Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ivy Bush Update

Hi folks, all three of you who are reading this! First of all, I want to thank those of you who have prayed for my father. He is better. There were about six weeks where things were really unsettled in my family. My father has a history of trigeminal neuragia, going back 25 years. He has had several surgeries to try to help him - at Duke, Pittsburgh, Charleston, and Texas Tech -- none of which have actually helped relieve the pain. The best he has been able to do is to treat it with medication. Most of the time, the medication enables him to get by and function somewhat normally, although he has always had good days and bad days. About five years ago, he had a major flare up that shook him up pretty badly and lasted for about 6 weeks, but since that time, he has been managing with the help of medication. Well, beginning in mid October of this year and going through the end of November, he had another long, bad stretch. He was in and out of the emergency room and hospital over and over and over again. After spending a couple of weeks in the hospital at one point, he was admitted to a rehab center to regain his strength. After a couple of days there, they realized that they could not provide the care that he needed, and they sent him back to the hospital in an ambulance. But the hospital would not admit him, and my mother could not take care of him at home..... That was the scariest feeling of all - not knowing anywhere that could provide care for him. Well, that day we took him home, and the children took shifts staying with him and mother. He got better. After seeing another specialist in Charleston, (and changing medicine several times) he got bettter again. We had a pretty good Thanksgiving, and Mother and Dad even went to church last week. But there for a while, my family was feeling helpless and vulnerable and desperate. During all this chaos, I managed to perform my pastoral duties (mainly on weekends) and spend some time on and off in Greenville SC. The Lord is good, and God sustains us when we don't know where our strength is going to come from. I have prayed through this many times with families in the congregations I have served, and I felt it bubbling up within me when my own family was going through its time of trial. Well, enough of personal stuff....

I actually had stopped blogging before all this started happening. I'm not sure why. I just didn't feel the urge to blog. I think I will return to it one day, but I'm not sure when. I think that maybe I stopped blogging about the time I started facebook, and maybe I'm not coordinated enough to do both. So many events have happened in the world and the church over the last few months that I haven't blogged about. Like the election of Barack Obama, for example. I remember being in Greenville, SC the night his election was announced. I cried and cried. I'm not sure if it was because of Barack Obama being elected, or because I had just left my father in a rehab center where I suspected that they were not going to be able to take care of him. On that night, I left my mother at the rehab center with my Dad, and I headed back to their house to get some sleep. Exhausted, I collapsed in Dad's reclining chair, but I woke up in time to watch Obama's speech from Grant Park. Tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of fear. Just tears. I don't always understand myself. But I was supposed to stop talking about personal stuff..... I

I'll leave you with a thought (it won't suprise those of you who know me): the intolerance of liberals towards Rick Warren is proof that tolerance is not a coherent category.


Jim said...

Peace be with you.

Allan R. Bevere said...


I will be praying for you and your family.

Please prayerfully consider your continued blogging at some point when you are able and willing. You have many wonderful insights to offer.

ken carter said...

hey jonathan,
i am glad you are back. merry christmas!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing with us and my prayers are with you and your family.