Thursday, July 10, 2008

Freedom and Forgiveness

Last week we went to the lake to allow Iane to be free! We thought it would be best to prepare Tanner, so we told him on Monday that we would be bringing Iane (Tanner's name for the duck - we pronounced it Ian) to the lake on Thursday. Tanner wanted to bring him right then! I tried to convince him to wait, but, no. So, we gathered up our cameras & headed to the lake. As we walked Tanner told us "Iane is SO excited, he's excited to live at the lake!" Iane, on the other hand, did not appear to be as excited (despite plenty of exposure to water and swimming). Here' s a short video of Tanner encouraging Iane to get in the lake.
Since Iane wouldn't get in, Tanner decided he needed to show Iane how to swim (I didn't include that entertaining video). Finally, Iane felt comfortable in the lake and found a nice spot to hang out and eat. As we walked back home, I was very teary, but Tanner maintained his excitement that Iane was free and happy. I kept waiting for him to be upset, but, it didn't happen, and I wished I could respond that way.

Another day last week, Tanner and I were doing some school work, trying to keep up during the summer. He was having difficulty recalling some words, and I was becoming frustrated and sad. He was tired of doing schoolwork and started talking back and cried when he was reprimanded. Then, I started crying and we sat crying together. I told him I was sorry for getting so upset and he signed "I forgive you" and was ready to play a game together. Wow...that's not how I respond when someone wrongs me! I want to stay upset for a while, make sure they remember that they harmed me in some way, but, not Tanner. His example of forgiving is so much more Christ-like.

I am reminded daily through the amazing blessing of Tanner, to be thankful and happy for what God has given me.. right now.. today; to forgive and move on, because there's something better to do than to ruminate and hold onto things; and to love life right now, because it's better than any other gift we could imagine.

Despite these reminders, there have definitely been some struggles as well. I recently heard the song on the radio "Jesus Bring the Rain" and decided I don't want to ask for that anymore. I'd rather have sunshine and life without the painful, unknown future. But, I love that our Father accepts that - not only accepts it, but welcomes my sadness, frustration and anger and lets me sit with that and helps me get through it until I can say those words again "And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain." And if it's not tomorrow, He'll wait with me until the next day, or the next, or next week, or next month, however long it takes, because He's strong enough to handle my pain and insecurities! What a tremendous Father that is constantly offering me freedom and forgiveness, and without that, how incredibly lost I would be!

Here are a couple of things we would appreciate your prayers for:
First, Tanner's headaches have recently returned. This is what precipitated the doctors visits that led to the leukodystrophy diagnosis. He had headaches (migraines) for 6 weeks before we were able to get medication at a correct dose that helped get rid of them. Well, the headaches seem to have started again 3 days ago. He still goes on wanting to play and is happy, and is not a complainer, but, definitely does not feel well. Please pray for the headaches to subside and that we won't need to continue to increase the medicine. We were hoping to wean him off of it this summer, but, that looks like it won't be happening.
Second, we would appreciate your prayers for us. It's hard to know when Tanner is very emotional, or not focusing, not paying attention, etc., whether that is him being a boy, his medication, or the leukodystrophy. So, it's really difficult to know whether to continue to encourage him and push him, or to let things be. It's a hard place to be and very frustrating for both of us.

So, to end on a happier note, here are a few pictures from last week.

Tanner and Jon are enjoying the pool at our friends house on 4th of July. We had a fun time swimming, eating, playing games, and singing Happy Birthday!

Relaxing and waiting to see fireworks with Kyle & Audra.

We had a great time visiting the Brayton Fire School with a friend, her husband and their grandchildren. Tanner loved being a fireman and especially loved watching the fires!

Thank you again for your love and prayers that help to sustain us.

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