The Lord Goes Before You

There are two verses this week that have been floating through my mind…

Isaiah 45:2 “I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

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As we are always turning new corners in our crazy life, this verse continues to ring true. It is so exciting to see the ways in which God has been preparing us for this life full of mountains. Jake and I are continually in awe when we recognize the many ways in which God has gone before us and prepared the path so that we can navigate through these mountains with ease.

A perfect example is one that has been working its way into our lives in the last few weeks. In a way that could be orchestrated by no one other than God, Jake and I have been offered a parcel of land in our town on which to build a handicap accessible home for Malachi. The cabin that we are currently in is working well, but half of the cabin is not able to be used with Malachi as it is a loft requiring us to travel up and down stairs. The downstairs is nice and open with the exception of the bedrooms, which are down a difficult to navigate hallway.  As you can probably tell from pictures, we spend our time mainly in two rooms of the home.

So when this opportunity arose, Jake and I calmly and logically thought through our options, trying our very best to not think about the exciting “what ifs”. We have formulated a game plan to try to sell the cabin and then proceed with the process of building a home, relying solely on God to open and shut doors when needed. There is so much peace in being able to simply leave big things in the hands of God, trusting that He will guide us where He wants us.

Obviously my brain is trying desperately to malfunction as I think of all the steps that will need to go into such a big task, but like every other aspect of our lives we will simply take it one day at a time.

So aside from home repairs and lots of conversations, our week has been uneventful. Malachi is still not sleeping well so our weekends consist of Jake and I taking turns napping, desperately hoping to refill our batteries enough to get through another week. I know it sounds dramatic, but believe me when I say that 3.5 years of very little sleep can take a toll on you.

Malachi has been his silly, quirky self this week with the exception of today. While he has been having more seizures than normal on any given day, today was much worse. After church he had 6 small ones in a row and then passed out from exhaustion. We were at a friend’s house when they happened and it is always hard to know what to say to people witnessing his epileptic episodes. If you don’t know what to look for you would almost think that he had been scared and jumped in fright. His seizures are very frantic at the beginning, with his body moving briskly to the left while his eyes move rapidly up and down. When he seizes in public I will usually try to cover his eyes to keep people from having to see that, as it is difficult to watch.

Malachi used to laugh at the end of his seizures, but now they scare him and he will cry a very confused cry. It really is hard to watch. I find myself still having to look away for a few moments, as watching something overtake his body is heartbreaking.

I never know how much people care to know about these episodes, so sometimes I stick with the mindset that ignorance is bliss and allow others to assume that he is simply cat napping as opposed to being passed out from seizures. Epilepsy is such a horrible thing. I will be calling this week to see if we are able to increase his meds just a bit.

But in positive news, Malachi has been decreasing his vomiting significantly! In fact, he only threw up twice this week which is a new record! Praise the Lord for the dry mop in the corner!

He even sat through an entire soccer game without needing to be burped! That is such progress from even a month ago!

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As I was reading my devotional book this week (“Streams in the Desert”) I read an entry that stole all of my attention and left me clinging to every word. I found such truth in the words and thought I would share them with you this evening. It is a little lengthy, but I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

“There is a divine mystery in suffering, one that has a strange and supernatural power and has never been completely understood by human reason. No one has ever developed a deep level of spirituality or holiness without experiencing a great deal of suffering. When a person who suffers reaches a point where he can be calm and carefree, inwardly smiling at his own suffering, and no longer asking God to be delivered from it, then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry, perseverance has ‘finished its work’ (Jame 1:4), and the pain of the Crucifixion has begun to weave itself into a crown.”

“It is this experience of complete suffering that the Holy Spirit works many miraculous things deep within our soul. In this condition, our entire being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every power and ability of the mind, will, and heart are at last submissive; a quietness of eternity settles into the entire soul; and finally, the mouth becomes quiet, having only a few words to say, and stops crying out the words Christ quoted on the cross: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ ”

“At this point the person stops imagining castles in the sky, and pursuing foolish ideas, and his reasoning becomes calm and relaxed, with all choices removed because the only choice has now become the purpose of God. Also, his emotions are weaned away from other people and things, becoming deadened so that nothing can hurt, offend, hinder, or get in his way. HE can now let the circumstances be what they may, and continue to seek only God and His will, with the calm assurance that He is causing everything in the universe,whether good or bad, past or present, to work ‘for the good of those who love him.’ (Romans 8:28) ”

“Oh, the blessings of absolute submission to Christ! What a blessing to lose our own strength, wisdom, plans, and desires and to be where every ounce of our being becomes like a peaceful Sea of Galilee under the omnipotent feet of Jesus.”

As we enter another week of the crazy life, we would like to ask for wisdom as we make decisions for our family. Pray that the process of preparing and selling our home is a simple and easy one and that if we are not in the will of God, that He will let it be known.

Pray for Malachi’s seizure activity to completely cease and for a supernatural, unexplained healing from God for his brain. Pray that the angels continue to minister to him during his times of altered consciousness. Pray for Malachi’s quality of life to continue to improve and that his progress is so significantly that it is noticed by all.

And pray that he sleeps. At least 7 hours a night. All in one chunk. Every night for the rest of his life…haha 🙂

God bless,

Jake, Leah, and Malachi

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