First Full day in CA

Getting to gather with hundreds of our church family yesterday morning was a great blessing to me (Scot). It was joyful and I could sense the presence of God in an unusual way. I was refreshing to have a morning schedule that is more typical to the past - 2 services with some adult communities and student ministry. I recap all of that to try to describe the heaviness both Liza and I - as well as Andrew, Izzy and Sonja (Liza's mum) - when we got back home. It was quite the contrast. 

Our amazing gift-flight was wheels up at 4:00. By 1:00, we had only just begun packing, which is not like us. Liza and I had a bit of a cry together. It's really hard to describe our hearts - this is the step of medical help that we've been looking for since February. So, in many ways, it all comes down to this. We also keenly remember the unmet expectations on previous trips. Lastly, we don't really know what steps, if any, are available to us after this one. All up, it feels like we are walking to the edge of something. 

The real difference - tangible, present, true - is that we are not standing on this edge alone. We truly feel the presence of God, although at times it is hard to press through the fear and fatigue to see it. We know He is with us. We know He is engaged. We know He is good. We also know - very tangibly, very present, very true - that He has surrounded us with the gift of His people, the church. We feel the prayers and support of thousands of people, many-many of them very close friends. 

So, we packed. We hugged. We prayed. We drove to Hooks Airport and met the two nicest pilots we've ever met. They were gentle, caring, funny and professional. They showed genuine care and concern for Liza, having been filled in on her history. The pilots and I also had a fascinating conversation on the small flight deck - they showed me all of the computer controls and explained the screens (right up my inquisitive alley) and then they engaged me about pastoring, church and prayer. It was delightful. 

The flight was great. Easy. Quick. All of which was a huge blessing because Liza was in significant pain. Both of our necks have been very tense and tight over the last few days - holding a lot of tension and stress. She was in a bad state as we boarded the plane and even afterward. It was hard to describe the gift of being able to lay down flat the entire trip. 

Some of our greatest friends met us with a rental car and we were able to visit with them for a bit. It was really another gift, despite both of our necks and headaches, to laugh and chat with two people we love very much - all while Liza is lying flat in the front seat of our car. 

Then to the hotel. The great staff remembered Liza and me and welcomed us back. They actually upgraded (for free) our room to one with a much larger seating area since we are here for so long. Several of the staff expressed their concern for Liza and hope for her healing. 

We settled into the room and just rested for a bit. I made a quick trip to a grocery store up the street and got some simple things for dinner. We snacked in the room and crashed pretty quickly. 

Today is a lazy day. I made a coffee run and we are just connecting with our kids - who both started school today - writing blog posts, reading our Bible and devotionals and getting our heads around the next couple of days. 

The above account is a collection of a ton of blessings, straight from the hand of God. That is not lost on us. We are blessed. 

My heart is continually focused on the DSM tests on Wednesday and Thursday. I believe if God places His guiding hand on those tests, the doctors and techs involved, showing them exactly where the problems are in Liza's spine, then how they are to fix them - that would be the perfect scenario. That is my waking and sleeping prayer. Thank you for joining us in it. 

Tomorrow morning is Liza's COVID test and then the rest of the day is free. More soon. 

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