Quality Control

Josh’s life is held in the hands of God.front porch

Mine, too.

Yours is no exception.

The quality of Josh’s life is dependent upon high flow oxygen and a 24-hour a day pain pump.

The quality of my life is and will be dependent upon making every thought captive to the Truth of God and not my runaway imagination or mounting fears. I am not a worrier by nature. Josh, in true Josh form, tested this character trait early on in our life together when he had a small stroke at the age of 5. It really hasn’t ever let up. Will I trust God for today and tomorrow?

Josh’s current journey has kicked things up a few notches.

Death is really final.

It’s the sting that buries us when we die and it’s the sting that threatens to bury us when we’re the ones left to say goodbye.

The questions I wake up to each morning are these.

“Do I trust God?”

“Is he sovereign? Kind? Loving? Good?”

“Is his Word reliable? Trust worthy in every way?”

I have been working for months on surrender, as Josh’s medical condition deteriorated over the last year. Time. Tears. Triggers. Journaling.

Anguish. Heartache.

I have come to a place, marked by moans and mercy, where I am ready to surrender my son. Here, I pray for the Glory of God. Here I find a peace that passes all understanding. Here there is unquenchable hope.

I am not, however, ready to watch Josh suffer.

The Hospice workers are painfully honest. They do not mince words. The description of the end for those in respiratory failure contain my greatest fears. If I go there, I am instantly crippled by consuming fear. I am not ready to watch Josh wrestle for every breath, attempting to do what he’s been primed to do since his borning cry, but will find in the end, an impossible task.

I tremble. I beg. I gasp.

The battle is fierce.

It is battle waged each hour on our hardest days.

Will I trust God to take Josh safely through the valley of the shadow of death?

Will I trust God to take me safely to this place where I will have to watch and listen?

I am under attack. David was, too, when the cries of his heart where captured in the form of a prayer and a song that is now ours through Psalm 56.

It was David’s prayer and declaration when the Philistines seized him in Gath. It is my prayer and declaration when fear seizes me in the quiet moments of my day.

My declaration began in verses 3-4a …

When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.

Then my declaration spilled out into every corner of my heart as David’s psalm became my own.

Read the 14 verses in Psalm 56. Every one. Don’t miss a single word.

I have more to share. (Stay tuned in the days ahead.) His battle plan is unfolding.

The quality of life on these Front Porch Days depends on it.

I rest assured.

What is your plan for quality control these days? What promise or passage do you cling to?

First time here?

13 thoughts on “Quality Control”

  1. Being asthmatic is hard. The panic attacks that go with the asthma don’t help. All focus is on breathing. Mostly it’s harder on the ones who watch than its been on me. Revelations talks about the mark of the beast. Would I do that to take care of my kids? Would I denounce Christ if the lives of my children were at risk? Soon the days will become hard and we will be faced with decisions no one should ever have to face. Soon the line will be drawn and there will be no fences to sit on. Soon. We must be strong in The Lord. Really strong.
    In the dark we hold fast to what we learned in the light. In the storm we remember how He met us on the water. When we are exhausted the enemy comes and beats at our emotions. Lies. Often not bold or obvious. Usually truth that is just not quite true. In Brenda there is no strength or power. In Brenda there is nothing that can make any of this better. In Brenda is a God Who can and will work even this to good. I have been told that “heart surgery” is painful. I know that growing pains really hurt. But we have a God and He has never failed. He won’t start now. I love you, my friend. You can do this. Jesus says so.

  2. I check your post every day now. My son is fighting the battle of a relapsed lymphoma in the hospital, surrounded with the things you describe; oxygen, pain, and now the rigors of chemotherapy. We are not at your level of acceptance, yet. He still fights to get well, and we, our family must support that fight. I have done this once before, with my daughter; memories that I had submerged come up to me and keep awake at night. You see, I am a worrier, God forgive! My prayers are filled with pleas to help me let go, Let God. Thank you for your strength, Brenda, it is my light at the end of the tunnel. May God be with you every minute of every day. I am praying without ceasing for you and I together. Nancy

    • Nancy,

      If only I had arms long enough. We could weep together long and hard.
      I can’t tell you what it means to know we are on this journey together. I need a prayer partner. It will be with great passion that I lift our sons up together before the Throne.
      Fight! I will join join you. We pray for the glory of God. That includes — (and is often focused on) — healing and restoration. He hears our prayers.

      Praying for you today. Your son. The battle. The pain. The Day.
      May He whisper His love to every tender place within.
      Brenda

  3. My dear Brenda and family; I am so sorry to hear of your new and continued struggles. Please know you all are in my thoughts and in my prayers! Blessings, Tammy

  4. Oh, Brenda. Praying Psalm 56… for you… and Josh… and your gang… and all of us… in this weary, worrisome world. He HAS delivered us from death, that we may walk before Him in the light of eternal life. Praying that Josh is ushered from this world to the next painlessly and fearlessly.

    • Kris,
      Painlessly and fearlessly. That’s my prayer. And it blesses me to know it’s yours.
      God is using the prayers of many to carry us.
      I know our feet our 2 feet off the ground.
      Onward. Onward!
      Hey — Kris writes an insightful, gutsy, humorous blog for those on a fostering/parenting adventure of a life time. Take a peek. You will be touched by her real deal approach to life and God and growth.

  5. Brenda and Tim, I learned today of the strong need for God’s strength, love and mercy for your son Josh and for you. Be assured that God is there right beside you through all of this. Easy? No! Sure? Absolutely and emphatically “YES”! I pray today and regularly from now on that God will strengthen you physically and spiritually minute by minute through the love and care of medical personnel, family, friends, and all who are ministering to you. Be watchful for the Son of God shining through the windows of heaven into your minds and your hearts and follow the Word of God daily as you walk across the front porch of heaven.

    God’s love and peace,

    Doug Kading

    • Doug,
      It is minute by minute.
      And I love the image of the Son shining through the window panes.
      He does. And this Light covers and fills.
      Thank you for writing, Doug.
      Take care,
      Brenda

  6. Still, still with You, when the purple morning breaks,
    When the birds awake, and the shadows flee;
    Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
    Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.
    Alone withYou, amid the misty shadows,
    The solemn hush of nature newly born;
    Alone withYou in breathless adoration,
    In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
    As in a sunrise o’er a waveless ocean,
    The image of the morning star does rest,
    So in this stillness, You discerning only
    Your image in the waters of my breast.
    When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
    Its closing eyes look up to You in prayer;
    Sweet the repose, beneathYour wings o’ershadowing,
    But sweeter still to wake and find You there.

    Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Thought this might bless you. b

    • Betty,
      your thoughts that this “thoughtfulness” from Harriet Beecher Stowe would bless me was on the mark.
      I am so encouraged by the faith lives of those who went before us. God uses them, uses you, to shape my eyes to see the unseen.
      Sending my love and prayers,
      Brenda

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