The weekend before last I had a fantastic and busy Saturday followed by a Sunday in bed; similarly, after an overwhelming time last Tuesday evening celebrating the work of my well-loved music teacher, I spent all day Wednesday sleeping. I’ve realised that I need to spend at least as much time in bed when I’m at home as I do when I’m in hospital!
So this weekend, after a fairly sleepy Saturday, I was really pleased to have enough energy to join my friends and family at Winchester Family Church – the church which has been home for the Wood family for thirteen years, and which has supported us all so vigorously in prayer and so persistently in many other ways over the last months.
It was surprising, and yet so typical of their generous spirit to welcome me as they did. As the applause went on, and then on some more, it was amazingly moving to look around and to see the smiling faces of just some of those who have continued to knock on heaven’s door at every little step along this journey. Whether asking God to preserve my life when it was in immediate danger, or simply thanking God for the smallest finger movement, these people – replicated many times over across the world, I know – have been faithful in prayer. They have simply not let go! And yesterday, typically, they didn’t let the occasion pass without another burst of prayer for myself and Ray Stannard. This week, as this remarkable bout of prayer continues, I would be so grateful if you were to join with me in pressing in for the following things in particular:
• Today’s ‘Goal Planning Meeting’, when Mum, Dad and I will meet with representatives of all the professionals involved in my care. It’s possible that the discharge date (currently 26th August) may be changed. I don’t mind when I’m discharged; I’d rather be walking out of hospital than being pushed in a chair! Please pray for wisdom for everyone involved. • On Saturday night I realised I was moving my right foot independently! It’s proof that the nerves are repairing themselves slowly but surely. Please pray for more nerve repair, and improved muscle strength to follow. • Improved energy levels and stamina – vital in order to help me participate fully in the therapy programme, aimed at getting me standing, then walking, independently. • That God would continue to speak to me day by day, that my spirit would be nourished, and that I would continue to know the joy of following Him on this journey, even when physically I’m not going very far!
I was struck yesterday by the faithfulness of a God who sees the end from the beginning, who allows trials into our lives but never leaves us or turns away from us. In the words of a song which I would often silently ‘sing’ along to when I was in ICU:
God of unbroken promises, always You keep Your word
Glory, grace and holiness forever to endure
You never turn or change, You never break the faith
Yesterday, today and always
Through it all You are faithful, through it all You are strong
As we walk through the shadows, still You shine on
You are faithful, Jesus You are faithful to the end
It’s not the end yet, but I have known Jesus’ faithfulness to me personally on this journey so far, and I know I can trust Him to see me through right to the very end.
With my love and thanks as always,