Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nothing can separate us from the love of God...

In an attempt to update this evening, seems as though not much has changed with Jenny. A report today from our aunt who is with her this week read:

"Working her little heart out! Breathing and exercising to get better! GVH on skin is better....Praise God for his grace and mercy!"

We are so thankful her skin GVHD seems to be clearing; this probably means she's a little more comfortable. Breathing seems to be the same. Jenny is going to exercise classes nearly every day to improve and strengthen lung function. The docs will wait another week (next Thursday, August 2nd) to run tests on lung function in order to give the meds enough time to take effect.

Please join us in praying that the Lord will use these meds to strengthen her lungs and improve her condition. Please continue to pray that God will give her comfort and peace and use this time and this struggle to draw her and those around her closer to Himself.

Some great verses for Jenny and us sent from our uncle Keith last night:

(Side note: I chose the title for this post from one of the truths listed below...Nothing - no disease, no affliction, no scheme of man, no height, no depth, nothing in all of space or time - NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Whew. Now that's a truth worth hanging your hat on.)

“MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR lack of knowledge.” (Hos. 4:6)
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
I am God's child
John 15:15 “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
I am Jesus’ friend
1 Cor. 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
I am united with the Lord and one spirit with Him
1 Cor. 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
I have been bought with a price; I belong to God
Eph. 1:4-5 Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child
Col. 1:13-14 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
I have been redeemed and forgiven for all my sins
Col. 2:9-10 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and he is the head over all rule and authority.
I am complete in Christ
Rom. 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
I am free forever from condemnation
Rom. 8:35-39 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I cannot be separated from the love of God
2 Cor. 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God
Col. 3:3-4 For you have died and your life in hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
I am hidden with Christ in God and will be revealed with Him in glory
Phil. 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
I know that the good work God has begun in me will be completed
Phil. 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am a citizen of heaven
John 15:16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
I have been appointed and chosen to bear fruit that will last
1 Cor. 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
I am a temple of God indwelt by His Spirit
Eph. 2:6 …and raised us up with Him, and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm
Eph. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
I am made by God and equipped by Him for His great purpose
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
I can do all He asks because He supplies the power to do it

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Battle Wages On

As the post title would lead you to believe, Jen is still very much in a battle against the diseases that are waging war on her body. She contracted graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) post-transplant, which surprised no one and is to be expected in many cases. GVHD manifests itself through a wide range of difficulties- with skin rashes at one end of the spectrum and organ failure at the other, more severe, end. Jennifer experienced a skin rash and issues with her gut (both GVHD-related) through the spring and both were thought to be under control after a regimen of treatments. Unfortunately, both have come back, more so the rash than the GI tract issues, and are making Jen quite uncomfortable.

A couple of weeks ago, Jennifer went in to have her lungs tested. At her 100-day post-transplant appointment, her lung function was registering poorly and the doc wanted to test it again. This go-round lung function was down to 25% capacity. After what seemed to be a clear CT scan, the docs concurred that GVHD has entered into the tiny air passageways that feed into her bronchial sacs. (The presumption is because the GVHD is in such a small area, a CT scan could not pick it up and therefore presented clear.) In the lungs, GVHD takes on a new name: BOS (bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome) and can be terminal. The docs decided to begin Jennifer on a new regimen of meds- a clinical trial called FAM. These are anti-inflammatory steroids that should help her air passageways stay open so that she can exhale properly. You see, inhaling is not the problem. She can take a good, deep breath just the same as you and me. It's the exhaling that proves to be tricky. By pursing her lips together, she can force air out but anyone that has ever had trouble with their breathing (for any reason) can attest to it being a scary, uncomfortable thing. In some cases, FAM has proven to reverse damage done by BOS and in a few it has treated the BOS completely.

Now it is a matter of time waiting to see the effect the meds will have on Jen's condition. It can be a frightening, anxiety-laden day-to-day but once again we turn our eyes to Jesus and ask for the comfort, peace, and healing that only he can give. And, O Lord, in your mercy and graciousness we beg you to use this for your glory. Glorify yourself in the life and struggle of Jennifer. Bring her, as well as those impacted by her journey, closer to yourself. Oh, that you would be honored, that you would be glorified, that your name, the name greater than all others, would be praised, lifted high and adored. That you would be seen as a loving, caring, just and sovereign God deserving of all our worship, adoration and praise. This is our prayer. Whether you choose to heal Jennifer on earth or in eternity, let our hearts rest knowing that you hold it all in your hands, and it is all GOOD. We love you, and we thank you for your matchless love towards us.

Words and Music by Helen H. Lemmel

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion -
For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.

His Word shall not fail you - He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace