The free fall has ended.
In the span of 11 days, our 19 year old son Joshua, went from being in the hospital (“you are too sick to treat at home” on Monday) to being admitted into Palliative Care (“you are not going to get better” on Friday) to Hospice Care (“you are going to die” on Tuesday) to being admitted into a Hospice Home (“you are dying now” on Thursday.)
I brushed my teeth three times in those 11 days. Maybe.
Today is Wednesday. Tonight is our 5th night here at this beautiful Hospice Home.
Now that the free fall has ended, I have had a little time to think.
I am living with my child in a place dedicated to dying.
This home is dedicated to life, but the reality of death is all too real.
The cries of heartache ring loud and clear.
A bedroom full of the living is empty and lifeless as I walk to the coffee machine in the morning. A kick to the gut could not impact me more.
Still, hospice is not about dying, it’s about living, living well until it’s time to die.
The commitment of the staff runs deep and wide. Josh is being given the opportunity to live well through the gift of extraordinarily high doses of pain medication being pumped into him through a thin needle in his abdomen 24 hours a day. At this time, his debilitating pain and the struggle for breath are not hindering his life, even though the dying process marches on at a pace that makes me tremble. Josh’s pain and breathlessness have been rendered (as of this time) less potent. The gift of this place has given us the “few days” I longed and prayed for one week ago tonight.
And you know what?
We’re sitting on the front porch of heaven.
We are alive and well in the Presence of God, all seven of us. This is a family affair of staggering proportions. What God has done in our hearts and set into motion in the hearts of others is evidence of his power, might and love.
Thanks to you, we are surrounded—walking 2 feet off the ground because of your prayers.
The time we are sharing is precious, priceless and life-giving.
It’s a Psalm 23 kind of week and the Shepherd is in pursuit of us all.
Josh has had a year of pain. Unbelievable pain. I’ve lost count of our nights in the hospital…something like 86. Pray for an effortless, peaceful passage into the arms of Jesus.
Pray we are unafraid – all of us. Josh, for what is before him. Us, for what is to come.
Pray for the Glory of God to be revealed for Kingdom ripples above and beyond!
This is a ministry dedicated to work and rest and the time we spend doing both. Field-tested material (Promise Land: Rest Redefined~Rest Rediscovered) was to be released this Labor Day to all who subscribe. It still will be at some time. It is so close to being done. God recently hit the pause button, however, when our 19 year old son, Joshua, was diagnosed with Hepatopulmonary Syndrome. It’s a rare complication of liver disease that destroys the lungs. A liver transplant is the only treatment. Josh is not a candidate because he was born with Sickle Cell Anemia. We were told in May, Josh had 24 months to live. Through a series of complications and a fire where we live, Josh began a rapid descent on August 2. It hit high gear on August 14. Josh was placed in Hospice Care on August 20. The ministry, the material, the timing is in his hands. It always has been. If you sign up for the blog, I’d love to send it your way. Here’s how it begins.
Rest is not a reward.
You can’t earn it.
You don’t deserve it.
It’s a given. Part of a plan. Free of charge and full of grace, poured out from the heart of God.
Rest comes to us signed, sealed, delivered. But it is rejected. Neglected. Again and again.
Are you numbered in those ranks?
We all are—if we’re honest.
We are made for more, yet settle for less.
This website launched in March 2013. The If rest is a topic that grabs your heart, we’d like to encourage you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. Along the way, we’ve encouraged folks to read the first 12-weeks of posts found in the archives. (But no rush. Go slow.) Start with Week 1 (from March). Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.
Brenda Jank is a thought leader in the arena of Restorative Wellness. Find additional resources and support for yourself and those you love, lead and serve at www.RunHardRestWell.org