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Beauty for Ashes

Our first Thanksgiving in Texas was quite memorable, but not because of a festive dinner. We were in the emergency room with our infant son and eventually learned that he had suffered from a stroke.

In the months to follow, we saw its impact on his little body. The left side had been affected entirely. While we recognized that it could have been a lot worse, we were struggling to count our blessings at that time.

Our lives felt a like a heap of ashes.

What was most noticeable was how our son’s left hand was constantly closed in a fist. In fact, we had to pry it open and so we began our journey with Occupational Therapy. The different therapists we have had over the years worked diligently to teach exercises to strengthen his left hand and help it become functional.

Just a few weeks ago, as my son and I waited in line at the grocery store, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Behind us stood the very first therapist who worked with Jonathan in our new home. And she was dumbfounded as she gazed at the young man besides me who she last saw as a baby.

That encounter caused me to reflect on what a journey the past twelve years have been. In spite of the brokenness, one thing that remained constant was God’s faithfulness. We were blessed by each therapist who encouraged our son. We have seen our son work tirelessly to use his left side to the best of his ability. And to God be the glory for the things He has done! I was able to witness my son using both hands last week as he practiced cutting with utensils.

Beauty.

As we are immersed in this season of thanksgiving, I understand that some of you may feel as if there isn’t much to be thankful for. In fact, your present circumstances make you feel as if your life is falling apart. God has a word for you my Friend. He will give you “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (You) will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Thank You God for this amazing exchange even we don’t think such is possible. 

~Joyce

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