Instant Gratification and Formulas

  
Our culture has become so obsessed with instant gratification and three-step formulas to solve any problem. 

With the technology available to us today, we are able to find answers to just about anything in a matter of seconds. Or, we can find a formula that will lead to answers or success if only you “follow these three steps.”

We have become so conditioned to be able to have what we want when we want it, and waiting is nearly unheard of in our culture today.

Waiting is a discipline that so many of us lack. Just look at the amount of consumer debt in our country! People are impatient.

I know this mentality has leaked into my prayer life and into my expectations of God, as hard as I try to fight it.

As I pray about Tori and her healing, my thoughts often wander to wondering if there are steps I am not following…as if there are magic words that would instantly make everything better. Obviously, that is not biblical and I know that. But it happens. 

I watch her regress and I observe her pain, and my mind desperately seeks the secret code, the perfect combination of words that God is waiting to hear. And I want Him to heal her NOW, not later.

But our God isn’t like that. Our God created time and He doesn’t operate within our concept of it. The Bible tells us this:

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)

For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. (‭Psalm ‭90‬:‭4)

So, even though I want her to be healed NOW, I must trust the timing of the One who created time. The same God who created everything we see is the same one holding Tori in His hand and He knows her future. 

He isn’t a God of formulas or magic spells. His Word tells us that we are saved by FAITH through God’s infinite grace, and not by works (Ephesians 2:8). When Jesus healed in the Bible it was because the sick believed in Him and that He could do it. They had faith.

Jesus didn’t heal everyone instantly in the Bible – there are a few situations where He waited so that His power could be displayed in greater ways. Lazarus. The Centurion’s daughter. His own resurrection. The wait was always worth it.

And it is that same God to whom we entrust Tori. Whether her healing will happen here or in Heaven, we know that His timing and method are perfect, no matter how hard the time of waiting may be. 

We will pray, and we will patiently wait for Him to move.

  

Fasting, Prayer, and Vision Therapy

Today was mostly spent in silence as I tried to pray continually for Tori without distraction. Eventually I sang along to a couple of songs that were my prayers for the day  – My Heart is Yours (Passion) and Healer (Kari Jobe) – and then turned the radio back on (WordFM is always playing in our home). It was during the music time that I was brought to tears as I personalized the lyrics for Tori. 

Tori’s vision therapist, Miss Cheryl, came around 2:30pm and we confirmed that Tori likes the color yellow and loves lights.

  

Tori slept for six hours straight the last two nights so we are hoping this is her new pattern! Now that she is getting all of her calories during the day (since she isn’t throwing up), and now that we are learning how to stimulate her visually, maybe that helps. 

Today was another great day and we continue to pray for her complete healing.

  

Praying for Tori on #ToriThursday

I wrote out the points I wanted to remember to pray about and decided to share it here as well in case others needed or wanted ideas for how to specifically pray for Tori and our situation. We cannot thank you enough for continuing to pray for Victoria!

Lord, you alone are sovereign and omniscient; only you know what the future holds for our precious baby and only you have the power to change it.

Jesus – please hear our prayers today as we humbly come before you, fasting and praying for Victoria. We pray all of these things in addition to our past prayers for this situation (here and here). We so desperately want her to be victorious! If you were to heal her there would be NO doubt that it was YOU since the medical community has given her no hope and your name would be glorified around the world!

Oh Jesus, that is our cry…complete healing! She is such a joy and a gift and we asked for her for two long years…please bring her back to us. Please allow us to be her parents for the rest of our lives, to raise her and to love her. Restore her to full health and completely empty her body of Krabbe. We know that you absolutely can do this!

Jesus, these hands were once so full of life and energy; they were used to explore the world and touch things. Now she can barely move them and it breaks our hearts.

Jesus, please restore the function of her hands! Heal whatever is damaged in her nervous system…remove her pain and discomfort. Allow us to teach her to write, play piano, maybe even hockey. Allow her to have a chance to experience an abundant life here on earth with us.

Lord, your word tells us that you know every hair on her head; she is your beautiful creation!

Lord, please heal her brain; restore the damaged myelin; allow her to grow normally and develop as an eight month old should! We ask you to completely heal her brain and remove Krabbe from her body completely!

Lord, the testimony she would have of your power and love as demonstrated through her healing would change the world. It would change our families, friends, strangers. Us. That is why we pray, more than anything – for lives to be changed through Tori…for your presence and existence to be undeniable.

 Lord, these perfect little feet need to experience so much…to walk, to explore, to learn about the world around them. Jesus, please heal Tori and allow her to learn to crawl and walk. Allow her feet to be used to spread the Good News of your power, mercy, and love!

 Oh Jesus, these eyes. These gorgeous, bright, unique eyes that have brought so much joy to us and to so many others. I simply cannot bear the thought of not getting to look into them for the rest of my life! Jesus, please restore her vision so that she can enjoy the beauty of your creation! Allow her to see without any issues…restore that part of her brain so that her vision is no longer impaired!

These lips…lips that used to smile and form sounds…we haven’t seen her smile or heard her little voice in three months and it is heartbreaking.

Jesus, allow Tori to smile, babble and coo again! We miss her smile and her voice so much! She no longer has the ability to talk to us except through crying. Please restore her precious voice…use her to teach others about your goodness, love, and redemption. Allow her to sing praises to you one day! 

For Brennan and me…Please guide us and continue to give us peace no matter what your plan for Tori may be. Please correct the mutated gene in our DNA so that we can have more biological children. We long to do your will and to honor you with our choices and our lives, no matter what that might mean. But we also boldly pray that you would heal us, as well. Stop Krabbe from having any chance of occurring in our families!

More than anything, Lord, we want you to use this for YOUR Kingdom. We know that your plans are perfect and that you are good, even when we don’t understand from our earthly perspective. May your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven – no pain, no sorrow, no illness. May your kingdom come now, Lord Jesus.

We ask all of this in Jesus’ powerful name, amen.

Tori Thursday 

Thursday, April 9th is a day we have decided to set aside for prayer and fasting for Tori’s healing. Tori Thursday. 

If you would like to join us, please do. No rules about what to go without, no time expectations… however you feel led to fast is exactly how you should do it. The important thing is to humbly pray and plead with the Lord to intervene and save Tori’s life…to restore her to perfect health and function. 

There are countless verses in the Bible about fasting, but these two stood out to me the most:

David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ (‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12‬:‭22‬ NLT)

So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer. (‭Ezra‬ ‭8‬:‭23‬ NLT)

We would love to have you join us in constant prayer tomorrow (and every day, of course) while we fast and humbly seek the Lord.

Lord, hear our prayers…please heal Tori so that she can be a living testimony to your power and love!

Speechless Moments

“All of my life, in every season, you are still God and I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship.” – The Desert Song (Hillsong)

Today has been one of those days where even looking at Tori as I hold her makes my heart break. 

 

I study every detail of her perfect, beautiful face so that I can never forget her features. I gaze into her stunningly gorgeous eyes and plead with God to let me look into them for the rest of my life. I hold her tightly, hoping that I can hold onto her forever.

I beg Him to restore her, to remove this horrific disease from her body and heal her brain. In desperation, I cling to her and try to savor every moment, knowing that there may come a day when I cannot hold her any longer.

And strangely, it is in those moments of desperation that I find it easiest to pray. 

Often, during daily life with Tori, I am left speechless, unable to pray for my precious daughter. Words fail my broken heart and in those moments I am so thankful that not only are tens of thousands praying for Tori, but the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26) when we don’t know what to pray.

I cannot imagine losing her, even though I know that without God’s intervention we will. Medically speaking, it is a fact.

But, I also know that we serve a mighty God, a God who raised people from the dead and healed the sick. The same God who created everything in the universe loves me, loves Brennan, loves Tori. He spoke the universe into existence and there is nothing He cannot do!

Nothing can separate us from His amazing love. Even when we don’t understand His plan or why He is allowing things to happen, we can rest assured knowing that His love for us is unending!

The joy we have because of the love of Jesus (and the love He is showing us through all of you) eases our pain and allows us to smile and make the most of our time with Tori. Both the joy we experience and the grief and pain that creep into our hearts at times leave us speechless, and it is then that we feel the Lord’s presence the most.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭26-28, 38-39‬ NLT)

Please continue to plead with God on Tori’s behalf. Pray for complete restoration and a miraculous healing here on earth! 

Pray that the mutated gene that Brennan and I possess would vanish so that we can continue to build our family and Tori can have brothers and sisters without fear of Krabbe.

And please pray for the other Krabbe families…we are all in the same unimaginable and undesired boat. We don’t just want a miracle for Tori, but for all of the living Krabbe babies as well. 

Our God is able!

The Results of Being Thankful…

Yesterday, our pastor was discussing prayer and worship (1 Timothy 2: 1-8), and he said something that I had never thought about. Since I’ve been in church my entire life, it’s always great when God uses familiar Scripture to teach me something new!

Ephesians 5: 1- 4:

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

Instead. This is how you could live, but instead, “let there be thankfulness…”

Paul is saying something so simple, yet so profound:
If we are thankful, it will be much harder to sin.

Think about it:

  • If we are thankful for all that God has done, we will love Him and no other false gods.
  • If we are thankful for our spouse, we won’t cheat.
  • If we are thankful for our job, we won’t be lazy.
  • If we are thankful for our “neighbors” and family, we will love selflessly and won’t harm them.
  • If we are thankful for what God has provided, we won’t covet/steal what others have.
  • If we are thankful for the mercy that God has shown us, we will show mercy to those around us more freely.
  • If we are thankful, we won’t be selfish.

I did a quick word study to see where the word “thankful” or “thanks” appears in the Bible, and this is what I found:

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,  and keep the vows you made to the Most High…giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. (Psalm 50:14, 23a)

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2)
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7)
  • When we are thankful, we recognize that God is the provider of everything we have, which also humbles us.
  • When we are thankful for what we have, we are less likely to sin.
  • When we are thankful, we recognize that apart from God, we can do nothing…that He alone is God and we are merely human.
Sometimes being thankful is a natural response, and sometimes it is a sacrifice (as we see throughout Psalms) because it goes against our human nature and how we feel at the moment. Nevertheless, God is pretty clear about this concept: Be thankful ALWAYS, even when you don’t feel like it.