It is Dustin posting this time, and I really have missed putting some of my thoughts on here. We have had a pretty amazing week, and I have been looking forward to sharing with everyone all the things we are thankful for! Two things: I hope you enjoy, and I hope God gets the glory!
So, here are the things we are thankful for!
1. God and His Perfect Will!
This story will end with our visit this past Monday at the Spina Bifida Clinic, but I must start at the beginning. As many of you have read and come to understand along with us, when we learned Madison had Spina Bifida, Dr. Tulipan informed us chances were high that Madison would eventually require the VP shunt surgery to relieve the extra pressure on her brain caused by hydrocephalus. Many, many of you have prayed along with us for God to work miracles in her little body so that she wouldn't require the surgery. We all prayed, and we all believed. I will confess, when we learned that the shunt surgery was no longer unavoidable but imminent, I was hurt. Throughout my prayers for Madison to avoid the surgery, I also prayed as Christ taught us in that the Lord's Will be done. I am thankful that His Will all along was that she would have this surgery. The miracle is that Madison is healed, and He chose to work that miracle through surgeons and modern medicine. This doesn't limit God, because He could have healed her at any moment He chose. I look at this as confirmation that God is the author and creator of ALL knowledge, and that He still healed Madison His way. Madison has been a different baby since the surgery. She is more alert, eats better, tracks movements and noises more easily, and has improved in every way imaginable since the surgery. Even though we had to endure the impossible the night of her surgery, God's Will was done and we are all the more thankful for it. As I mentioned earlier, this was confirmed by all the specialists we saw at Spina Bifida Clinic this past Monday. If Monday had been Madison's ACT, she would have scored a 35. If it would have been her SAT, she would have scored a 1580. If it would have been her GPA, she would have had a 3.98. Many of the specialists we saw referred to her as "PERFECT" in the respective area. Madison's urologist wanted us to monitor the only imperfection we found on Monday, which was Madison's urine output. That is the only reason why she didn't score a 36, 1600, or have a 4.0. For the first time in quite some time, Mandy and I left Vanderbilt without weights tied around our necks! It was awesome to drive back to Cookeville with smiles on our faces and praise in our hearts. Like the title says, we are truly thankful for God and His perfect will and plan!
I really don't know if I will be able to say the right thing here, but I will do my best. Mandy and I would not be where we are or who we are without your prayers! Throughout this blog, I have come to learn that there are people praying for our family that I have never met. The only thing I think I can say to put it into perspective is that I ask God for the ability to know who all prayed for our family during this time so that I can hug every single neck in Heaven! I believe part of our time in Heaven will be spent rejoicing with one another about was God did for us down here, and look forward to meeting people and knowing immediately that they had lifted us up when we couldn't do it for ourselves. I have prayed that God would return blessing seven fold on the families of every single person that prayed for us. Prayer is the great equalizer! It is God's prescription for our life.
3. God's Word
I will also make another confession here in that I surely haven't been reading the Word like this section implies. However, during the last few months, the Lord has revealed his Word to me in powerful ways through my wife, other believers, random sightings, and divine intervention. Just to name a few: Psalm 105:5, Galatians 6:2, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6-9, James 1:17, Philippians 1:3, and of course 1 Corinthians 10:13. Remember, during a difficult time of Jesus' life, he was comforted by scripture when He quoted to the devil himself that the the Word of God says "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Deuteronomy 8:3)
I don't think I can right much here without crying! During the last few months, our family has cared and provided for us in ways that amaze me. To sum it, they have cared for us emotionally, physically, financially, sacrificially, and most importantly spiritually. Also, family goes beyond being blood relatives. If you have ever cried for Madison, prayed for our family, brought us a meal, traveled to Nashville or Cookeville to see us, or met any need we had, you are family. We have been provided for by hundreds of our family members. We love each and every one of you!
5. My Wife
I thought I got choked up with the last one, but this is a whole different level. Can't say much except God gave me the perfect gift and partner in Mandy! I really can't think of any more words (been staring at my screen for who knows how long), so I will just reference point number one. I am thankful for God's perfect will for our lives and giving me a wife that helps me glorify Him!!!!!
Truly, if you have taken the time to read this blog, or any other posts we have put up, I am truly thankful for you. I hope somehow Madison's life and story have impacted you! Her life is a tale of hope, inspiration, and divine purpose! Madison has already changed the world in seven short weeks.
all my love,