Monday Night’s Update on Ryan
More has come in, and it is not good news. He has lost heart. He has a possible permanent disability after this and he’s met it the same way I did: with outrage and fury towards Jesus.
Your prayers are needed and appreciated. I’m writing him an email tonight and sending it to his mother. If any of you would like to send encouragement along to Ryan tomorrow, please append it to this post as a comment. (Or if you’d like to send it privately, please send it to me at the contact address listed in the bar to the right.)
To those who are standing alongside us…
It is Monday morning, and the doctor just came in to tell us that the MRI of Ryan’s brain was not normal, so they are ordering additional tests, and asking for a neurologist to look at the scan and come and see Ryan. Apparently his cerebellum shows abnormalities that could be caused by infection, a stroke, blood clots in his heart from his drug use…they aren’t sure…but they need to find out the reason for the problem. We also just found out that Ryan tested posted for Hepatitis C…which he most likely got from using a dirty needle…and so our hearts are heavy with this news, as well.
This has put his lack of hearing on the back burner again…the brain comes first. And Rob and I are praying about how to handle our anniversary trip plans…if we don’t go home tonight to pack (I have to work Wednesday), realistically there is no way I’ll be able to make our flight on Thursday to Oxford to see Lindsey. Ryan isn’t comfortable with anyone here but someone he knows really well, and feels very safe with…especially because he is constantly having to answer very personal questions about his drug use and his sexual activity. So we need peace and guidance…are we to leave him here alone, with this new and troubling revelation? Or are we to cancel our 25th anniversary trip? Ryan does NOT want us to cancel…but this is very hard with so many unknowns that have just come up in regard to this brain scan. These results are VERY unexpected…we assumed that both the EEG and the MRI of his brain would be normal…neither were.
I had long “talks” with Ryan (me writing to him, Ryan responding, since he still can’t hear) last night about how he feels about his faith…he has an enormous amount of pain, anger and enormous self-loathing due to his unwanted struggle with homosexuality…and it is all coming out in intense anger at the person of Jesus Christ. He feels like the church taught him to hate himself…and so he is very, very angry with the church, and religion, in general. I got a good chance to just listen…and it helped me to understand where he is coming from right now. Another reminder about the need for GRACE. I am praying that Ryan will be able to have it for himself, and for others…for all those who, without knowing Ryan’s struggle, made insensitive, flippant comments about gays…comments which discouraged him and detracted him from his determination to seek holiness in spite of his attractions that he did not want or choose. Please, Lord Jesus…bring us all to the point where we are humble, and do not judge someone else’s sin as worse than our own. Please help us all to focus on being holy in your sight…and may others know us by our love, not by our condemnation of their sin. And allow Ryan to begin seeing that you truly love him, so that he can love himself…and once again seek holiness for your Glory.
Again, thank you for understanding why I haven’t been able to reply to e-mails, but am just trying to make time to send out these updates. Oh…I forgot a HUGE God thing to tell you…
Last night, at 1 a.m, a woman came in to draw blood from Ryan. Ryan had just gotten up to use the bathroom, and had started telling me that he was starting to feel really depressed about his hearing loss…fearing that he was going to be deaf from now on…and overwhelmed by the implications of that. When the woman entered, she saw me writing to Ryan and asked if he was deaf. I explained what was going on, and she told Ryan that she had battled depression for 51 years, and the only way she had made it through was by believing that Jesus Christ loved her. The entire time she was drawing his blood, she talked to him about how the enemy wants him to believe that his life is not worth living, but that Jesus loves him, and that Jesus wants to GIVE him life. She wept as she told him how much the Lord understands his pain, and cares about his pain. What was amazing was that Ryan seemed to understand the gist of what she was saying, and responded appropriately, even though she was talking and not writing to him. She must have talked to him for 15 minutes…speaking TRUTH in a way that made me wonder if she was a human…or an angel. After she drew Ryan’s blood she told me that she usually never works the night shift, and that she wasn’t supposed to draw Ryan’s blood, but one of her colleagues asked her to do this draw for her, because she had become too busy. So she came downstairs to draw Ryan’s blood, even though he wasn’t one that she was “supposed” to do. All I can say is…GOD IS AWESOME. It is things just like this that have increased our faith enormously over the past seven years of trials…God just keeps showing up in the midst of our darkness to remind us that He is with us…that He is incredibly, exceedingly good and faithful. PRAISE HIM!
So…though we are completely and totally exhausted in every way…and we have no idea what tomorrow will hold…we are, again, only sure of one thing…God’s amazing faithfulness. And so, as I end this, Rob and I are going to choose to focus not on the details of our circumstance, which are a bit more than discouraging, but on the character of God…because in Him – who He is – we have great HOPE.
Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith,
Rob and Linda