Tuesday, July 18, 2006

One year later, Denise's statement

Last blog post... sort of. I think that this will be the "official" last post of the Pulling for Denise blog. I do hope to set up a spammer-resistant email list that you can sign up for, so check back in a few weeks. That way you'll be kept up on major developments every once in a while (yes, I'll post them to the blog anyway). I also plan to post some "before, during & after" pictures of Denise. In the mean time, be sure to add your name to the guest map (link is in the column on the right of this blog).

A few people have told me that reading this blog has been like following a soap opera. One person described the Pulling for Denise blog as "a reality TV soap opera with American Idol participation, except that this really matters." Thanks for keeping up. Thank you for letting my wife's struggle be part of your lives for the last year, even as the trials & tribulations have been present in your own lives. I know that the world doesn't revolve around my family, but many of you have made us feel exactly that special during the last year. I wouldn't wish what we've been through on anyone. But it makes me feel better that so many people have let us know that they've found inspiration, strength, encouragement, and in other ways benefited by keeping up with Denise's status, stories about the kids, and this regular guy's reflections on it all. I'm glad that we've somehow been used to be a blessing to you through all this. I once heard somewhere that God uses cracked pots. Yup.

It's been one year... At 12:58 pm one year ago today, Denise went into the hospital. What we thought would be an easy overnight stay in the hospital for observation turned into the harshest eight and a half months our family's had yet. As you can see from these recent pictures, we're having happier times now that Denise is back with us and getting better. God carried us through by touching our lives through all of you. The way I look at it, whether it was working hard through med school and at the hospitals, prayer warfare from near and far, meal prep, child care, running errands, doing home & auto repairs, contributing to the fund, arranging housekeeping, shuffling schedules for me at work, sending encouraging emails, lending a listening ear, or any one of many other things, God has blessed us through you. I thought it'd be neat to type in the names of everyone that's helped us in some way, listed A-Z, so as to give public thanks (the thank you notes are still coming, even for deeds done almost a year ago). But the list would've been endless, and still I would've accidentally excluded someone. So here's one great big "Thank you!"

Statement from Denise... You've heard just about enough from me. Denise wanted to speak at her reception last month but didn't know when to speak because people were always coming and going. Here is what she wrote, which was then printed out for people to read as they had time. I can't think of a better way to wind up her blog than to finally print her own words...

To everyone that’s been pulling for me,
Jesus commands my destiny. He is my commander, Lord, and chief. The night and morning star, my redeemer, my King, my heart’s desire, my brother, and friend. To Him be all the glory. God holds the keys of life and death in His hands, the keys that saved me from perishing. I did not have the will to live but God willed me. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Before I contracted this disease I had told God I wanted to be his handmaiden; to be His servant and I said, “God just give me the strength for it.” They that wait upon the Lord He will renew their strength… they will walk and not grow weary. They shall run and not faint.
After my battle with disseminated valley fever and surviving it, more than ever I know that God has a plan and a purpose for my life, as he does for all of us a future and a hope. Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11.
Please I want you to keep on praying and petitioning the Lord with thanksgiving, presenting your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Through your prayers I have been given the peace that passes my own understanding, and my health and wellness. Because of your prayer offered in faith you made the sick like me well. Your prayers were powerful and effective. God heard your prayers in His holy dwelling place and the prayers of the upright please him (1 Ch 5:20, 2 Ch 30:27). In Mark 11:24 it says, “Therefore I tell you the truth; whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
You all have shown me love in so many ways. Your steadfast prayer, monetary help, reporting my health, nursing me back to health in the hospital, the doctors who chose my meds and cared about my lack of sleep or my dietary habits… For all the medical pros who do their jobs so very well and who were there at critical times, thank you from the bottom of my heart & my family thanks you, too. You have all shown me love through the darkest shadows of my life. I only peered into the valley of death; Baby Daniel and Phil’s dad walked completely through it and are in a much better place than here. I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you prayed for me, you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me. I was in the hospital and you came with music, singing & prayers. You read to me. My sisters and brothers, you did this for me (the least of these), and in doing so, Matthew 25 says you did it for the Lord.
Thank you,
Denise Williams
(from her reception June 16 2006)

6 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Amen, and amen.

I would say, "congratulations on your miraculous recovery," but that is wholly inadequate to what you and your family have been through. What can we really say but "praise be to God" for the many ways He has worked in your lives. There has been both sorrow and joy, but He has been there through it all, He is there still, and you know that to be true.

It has been inspirational to see God at work, through the good and the bad alike, and to see your faithful responses to Him. Thank you for sharing your lives with us in this way.

July 19, 2006 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil and Denise -- May God be praised for His wonderful works to His children! We are SO thankful for this milestone day in your lives. Thank You Lord!
Gene and Ginger Luber

July 30, 2006 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Erin Lloyd, Godley, Texas said...

Phil and Denise,
I've been away from the computer for a few weeks, and was SO excited to see the great pictures of your family! I feel as though I know all of you, as I pray for you often. It was bitter sweet to see that this was your official last blog. I'm sad for me, but SO excited for you guys!! I will look forward to the periodic emails, but will miss the blogs!

You know, people say that God doesn't perform miracles like he did in the Bible...I say, "not true"! What I have witnessed over the past year is Most definatly a miracle. Your faithfulness has been an inspiration to me.

I appreciate you sharing your life with strangers over the past year, and am SO glad that Denise has recovered. Denise, you look GREAT!!! Enjoy your wonderful life together for many, many years!!!

Your sister in Christ,
Erin Lloyd

PS I emailed the people at Oprah your website again...I think it would make a great show. Think about how many people it would touch. (have they called you yet??!!) :)

July 30, 2006 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oprah, Extreme Home Makeover Home Edition, Three Wishes with Amy Grant, Reader's Digest, just to name a few places where God can be praised through your progress!

July 30, 2006 11:20 PM  
Blogger IC4JC said...

YAYYY!

PRAISE THE LORD!

I am also in need of some miracles for me and future fiance.

Thanks!

August 23, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Thank God and praise his holy Name.
I am so happy you beat your illness. It is good to hear a happy ending.

August 28, 2006 5:52 PM  

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