Fully Favorable!

By Kayla

The last few weeks I’ve been applying to organizations for assistance with medical bills. It’s a long, tedious process and I’m thankful for my sister-in-law, Michelle, who helped me research them and encouraged me along the way. After a recent denial, she reassured me God would provide. I knew this in my heart but sometimes the down moments leave me frustrated and overwhelmed.

On Wednesday I spoke with a hospital bill representative who was not very nice about a large bill we have that we’ve been making payments on. When I hung up the phone with her, I said, “Well you should know my God is awesome and big and he can do the impossible!” Despite my courage with her, the tears flowed after I slammed the phone down. Again, not my best moment.

Just a day later, yesterday, I came home and checked the mail. In it was a letter from the social security disability department where a judge found Joel’s case FULLY FAVORABLE (i.e. APPROVED!) without a court hearing and effective six months after his disability date of January 27, 2012. This is the exact same day Joel went into the hospital for the second time! We had previously been told ss disability was very rarely approved without a court hearing. But like I said, MY GOD CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE!

It will likely be a few months before we receive the funds but if you can join us in prayer, we are praying it will pay off two of our large, unsecured debts and all our medical bills. And once we receive the monthly checks, we believe we can once again budget and make ends meet. Praise God!

Now on to a Joel update. He’s pretty much still in survival mode from day-to-day. I often hear, “everything hurts” or “why does it hurt all the time?” Basic things like taking a shower, driving the car or going down the stairs can be difficult for him. But we are still very thankful his medicine has stabilized his liver, which keeps him out of the hospital. He sees the neurologist at CU in a couple weeks and he will determine if he will have surgery on his hip/sciatic nerve. We had hoped for surgery but the injection they gave him this last month was supposed to be indicative of whether or not surgery would work and unfortunately, it only relieved his pain for about 3-4 days. It’s supposed to be 3-4 months. Without surgery or injections, all they can really do is continue pain meds.

Also, in the last month, Joel was in the ER for kidney stones and ocular migraines. He lost his vision in both eyes for awhile one Saturday. He’s lost vision several times before, but it was due to the medicine he was on at the time. He isn’t currently on any medicine that would do that so the doctors determined it was an ocular migraine.

While Joel is extremely relieved regarding the ss disability, it also carries a certain stigma for him. He struggles with guilt for not being able to work and provide for his family and for relying on the government when others are in need as well. It certainly is a position we do not desire to be in and still pray it is not a long-term one. Also, being “disabled” is not an identity he wants and he works hard at not letting his illness be his identity even though it consumes him. He knows his identity is in Christ.

One thing I love about Joel is that he doesn’t let his illness stop him from dreaming. He still talks about riding his bike up and down the mountains someday or racing semi-pro again. I look at him like he’s crazy but I also admire him for not giving up his dreams.

So we also ask that you continue to pray for his health and our family as we live day-to-day in a constant battle with it. We are crazy thankful for all of our friends and family and your love and support. We cannot express enough how much it means to us. We love you all!

After I leaped for joy in my heart and physically while reading the ss letter, an old hymn the Mennonites often sang came back to me …

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, ye heavenly host;               
praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. A-men.

We are FULLY FAVORABLE. Yes, in the government’s eyes but most importantly, in our Lord and Savior’s!

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