And He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Saturday, October 31, 2009

From Connor's Mommy

I once read that when you experience loss, your heart expands to handle the grief. When that happens, your heart is then larger to grow more, love more and experience more. I guess it seems to be in a raw state and it's alive and open to every sensory experience. It's similar to what happens to our muscles when we lift weights. The muscle tears a little at first, and then it enlarges. Tait and I can relate to this. I definitely feel like my heart has expanded to handle this grief. It is feeling everything more deeply. I feel sadness more and joy more. Excitement and depression are both experienced to a higher degree. My heart is open and ready for growth now. It is craving understanding, wisdom and assurance. I guess because of this, I feel as though I've grown a lot in the last few months.

My heart has learned many things.

I've learned that although God's grace is what spares us from disaster or loss, His Grace is poured out on us even more when we are not spared from the disaster or loss. I've seen several children spared from Connor's fate and yes, God's Grace spared them. But, I can tell you that if He has allowed you to go through the loss, He will sufficiently provide the Grace to go through it. How much more important is His Grace then.

I love this quote below from Dr. Alan Redpath.

"There is nothing-absolutely no circumstance, no trouble, no testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him, and I accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, and I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. That is the rest of victory."

As his hand is on my life, I'm counting on God to bring me through even this to victory. I'm believing his Grace will revive me again.

"You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side." Psalm 71:20, 21

Please continue to pray for Carson Richardson, as they try to figure out what treatment to try for Carson next. They are looking for a miracle. Also, please pray for our Carson. He broke his arm yesterday at Mason's 4th birthday party! Happy Birthday Mason!

Always believing,
Joy Cruse

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Begging for More Prayers

Thank you all for being such precious prayer warriors! We are coming to you again to beg for a little more prayer. As B stated the other day, I actually had a great run of eleven days with only four seizures. Praise the LORD!!! However, in the last nine days, I have had 66 seizures. I'm exhausted.

We are praying for miraculous healing, first. Then, for wisdom in how to move forward. Yesterday, I had eighteen seizures and today I've already had seven and it's only 11am. No more, please , Lord! The epilepsy diet they have me on out of Johns Hopkins has worked very well and I've been able to titrate down on my meds due to the great response to the diet. However, this last week has been yucky.

As if I've not said it enough, I'm so ready for healing! I want this over. At the same time, I want God to be glorified! He deserves to be the Hero of this story! So, how do we get there. Please pray for miraculous healing and for wisdom for us in the decisions we have to make...

Again, I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of your prayers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Waiting and Prayer

We are coming to you late in the day to ask for more prayer from all our faithful prayer warriors. M has had a really tough week. Tough in that for the week, she has accounted for nearly a third of the total number of seizures she has experienced in this month of October. Today, has particularly seemed rougher than usual as she has had nearly 10 seizures so far (avg about 1 every 2 hours if not sooner).

Anyway, we are asking for your prayers. When will this be over? When will these seizures go away? Today's sermon from Matt was on Waiting. Wow...What a hard thing to often do. But the main point was Waiting and being in God's will. The lesson came from 2 Samuel after Saul had been killed. It was now time for David to take his place on the throne over Jerusalem. But before David proceeded he inquired of the Lord first. "Shall I go up?" asks David. The Lord replies "Yes!" Next, David asks to where, and the Lord tells him exactly where. You see, David had plenty of times from the moment he was anointed king by Samuel to take his throne, and yet he waited until the Lord told him it was his time.

M has been waiting. She has been more than amazing at enduring. And yet with days and weeks like we have just experienced, the waiting gets somewhat tough. So please lift M up right now. Pray for her strength and endurance. Pray for our wisdom as we continue to work through each day on the diet and medication.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

God Still Performs Miracles

Wow!! Praise Jesus!!! I can barely see through the tears of joy to type this....WOW!!!!!!!

This is the e-mail I just received from Nate's Dad:

Praise God, Nate's MRI is clear and he is in remission. This is truly an awesome thing that God has done. Nate has been through so much, but keeps bouncing back thanks to our LORD. He will get MRIs every three months for the next two years. His cancer is aggressive and could pop back up at any time in the next five years, so continued prayers are critical. We are so very thankful for all of your prayers, and want everyone to know that we serve a very big God. God can take even the smallest percent of survival and perform a miracle. It has been a long road and will continue to be, but today we are victorious. Please continue to pray for the cancer to stay away and for him to recover physically with his walking, talkingan and cognitive skills. May God bless you all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

From Nate's Dad

Please pray for Nate today. He is having his MRI this morning (Monday), and we should hear the results by Tuesday afternoon. We are praying that everything is normal and no cancer is in little Nate's body, a complete eradication of the cancer. This has been a very up and down road, but God has been here all along. We know HE hears our cries and that HE is good. Please LORD help Nate today, hear our cries for YOUR healing upon him. Amen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

From Connor's Daddy

an update from Tait:

It was Connors birthday on Oct 2nd -he would have been 9 years old. Now that it has been three months since his passing, my family and I are now just waking up.

I don't update much, with Joy's wonderful thoughts in words. But wanted to write and share with you the peace we have in the midst of this "sucker punch" we took on July 10 2009.

The only way I can describe this journey is: "Holes and Shadows".
Holes where the dreams of a Son growing up in our family are gone....

Shadows where he WAS and where he graced us for eight and a half wonderful years....

The peace from God has surpassed all understanding and we as a family are experiencing it daily. Dont get me wrong -this is the hardest thing we have and probably ever will go through. But, we know that our Lord is here and walking with us in this valley. And, we thank you for walking with us.......

2 Samuel 7
18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said:
"Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? ..."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Update from Connor's Mommy

"Did I arrange the light of your first day?
Did I create the rhythm your heart makes?
Could you believe when your candle starts to fade?
I want to be the One that you believe
Could take it all away, take your heart away

Was I there for the worst of all your pain?
And was I there when your blue skies ran away?
Was I there when the rains were flooding you off your feet?
Those were My tears falling down for you, falling down for you

I'm the One that you've been looking for
I'm the One that you've been waiting for
I've had My eyes on you ever since you were born
I will love you after the rain falls down
I will love you after the sun goes out
I'll have My eyes on you after the world is no more"

I was listening to this song when I was running last Friday on Connor's birthday. I couldn't help but think of Connor. The words of this song "After the World" by Disciple just rang so true for me. God arranged for the light of Connor's first day. He created the rhythm that his heart made. He was there for Connor when the sun set on Connor's little life on earth and He'll be there for him when this world is no more.

I know that for all of us, God has a purpose. For some of us, we will have to live a long life to fulfill that purpose. For others, like Connor, our purpose doesn't require a long life.

In Sunday School, our teacher was talking about Jesus' purpose on earth. His ministry started at the age of 30 and he had about 3 1/2 years until his death on the cross and resurrection to complete his purpose on earth. He had to pack a whole life of ministry into 3 1/2 years. I never really thought about how much He accomplished in such a SHORT time.

Our teacher also mentioned how John the Baptist was always preparing the way for the Messiah in his messages to the crowds that followed his teachings. At one point, he introduced Jesus to the crowd of people and baptized Him. God spoke to the crowd at this time, announcing that Jesus was his son. Shortly after, John was imprisoned and executed. He had fulfilled his purpose of leading the way for Jesus.

When I think of Connor, I know that God fashioned him in my womb 9 years ago and He had a plan for him before time began. God had a plan and a purpose for Connor and he carried out his purpose in such an outstanding way. I can just imagine God saying to him, "You got your job done, so you get to come HOME early."

I ask myself today "How well am I carrying out His purpose in my life?" Will I have just a few short years to carry out my purpose or will I have a long life to pursue this? Either way, I want to do my job well, just like Connor.

Always believing,
Joy Cruse

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nate Update!!

Yippee! Great news on Nate!

Update on Nate - 10/08/2009 - From Jackie (his Mom)

""Nate is having a great week. He has just gradually made improvements since his last visit with the doctor. We are thankful that he hasn't gotten the flu since Wes and Jake just got over a case of the flu. I disinfected all weekend and Nate, Luke and I lived downstairs away from Daddy and Jake. Anyway, we are thankful for his strength and joy right now and ask that you pray with us as we are about a week away from an MRI on October 19. We love you all!!!!""

Monday, October 5, 2009

HIS Glory!

...this is still what we are seeking! Obviously, I would prefer that it come sooner, rather than later.

As you might remember, last week, I had only three seizures in eight days!!! Praise Jesus! The energy I had was amazing and it felt great. In the last eight days, I have had 42. I'm only ten shy of how many I had the entire month of September and it's only October the 5th. Yes, I'm tired. It wears me out...However, I keep holding to the Word of the Lord, that this is for HIS glory.

I think back to John 9:32-33, that no one had ever been healed of blindness until Jesus healed that man. Glory be to Jesus!!! According to the docs, there is no other person in the world that has the same kind of epilepsy as me. Lovely, right? All of the surgeries they wanted to do, they can't because my seizures are so deep in my brain. None of the medications are working to make me seizure free. Even on the highest doses of meds, I averaged up to six per day. That is better than the 25 per day before meds. However, it's still a lot.

The Ketogenic diet is helping as I've been able to reduce my meds dramatically (a major goal of the diet as it works to actually heal the brain; therefore, decreasing the need for meds), but I am still having seizures. Last month was the best ever, I averaged 1.75 per day!!! The doctors have literally said they don't know what to do in this situation. They are just hoping to stumble upon the right answer.

However, my hope is in the LORD! He created me in my mother's womb and knew this would start in my life in March 2006. He also knows the day of completion!! Please, LORD, may it be soon!

I just beg of each of you, to believe with me, with us, that this is for HIS glory and that HIS glory will be revealed and revealed soon. Also, that it will be revealed through miraculous healing!!! May it be, LORD!!!

The Marketing Major in me, can't post without a picture:

Matthew 18:20-Where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there with them!!