Amazing Grace

It seems that ever so often...when we are feeling comfortable and smug about ourselves, God gives us a swift kick in the behind, just to remind us that we are only human, and that we should be thankful for blessings, and cognizant of frailties. At times, I feel every so thankful that I don't have the hardships that some families suffer. However....

What can I tell you about Matthew?  He is daring and compassionate; foolhardy and brave; reckless and strong; exploring new boundaries, and testing the limits. Nothing brings a parent to their knees in prayer faster than learning that their child is in trouble.  We have known for a few years that there was something wrong with the way Matt felt - his complaint of pain, his posture, which was slowly stiffening and stooping, and the way he carried himself.  He has always been such an active person, who enjoyed sports, and getting down to play with the little kids. Suddenly, it was becoming evident that he couldn't do the things he enjoyed most. How devastating it was to learn of his deteriorating condition, known as Anklyosing Spondilitis, just as he was making the decision to begin a new life with Sabrina and their children. How quickly things change, and turns ideas from hope to despair.

They made their dream trip to Kauai (the Healing Island) in Hawaii in May of 2014 to be married. I was able to share in this beautiful ceremony on the beach and enjoyed 4 days with them as they experienced new-found joy in making a life together. When you come to Kauai, you are nourished by the spirit of Aloha and the power of nature. Many people come to Hawaii to heal – whether they are just getting out of a long relationship, grieving over someone or something lost, or getting over an illness or major life change. They were able to visit there two years previous, and Matthew stated that he never felt better than he had there. Matt did everything that he could to live life to the fullest. He married his best friend and love of his life, Sabrina, he spent hours in the ocean, swam with a wild sea turtle, climbed a tree, and even went cliff jumping in the same spot where he was married. After the jump, something seemed very wrong. Matthew had broke his neck in the jump.

Now, our family is all looking toward a much different future for this little family, as they consider the surgery and recovery time it will take for Matthew to be back on his feet. The surgery itself, can take 8-10 hours. The recovery time is up to 3 months. The pain, he believes, can't be much worse that he has been experiencing for the past years. He knows that he will have a better self-image because he won't be stooped and looking at the ground as he walks. I pray that all of this will be of benefit to his health and that Heavenly Father will bless him and his loving wife and family as he approaches this situation.

Please take a moment to research this dread and un-commonly known degenerative disease. Like all other diseases, it strikes silently and with a vengeance.

1 comment:

GrandmaNutt said...

Matthew is a warrior refined by a fire that most people can never imagine. May God continue to bless and strengthen him.