The Lord’s Plans

Hello, Dear Ones,

Greetings!  I thought I’d update you as to what’s happening in our lives.  First, let me say all glory to God that Michael is doing really well!  We are so thankful!  These days, all we have to do is look back one year ago just about any day to see that he has improved 100% and that is such a blessing.

We have our next appointment at Vanderbilt on Sept. 4.  Michael will get all his childhood immunizations, begin his hepatitis series, get a brain MRI and another bone marrow biopsy.  It’s going to be a busy day!  However, we are hoping that, upon receiving the MRI results, the ID doctor will decide to either take him off of or greatly decrease the dosage of the medicine he’s taking for the toxoplasmosis.  He’s been on it for almost a year now and that’s a long time, and the last scan and blood work showed that there is no active toxoplasmosis.  We are praying for good results from the MRI, so, please join us in that.

He will have also completed the last of the 4 infusions that were planned to help boost his immune system.  His WBC has struggled it’s way back to normal due to the meds he’s still taking.  But, the great news is that at his last visit to our local Dr., his WBC was only 1 point below normal and that was the day of the infusion in the prep labs, so, that’s really wonderful.  That result indicated that his immune system is beginning to do that on its own and that was very exciting.

The Book Launch & Signing Party was yesterday and it went quite well.  We had a number of folks drop by including some of Michael’s long time patients who had seen the article in the newspaper.  He was so tickled to see each and every one of them.  It meant a lot to him that they would take time to come down and share their Sunday afternoon with him.  He also was asked to sign many books and he was so blessed by that.

Today, while I was in town, Michael got one of those calls from a dear patient of his; an elderly woman who has recently gotten news that she now has the same diagnosis he had; MDS.  Unfortunately, she is not a candidate for a transplant due to her age and other health factors.  One of her friends came  to the party and bought a book for her.  She had already read the whole thing and called to let us know how much it meant to her and how much it encouraged her.  Michael teared up when he talked to her and I cried when he related the conversation to me.  That’s really what this is all about and why I wrote the book.  I have prayed that the Lord would use it and it is such an encouragement to hear when He does.  Every time we hear how it has touched someone, it makes all that we put into it worthwhile.

At this point, the doctors have told Michael he is able to resume life as normal.  I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to hear that a couple of months ago.  He was so excited!  For the past few months, though, we have been in the ‘valley of indecision’.  I’m sure each and every one of you can understand that because you have undoubtedly experienced that as well.  We have been praying about what God’s next step for us is and have been considering many things.  We sure don’t want to get ahead of whatever His plan is for our lives.  So many things are rolling around in our minds, but so far, nothing has rolled into our hearts with enough degree of certainty that we know it’s right.

I have trouble sometimes being patient.  Do you?  It’s hard to wait on the Lord.  It can be unsettling not knowing what the future holds.  We’ve had much experience along those lines in the past couple of years. Things and circumstances change.  Life is fluid, no matter how much we think have it planned out.  Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.”  Psalm 33:10-11 says, ” 10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever,the plans of His heart from generation to generation.”  How true that is!  I love the way this reads in ‘Desiring God':
The point of these verses is that both men and God take counsel and both plan. But in the end it is not the counsel and plans of men that are established, but of God’s. It is all-important to realize that God plans the world and he plans churches and he plans lives—and his plans succeed. His plans take precedence over our plans. Our plans have significance and durability to the degree that God plans for our plans to be significant and durable. God is the all-important reality in planning from beginning to end. God’s will is for that to be known, to be explicit, to be admired and enjoyed.

If we could just get that, how much easier life would be.   Sometimes it seems as though our fingers are glued to those plans of ours and God has to pry them off, one at a time.  It’s difficult to go through that, isn’t it?  We’ve all been there at some point or another.  It’s easier to have a pity party and ask those ‘why’ questions.  You know the ones; ‘why, God?’, ‘why, me’?  ‘why not…’, ‘why this…’?  ‘why, why, why, and woe, woe, woe…’.  All of that can cause us to have those unsettled and insecure feelings.  What we are learning, though, is that only in trusting God fully so that His plans and our plans are in sync will we find peace as we go through that process.   We’re not always there.  As I said, despite everything we’ve been through, we’re still learning.  However, the one thing we can have peace in knowing is that no matter what is happening in our lives,  HIs desire and HIS plans for us are good and for our good. We just have to get on board and ride that train until its final destination.

I was talking to a dear friend a few days ago who just lost her husband to cancer.  She was telling me what I have been told by so many other people that no matter how much you expect a loved one to die, there is really still no way to prepare yourself for it.  Those words rang so true because they apply to just about any situation in life.  No matter how much we think we are prepared for something, so often we find the opposite is true.  Even so, we can all be encouraged.  I love how Jesus tells us in John 16:33, ” These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”   Yes, He has, and in Him, so have we.  That, my dears, is what can help us get through each and every day.

We do so hope you are well and experiencing joy in your life.  Don’t forget to visit our new website and check in there as you have here to see how we are doing. And, we would so appreciate your continued prayers for us as we go forward into the future in faith.

With much love,
Michael and Jan

Such a blessing!

We are beginning to receive a few book reviews and comments from folks and we are so delighted to know that the book is making a difference.  Here is a new review we just received:

“A true (recent) heartfelt story loaded with inspiration of our friends real life walk of faith They endured more than you could imagine. One trial after another, only to get another. God’s work was nothing short of a miracle. So blessed to have them in our lives. You will love this book!”

Our thanks to Darleen B. for taking the time to post it!

New this week:

We met with Velma Southerland from our local paper, The Greeneville Sun, yesterday.  It sounds like there will be some article in the paper tomorrow or so about the book and the Book Launch Party on Sunday.  Woohoo!  The word is slowly getting out!

 

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our new website!  We’re so glad you decided to visit us today and do hope you will be blessed.  This site is where we will be posting updates about how Michael is doing after his bone marrow stem cell transplant as well as information about upcoming events and happenings.

For those of you who have come over from our Caring Bridge blog, we’re glad you’re here!  You have been so faithful to follow us and encourage us through your prayers and posts.  If you haven’t read the Caring Bridge blogs to date, they are still available at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelsjourney2

We are excited to announce that “More than 100 Days, a Stem Cell Transplant Journey of Faith” is now in print.  You can order it from Amazon through the link on our home page.  You can also order it from Barnes and Noble, or, if you would like an autographed copy, you may order it directly from us by filling out the ‘contact Jan’ information and including that you would like an autographed copy on the comments section.  We will try to get your order processed within 24 hours after we make payment arrangements.

Galatians 6:2 tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”.  It is our hope and prayer that this website, just like the book, will be an encouragement to you.  It is our purpose to serve and honor God in all we do, and, if we can be a tool that He uses in His toolchest to do so, well, what better blessing is there?

We want to hear from you as well.  Please let us know how we can be praying for you. If you would like your comments about the book to be posted in our Book Reviews section on this website, please let us know through the ‘contact Jan’ .  I would be thrilled to post them.  Be sure to let me know if we have your permission to do so and whether or not you would like your name to be printed.

You can also contact us by email:  jan@morethan100days.com  or michael@100days.com.  Our phone number is (423)525-9047.

Again, thanks for spending some time with us!

With much love,

Jan