On Memorial Day, dad had a stroke. His left side, which was his previous strong side – was left totally limp. Speech slurred and mouth droopy. Left eye weakened – and unable to walk - heavy listing to the left. In fact he has ‘resistive’ listing which causes the body to push into the list – making it an even more pronounced list. He’s a total lift, so it has been a trying experience on my own body – particularly my back. It will get easier as we figure out a system. His doctor has ordered a lift – and a specially fitted wheelchair - but that takes time.
He’s left with a previous weak right hand and frozen shoulder and a weak right leg and ‘drop foot’ – from his debilitating accident on Christmas eve 2005, when he was hit by an SUV while crossing a street. It took him a full year and then some to recover and rehab. Had to relearn how to dress - eat- walk & write with left hand as dominate side was weak. Lack of immediate blood transfusions, left him with brain damage.
But Today is the 3rd day.
HOPE has come to our house today!
Yesterday, we saw some movement in the Left leg - none prior to yesterday! - except when I tickled the bottom of his foot – it made his knee go up! But TODAY - miracles happened!
I asked him to lift his left leg while still in bed - like yesterday - he said ‘I can't’. I reminded him that yesterday ‘he did’! 'Talk to your leg and tell it to lift', I said … ‘he did’ and he lifted his ‘dead’ leg 5 times - even bending at the knee. I caught it on video to prove to him tomorrow when he says ‘I can’t’… that ‘he did’. He did it for the camera at least 5 more times! Yesterday was the first for any movement in his left leg - except for a small twisting of the toes while sitting in a chair on the last 3 days of his 3 week rehab.
MIRACLES COME ON THE THIRD DAY!
Today – his 3rd day home, during my therapy with him, and after saying ‘I can’t’ – ‘he did’ push so hard against my arms with his weak Right foot, that it rocked the chair back against the wall. So...I kept saying 'push' and ‘he did’ - 10 times – just as hard as the first and harder. Great resistive training! So he says 'Yeah but try it on that leg'..pointing to his dead left leg. I held it up and said 'push'…he said, 'I cant'. I said, ‘Tell your leg to' push'. ‘He did’ - as he pushed against my hand with this supposedly dead leg, I felt the pressure! Ten times he pushed, and each time ‘he did’ – he pushed stronger. I heard the Lord’s message in “My strength is made perfect in your weakness”. With the last two pushes, the chair began to rock against the wall. He was so pleased to feel Strength in his ‘dead’ leg!
He's ALIVE!! He's conquered the grave. AGAIN!! …even though he has stated over and over for the past 3 weeks "I WANT TO DIE”.
I’m singing Praises to our Living KING!
Prior to therapy today, I saw a red bird in my butterfly bush - I remembered that I had seen a red bird there yesterday - but it didn't look like a cardinal. Today I saw it more vivid. It had a red breast and belly - a totally blue head - a ring around the eye. It most assuredly was not a cardinal.
When I searched for him in my bird book, he proved to be a ‘Painted Bunting’. It happens to be one of the most beautiful birds in North America! (and I've never seen it or heard of it - before yesterday) Despite its beautiful plumage, it is difficult to see. Know what its other well known name is?...
"Nonpareil" - meaning "without equal"
(source taken from: National Audubon Society – Field Guide to BIRDS – Eastern Region)
They can be seen in Arkansas - if one has eyes to see! Before I researched the species of bird - I told dad that I think God sent this bird from heaven to encourage us. Then, when I read its common name, I told dad that I was certain -
The Lord has sent us proof of His Presence!
He has granted my heart’s plea for daddy.
He has given us HOPE!
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
There is none 'equal' to the ONE TRUE GOD! …NONE!
He is 'Nonpareil' - without equal!
From the front – this bird looks all red except for some dark gray at the wings and the blue head. But when the other side is revealed – this small bird is adorned and ‘covered’ with a coat of many colors!
God showed me in the physical ...again...what He had already given me in the spiritual.
My God never ceases to amaze me! He is good all of the time!
Nothing is impossible with GOD!
I told dad yesterday that it was the voice of the Lord that changed my take on his impossible situation. From my limited view - I had said, from the beginning, "I can't do this"... “I cant take care of him like this” …It was simply an impossibility from my weak perspective. And from the very beginning Dad was saying "You can't take care of me." But God told me I can . Dad responded, “Thank you for being obedient.” I have learned that OBEDIENCE to the voice of the Lord – is everything!
With GOD!....WE CAN!! WE WILL!!
God changed my point of view to His. My vantage point was shifted. In an instant, He showed me - once again - a restored dad. And I saw the situation from God's point of 'limitless-ness'. I had asked God to reveal the open door that He wanted me to go through…and He opened a door from His vantage point – in heaven …and I just walked through it! He reminded me of the radio program we had heard together just days before his stroke. The message from Ecclesiastes 4:10 …
‘Pity the man who falls and has no one to pick him up.’
I had even repeated it to dad when it was quoted. And with this reminder, my heart and mind came together and a peace that passeth all understanding – flooded my soul. Instantly, I knew that ‘I could’, because …
NOTHING is impossible with GOD!
May God rain down showers of blessings on you too, as you BELIEVE!
The following Scriptures,that God had me put to memory just weeks prior to dad’s stroke have become a firm foundation to hang my heart on these last three weeks.
For all of my bloggy friends who have contacted me through my comments page, and e-mail these last 3 weeks, I thank you for your prayers, concern and constant encouragement! You mean so much to me. Thank you for noticing that I was AWOL. It was reassuring to know that my presence - in His Presence was missed from the BRIDGE here. Even though I had no time or desire to blog - your encouragement kept on coming and it strengthened me and walked me into HOPE.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Revelation 3:20 - Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Psalm 51:10 - Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 27: 13-14 - I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Philippians 4:19 - And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
~ Shalom ~
I confess, I was becoming 'sick' for lack of Godsight. But you came and held me up - my virtual support system. I would like to publicly honor all of you - my bloggy supporters during this trying time. Please continue pressing in. I need strength and courage for the road ahead! together, we are STRONG! Divided, we fall.
Thanks and PRAISE for these instruments of PEACE - God's gift to me in time of need
Kareem @ Nitty-Gritty-tales of a housewife
Brenda @ Rubys Daughter Brenda
Stephanie @ TRUTHSHARER
One Heart @ Home is where one heart is
Tricia @ Pages of my Journal
Tisha @ I can write uninhibited
Sonja @ Bits and Pieces
Alleluiablle @ Humble As I Go
Barbara @ B His Girl
Zoe Believer @ Zoe
Dee @ My Little Heaven
Permission to use the images in this post was granted by Steve Baranoff. You may find these images and more, on his "Prints" page where his best images are formatted for sale. The main webpage with many painted bunting images is at: Birds in Photos.com . Thank you, Steve for the pleasure of your 'gift'...a camera in the hands of God.