18_0425 Jenna Update

A Few Days…

A Monumental Change

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Today marks the 2nd consecutive afternoon Jenna’s head has hurt to a point that is near unbearable. She has to close her eyes, and shut everything off, as the headache continues to intensify and her eyes become blurry. I hug her and feel the uncontrollable shaking these tumors are causing. My heart overflows with desire to help. Yet I am keenly aware that in my flesh I hold nothing in my hands but inability.

 

Calm & Deliberate

Trying to hold back these tears to no avail as a few escape my clutched eyes and fall onto her head. Jenna immediately says without waver “daddy you can’t cry it is my job to cry for you”. Even with our so called grown up faith we cannot comprehend how peaceful and deliberate Jenna’s words and actions are; no matter the circumstance. We love our little meme so much and the thought of not seeing her until we get to heaven is difficult. To not hear her say I love you or ask for another hug is going to be irreplaceable and will leave a void in our hearts. Tonight as she drifts off to sleep she says “Daddy if something happens before I wake know that I Love You”.

With her now uneasily asleep I sit bedside and through tears order music for her funeral. If I could only understand why this is so difficult. The same hope, peace, and comfort prevails as before. We will meet again. But I cannot stop the heartache. The knowledge that we are moving into another phase is crashing in on us like a thief in the night even though we saw it on the horizon. My heart has expected and imagined the pain I would feel as Jenna transitioned. But as I peer into Becky’s eyes the depth of her pain pierces my heart with a hurt I failed to consider previously. Not only does her look pierce my heart but also confirms the only path forward is following Jesus. We have no answers and we cannot do this alone.

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Jenna’s head is hurting more frequently and seems to be worse after any exertion such as going out. Tonight is the first time we have seen her unable to balance herself sitting on the edge of the bed. This week has also seen her eyes unable to focus more frequently as well. This journey appears to be picking up speed and Jenn’s path home is getting shorter. We know she is ready but are we?

Jenna was able to go to her brother Nicklaus-Jade’s wedding this past weekend. Getting ready wasn’t as exciting as it use to be but we believe it was well worth the effort. Jenna of course was beautiful as always and enjoyed getting to see the exchange of vows and the covenant of marriage before God. She use to tell us the guy that she would marry would have to follow God. As I said before she isn’t up for drama. Right after the vows we left because of the pain but she was so happy she got to attend.

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Jenna has been sleeping most of the day with a relentless headache. Waking up this morning the pain still hasn’t subsided only worsened. The highlight of her days in the past few weeks has been breakfast but starting now that is coming  an end. With her moving closer to the dying phase of the disease we are not sure what to think happens next.

After 2 solid days of sleep Jenna has pretty much stopped talking other than a few words at a time. With this quick shift into another phase my thoughts turned to how God may heal her today. Not sure I can explain or understand why now since this is the first time I have had such a strong feeling she would be healed. I’m unclear why this seems so real to me now and hasn’t before. Is this the feeling of her being healed for earth or the reality and hope that we live in that she is closer to being healed for eternity. Not sure I can answer that question right now but I know that God will always provide an answer in His perfect timing.

Jenna has now been asleep with the exception of a few minutes for 3 ½ days. She woke up about 4 this morning and talked a little. At least long enough to tell us we have got to quit rubbing her. She is always pretty direct. Got to love someone that knows what they want. We also ask why she hasn’t been talking and she said she had been trying but couldn’t. Not sure if any other moment throughout this journey has been more painful. Knowing she is trying to cry out to us and can’t. There just seems to be something about that makes me so uneasy inside. Not only can I not help her she can no longer even ask for comfort.

Decisions

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Today we have realized very soon decisions will be required that will be more than difficult. Each step of this process seems to be increasingly difficult and heart wrenching. These are decisions we never have imagined even knowing she was on the path to dying. For us it is trying to understand and make sure we make the correct decision. Because as a parent it seems as if she will wake up any minute. Although this is our hearts talking our minds knows what is truly happening in her body. As we still look at her and think she is going to wake up and get better. Almost like overcoming the flu or some bad sickness. Sitting by the bedside waiting for the fever to break. But even in all of this confusion God has been stedfast, unmovable, and faithful. We must remember He is not a God of confusion and knows exactly where we sit and what we need.

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Today it is raining very slowly outside and chilly seems the perfect weather to think on things that are sad but in doing so knowing that tomorrow the sun will be shining and 70 degrees. Currently Jenna is in the rainy cold part of this journey OH BUT TOMORROW the weather will be perfect out. OH BUT GOD. He has conquered death and hell and awaits His children’s homecoming with arms open. It may be sometime before we get there but she will be running around again, smiling, being loved in ways we couldn’t love her if she stayed. But we are going to miss her so much.

My daddy taught me one of the most valuable and used lessons in my life. “You do what you have to not what you want”. I have lived by this in making many hard decisions. Doing what God wanted me to even when no one was looking. Or deciding to tell the truth when it would never be known if I did or not. This is one of those decision that I know is for the best but it is one I do not want.

Appointed Time

The fact about life is that we cannot change the point at which we are appointed to pass to the other world. When the foundations of the universe were set in place by the one true God He saw down through eternity and our time was set in stone. The reason I bring this up is because it is a reality we all need to understand. We cannot change our appointment with death. But we do get to affect what happens in between birth and death. How we live and how we serve God will have a direct reflection on how satisfied we are throughout our journey. If we live in sin our existence will be miserable. If we serve God and live for His glory our existence will be satisfying in ways that are unexplainable (even during the miserable times). The Bible talks about a peace that surpasses all understanding this peace is only available to those that know Christ. We encourage you to serve, love, and worship. Go out tomorrow and love people knowing that every person you speak with has an appointment and they know not when. Make salvation in Christ an urgency to share with others. Recover the happiness and comfort God provides His children through loving others. God Bless and thank you to everyone that is supporting us in so many ways.

 

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5 Comments


  1. My heart goes out to your family. My God continue to give you the strength you need. Your family is a true inspiration. We all love your family and pray for Jenna to be pain free soon. Prayers and love for all of you.

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  2. My thoughts and prayers are with Jenna and all her family. Your updates are sad to read, but to read your testimony and Jenna’s is very uplifting. May God comfort and strengthen all of you during Jenna’s transition to Heaven. May God Bless all of you!

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  3. I have no words to bring you comfort. Jenna, you are such an inspiration to me and thousands of other people. I hope to meet you in Heaven one day. To Jenna’s family, thank you for sharing your journey. I know that God has been beside you every step of the way and He has been glorified throughout Jenna’s short time on this earth with us. We keep all of you in our prayers and thank you for showing us God working and holding each of you in the palms of His hands. We love you all . James Bodiford is married to my Mother’s sister, Faye. I feel like you are a part of our family.

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  4. I don’t know Jenna or you personally, but I want you to know I have been praying for all of you for quite some time. My friend Cindy Johnson introduced me to your journey. The Lord has truly used Jenna and you. Many people’s lives have been touched for Him. Thank you for your dedication to our Jesus and for allowing us to pray and cry with you. “Thank you for giving to the Lord”. I continue to lift you up and believe with all my heart that…joy comes in the morning… Blessings to you.

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