I have 2 friends who have really been on my mind the past 2 weeks and so they are my topic today. I wish I had pictures, but they're trapped in our old computer's hard-drive for the time-being. So, I may lose the personal touch that a picture brings, but I'd like to share their story with you anyway.
Chris and Stephanie went to the same church we did when we lived in Radford, VA. Stephanie has just graduated from nursing school and they have a 2 year old daughter, Mia.
Chris has had migraine headaches since he was a teenager and even earlier. The past few years have been truly incredible in their lives - incredibly hard. Chris' headaches have intensified to the point where he can no longer work. His pain is so bad that he's also unable to care for Mia by himself when Stephanie is working. They've applied for disability and been denied, and since he chose to go through that process now he really is unable to work because of all of the doctors letters stating so. They had to move from Radford to be closer to his family so that they could have more physical help. He's been to local doctors and even traveled to Philadelphia, PA and been admitted to the hospital through their migraine clinic, but had no relief. He's been loaded up with medicine and now weened himself from it with no change in his headaches. He's had nerve blocks, physical therapy, pain management, tests, tests, tests to no avail. And so now I write about him, about them......
During church today the pastor spoke about a verse in Matthew 7:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you."
The version in my bible says,
"Keep on asking and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and the door will be opened to you."
Keep on....Keep on....Keep on....
Now, I know more than most people what it's like to pray the same prayer over and over, feeling like there's really no point. Chris (my Chris) has had so many illnesses, pains, infections, etc., etc. And I have asked specific prayers; I have cried without words; I have sang songs of hope and mercy; I've praised God; I've questioned God; I've sobbed and I've rejoiced. Symptoms come and symptoms go.....paralysis stays.......pain comes and pain stays.....paralysis remains. And yet, 1 1/2 years ago I believe God did something incredible in our lives. He gave us freedom......and I really don't know how to describe it. Chris' pain does persist, he does continue to have infections, yet it's different. The intensity is not there for as long a period of time. I really believe the desperation that severe, unrelenting pain causes was lifted. Chris found hope in a new way. He'd had hope before, but it's like God changed his perspective from being a victim to a more intense fighter (and believe me, he didn't act like a victim before. He was already acting like a fighter, but God intensified it even more.)
Since that time we've been free to dream again....and now to pursue those dreams....to embrace life....to be excited about life.....to see the adventures before us and embrace them. And I know that it is only because soooo many people kept on praying for us.
So this is my plea, think of Chris and Stephanie, and pray for them. I'm sure that they have days when they can pray and days when they can't. So I want to be able to say that I will ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking on God's door until He brings a complete breakthrough to their lives and turns them completely around to be able to dream again.....to be able to live again.....to have hope again.....to enjoy their daughter, their friends, their lives. The weight of not being able to dream is just about unbearable. And that is what I pray for - for the pain, the desperation, the weight, the burden, the exhaustion to be lifted......and for life to be restored, hope to be restored, joy to be restored.