Four steps forward, then three back. That’s what it feels like our path is right now. I haven’t given an update on LeRoy since last November, when I told you that the main concern now is the nerve damage that the lesions on his spinal cord caused—not so much the actual neurological disease. And then, a few weeks after I posted that, LeRoy’s neurologist let us know that the lesions could return within the year, that there is no way of knowing how this disease will react to the treatment.
We were stunned by that news; no one had told us that before. I think we assumed that when the course of treatment was complete—we’d be back on the road to “normalcy.” Through our research we found, and some of our doctors had said, that this disease can go into remission and never cause an issue again.
And so, I went silent for a bit about his condition. I haven’t even wanted to talk about the doctor’s warning. Especially since, I just keep thinking that’s not what God has in mind for us. But even in typing those words, I want to be careful to say that of course, there will come a final day, a final breath, an ending to life here on earth for LeRoy, for me, for every individual—and I don’t assume to know how or when God will do that. We’ve never demanded healing from God, or assume that we know God’s mind in all of this. But, I keep thinking, and sensing, that the season for the disease to ravage LeRoy’s body has ended. It has left scars, yes. It has left him with a body racked in excruciating pain when muscle spasms hit and he suffers with constant burning in his left thigh. It has left him debilitated from paralysis and nerve damage.
But I believe the season of disease is over.
I’m not a prophet, and don’t claim to be one. I don’t demand things of God. How could I? He has graciously provided the covering for our sin, He has poured out abundant blessings, He is far more wise than I can conceive—so I trust Him. I trust His plans and His providential care. But, as I seek Him through this, I continue to believe the season of disease is over.
LeRoy is taking small steps toward “normalcy.” He’s finally been able to start a low level plan of Physical Therapy that, hopefully, will grow into a more vigorous routine. He’s just in the early stages now, but it’s been encouraging to see him start trying to move again. We have a dear friend from our church who serves as his PT Tech and faithfully takes him through the machines and exercises for thirty minutes, twice a week. Right now, it seems he takes four steps forward, and then three back. But that is progress!
He is moving forward, and for that I’m so grateful.
His slow motion progress of recovery is impeded at times. Last week he started having intense pain in the foot of his leg that is partially paralyzed. The foot started swelling and turned a brilliant scarlet. The doctor determined that it is gout. It is terribly painful. Pain upon pain. New pain added to his old pain. He’s taking a new medicine for the gout attack, but I’ve also added a daily regimen of dried cherries to his diet as a natural remedy (Thank you, Aunt Mary Ann, for that prescription!).
So, on this update, I want to list reasons that I’m thankful and ask you to rejoice with me:
- Even with the daily obstacles, the losses, the debility, and intense pain—LeRoy continues to be the same steady man of God I’ve always known, and for that I’m extremely thankful. His mornings still begin in the Word, and our days are filled with precious prayer times together.
- We are in a much better place than we were a year ago. LeRoy is more active. Although he still needs his “walking sticks” as I call them, he is intentionally moving more—even though he has to pause often when a muscle spasm hits, he is determined to keep moving.
- His liver enzymes (which were too high to continue his treatment) have come back down—and that is a real praise.
- As he requires less medication, his mental clarity is returning, and I’m indeed quite grateful for that. He will be completely off all steroids soon, and as that dose has decreased, his weight has decreased. As the weight drops, he’s able to move more easily.
- Our church family continues to surround us with love and support. LeRoy has only preached a handful of times since July of 2017, but our church has not deserted us. We have an amazing team of leaders, an incredible interim pastor, and a precious church family that faithfully carry us to the throne.
- We are supported in prayer by a network of dear friends and blog readers from across the globe. That is a huge blessing, and one we are mindful of daily. You matter. Knowing you continue to intercede for LeRoy’s healing is a precious comfort. We thank God for you.
- Although we face an unknown future, and can’t see what God is doing, we see and experience tangible expressions of His faithfulness—and know that whatever He has for us, it is just what we need, and it is a future filled with opportunities to glorify Him (no matter what form those opportunities take).
And my prayer request from you now is this:
We area currently in an “in-between” state. He’s finished with the Remicade infusions and the doctors want to put him on a daily drug to suppress his immune system (for the rest of his life). I’m asking for your prayers. Although the doctors are recommending this, I’m not sure we should go in that direction.
Would you pray for God to give us wisdom? Would you ask God to clearly direct in the coming weeks and confirm what He has for us? Pray for us to follow His wisdom above all? That’s all we want—His prescription, none other.Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:2–6).
In faith, we are asking for, and expecting, God to provide us with His wisdom.
Will you join us?