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Sunday, June 10, 2007

11 down, looking toward 12

Jeseca Graves smelling roses at the Butterfield Bed & Breakfast
I make it a point to do something special with Jes each year on our anniversary. In years past we've visited Maui, Lake Tahoe, Vail, Laguna Beach, Palm Springs, etc, and always in the finest accomodations we could afford. This year I thought we'd stay a few nights at L'Auberge Del Mar Resort & Spa. Jes thought otherwise, and we found ourselves at the charming Butterfield Bed & Breakfast in Julian, CA. It turned out to be the ideal place to go on a day when we needed the utmost privacy.

The day started out with a great breakfast served by the owners of the place. Immediately following, we went back to our suite and prayed, talked and cried for more than an hour. I told her that earlier in the morning, before breakfast, I spent some time talking to God about her, and why I needed her to stay. I learned a lot about myself in that conversation. As I listed all of my reasons, God was prodding me for more, almost as if He were saying, "Is that it?" He was telling me that I can love her more than I do now. I can.

We also decided to write down all of the things we want to do when she's better. Visioning, per se. It was good for us to look ahead to the good we expect to come. Shortly afterward, we took a drive through the countryside and admired the wild turkeys and deer roaming the nearby hills, then headed into town for lunch.

The afternoon came with two occasions when Jes couldn't breathe while trying to sleep, and we both wondered if her time here was over. I can only guess that it was all of the prayer offered on our behalf that kept her going. And without a doubt, had we gone to L'Auberge, we would never have had the intimate moments spent together in the car talking about the life we have led as a married couple. She's always right...Julian was the right place to go...where we could meet God on the mountain.

We're home now. I must admit I hoped everything would change yesterday; that I would wake up today and see Jes as she used to be. That she would be able to sleep without gasping for air every two minutes. That her beautiful blue eyes would look the same again, and that her vision would not be so impaired. That she would have gained back the 30 pounds she's lost. And of course, that the cancer that has ravaged most of her body would no longer be visible.

Nothing has changed. In fact, I just had to pray for her heart to slow down so she can sleep. Does that mean anything other than that I still have to get on my knees and ask God for another day with her? It's an exercise in futility to try to figure God out, but how can I question Him? God says to me just as He said to Job, "Would you condemn me to justify yourself?"

I can't do that. I have asked Him for help in understanding why we must continue in this fight, but I just can't say that He is wrong. He knows best. What else is there to say?

So many of you have joined in our fight. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for praying with us on Saturday. Please know that we are praying for God to rain down His blessings upon you. That's the best and only way we know to repay you for your kindness, support, and prayers.

And now, we fight on.

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7 Comments:

Blogger harriet said...

Dearest Jon and Jeseca,
Your love and situation touches my heart. Please know that we are here for you and can have many people praying for you quickly. I check my e-mails every three to four hours 24/7. We are a Christian ministry, our only purpose is to serve and be a conduit for prayer. Many of our prayer partners are cancer survivors... They understand and know too well the path you are on.
You already have the most important essentials...your faith in God and love for each other.
Treasure each moment together.

God Bless you both...
Harriet

www.disabilitiesministries.com
Harrietannw@aol.com

2:49 PM  
Blogger bluetaterbaby said...

Jon, Jes, & Family:

Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I am so thankful that the two of you were able to celebrate your 11th anniversary. The blog was wonderful. I can just envision what a beautiful place it was. It's the simple things that make life so great. I thank God for the complete healing of Jes and for supplying all the needs of the family.

11:48 PM  
Blogger bluetaterbaby said...

Jon:

I love the picture of Jes. She is so beautiful and looks so peaceful.

I have an idea that might help Jes sleep better. Has she tried a bipap machine that is used by people who suffer from sleep apnea?
My friend uses one each night and no longer stops breathing during sleep. I hope this helps.

Prayers are always there for all of you.

God bless

12:39 AM  
Anonymous janie said...

Congratulations on your 11th wedding anniversary. PTL! Even though I (among others, I'm sure) was concerned of your trip to Julian at this time in Jes's frailty; away from home, the boys, the family, and your doctors, You were in my prayers throughout the trip. I knew it was an important time for the two of you to be together. What a better place than on top of a peaceful, beautiful mountain with your Soverign God!

God spoke to me yesterday through a radio ministry about healing and our physical circumstances with a terminal illness. It reminded me that while her illness is so much before us in the natural every day, we must keep our eyes on Jesus first and not waiver, as we all know and try to do.

The scripture quoted on this program was Jeremiah 29:11 and witnessed in my Spirit for Jeseca. "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (In my Bible I have a written note that this is God's Blueprint for each of us.)

The scripture goes on to say in versus 12-14a: "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" declares the Lord.

Know that I, among thousands, am on my knees seeking the Lord with all my heart in intercession for Jes, you, and your boys. He is a loving God and I believe by faith that He will hear our prayers.

Love,
Mom

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Judy Smith (Family friend) said...

Dear Jon,
Thank you so much for writing about your weekend. I have been eager to hear about the 9th, as I could hardly think about anything else that day. I was out of town, and prayed for Jes, you and the boys throughout that day and weekend. What a wonderful God we serve! My heart is full of thanksgiving that you shared such a beautiful Anniversary together! Yes, you were covered from head-to-toe by prayers from your Family in Jesus. No doubt you must have felt them carrying you through. I believe (just as you obviously do) that our Father in Heaven remains in total control and has not, not for even one fraction of a second, taken His loving eyes off of you and your beloved. I continue to stand in agreement with the way you honor His perfect will for your lives. I also trust in His very capable hands to hold you, Jes and the family tightly in His tender but firm grip every moment of every day! We serve the perfect and Holy One :)
I Chronicals 29:11&12
"Everything in the Heavens and earth are yours oh Lord and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone and you are the ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strenth." (NIV)
Your Sis in Jesus,
Judy Smith

9:57 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

WOW. I stumbled upon your blog by "accident"...although I am now certain that God had something to tell me. My prayer life is anything but spectacular, however when I read your blog I was convicted to bow my head and pray for Jeseca. I will continue to pray for Jes and the rest of your family.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Pop said...

Precious Kids,

My heart breaks at once with its rejoicing at your faith -- and our conviction that the amazing Lord we serve IS in control.

We remain in prayer and certainty that the Lord, who is the giver of all good gifts, will give you the gift of many more years together.

All of our love,

Pop and Sabra

6:24 PM  

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