Betsy just left me at the Ronald McDonald House to go see Ned and meet her college roommate at the hospital to let her see Ned. I am getting ready to pack just a few things up as I am going to return to Charlotte tomorrow morning to go back to work for a few days, then will join her at the hospital to see him before I leave for a few days. Ned is still stable, and the great doctors here at UNC can't really tell us when the heart surgery will be yet, and Betsy has convinced me that she will be OK here for a few days without me hovering over her, trying to carry her bags, and drive her around. It really pains me, and scares me, to leave, but my vacation time at work will probably be put to better use a little further down the road. Work has given me pretty much all the unpaid time off I need, but everyone knows how that could turn out! While Betsy and Jack went to bed last night, I stayed up and did some laundry here at RMH (b/c all my Duke shirts were dirty!), and chose to do some Bible study and reading as opposed to zoning out in front of the TV in the den here. Isn't it such a blessing when we give our time back to God! I'll have to say my prayer life has really come a long way since all this started. He reminds me again and again that he will do whatever I will allow Him to do. Anyway, Christ really spoke to me during that time, and I wanted to pass along some scripture he directed me to while I was studying and praying. It was so strange because one of these scriptures I have had posted on my monitor at work for years, and I pretty much read the words every day, but I REALLY read them last night. I was sitting at the table in the kitchen at RMH just flipping through the Bible thinking should I read ahead of my Saturday morning Bible study in Genesis?, or should I finish where I left off in Job?, or should I read this or that, and God pointed me to Isaiah. I read the first 8 chapters, where God is really warning them of the things to come, and how wicked they had ended up being. I started feeling like, God, I know I've sinned in my life, and I'm still sinning even today, please don't hold that against little Ned. I ended up in chapters 40, 41, and this is what I ended up claiming for my SONS. My prayer is that it will comfort those of you reading this with what ever is going on in your life, as much as it has comforted me. Isaiah 40:31 says "But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk, and not faint." I could just imagine how I will feel when the good Lord finally allows us to bring that little boy home, and how I will feel when he and Jack and Margaret are finally together and probably fighting like siblings do. Even though we all sin and fall short of what He wants us to be doing, he forgives and forgets, and is ready to bless us so powerfully if we will only let him. The next verse I claimed for Ned is Isaiah 41:9-10 that says "I have called you back from the ends of the earth so you can SERVE ME. For I have CHOSEN YOU and will not throw you away. Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." These words from God are going to be plenty to allow me to be at peace with leaving my wife and child here. Plus, He has already blessed us with Jack waiting for me at home, and so many family and friends.
I just want to say the most sincere thank you I can to all of you for your emails, comments on this blog, and phone calls. Sometimes I feel like Betsy and I are fighting to see who can be the first one at the laptop when we return from the hospital to see all the comments and emails you guys are sending. God has also blessed us with so many family and friends that actually live right here in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, and I want to say thank you to ya'll too, for making us really feel like we can call on you for a meal together, a chat, a visit, or even a place to sleep at night. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I'm going to quit now. Betsy will be back to confiscate her laptop from me, and I'm sure post another blog to update everyone on Ned's status, and post her own highlights from her time with our Lord. Please continue to pray for our little boy, Jack, and Betsy, as well as for Robin, Greg, and Margaret, Linda and Billy, who have also turned their lives upside down to help us. Who knows, maybe we'll be finished with our house soon, and we'll have somewhere to bring little Ned home to!