It was great to meet up with a couple of friends over an early 6.45am cooked breakfast a few days ago to talk, to listen to each other’s needs and pray together. As we talked, we gently challenged each other about what is the ‘sofa for my soul’ – the thing it mistakenly thinks is going to satisfy it – and we encouraged each other to make Jesus Christ the one on whom we rest, through all the ups and downs. I really needed that reminder as this week has thrown up a few challenges.
Among the ‘ups’, we’ve had some good and notable things happen – no. 4 son Josh passed his theory test for his driving license and no. 3 son Tom has now arrived home from Cardiff Uni for the Easter break. This week we’ve also finally cleared and moved everything out of our flat in Crediton ahead of its sale and completion. And while I’d love to report good news about Ben, his journey shows no sign of improvement – if anything, to our untrained eye, only mild deterioration. Yesterday afternoon, he had another slight ‘episode’ while in a physiotherapy session and by the time I saw him in the early evening, his speech was confused and he was making little sense. Only days before, trying to play a game of dominoes with him proved to be painful. We’d been told that it’s good to use some of our visiting time playing games, puzzles etc. to help stimulate his recovery. To say the game was a struggle for him would be an understatement. Not only could he not manage the normal ‘dotted’ dominoes, even playing a picture version, despite an immense amount of effort on his part, was near nigh impossible. We came away feeling crestfallen. We’ve known he had a long way to go, but the simple act of playing a game showed us something of the enormous distance yet to cover. Our visit had happened just 24hrs after a meeting with his neurologist. The neurology team continue to scratch their heads and have more questions than answers regarding Ben’s condition. They’re now considering referring him to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. We pray on, especially thankful for all who are joining us each week in prayer and fasting.
If Ben’s journey doesn’t get any easier, neither apparently does our house situation. If you’ve been reading the last couple of blog posts, you’ll be aware that we’ve been facing the mountainous question of buying a family home. Only a few weeks ago, we had never considered the possibility of being able to purchase something suitable as we simply couldn’t afford to increase the mortgage (still with 17 yrs to run) that we have on our small flat. However, we were then offered the possibility of a substantial gift of money towards the purchase of a property. Alongside this, we received a small number of gifts from friends who, not knowing our emerging thoughts, provided us with enough to make us think that this was the right thing to do. So, we proceeded to go firm on an offer we’d made on what seemed the right house, one that could house us all, but also with a downstairs bedroom suitable for me or for Ben and Dabi with our respective and increasing health needs. Numbers of friends around the world have in the last fortnight wonderfully provided us with just under £30,000. We’ve been amazed and are so thankful. However, we have recently learned that the substantial amount of finance on which we were relying is now no longer available, suddenly leaving us with a deficit of £60,000 and somewhat knocking the wind out of our sails.
I have agonised over placing this need of ours onto the blog, but having shared my angst with a number of close friends and family, I’ve been persuaded to do so…mainly because I so deeply love my family and, knowing what a traumatic time they’ve all had to face, want to leave them provided with suitable housing for a time, sooner or later, when I’m no longer with them. If anyone would like to prayerfully (or just thoughtfully, if you’re not the praying type) consider whether you could help us cross this enormous mountain, we would be so grateful to hear from you and provide you with information as to how you could assist. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we walk through this week leading to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we’re so thankful for the One who emptied himself of all but love for our sakes, so we could, trusting in Him, truly live. “It is finished”, he cried victoriously from the cross as he died. “He is Risen”, spoke the angel from an empty tomb. We hold on to Him, trusting.