I am excited to report that there is light flooding into the tunnel. That darkness of the unknown can at times try to engulf us, however, today, I am excited to report a super flash of hope.
I read today where Joanne Heim (Littleton Colorado area) had a medical breakthrough regarding her medical condition and it involves my passion of communication and new media!
You see, I have been praying since January 11th, when I learned from a mutual friend that Joanne Heim (great Simple Life blogger, Christian author, wife and mother) suffered a sudden and severe stroke. Her young daughter found her in the basement shaking and an ambulance came to rush her away to the hospital where the family’s journey was about to take a drastic turn into a dark tunnel of unknowns.
There have been many ups and downs throughout the last month, seizures, brain swelling, surgery, coma, tracheotomy, monitoring of the brain activity. I have prayed for the two little girls Audrey (12) and Emma (not sure of her age) and of course, her husband, Toben who has curtailed his normal work in order to be by his beloved’s side.
It was interesting to hear Joanne’s situation mentioned on the local Moody Bible radio station that I listen to on a national program called Midday Connection. Then, apparently her blogsite registered 4,000 hits as people came to read about her and lift up prayers and comments of encouragement. Â Friends have helped with updates being posted to her blog and even set up a way in which people could help the Heims out financially since this is taking Toben away from his normal job and also anticipated to be a lengthy and costly recovery.
I totally love how the Brotherhood of Christians come together and show the Father’s love at such times!! People who are thousands of miles away, still our brothers and sisters, can be reached through this wonderful tool of the internet. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and even Skype are all powerful tools to connect with people in a way that some have viewed as too technological and therefore “cold and insensitive”. However, I disagree. This ability to communicate electronically has offered us great opportunities. That’s why I so love using it to practice my 5E’s of exalting; equipping, edifying, examining and evangelizing!!
Because of my own experiences with very rare Foreign Accent Syndrome since May 12, 2009, I am even MORE enthused about the process of communication and it’s many modes. Although I sound like a foreigner these last almost 2 years, I still count myself incredibly blessed to be able to sing and write normally. Â This condition is so rare that many doctors don’t even know what it is, let alone how to help us. Consequently, I am so driven to have Linguistic Programs and Speech Pathology and Neurology labs to examine my and others’ brain via functional MRI or other means to learn more about the truly untapped wilderness of the human brain. I KNOW that a different area of my brain is functioning when I sing than when I speak. There is much to learn and I want to help.
Now; to the fantastic news that spurred this writing. My dear sister-in-the-Lord Joanne in a Colorado hospital, has blessed her caretakers and family with one simple act (simple, to someone who has NOT had a stroke nor been a coma). Â Joanne cannot speak because of Tracheotomy and she’s had a hard time trying to use a pen and paper to write, but Toben had an idea to put an i-Pad in front of her. As she was in bed with the iPad, she utilized a doodle program and drew with her finger :
“Do we have Otter pops in the freezer at home?” A breakthrough!!! Then when therapist asked her what her favorite flavor was, she used her finger to spell out “orange”. Â A great Hallelujah moment! I became emotional as I read the news and can only imagine the unspeakable joy that her husband Toben and the witnessing Speech Therapist were experiencing. I also am most rejoicing for dear Joanne… she can communicate!! How wonderful!!
It is a sign of progress that she is allowed to eat popsicles instead of only ice chips that they had been giving her. But this added ability to communicate by the use of an iPad is outstanding!! Â She continued to write about being uncomfortably hot, and having a bit of trouble with her tracheotomy that medical staff were then able to address.
As exciting as all this news is; experience has taught me that this activity is especially draining on the brain. Â She, no doubt, will get very tired, very quickly as she takes the extra effort to communicate. So that is a continuing prayer concern; her strength, endurance and ability to STOP and rest. (If you but read her blogsite postings, you’ll see that it is not generally her nature to just stop). I do pray for her, as I do myself, to make the time to stop; be still and know that He is Lord. She has seemed to me to be a driven person to “do” things. Now, the Lord has caused her to “rest in Him” an “be” rather than “do”. Oooh, that is a lesson I have frequented a LOT myself : P
At last nights prayer meeting Bible lesson, Kurt taught us out of Â 1st John 5: 1-5 where the apostle Paul talks of being “overcomers”. Â It is through the Power of Jesus Christ that we are able to endure what appears unendurable; to more than survive a trial, but actually thrive in new ways as we come out of the other side of a dark tunnel of this world’s trials and into the Light of hope that is ours by being a Child of God and KNOWING that God promises never to leave or forsake us — He is our LIGHT through the darkness. His Word tells us these trials are “light and momentary” — not to belittle our experiences of suffering, but as a reminder that this world, in this decaying body… when viewed in light of eternity . . . is fleeting.
As I close, I invite you, my friends, Â to join prayers for Joanne’s continued healing, that the testimony of the Goodness of God be evident to all who witness their responses of God-given peace and joy in the MIDST of the trial, Â as well as praising God for his incredible mercies to her and her family.
Toben: I pray that you will share this with Joanne and the girls, so that they can know that God is at work through your situation, among His people, throughout the world. Â They will know we are Christians by our LOVE.
To read Joanne’s Blog here is the link: http://thesimplewife.typepad.com/the_simple_wife/
For updates from Toben via Twitter: @tobenheim