2017-01-17 - January 16th
Philippians 1:3 (NIV) I thank my God every time I remember you.
A year ago today, after a normal January 15th, my husband and fellow devotional writer Richard was suddenly struck down by the devastating and life-changing illness, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. With GBS’ normal modus operandi of no warning and sudden paralysis, we were blindsided, and our world was turned upside-down. He went overnight from being a healthy and active man, to being totally physically dependent. I had the honor of being his only personal caregiver, and I’m thankful that I stayed healthy to do that! Some of you readers have been supportive with prayers, caring notes and patience with “encores,” and I want to thank you for that. We've even made some new friends during this process (with a special shout-out to V, with her amazingly timed notes and continuing friendship which has even moved to Facebook, too). I also want to update you all. I’m very thankful to be able to tell you that, as our neurologists said would happen, GBS gradually has been letting go of him, the temporary paralysis did subside, and he is now about 95% better! The Physical Therapy doesn’t speed up the healing of GBS, but it has prepared his muscles, as he walks and drives again. We are very thankful for his recovery and ability to do everyday things. We have always appreciated quiet, routine, normal days and activities. But if possible, we do even more, now.
Last Summer, our family doctor said "next year, this will all be like a bad dream," and in some ways, that is true. It was a year that seemed like 10, but we’ve learned and relearned some things during this year. Today, I would like to speak to one of those issues. Richard and I have always tried to be sensitive to the needs of the disabled, and have helped when the opportunity was before us; that is just how God made us, so I'm not taking credit. But still, until you are “walking in those shoes" yourself or with a loved one, you can’t fully understand. We have a new appreciation for and concern for those who are living in our society with special needs. What I ask of you, dear readers, is that you pray for those dealing with both physical and mental challenges. If someone makes a joke at their expense, please don’t laugh; please take up for them and ask the person to refrain from doing that in the future. If you see someone harming them (like the horrific incident in Chicago), please let the authorities know, and support the victim as they recover. Incidents such as those are life-affecting. Provide help with things they can’t do, and encourage them to do things they can do for themselves. It can happen to any of us, and those of us who are normally-abled need to be intentional about supporting those who are differently-abled! They are just like us. They ARE us. They have gifts to use in God’s Kingdom, and we can encourage that. Offer practical help when it's needed, whether running errands, providing food (but ask ahead in case of special diets etc.), taking the patient to a doctor's appointment if you are able - or whatever is needed, that you can do.
Thank you all again, and I would love to hear about your experiences, as you are encouragers and enablers (in the good sense) of those whom some would mock or ignore. As Martin Luther King, Jr said, "We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."
Janice P. Moser