off shortly.  At that point I got the final phone call from the behavior specialist who said there was no hope in changing the unfair circumstances for Josh for the day.  As I hung up with her, I got a call from David who arrived home and wanted to know where I was.  After telling him I'd be home as soon as I could, I hung up and broke down.  I had reached my end.  I was done fighting.  Satan's attacks on my family had been way more than I could have ever imagined, and I just couldn't stand to have him attack my kids one moment longer!  In sobs and tears, I said in defeat to Tim, "I can't do this any more!  I'm done fighting this battle!"  The moment those words were out of my mouth, my phone rang yet again.  Too emotional to answer it, I threw the phone at Tim for him to answer.  It was David, and the words he said proved that God existed, he cares, He's still in the miracle business, and He answers prayers and gives us the desires of our hearts: "The cat just came back!  He's really here!"

At my lowest point, I needed a miracle to snap me back from the pit of defeat, and that's just what God gave me.  After 10 days of going missing, our beloved Lightning Tabby Russell had returned to us!  When I thought all hope was lost, God gave me hope that He's still greater than the attacks of Satan, and He will bring us through this.

“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19a

The story gets even better...

As I talked to David on my way home with Josh, David said there was something wrong with Lightning and that he was having trouble walking and was dragging his back left leg behind him.  He was also skin and bones and sick looking.  I knew that God wouldn't bring him back to us only to take him away, so I had to trust that God was working all things together for good.

By the time I got home, David asked to talk to me privately.  When we were alone together in the bedroom, he began crying and told me that earlier at school that day, he was struggling with focusing on his schoolwork because he was worrying about the cat wondering what happened to him.  He began praying to God begging for him to let the cat come home and telling God, "You know that I am struggling to trust you and believe that you are really there and care about me.  Please show you me You are there and bring Lightning home TODAY!"  God had done just that, and David was overwhelmed with God's answer!  God is so good!

After making a trip to a local animal hospital, we knew God wasn't finished with the miracles for our family.  We were told that Lightning had 3 fractures in his left hip and that he would need to be sedated the following day to get better x-rays to see the extent of the damage.  Nerve damage was also present in his left leg as a result of the fractures.  Because of the area of the injury, the vet was also concerned that the bladder had been ruptured which would mean Lightning would need to be put down.  We brought Lightning home in a crate to monitor whether or not he was able to urinate.  If he did, he could be sedated in the morning.  We prayed for miracle #2!  The next day left us in suspense as to what his outcome would be.  By mid-afternoon, we found out that the orthopedic surgeon felt that surgery would be necessary for the best outcome to put a plate across the 3 fractures of his hip and a procedure would need to be done to put his femur head back in the hip socket.  However, the surgery would cost over $4,000.  There was still hope of decent healing without surgery, and often animals heal surprisingly well on their own.  Enter Miracle #3.  We chose to go with this route and pray that God would provide sufficient healing to Lightning without surgery.  As a result, Lightning is on cage rest to prevent him from further injuring himself and to allow time for healing.  We are allowed to let him out to walk around/exercise and to play with him.  Each day, we see him as God's miracle of hope to our family at our lowest time.

God cares about our family.  He answers prayer.  He makes a way.

Since that miraculous day, God has continued to give us hope.  We received notice that both boys' schools will allow the boys to miss school for this trip.  Satan is not going to win this time!  All four of us know that Satan may continue to attack.  We continue to deal with the battles of the significant crises we have been hit with the last few weeks, and the resolution may take a few more months in coming.  In the meantime, we are doing our best to arm ourselves daily for battle.  We are so grateful to have a daily visible reminder of that HOPE that is within us each time we look at Lightning, cuddle with him, or even give him his pain medication every 12 hours!  We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!  Our HOPE is in the Lord!

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