Things captured and things kept

4 09 2010

If you followed my Seattle series, you saw quite a few photos of the city, Dot Island, Sucia, San Juan, and the various Sparrows. For those of you who would like to see even more, here are links to my facebook albums:

Seattle, Days 1-6

Dot Island, Sucia, and San Juan

Bellingham and Capitol Hill

There are also lots of other stories I could share, but I want to mention one in particular before I move on for good. Most readers of this blog know that our son Jacob lives with brain injury from a near-drowning accident in 1996. I wrote about our family’s journey — and some of the remarkable and beautiful things God did in the process — in Parting the Waters: Finding Beauty in Brokenness. Of course, in order to publish the book, I had to end the story somewhere. But life stories don’t end until a life ends (and often times, not even then). The ripples continue in and through Jacob’s life. And so does the healing. We still discover evidences of God’s power to keep and restore Jacob’s brain.  One of those discoveries happened while we were in the Northwest.

We were all piled in the car, returning to Seattle from Bellingham, when Grace turned to Jacob and said, “Hey, Jacob. Let’s see if we can name the books of the Bible.”

I perked up my ears. We’ve played lots of memory games with Jacob, but I don’t ever recall anyone trying this one.

“I’ll go first,” Grace said. “Genesis . . .”

He immediately followed with, “Exodus.”

“Leviticus,” she said.

“Numbers.”

I was already impressed. It got better.

“Deuteronomy.”

“Joshua.”

My mouth dropped open.

“Judges.”

“Ruth.”

“1 Samuel.”

Okay, so he lucked out and got the ‘seconds’ on Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, but he nailed them all.

“Ezra,” she said.

“Nehemiah.”

I seriously could not believe my ears.

“Esther.”

I think he stumbled over Job but got Proverbs after Psalms. Once she hit the minor prophets, he was mostly lost, but who isn’t? His New Testament performance was similarly impressive.

Since the accident Jacob has consistently displayed a remarkable memory for music and lyrics. But I was totally unprepared for this level of retention fourteen years after his injury. He has not been drilled on this topic. It was simply knowledge preserved.

There’s much that medical science doesn’t know about the brain. There’s also a merciful God in heaven who is able to keep His children, and He promises that not one word spoken concerning them will fail, but all will be brought to pass. Tragedy strikes, and we buckle under the weight of grief, sorrow, or pain. But God is never surprised by anything that touches our lives. He is accomplishing plans formed long ago with perfect faithfulness.

Our experience with brain injury sometimes brings us in contact with others who find themselves on a similar path. I’ve asked you several times to pray for Claire and her family. Please continue. They still need it. Now I want to ask you to also pray for Madie Skinner, a fourteen-month-old local child who fell into a swimming pool and is currently at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. There are some uncanny connections between Madie’s story and ours. I’ll share those with you in another post. For now, I’m asking you to intercede on behalf of these two precious little girls, created by the Lord for His pleasure and glory. The same God who carried our family through the waters and guarded Jacob’s life and faith is working out His plans for these wounded families. They are casting themselves on Him and finding Him faithful. But it’s a long, difficult road. Your prayers make a difference. Thank you.


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19 responses

4 09 2010
Rachel Anne

Prayers for these families – grace and strength. And miracles. What a wonderful experience with Jacob, thank you for sharing it….brought a smile.

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Rachel! Lovely to hear from you. xo

4 09 2010
Marcia

Beautiful, Jeanne. Thank you for continuing to share about God’s faithfulness.

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

You’re welcome. Thank you for being part of our lives.

4 09 2010
Patricia (Pollywog Creek)

I can only imagine your joy, Jeanne. And what abundant grace gifts you are – you’re whole family, every one of you, in a multitude of ways.

I’m a slow learner. It took me many years to realize that God is not surprised by a single thing that concerns us.

I’ve been reading about and praying for Claire and Maddie and their families….and for you, dear Jeanne, as you minister hope and encouragement in ways that only you are equipped to do.

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Patricia. I suppose even as a brand new Christian I would have said I believed that God is not surprised by anything, but it took many years before I learned to abide in that assurance. My faith still gets stretched by the horrendous suffering in the world, but it’s easier to steady my focus now because I’ve seen Him redeem so much brokenness, and I honestly believe it serves a good and divinely intended purpose.

Thanks for your prayers. They really do matter.

4 09 2010
Diane Hicks

I have said many prayers for this sweet little Maddie and when I first heard the news on Aug. 25, my thoughts immediately went to Jacob and knew that you could be a tremendous source of comfort and support for that precious family. Prayers continue!

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Diane. I know God will carry them through this and they will emerge with faith refined and deepened. But, man, that fire burns while you’re in it. They are blessed to be part of this amazing, supportive community.

So great to hear from you!
Much love.

5 09 2010
Simon Hay

I followed a link on twitter to get here @moondustwriter. Love and healing to you and family. I’ll pray this week. Bless you, Simon.

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Thank you, Simon.

5 09 2010
Rollin

I’d been wondering about Madie & observed that they are from Marshall. It’s another family I am sure you will become a mentor… My best to you and congratulations about Jacob!

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Rollin. Where did you first hear about Madie?

7 09 2010
Rollin

Where else? Claire’s blog…

Now I am going go read your latest entry. 🙂

6 09 2010
katdish

Oh, my friend! What a gift. Continued prayers for you and your family and for Claire and Maddie.

6 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Yes. It was a magical moment for sure! Thanks for praying. Love you.

7 09 2010
deb @ talk at the table

I love the under the blanket photo.
It is perfect for your post.
You must have been over the moon with Jacob in this.

I’ve read much of Claire’s story, what an gentle and caring yet strong family.
Continued prayers, and for this sweet little Maddie.

9 09 2010
jeannedamoff

I love that photo, too, Deb. And “over the moon” is exactly right. Thanks for your prayers. xo

8 09 2010
Betty Lee

Hi Jeanne,
My Daughter had seizures since she was 1 year old till God healed her at age 16.And from there she has had many other illnesses to this day.She is 34 now and married for 1 1/2 years.I don’t regret a minute of the years I spent at Doctor offices and Hospitals for eeg’s and other test.
We never know how strong we are till we are put to the test.And God always brings us through.Kristin Skinner’s oldest Daughter is friends with my little niece and they go to school together.I have kept up with Madie from day 1 of the accident.My prayers go out to them everyday.
I am reading about Jacob and how God has been with Jacob and y’all through the years.I ordered your book tonight from Amazon.I look forward to reading it.My prayers are with Jacob and Y’all.Rather our kids are sick or not they are such a blessing!God Bless You and Your Family!

9 09 2010
jeannedamoff

Thanks for sharing your story, Betty. Your daughter must bring you great joy. I know the Skinner family is upheld by all the prayer and support they’re receiving. We are amazed by the love and prayers for Jacob and our family, still so abundant fourteen years after his accident.

I hope you enjoy the book, and I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’ve read it. Bless you and your sweet daughter.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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