Scandalous Love Fall 2015 Bible Study

Scandalous Love

The audio for Christyn’s fall study is just a click away on her new personal website….

Scandalous Love – Fall 2015

Advertisements

Ruth Lessons

Tisha Lunsford, a dear friend of Christyn’s who has participated in Christyn’s bible studies for the past few years, has graciously been teaching while Christyn has been taking care of Rebecca. Click on the links to listen to audio of her lessons.

Clinging – From Regret to Rest

Weeping Forward: Choosing Belief over Bitterness

Arriving: Becoming a Woman of Excellence

Protecting: Finding Shelter in Unexpected Places, with Becky Russell, Christyn’s mom

Praying for Rebecca – Transplant Date Tuesday, November 11th

Taylor FamilyRebecca 4

Many of you probably already follow CaringBridge, but just in case you don’t here is the latest update…

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2014 @ 2:00PM

To all the friends and family of Rebecca Taylor….to the many thousands who love and pray for her……

This upcoming week has been anticipated, prayed for, and put off for as long as possible!! If Rebecca can remain somewhat stable these next 3 days, she will be going to surgery Tuesday at 5:30AM for a much needed pancreatic islet cell transplant. For those who want more detail about what the surgery actually involves, Christyn posted a very succinct description of this very BIG surgery on November 4, 2014. The surgery will last anywhere from 17-20 hours!! Initially, they were told Rebecca needs at least 180,000 viable healthy islet cells to be donated from her very own pancreas for the transplant to be successful—after a week of evaluations and pretesting to prepare for surgery, they have now changed the number to 225,000 cells are needed. Once Rebecca has the surgery, the recovery involves a year or so to finish out the process of the liver functioning as a dual organ–that of a pancreas and that of a liver! So Tuesday’s surgery will be the beginning of another very long journey–but one that offers Rebecca a chance to live with a quality of life that she currently does not have with her very diseased and worn out pancreas.

Rebecca’s family and friends are beginning to arrive in Minnesota this weekend for the big day. She will have quite a cheering section there for her during surgery! For those of you who feel called to do so, it has been suggested by many that Tuesday be a day of prayer and fasting for Rebecca. Everyone is encouraged to listen to God and honor Him in going to Him on behalf of Rebecca throughout the day on Tuesday….whatever that may involve for you.

Christyn has been thinking of ALL THE MANY THINGS each of you has done for Rebecca over the years—the” praying for Rebecca” T-shirts, the pictures, signs, cards, etc etc that have been given to Rebecca for encouragement. Rebecca will not be able to “see” anyone praying for her—Christyn’s idea is that AS A SURPRISE to Rebecca, if people could use social media in some way–Facebook, text photos, etc—Christyn could sit down with Rebecca Monday evening and show her all the pictures sent in of people holding signs or whatever, saying things like “we are praying for you”….this way Rebecca could SEE the love of those back home and scattered across the globe!! For those of you who do not Facebook, you can send a picture to my email at bodoggy8@gmail.com……I will do my best to post the pics here on Caringbridge under the photo section.

Army of God, the war rages on. God is in charge. He has graciously led Rebecca and her family to this day/week….let us keep marching forward in Jesus’ Name on behalf of Rebecca and her family. Blessings to all of you…..

In the Mighty Name of Jesus we offer our prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings to God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and to the Holy Spirit Who indwells us….

Hope and healing to all those who are in Christ Jesus….

Link to Caringbridge page: Rebecca’s CaringBridge

Finding Shelter in Unexpected Places

IMG_1439594345287

Those of you who have been following CaringBridge are aware that Christyn and Rebecca have been in Minnesota and are preparing for a transplant scheduled for November 11th. Powerful prayers needed for that please.

Tisha Lunsford has graciously been filling in teaching Bible study while Christyn has been in Minnesota. I will get her previous talks posted very soon, but I wanted to make sure I get this talk from last night posted. Tisha begins the talk by sharing about an event from her younger years, and special guest speaker Becky Russell (yes, Christyn’s mom) shares about God’s shelter in the four year storm the family has faced. They both did a beautiful job.

Finding Shelter in Unexpected Places Audio

Christyn’s Journal – Oct 28

Via CaringBridge

So my boys just flew home and I am sad.

Between my parents, their godmother Gail, my Aunt Jan, and Brian rotating their care-giving skills – Nicholas and Alexander got to spend 12 days in Minneapolis with us.

12 glorious days.  And by ‘glorious’ I mean days of good mixed with major adjustments, days of happiness paired with abandonment issues, and days of excitement mingled with outbursts galore.  Some days were considered more gory than glorious.

On one of these days, I walked the boys to a park near the hospital.  Attempting to spend quality time, one thing lead to another (Alexander lost in a race against his big brother Nicholas) and the minuscule straw that was holding the camel’s back finally broke.

More like shattered. 

Alexander went into full melt-down mode – one of those good old-fashioned, throw yourself on the ground, screaming ‘life is unfair’, tantrums.

The same tantrum I threw last week with God.

So I immediately scooped Alexander up, and the two of us found ourselves sitting on pavement in the middle of the playground with him weeping in my arms – for over an hour…..

Everyone says children are resilient.  I here this over and over.  But I hate that phrase – truly I do.  It is not that I disbelieve the resiliency of youth, it is the fact that statement is used so many times as a cop-out.  We say this as adults to make OURSELVES feel better.  A way to ignore children’s very real pain behind very real problems.  NO child is comforted by being told they are resilient during suffering. They want acknowledgement – they want to be held – they want to be loved.

And my Alexander was in great pain while grieving great loss.  He grieved the loss of his family unit.  Lost time with his father.  Lost time with his mother.  And especially lost time with his sister.  He grieved a care-free childhood, his stability, his security and his peace.  Alexander simply grieved.

As I rocked him through his hurt, his tears and mine fell upon the concrete in unison.  We were holding and loving each other through this pain when all of the sudden Nicholas interrupted our special moment shouting:

“Mom, Alexander, you are NOT going to believe this!  There is a man walking around in his underwear playing a trumpet!”

And sure enough – Nicholas was right.  There was a man parading around in a sports jacket and undergarments playing a trumpet in shrieking, not-so-very musical tones.

It was a surreal sight – a tad disturbing – and absolutely hilarious.

In less than five seconds, Alexander and I went from tears of deep sadness to tears of deep laughter. The three of us rolled together on the ground roaring until our stomachs ached with muscles we hadn’t used in far too long.

We experienced God’s beauty when “our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. And then it was said…, ‘The Lord has done great things for us’ (Psalm126:2).”

All of our pain came to a crashing momentary halt when we were able to tap into the gift of pure, unadulterated laughter.  We began to remember great things from our Lord and the fun moments He provides while temporarily forgetting our sadness.  This similar scenario has happened far too often to be coincidental. Only God knows when I am at my wit’s end to suddenly bring a jolt of humor into my life.  Something to take me away from my ‘I can’t take it anymore’ moment and bring me joy.

Even if that joy is a man donning nothing other than underpants marching through the park with a trumpet.  And yes, that very half-dressed man became my and my boy’s unexpected miracle of the day.

Thank you Lord for the glorious gift of laughter to relieve us from our stress-filled lives.

Love to each and every one of you,

Christyn

From Christyn’s journal

Christyn posted the following last night on Caringbridge:

 

This week did not exactly go as expected:

One day we left a joyful charity benefit with Rebecca onstage auctioning her blanket – the next she was in a wheelchair barely lifting her head from pain.

One day we leave balmy 90 degree weather – the next we enter ice cold temperatures 65 degrees cooler.

One day we were holding a schedule of outpatient appointments- the next we are inpatient with all appointments redirected to the hospital room.

One day Rebecca is stable – the next her pancreatic and liver enzymes are severely elevated.

One day we are planning Brian’s birthday celebration at home with the boys – the next we are listening to their voices solemnly sing ‘Happy Birthday’ over a phone.

One day I am assuring Alexander I will be home soon – the next I am buying months’ worth of warm clothing never to be worn beyond this particular season in our lives.

The difference of one day can be shocking….

Weeks like this clearly remind me how God is in control.  I have a hard time not laughing in the face of planners…I used to be one. I made list after list of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly plans.  I was organized, scheduled, and on track for my idea of how my family’s future would look.  My hopes, my desires, my dreams, my, my, my….

I have not accomplished a single list in over four years.

Four and a half VERY long years.

Everything I schedule, everything I plan, is somehow turned upside down and I am forced to depend on a second by second (minutes are too long) flexibility which is ever-changing.

But I discovered something in this out-of-control existence I am now a part of.  When I am forced to give up my plans, I am forced to give in to God’s.  The “one day’s” I anticipate become unanticipated– filled with the Almighty’s personal provision as opposed to my own pre-planned conceptions.  And by erasing my calendar and burning my lists – I get the first-hand privilege of experiencing the Lord’s manna for the day.  The very sustenance I require to get through this complicated and arduous journey…

So on the day I left a city filled with friends – the next I entered a city with God-chosen friends: the Fetterly family.  They provide a home for Brian to stay, daily meals, and even a chocolate birthday cake (if you know Brian, you know it HAS to be chocolate!).

On the day I thought I was alone maneuvering a new hospital,new staff, and a new system – the next God surprised me with my dear friend Ann Clements.  I met Ann in the hospital room next to us last year at CHOSA.  The Clements family is from Arkansas and their son Austin was also a patient of Dr.Patel.  We bonded as parents watching our children suffer through an excruciating disease.  Austin is currently recovering from his own pancreatic transplant and his follow-up appointment from Arkansas just ‘happened’ to coincide exactly with our admission.  Ann gave me a tour of the facilities, lent me her ear during my distress, and imparted great wisdom on how to cope through this extremely rare transplant.

On the day Rebecca, Brian, and I were depressed about our current situation – the next our amazing friend Gail drives up from Chicago. She brings a grocery cart full of Garrett’s popcorn, snacks and treats, warm blankets for our bed, and an entire store of ‘Friends’ Legos (about 8 sets!) to distract Rebecca during pain spells.  But better than all of the above, Gail provided laughter in days that were previously filled with distress.

On the day I woke to an empty room void of my coveted hot cup of tea – the next my friend ‘Kerry the Keurig’ found a way to deliver another Keurig machine (in my favorite color red no less) with a supply of tea,coffee, and cups to last for weeks. Kerry single handedly found a way to reopen the Taylor Café over a thousand miles away!

And on this very day my comforting sister Jenny flies in town, my Aunt Jan delivered a gift bag full of smiles, and my husband and I end an entire week of cherished time together – despite the stress-laden circumstances.

Although my days are filled with unknowns, I am still able to utter the words Romans 12:12 states: ‘there is joy in my hope, patience in my affliction, and faithfulness in my prayer’ because I have a Creator that turns my unplanned days into unexpected miracles of provision.

Thank you Lord.

Love to each and every one of you,

Christyn