So my clever sister-in-law sent some pictures....
and the very last picture showed my nephew holding a circular piece of cardboard with "I'm gonna be a big brother" written on it. (he doesn't look so happy, but then, he may have been squinting from the camera flash...which happened in a couple of the other pictures she sent)
Twice in the last week or so I've had the chance to think about suicide and it's devastating effects on those left behind. Most recently, a student at the high school died from what was apparently a suicide--which makes me think of all my students current and past--and what I want them to desparately hear and know.
Last week, I was on my way to work when Kidd Kraddick shared a deeply moving and personal story of two people in his life who committed suicide. One was when he was a kid and a friend hung himself--and Kidd was the last one to see him alive. No one knew why, understood what he was thinking. The other person was his nephew this past summer--in what seemed to be a way of not going to jail for a DUI. Kidd shared the emotions of anger, hurt, and confusion at a very selfish thing. But then he said something that really got me thinking. He shared at how irrational suicide is--the person who commits/attempts suicide--it comes from emotion, deep emotion and depression which shuts off, or overrides emotion and rationality. Suicide is irrational--and it's also not something to be mocked--no matter who the person is (in reference to people making fun of Owen Wilson the week before for "not even getting this right.")
That just really had me thinking, especially as I was walking into school after he finished the story. It brought me back to a time in my life where God saved me with rational thought. When I would have the thoughts, the little voice of logic would kick in and I couldn't do it because I realized what it would do to people left behind. In an irrational moment, you can't consider anything but the present moment and your emotions--how sad it is for these people who don't realize that there are people who they will leave behind, there are people who care.
That's something I deeply want my students to know. I care--even those students who have now moved on. I see the potential in their lives--and I know each of them have friends and family who also care.
So the last two weeks have reminded me that I need to keep building a relationship as carefully as I can, and most importantly, I need to be always praying for my students--that if they have thoughts of depression and suicide, to talk to someone--how can someone not care? and I pray that God moves in the same way he protected me when I was their age.
Six years--it was strange looking at the clock at about 8:45 this morning and remembering waking up--I'm pretty sure the radio was on 93.1 and a lady caller to (I think) Kidd Kraddick show was railing about terrorists. I urged my roommate to turn on the t.v. and we saw picture immediately.
Within an hour I saw the pictures of the Pentagon and feared, worried for my sister--in the Navy then. and I prayed and cried as I felt deeply the love I had for my sister.
Last night I received a phone call from my mom. Be praying for my sister and family. I cry yet again with so many different mixed and contrasting emotions as I try to understand on some small level, to connect the dots because that's what I have to try and do--even though that's really more God's thing.
I look back at the the memories of six years ago; and I hold on to God's will and God's working that out in all our lives. So it will be again.
It was a very good day. I woke up, unsure of what the year was going to be like--not daring to hope too much. However, after having met 3 of my classes, I feel good about this year. I might be setting myself up for disappointment, but there's a different feeling about this group. I almost cried tears of joy when one class--half of them had the assignment written down before the beginning bell rang, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM worked on the homework in the last 20 minutes of class--with very little talking except about the work!!!!! Seriously, I was moved to tears. Pray for this year to be a good year for us. Pray for my students and for me--for a feeling of teammanship, and a feeling of success for all. I'm excited about my newly reorganized classroom--even if I still can't seem to get many posters to stay up on the walls. Oh, and I still have two more classes to meet. But I hope tomorrow has me just as excited as today. I do love clean slates.-or is the proper term clean whiteboards now? :-)
And I'm grateful for the nice ending I had to my day as I attended the U2Charist at LU put on by St Mikes, in the new performing center (which has AWESOME acoustics--I want to attend a praise chapel there just to revel in the sound...). It was strange to have only a few familiar faces among the students, but there is something powerful in the sound of a chorus of voices speaking praise and prayer to God in unison. I also was moved by the U2 Songs, "Grace" and "One" and Corey's excellent message of fellowship (Hebrews) with those around us-- remind ourselves to ask "What part of God will this person show me today?" and showing love to others by "turning your world upside down" as exemplified in the Matthew passage relating to taking the lowest place at a wedding banquet.
So, a toast and praise of Thanksgiving for another year!
Prayer request for a family below
Ryan and Johnna are the daughter/son-in-law of our head custodian at school. I grew up in school with Johnna. They had a little boy named Hayden in August who was born with spinal bifida. They were prepared for this and he had surgery pretty immediately I believe after the birth. In addition to the spinal bifida (which is turning out to be miraculously not as severe as thought) he's had some problems with reflux and breathing. He's kept the doctors busy this last month as they've been trying to figure out what's causing what and what's best for helping him. My understanding is that it's related to something called "Chiari Malformation"--a neural tube defect. He's been intubated most of the time (which he is not fond of) and has had multiple surgeries. He's quite the little fighter though.
Please just pray for this little family--for strength for Ryan and Johnna, for God's financial provision and support, for Hayden's medical team as they provide care, and for Hayden--for God's miraculous healing and Will.
He has a CarePage under "HaydenPatrick". I'm not completely sure how this works but I know you have to sign up--not sure if the email invite is mandatory or not. I'll try and keep people updated as I can.
Here's todays: "Ah, yet another update today… Hayden is just keeping us busy! :)
Neurosurgery came by and talked about the results from the head ultrasound. The shunt surgery is off as of now for this week. Since his ventricles were not enlarged any more than they had been, it doesn’t really make sense to do a shunt right now. They will do another head ultrasound on Friday and then consider the shunt for early next week maybe depending on what the head ultrasound shows. It seems neurosurgery is chomping at the bit to do a shunt and see if that solves the problem. But obviously they won’t do an unnecessary surgery. And especially not one that puts something into his body that he will have for the rest of his life.
Ideally, the need for no shunt would be awesome. In fact, Hayden is once again in the minority. About 85% of Spina Bifida kids end up with shunts and most of them are within in the first few weeks of life. It’s just that we’ve been putting our hope in the fact that if he did get the shunt, it may relieve some added pressure on his Chiari Malformation which is causing his breathing issues. His lungs are in great shape – he doesn’t have a lung issue. The issue is in the portion of his brain that controls breathing. Unfortunately, that portion of his brain, they believe, has pressure on it which is prohibiting him to breathe consistently.
On the other hand, the fact that his breathing has improved from 5 hours to 36 hours maybe means that he just needs a little longer to grow and figure it all out. I’m now hoping that if he gets up to full feeds and gets the nutrition his body needs to grow and mature that maybe he will eventually be able to breathe all the time without any help. It may just take a little longer than we’d anticipated. Please join us in praying that God shows us and the doctors the solution to this breathing issue. And thank Him that he solved the reflux problem and now Hayden is able to eat again and get stronger!! We’ll update when we know more. Probably in 7 minutes or so… ;)"
All I can think is how awesome to know that Ryan and Johnna have such a strength of faith that God would place this upon their shoulders. and even how more awesome it is to have God in the trials and blessing such as this.
Thanks everyone and God Bless!