The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)
The next step for dad was physical therapy. There were many blessings with this phase of the journey.
Blessing #1… God provided dad a room by the window overlooking the river.
Blessing #2… Dad also was able to enjoy his first meal here while overlooking the river. It was a thick liquid diet but it was a start.
Blessing #3… Dad was able to focus a little better on the words in his Bible. He was reading through the book of John at this time and you could tell that just holding his Bible was bringing a soothing balm to his soul. He also had a few friends stop by to do Bible Study with him. This was a great source of encouragement to him. The one common thing I heard dad say while in the hospital was how much he enjoyed the fellowship time with other believers.
Blessing #4… My brother Bart was able to take a leave of absence from the army to come and see dad. Bart brought a great sense of joy to this situation. He was constantly sharing jokes and for the first time we heard dad get a belly laugh. It was great. Bart came just in time to revive our weary spirits with his fun jokes. It was a sweet time to watch my little brother interact with my dad and bring him cheer like only a little brother can do. Thank you Bart!
Blessing #5… I was tremendously blessed to have time with my brother Bart and sister Abigail. They were pretty young when I left for college so in many ways I’ve felt disconnected from them over the years. This experience gave us time to bond in a whole new way. We sat and laughed, told stories, played cards, and just enjoyed our time together. This is one of my favorite blessings!
Blessing #6… It was so much fun to watch dad with his grandkids. All of them sure love their Papa Ray and though it took a little time to warm up to Dad’s new state. They did well. They loved on him and brought him the joy he so desperately needed!
Blessing #7… It was sweet to watch my son Zion play with his cousins. They had such a special time together. I remember growing up with a lot of cousins so I really feel blessed that my son has a ton to grow up with as well. So sweet to make those memories together.
Blessing #8… The nurses really took good care of Dad and even seemed really enjoy him. They gave him hugs and just really made him feel special.
Blessing #9… Fishing Opener was cold and rainy. This one is for my dad. It was the first opener he had missed in many years, so the fact that it was cold and rainy kind of helped.
Blessing #10… The doctor gave us permission to bring Dad to my brother Caleb’s graduation. Dad had been a big part of encouraging my brother to walk the line. Dad wanted to be there and it was the greatest surprise I think we have ever been able to give to my brother.
Blessing #11… The look on Caleb’s face was a huge blessing! He was teary eyed and had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on him. He said it wouldn’t be right for dad not to be there. Such a beautiful moment.
Blessing #12… Enjoying the sweet moments of just being out of the hospital. It was fun to just be a family and laugh together.
Blessing #13… Watching dad look on as his son graduated from college. Dad was proud and held his head high. He enjoyed every minute of watching Caleb walk the line.
Blessing #14… I count it a blessing to be at the graduation. I probably wouldn’t have been there if the accident didn’t happen. I’m so proud of you Caleb and all the hard work you put in to graduating from college. It was an honor to watch you walk. Love you bro!
Blessing #15… Spending Zion’s 1st birthday with my family was special. It was sweet for me to enjoy this first birthday with my family. And it was nice for Paul and I to get away to Mall of America and treasure this sweet day with our son.
All I can say is that the blessings continue to be numerous. I count it a blessing that I was even able to go and be with my dad for almost four weeks. I cherish the moments we shared and will always treasure the memories with my family. I look back on all of this with joy and choose to dwell on all the good memories. Thank you Jesus that through the storm, You always find a way to redeem our time!
Dear Father God, I pray that there will continue to be many blessings that we can focus on through this. I pray that we will only look back to see how great You have been to us through this. May we never look back in regret or with a feeling of “what if”. May we truly treasure who You have been through this. And more than anything Father I pray that you will soften the hearts of my brothers Caleb and Bart. May they not leave this earth without making Jesus the Lord of their life. Please help them to see their need for your Son!
Counting my Blessings,