31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
On July 9th, 2010 the above photo was taken. Can you spy us? At the time, we actually didn't even know each others names. Well, that is not entirely true. I had known his name for about 10 minutes because my roommate (in the Kansas jersey) whispered to me when he walked in the door, "O my word LeAnne. I can't believe I have never thought of this. You need to date Derek Lavender!" I then proceed to ask who Derek Lavender was and she pointed out the cute guy in the Bulls jersey. Derek went home that night, added me as a friend on Facebook, and the rest is history.
I got teary eyed this morning (which is not an uncommon thing now days) thinking how much God has brought us through in our short 6 years together. This event may take the cake for the most challenging, but we have also had so many wonderful events happen. Over these past few weeks, I have realized just really how thankful I am for Derek Lavender. Even in his suffering, he continues to make people laugh, encourages those around him, and quietly takes this all like a champion. His attitude and work ethic have made hospital employees notice that there is something different about him. There is no way he (or I) could do this without the belief and trust that God has given us this hurdle for a reason. Although we are still grieving the results of the accident, we are thankful for the opportunity to show our faith to others.
With healing, it seems as though the "Is he going to make it?" part of this journey is over. Now cue the "Patience is a virtue" part of our trip. He has been coughing a lot which is a good sign but also very annoying for him. He has been getting to do little bits of rehab in the morning and it has been neat to watch his determination. From learning yoga positions, to putting on socks, he has been quite the trooper.
Many of you do not know that Derek is actually paralyzed from the chest down. Today he informed me that he thinks he can feel one ab, but that is about as far as it goes. Not having the use of your core can make a lot of these rehab sessions very tricky. On the positive note, he does have use of his diaphragm (which he was incredibly close to losing), so we are so thankful he is able to breathe on his own and can move his arms around at will.
His fever is officially gone and so is the pneumonia. As can be expected, he is still sore and his neck has been really hurting him these past few days. He spends most of his day sitting up in a special chair hanging out with me or our family. He smoked me in Yahtzee yesterday and we have started reading a John Grisham book.
In closing, I wanted to share a little conversation we had two nights ago. Derek quietly told me that when he was little, he used to pray that God could give him a heavy burden if it would spare someone else from dealing with pain. This too brought tears to my eyes. I then confessed that as a child, I was praying for an attractive husband.
Looks like God answers prayers.