Hello dear friends of the Lietzau family. This is Marla, guest blogging tonight so that Melody can get some much needed rest after another big day.
To start off, I want to extend two huge thank yous - first, a thank you to the entire Lietzau family for their humility, courage, grace, honesty, vulnerability, generosity and faith not only in stepping confidently into these good plans that the Lord has chosen for their lives, but also in sharing their fears, their struggles, their victories, and their uncertainties with so many. And secondly, a thank you to those of you who have committed to linking arms with these friends and who have already sacrificed for their sake. Thank you for being willing to enter into suffering and learn how to grieve, to hope, to trust, and to pray with this family. Thank you for loving these friends more than you love your own comfort and safety. May we all press on in this good work and excel still more as we become extensions of the love and grace we have received in Christ.
Here are the updates from today that I got from Mel.
-Noah's ECHO today came back unchanged. She said everything looked the same.
-There were some changes Hannah's EKG, so they gave her a Holter monitor (portable EKG monitor) to wear for 24 hours.
-Melody went to Urgent Care because she has been experiencing dizziness for the last two days. She is back home after finding out that she has some fluid in her middle ear.
This is what is coming next.
-Noah has his appointment with the transplant team at UCLA on August 9.
-If everything looks good with Hannah's 24 hour monitor, she will have a follow up appointment in three months.
-Mel will be going in next month for an ECHO.
-Jonah will go for an ECHO in 2 months for an initial visit
This is how we can be praying.
-Pray for Mel - that in the coming days and months the Lord would sustain and strengthen her as she continues to walk along the path marked out for her. Pray, too, for this ear problem - she isn't able to take decongestants, so she'll be taking antihistamine and ibuprofen to try to get rid of this! Pray that it clears up quickly and that she would have patience with herself and with others as she is physically weak.
-Pray for Noah - that the Lord would keep this boy's heart strong enough to live life with his family and friends, that he would stay out of the hospital, and that as he anticipates this heart transplant and all that it will entail he would have a growing understanding of the reality that Christ had to die in order that he might have new life.
-Pray for Hannah - that these changes they saw on her EKG would be shown to be nothing after this 24 hour heart monitor and that God would strengthen her little heart and keep it functioning as it should.
-Pray for Jonah - that he would be protected from fear as he enters his own test in a couple of months, and that it would ultimately show that his heart is healthy.
-Pray for Jason - that God would be near to him, shepherding him as he tries to shepherd his family well. Pray that he would have wisdom and courage to be an advocate for the good of his family, and pray that the Lord would provide richly for all of his needs as he works hard to provide for the needs of his family.
I'm so thankful that we can be a people who have more than just a glimmer of hope. In all of these things, we abound in hope!
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us...For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God...Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness...And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose...What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" (excerpts from Romans 8:18-31)
There is comfort in the assurance of the presence and purpose of God. He leads his children directly. He hasn't hired any extra help to lead and guide us, to discipline and refine us, to comfort and encourage us - he does it directly. Like the old hymn says so well, "He leadeth me, he leadeth me, by his own hand he leadeth me! His faithful follower I would be, for by his hand he leadeth me."
Father, help us to follow faithfully as you enable us to trust that it is, indeed, your good and gracious hand that leads us.