God has once again answered prayers in an incredible way. We had our van towed to a local repair shop Tuesday morning. They looked at it and diagnosed the problem as something to do with the van's computer. It was sending a false "someone's trying to steal me!" code to the engine, which, of course, meant we could not get it started. The mechanic began looking for a '98 Chrysler Town and Country computer to replace the one that was faulty. He couldn't find one anywhere! Wednesday afternoon, the mechanic was able to override the code and start the van; we then drove it to a dealership (I know---$$$) so that they could order the computer part, install it, and program it. Chad told them he would be going out of town and I would be car-less and urged them to HURRY. Here comes the God part: They hooked our van's computer up to their computer to check the last code entered (something only able to be done at the dealership) and discovered that the problem was a faulty door switch. This could be easily fixed right away without waiting for a part to be shipped from CA and at a cost several hundred dollars less than what we were expecting!!! Isn't our God awesome?! We were able to go back and pick up our van that same afternoon, and it has been running fine. Praise the Lord!!!
About Dale---I am going to be making phone calls to reschedule all the doctor/therapy appointments that had to be cancelled due to lack of transportation. He had a rough day yesterday; he ate breakfast and promptly threw it back up. The poor guy looked so pale I was concerned he might pass out, but he didn't. I let him lie down on the couch the rest of the morning and did not attempt any therapy with him. He seemed fine the rest of the day, just tired---especially with having to climb in and out of Dad's truck when we were dealing with the van. He even ate lunch as usual and dinner. He seems fine today and is even talking a bit more of his own accord. Instead of just nodding his head when asked a question (at times he resembles a bobblehead), he has been giving worded answers. This is so good to see; it doesn't happen often enough for me! Dale has good days and bad days. On good days, therapy goes great; he participates readily enough; and we see signs of progress like talking on his own. On bad days, he screams in frustration (sometimes evoking a similar response from me); he has to be told and retold to do something; and he and I both feel like giving up. But God is faithful and desires us to be as well. I have been purposely reminding Dale lately how much God loves him and has a plan for his life. We are constantly trying to encourage Dale to see the bigger picture; life will not always be this hard, and his brain will not always be this fuzzy. He has to work hard to get better---and he WILL get better. This is not denial talking; this is a deep belief that God is not finished with Dale yet, either with his physical and mental growth or with his life story. God has a great purpose for Dale. It is our job to help him through this rough patch in order to be what God wants him to be. This is true for all our children. We as parents get the awesome privilege and responsibility to help shape our children into what God intends for them to be. No, it does not entirely depend on us; there are other, outside influences as well. But we are to monitor and choose those influences as carefully as possible so that our children grow to become the best people they can be for our Saviour. The old saying goes, "God gives us our children so that we can give them back to Him." Our girls and Dale are all being shaped by this ongoing event in our lives, adding new layers to their personalities and characters and decisions. If we trust God fully---and we do, we will come out of this better people, Christians, wives, mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, servants.
On a light-hearted note, I have been trying most unsuccessfully to tell a joke that Dale will laugh at. I tried again in the truck yesterday. I told three jokes that totally bombed. Chad jumped in and told Dale a joke that he laughed at. How unfair was that?! So I decided that I had to change my joke-telling strategy. I told him the one about "I've got you where I want you, and now I'm going to eat you!" For those of you who know it, it's kind of gross but funny; for those of you who don't, it's not worth typing out. Suffice it to say, it appeals to a twelve-year-old boy! When I got to the end and mentioned the booger (I told you it was gross), Dale grinned really big and bent over laughing!!! It took him a minute to calm down, and then he looked at me with such a normal, "Dale" smile that I couldn't help but hug him and kiss him. Thank You, Lord, for these moments of normalcy in our topsy-turvy lives!
Jeremiah 33:2-3 "Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is His name; Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."