Monday, December 28, 2009

This Is The Way

 You will weep no more.
How gracious He will be when you cry for help!
As soon as He hears, He will answer you.

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity
and the water of affliction,
your teachers will be hidden no more;
with your own eyes you will see them.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."

Isaiah 30:19-21 NIV

I am Still With You

 I read this to Jack before he was born, as he lived and the day he passed.

It was given to me not just by God, but by someone that was touched by it's meaning and it's true gift of healing.

O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before; You have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if Imake my bed in the depths, You are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say,"Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with You. If only You would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men. They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your name.

Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against You? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139

Sunday, December 27, 2009

taken for granted

A baby born in the cold gently sighs as he is being held warm by his mother, the divine Word reduced to a few unintelligible sounds. Then for the first time, the baby's eyes fix on his mother's. Deity straining to focus. The Light of the World, squinting. Tears pool in her eyes. She touches his tiny hand. Hands that once sculpted mountain ranges now cling to her finger. Mary looks up at Joseph, and through a watery veil, their souls touch. He crowds closer, cheek to cheek with his betrothed. Together they stare in awe at the baby Jesus, whose heavy eyelids begin to close. It has been a long journey. The King is tired.

And so with barely a ripple of notice, God stepped into the warm lake of humanity. Without protocol and without pretension. Where you would've expected angels, there were merely flies. Where you would have expected heads of state there were only donkeys, a few haltered cows, a nervous ball of sheep, a tethered camel, and a furtive scurry of curious barn mice.

Except for Joseph, there was no one to share Mary's pain or her joy. Yes, there were angels announcing the Savior's arrival, but only to a band of blue collared shepherds. And yes, a magnificent star shone in the sky to mark his birthplace but only three foreigners bothered to look up and follow it. Thus in the little town of Bethlehem… that one silent night, the royal birth of God's Son tiptoed quietly by… as the world slept.

Ken Gire, Moments With The Savoir

Christmas is not just a date on the calendar. It is not just an annual holiday. It is not a day to glorify selfishness and materialism. Christmas is the celebration of the event that set Heaven to singing, an event that gave the stars of the night sky a new brilliance.

Christmas tells us that at a specific time and at a specific place a specific Person was born. That Person was God of God, Light of Light, the Lord Jesus Christ.

From the lips of Him who came fell these words: "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke 19:10. Like piercing trumpets, these words heralded the breaking in of the Divine to human history. They declare that Heaven has come to our rescue and that God has not left us to stumble alone on Earth's pathway. What a wonderful and glorious hope we have because of that first Christmas.

-Billy Graham, Hope For Each Day

Why do we forget so easily what God has truly done for us. There isn't a day that goes by that someone, somewhere doesn't ask, "Where is God? Has He abandoned us? We pray and He doesn't answer. Why?"

Know that He always answers your prayers, it just may not be the way you wanted. Each of us represents a tiny part of a huge plan that only He knows. We can not even begin to fathom the extent of it. That silent night so long ago was a part of God's plan. A plan that started so small, a plan that shined out through a child's eyes. God stepped down from his thrown and was born into human flesh to show us then and thousands of years later, that He would give up everything for us. That He would not abandon us. That He would save us from our sins so we could be reunited with Him. So when someone asks, "Where is God? What has He done to help me?" You have an answer, and if His Crucifixion isn't enough then just remember he lived this same life your living, only with no air conditioning or comfort fit shoes, no cell phones or cars with built in TV's. He lived a hard life, a simple life so when we needed someone to cry to about this world, He would understand. And we would not stumble alone.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Battle Ground

Sometimes... I'm numb other times I want to fall to the floor and feel no more. I can picture Jack sitting on the floor playing with his toys, I can see his baby soft skin growing. I want to touch him and hold him and feel his heart beat, proving to me that he is alive. I want to look into his eyes and see him look back and recognize me. But I can't... I can't see his eyes anymore and I can't remember what it felt like to touch him. But I will forever watch him grow in my minds eye.

I'm entering a new level of grief. A selfish level, one that wants my son back, one that wants to rob him from heaven and hold him tight in my arms. And I'm ashamed that I could ever want to take that from him. I'm ashamed that God took my blood clots and not his. Why would He spare me and not my son. Why would He make me stay here without Jack. I know in my rational mind that God knows all and that we are a smaller part, of yet a bigger plan. That if God had chose not to heal my body, then the anguish I feel now, would only be passed to another. But in the pain, in the pit of the ache...  rational thoughts aren't as clear as I would like.  The devil sits over my shoulder and whispers in my weakness, "that it's all a fairy tale. God does not exist you can't depend on Him.Your in this all alone," he says. "No God... especially the one you love, would take your son from you. He would never comfort you through those months only then to say, 'Sorry, your just not good enough to keep my child, so I'm taking him back.'" He continues this charade of lies by taunting me about God's love.  He whispers, "doesn't your God say He loves you?  Does this feel like love? All those promises written... broken. He doesn't care about you or anyone you love. Why would He put Jack through so much suffering and make you watch? Why would He make you feel so helpless if He loved you? So I'm telling you," he says, "God is not real. This world is meaningless.You can only depend on yourself."

But the devil forgets that I know he would not have the power to whisper in my ear if it weren't for God. He himself would not exist if it weren't for God allowing it. He forgets that I know that nothing befalls the children of God that doesn’t first pass through the hands of God. I believe that God is just as alive in me during those moments of fragility as He is when I'm strong. How would we see His face in the darkness if it was never dark? How would we grow in our faith if we didn't have to fight for it. So I say in return, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."  The whispers begin to fade and the heaviness of his dark presence dissipates. The hollowness that filled my heart is now replaced with a fullness that only God, Himself could make full.  I feel alive, strong and fully embraced by Christ, prepared and ready for the next assault. Everyday is a battle and everyday with Christ by my side...  I will overcome.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Perfect Butterfly

I want to thank all the nurses, RTs and doctors that took part in my son's life. I'll never forget any of you, especially those that continue to reach out and keep my family in their prayers. Thank you for the effort and thought you put towards the personal gifts, they will be cherished forever.


Be still and know that I am God -Psalm 46:10, was the first scripture put on Jack's Scripture wall. It was the first of many scriptures God would lead us too. But this one was the most important. He was letting us know not to worry that He was in control.

Hours before Jack began his eternal life, I sat down in his room and wrote a quote on a piece of paper that I had seen earlier that week. At the time, it meant that when Jack got better he would be free of this shell (illness) and his life would be in full bloom. Little did I know it meant so much more. As I wrote the words on the note, my heart filled with so much joy for my son, I was overwhelmed with happiness for him. And I knew his journey was complete, no matter how much it hurt, I celebrated for him, I rejoiced with him. His victory was won. I wanted everyone there to understand that this day was to be celebrated even more than the day of his birth. Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly, is what I wrote. I realized in those hours that our life here on earth is the caterpillar and the eternal life we are promised is the butterfly. I left the note for the nurses and on it I asked our Lord to bless everyone that touched my son, whether they kept him alive or if they just checked his pulse. I wanted them all to be blessed. I know some thought of the mistakes made or the things that could have been done different but I know only good intent was in every ones heart no matter what the outcome. So for me to question a doctor or a nurse's decision would be for me to question God's Will because He was in control not man. I never looked to man to save my son, I only looked to God so when my son passed I knew there was nothing that could have been done different. I miss you all. That quote was later added to Jack's memorial presentation card, asking for the Lord to bless all those who prayed for our son as well.




The canvas painting and beautiful butterfly was sent to us from some very special people on the medical staff at St. Francis. I had found the perfect caterpillar in the summer of '09 and was still in search of the perfect butterfly when it arrived.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

your name


Jack Isaac Voigt was named after Jesus' most beloved disciple - Jack is a derivative of John. The Book of John holds a special place in my heart because after years of reading the bible, it took just moments with John to lead me to a personal relationship with Jesus. As for Jack's middle name, God kinda picked that one out, or at least it felt that way to me. Isaac for me represents the story on the mountain where Abraham was told by God to take his only son, whom he loved, Isaac, and sacrifice him as an offering to the Lord. Abraham obeyed, showing his love and fear for God. In return, God spared Isaac by providing an alternate offering to give in the form of a ram caught in the thicket by it's horns. He knew in his heart that God had provided this animal for the sacrifice in place of his son. Therefore, Abraham named the place "The Lord Will Provide." I found this version of the Abraham and Isaac story in a children's bible story book I had bought for Gaige years before. The night I read it, I was so worried about how we would care for our new baby Jack, but after I read Abraham's trial, I worried no more because I knew God would provide. We chose Isaac as Jack's middle name to honor the safety and assurance God allowed us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

held

Held - Natalie Grant

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing

To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows

The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This is what it means to be held.....

We are Held everyday,
some days it doesn't feel like it as much as others.
So just imagine how much more it would hurt
on those days...  if He wasn't holding us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

you

I remember YOU, Jack. I remember laying my head at the same level as yours.. trying to see this world from your perspective and through your eyes. I didn't like what I saw either. I would've kept my eyes closed all the time also. I know you would've had them opened more if it weren't for the swelling. I remember how strong you were.. I remember the first time I actually saw you shed tears, it broke my heart. I love you so much Jack.

Monday, August 3, 2009

preordained


This is a picture of Jack that we have set up in the living room, it's a large 8x10. While it pains me to look at most of his pictures at this time, this one comforts me.

     In this picture Jack is barely two hours old but his eyes show the wisdom of a grown adult. He looks at the camera as if he knows what happens next, as if he knows that when the camera flashes he must hold his eyes steady not to blink and ruin the picture. He looks at the man holding the camera as if he had been held by him a hundred times before, completely familiar with him. He knows it's his father.

    This picture also shows Jack's strength, you see I am a firm believer that God knows each of our souls before we enter our mother's womb. I believe God has preordained each of our days to come, down to the smallest detail. And when I look at this picture I see Jack trusting his life in God's hands. I see wisdom beyond years, I see my child's eyes saying, don't be sad Mommy, God has told me His plan and I am prepared, I am strong and I am going to do God's will. Even if it takes my whole lifetime or even if it takes only 58 days. Jack Isaac lived a full life because he lived the life God had intended for him. Nothing less and nothing more.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

your skin

I remember the feel of your soft baby skin, I miss it so much. You used to grip my finger so tight.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

alive

I remember reading to you, I loved reading to you so much. I was always drawn to The New Testament, I wanted you to know everything about Jesus. I learned more about my faith reading the bible to you than I had in my entire life of studying God's word, alone. We discovered so many amazing things side by side. I knew you were to young to verbally understand but I'm positive you could feel God's presence around you. I remember your nurse, Audrey, I miss talking with her, she would light up when spoke of her faith. We would each get on one side of your bed and share our experiences of how God had effected our lives. There was so much laughter and warmth around you, God blessed you with surroundings full of peace. No one cried because of what might happen, no one spoke sad words or showed pity because of what they saw. We were excited because you were alive, and no matter how the tables turned you were going to be healed, because God's Grace is sufficient.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

your hair

I remember the time you were really wiggly, I never actually seen you move but you would repeatedly shift to the left. It was quite an anomaly among the nurses, you made us laugh and it was like you were smiling with us. It was the only time I got to put my face to yours. The bed was more of a table like crib and it wasn't possible to reach you but you wiggled over to the left so I leaned in close. Your skin was so soft, I ran my nose along your cheek and ear and gave you soft baby kisses. I kissed your hair, it was so delicate and soft, little baby wisps of hair. I still remember what they felt like on my lips.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

is it real?

It just doesn't seem real, I look at your pictures and ask myself... were you really there? Did I really carry you for nine months or was it all a dream? I still feel your touch on my skin, I still feel the ache in my heart. But did it really happen?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

your soft breath

I remember leaning over you and watching you sleep, and hearing the sound of the ventilator as it captured your breath, allowing it to pull each one in and out of your lungs. You were so strong, you had begun to breath over the machine and it caused a small leak as YOUR actual breath came out around the tube. I leaned over you and you were breathing strong enough to allow me to feel your breathe on my face. It had a soft, sweet smell, I will never forget that moment. It took my breath away, it was pure amazement that I felt and awe at your abilities to over come. The things we take for granted in this life... every moment I had with you, I cherish and always will. I love you Jack.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

part's of healing

Creating these websites in Jack's memory has been one of the strongest parts of healing for me, it allows me to express my gratitude to God for giving me enough time to share in my son's life. Jack Isaac has touched me and continues to touch my life in so many ways. Every bit of effort put forth here on these pages allows me to fill the emptiness left behind. This website allows me continue to see my son everyday until I am healed and can hold him again. I praise God that I have Jack's memories and so I list every detail possible because I don't want to forget a thing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

your first cry


I loved the sound of your first cry, I never would have dreamed it would be the last time I would hear it. I remember the short time I got to hold you, you were so soft and cozy. You fit right in my arms so perfect. I shared that with everyone that was in the room that day, I thought I had forever to hold you. If I would just known.. I would have never let you go, I would have held you safe and close forever. I just wanted to protect you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

this is the way

You will weep no more.
How gracious he will be when you cry for help!
As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity
and the water of affliction,
your teachers will be hidden no more;
with your own eyes you will see them.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it."

Isaiah 30:19-21 NIV

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

jack's scripture wall


 Thank you all so much for your prayers throughout the last few months, and I know that many of you have continued praying through now. Please do! We still need every bit we can get. It's been a bit rough, but we continue to live minute by minute, day by day. Angi, who has been such a blessing to me, has been working on a memorial site for Jack that is absolutely beautiful. It has pictures and video that my own site does not have.

We went through and recorded all of the different verses we received from family and friends, as well as a lot of the verses we discovered through God's prompting, and we wanted to share them with you. There's a lot, so you may want to pace yourself. :) God touched our lives in many different ways with the different verses, and they are separated to reflect that. I pray that they would minister to you, and that you would hold on to them and use them in your life. The last section we added because we know that God is Lord. Even when we may not understand the way God will answer a prayer or seemingly not answer a prayer, God's wisdom is infinitely more appropriate than our own, and His plan sees things that we do not yet see but will. I hope these verses touch you. God bless you.


Be comforted

"Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort."

-Psalm 119:76 KJV

"He shelters you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection."

-Psalm 118:24 NLT

"This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."

-Psalm 118:24

"I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you."

-John 14:18

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you."

-2 Thessalonians 2:16

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made in weakness.'"

-2 Corinthians 12:8-9

"Jesus called out to them, 'Don't be afraid. I am here.'"

-John 6:20

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him."

-Nahum 1:7

"In the night His song shall be with me - a prayer to the God of my life."

-Psalm 42:8 NKJV

"The Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon them in their sorrow."

-Isaiah 49:13 TLB

"For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress; a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat."

-Isaiah 25:4

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy."

-Psalm 103:8

"The Lord always keeps His promises; He is gracious in all He does."

-Psalm 145:13

"For God alone, Oh my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He alone is my rock and my Salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken."

-Psalm 62:5-6

"Why are you so downcast, Oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."

-Psalm 42:5

"Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me."

-Psalm 35:2

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge."

-Psalm 91:4

"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me."

-Psalm 63:7-8

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

-Joshua 1:9

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart."

-Jeremiah 1:5

"Take my yoke uopon you, and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls."

-Matthew 11:29

"Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord is the eternal rock."

-Isaiah 26:4

"How long, Oh Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions! Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people."

-Psalm 35:17-18

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you.'"

-Jeremiah 29:11-14

"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently on the Lord."

-Psalm 27:14

"The Lord your God is with you! He is mighty to save! He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing!"

-Zephaniah 3:17

"The Lord is close to the broken-hearted."

-Psalm 34:18

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."

-Deuteronomy 33:27

"Be strong and of a good courage; fear not, nor be afraid, for the Lord thy God will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

-Deuteronomy 31:6

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

-Matthew 11:28 KJV

"As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart."

-Isaiah 40:11

"But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you."

-1 Peter 5:10


Stay faithful

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

-John 5:24

"Be still and know I am God."

-Psalm 46:10

"Jesus said, 'Silence! Be still! Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"

-Mark 4:39-40

"For with God nothing will be impossible."

-Luke 1:37

"Jesus answered, 'This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.'"

-John 9:3

"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross."

-Hebrews 12:1-2

"I tell you the truth: if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

-Matthew 17:20

"Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

-1 John 4:4

"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart."

-Colossioans 4:2

"The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.'

-Luke 18:27

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

-Philippians 4:6-7

"Get behind me Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

-Mark 8:33

"I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in Heaven. For where two or more come together in my name, there I am with them."

-Matthew 18:19-20

"We will be with the Lord forever."

-1 Thessalonians 4:17

"Then Jesus told them, 'I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, 'May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and it will happen. You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.'"

-Matthew 21:21-22

"..always giving thanks to God the father for everything."

-Ephesians 5:20

"Jesus said, 'Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.'"

-John 14:1

"The Lord says, 'I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer. I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with long life and give them my salvation."

-Psalm 91:14-16

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer. You will cry for help, and He will say, 'Here I am.'"

-Isaiah 58:9

"Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."

-1 Peter 4:12-13

"When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and and pray to the Father, the creator of everything in Heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources, He will empower you with inner strength through His spirit."

-Ephesians 3:14-16

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

-Hebrews 4:16

"He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern."

-Matthew 6:33

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the Saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."

-Romans 8:26-28

"Together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering."

-Romans 8:17

"Exult in His holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek him."

-1 Chronicles 16:10-11

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

-Hebrews 11:1

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, oh Lord, do not abandon those who search for you."

-Psalm 9:10

"But I am trusting you, Oh Lord, saying 'You are my God.'"

-Psalm 31:14

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight."

-Proverbs 3:5-6

"The Lord is near all those who call upon Him."

-Psalm 145:18

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."

-Jeremiah 33:3 KJV


Prayers of healing


"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

-John 14:13-14

"The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life."

-John 6:63-64

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint."

-Isaiah 40:31

"Then your light shall break forth like the morning. Your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard."

-Isaiah 58:8

"Listen! The Lord's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is His ear too deaf to hear you call."

-Isaiah 59:1

"My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don't lose site of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."

-Proverbs 4:20-23

"Jesus said to Jairus, 'Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.'"

-Luke 8:50

"And Jesus said to him, 'Go, for your faith has healed you.'"

-Mark 10:52

"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."

-3 John 1:2


God is Sovereign


"Your eternal word, oh Lord, stands firm in Heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plan. If your instructions hadn't sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. I am yours. Rescue me."

-Psalm 119:89-94 NLT


"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our inner-most thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes and He is the one to whom we are accountable."

-Hebrews 4:12-13

"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, oh God!"

-Psalm 139:13-17

"You were made in my image."

-Genesis 1:27

"I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy."

-Habakkuk 3:2

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

-Ephesians 3:20-21

"I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him."

-Isaiah 8:17

"They remembered that God was their rock, and the most high God their Redeemer."

-Psalm 78:35

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

-Psalm 18:2

"I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

-Isaiah 41:10

"Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

-Exodus 14:13

"Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."

-Job 12:9-10

Thursday, May 7, 2009

God Alone

Through prayer God allowed us to be comforted in knowing our son was going to be healed and he would be coming home, and through prayer our family was able to stay positive about Jack's outcome no matter what the doctors would tell us. Everyone knows that those prayers were answered, my son went home and began his eternal life with Christ. And while he was here he was able to experience the laughter and the happiness through the people around him. We worked our hardest to make sure Jack only felt our joy while he was healing and not our sorrow. And that is something that only God could do in our time of need. So I thank everyone who prayed for us and I thank especially all the doctors and nurses who were not afraid to speak God's word with us. God Bless You all!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

waiting eagerly

The Future Glory

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when
God will reveal who his children really are.

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.
But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join
God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

For we know that all creation has been groaning
as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
And we believers also groan,
even though we have the Holy Spirit within us
as a foretaste of future glory,
for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.
We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights
as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us.

We were given this hope when we were saved.
If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.
But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have,
we must wait patiently and confidently.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying,
for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

For God knew his people in advance,
and He chose them to become like His Son,
so that His Son would be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters.

And having chosen them,
He called them to come to Him. And having called them,
He gave them right standing with himself.
And having given them right standing,
He gave them his glory.
Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?
If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all,
won’t He also give us everything else?

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own?
No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself.
Who then will condemn us?
No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us,
and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand,
pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?

Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity,
or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute,
or in danger, or threatened with death?

As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day;
we are being slaughtered like sheep.”
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours
through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow,
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below.

Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:18-39 NLT

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

my heart

April 28, 2009

My heart hurts the most, there's a void there where my child should be. I know he's better and I wouldn't dream of taking the bliss he is experiencing away from him. But that “I'm still here on earth and he’s not” side of me needs something. I carried him for nine months... nine long months and all I wanted was to hold him in my arms.

I remember saying that so many times to the nurses when I would have to go to the hospital twice every week to have tests done. They would always say "I bet your ready for this to be over with" and all I could say is that "I just want to hold him, to actually have him in my arms" and they would giggle and say "soon enough." The day I had Jack, there was a room full of people and I had only gotten to hold him for a short while and then they took him to clean him up and then everyone else held him and then offered to give him back. I said "no that's okay you go ahead" and all I was thinking, was how I would have forever to hold him. I would give anything to have that day back. So please pray that I will have no regrets or bitterness develop in my heart.

I also wanted to share with you another bit of information. An old high school friend of mine had been staying in Tulsa during Jack's journey (that's what I call it) and we were able to catch up and she had told me that her little girl, Skylar, had been diagnosed with lymphoid cancer, she is only 11 and has undergone more than her fair share of chemo, we were able share our prayers between Jack and Sky before God, and she called today to let me know that Skylar was now in full remission of the cancer, praise God!!

When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Job 23:9-10

Sunday, April 26, 2009

last memories

I have set up a memorial website for Jack, jack-isaac-voigt.last-memories.com, and it has a memories page where you can write your memories of Jack. I would be so honored and so pleased if you could take the extra time to write any of the memories you have of Jack or just ways he's touch your life through another.

Thank you so much, you have no idea how much it means to me to keep this child alive though our memories.

i catch no glimpse of him

"Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.

If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!

I would state my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would find out what he would answer me,
and consider what he would say.

Would he oppose me with great power?
No, he would not press charges against me.

There an upright man could present his case before him,
and I would be delivered forever from my judge.

"But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.

When he is at work in the north,
I do not see him;
when he turns to the south,

I catch no glimpse of him.

But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.
I have not departed from the commands of his lips;

I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
"But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?

He does whatever he pleases.
He carries out his decree against me,
and many such plans he still has in store.

That is why I am terrified before him;
when I think of all this, I fear him.

God has made my heart faint;
the Almighty has terrified me.

Yet I am not silenced by the darkness,
by the thick darkness that covers my face.

Job 23


Angi

Saturday, April 25, 2009

You go before me and You follow me

You go before me and You follow me,

O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;

You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;

You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
You have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, You are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say,"Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,
"even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are Your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.

When I awake,
I am still with You. If only You would slay the wicked,
O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men.
They speak of You with evil intent;
Your adversaries misuse Your name.

Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against You?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139

I read this to Jack before he was born, as he lived and the day he passed.

It was given to me not just by God,
but by someone that was touched by it's meaning and it's true gift of healing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

all who call on Him

"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." -2 Corinthians 1:5

It's been two weeks since our last update, and though it's been difficult, God has carried us. We've been staying busy, and that helps for a bit, but when we sit still, it's easy to get bogged down in the whys and the what ifs. Please remember us in prayer for this. It's been difficult to accept that God's will and plan would work this way, but with support through prayer we know that God can reveal Himself to us, allowing us the peace that surpasses understanding.

God has also blessed us recently in a different way, and we are anxious to share it with you! Last week, Angi had an ultrasound done on her right leg. Our hematologist wanted to be updated on how the DVT (deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot) in her thigh is doing, if the blood thinners were working to dissolve it or not. Wednesday, we called to check on the results, and the person with whom we spoke said that they were completely gone! At first, we were skeptical, thinking that maybe they had the wrong results. As we talked more about it, we became cautiously optimistic, and the next day, the doctor confirmed that they are gone. Praise God! The next step is for Angi to stop taking the blood thinners, and we'll see if there is any kind of blood disorder or genetic defect that could be in her blood causing these clots. We're especially excited about that part, because for one, the medicine she has been on was giving her uncomfortable side effects, like mild to severe headaches. Plus, when a person is permanently on blood thinners, you always have to be cautious of wounds and bumps, because they're much more dangerous on the medicine. So thank God for this blessing!

Thank you for all the cards and notes expressing care and sympathy. We appreciate deeply the love and generosity that has been sent our way, and we pray God would bless you greatly. Do please continue to pray that we would continue healing and latching on to the Father, and that we would be able to be strong for each other. Pray that as we continue to mourn Jack, that Gaige would not feel neglected, and that we could help him cope as well. And pray against bitterness or jealousy on our behalf.

God has blessed us with so many people in our lives that have helped us and gone through a lot of this with us. But I confess that I, Tony, have managed to not be as grateful as I should for one in particular. My wife, Angi, has been stronger than any woman I have ever known. She was unwavering from the very beginning, like a house built on the Rock. Her faith has grown through this ever stronger, even when I myself had at one point become detached. Frustrated, I stopped praying and thinking about God. And because she is my friend, she rebuked me, loved me, and pointed me to the only One who could rub out the anger. I pray that you are blessed by someone in your life who loves you enough to kick you in the pants when you need redirecting. God has worked through her in my life, and I am so blessed to have her.

I pray that you feel God through all of this, that you would know we are nothing and that He is everything. To him be the glory and honor forever and ever, Amen.

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." -Psalm 145:18

-Tony, Angi, Gaige, and Jack

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

His precious blood

I owe Jesus my life for what He has given my son through salvation and because of what He did "on the Cross of Calvary, Jesus died for you and me; there He shed His precious blood, so that from sin we might be free." Thank you again so much for the time everyone has invested in praying for this wonderful little blessing and thank you also for your continued prayers for our family and friends.

the angels that prayed for my baby

Weston and Will,


I want to thank both of you for your constant prayers for Baby Jack. Our prayers for healing Jack were answered, only better. What more could a mother ask for her child than for her baby to be cared for by Jesus himself. Baby Jack's time as God's soldier was complete, he did everything our Lord needed him to do here, and now He has greater things for him to finish in heaven. I pray you both continue to grow strong in God's word and are embraced by His angels daily.


We love you,

Angi, Tony, Gaige and God's angel Baby Jack


P.S. I think of that song by Mercy Me "I can only imagine" Baby Jack doesn't have to imagine anymore, he's living it now. Just close your eyes and imagine what he is seeing and feeling at this very moment, that's what I do when I get sad. And those thoughts make me smile and it feels like Jack is hugging me. So for me, I celebrate the day Baby Jack went to heaven because that was his real birthday.

Monday, April 6, 2009

jack's memorial

"If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he
stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand." -Psalm 37:23-24

Angi and I would like to thank you all for your continued prayer and support. The last 4 days have been a blur, and truth be told, we've been keeping to ourselves. Lots of prayer has carried us, and there have been moments of pain and frustration, but there has also been a lot of joy; daily we remind ourselves that Jack has a new body, a heavenly body free from fault or defect, and that we will indeed see him again. It seems to get harder daily as we see other babies or stumble across something that reminds us of Jack, but God is faithful, and He does not allow us to wander too far from His side.

His memorial service (which can also be read "celebration service!") will
be on Good Friday, April 10th at 11 a.m. at Boulevard Christian Church.

We know that we will both be weeping, but we do not wish for this to be a
depressing funeral. That's not what this is. By the end we hope you will
praise God for the transformation He has brought about in our son.
God bless you greatly.

"Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring
me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell." -Psalm 43:3

-Tony, Angi, Gaige, and Jack.

(We've been reading a lot of Psalms. Our favorites are Psalm 18, 23 of
course, 27, 42, 43, 62, 84, 95, 139, and more, I just stopped listing the
rest.)

"For with God nothing will be impossible"
Luke 1:37

Together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory but if we are to share
His glory we must also share His suffering.
Romans 8:17

Saturday, April 4, 2009

half the world away

It's a terrific blessing the way that believers can be connected! We want to thank everyone for their encouragement. The hardest thing for us right now is
knowing what we will be missing, like first steps and first laughs. But we
also know that he will be beyond iv's and blood draws and ventilator
suctions. We are praying for God's comfort, and He has supplied it in many
ways, such as emails from people half the world away! They have kept us going, and
continue to keep us going.

-Tony, Angi, Gaige, and Jack.

Friday, April 3, 2009

we've been waiting for you.

Thank you so much for your support!! We all prayed for Jack to be healed, and now he is healed. Please know that this is a celebration. I have learned time and again that the hardships we endure in life only make us appreciate the eternal life we are promised through Christ. So knowing that is the life my son is living now fills me completely with comfort. Can you only imagine the things he is experiencing at this time? I can't wait till I see my Savior holding my son and saying, "Hello, we've been waiting for you."

Angi

a time to mourn and a time to dance

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity
under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, ...a time to mourn
and a time to dance" -Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Yesterday, at 6:19 p.m., Jack Isaac left my arms and was carried by the arms of Christ. We prayed for his healing and God answered those prayers to the fullest. Jack received the ultimate healing. If there were ever one to take my place and care for my son, I would want it to be Jesus.

Jack was 58 days old. He is still so very loved, not only by us, but by everyone else who prayed for him and thought of him. The unexplained trials we go through in this life allow us to realize how great the promise of eternal life truly is, to know that one day there will be no more tears and no more suffering. My baby is feeling a bliss of a nature I can only imagine. Jack was a very special boy; I watched him endure things that most grown men could not stand. He had a soul that reached out to you and held on. His doctors and nurses were touched by his tenacity and the sheer willpower he exhibited throughout his brief time
period with us. I do not understand God's will or plans. I only know His will is holy, and our minds cannot comprehend it. Tony and I both know that Jack achieved everything God intended for him to do, and we celebrate that he is home. This day is just as much cause for joy as the day he was born, and we praise God for it. We were both so deeply moved by his presence. We are both
better parents, better spouses, better Christians for having known him, and
he will be missed. He will be mourned. He will be loved, now and for
the rest of our lives.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked will I leave. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. May His name be praised." -Job 1:21

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the Lord gives and the Lord takes away





All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16
 





Jack Isaac, shared in our lives
February 3, 2009 - April 2, 2009.


"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to mourn and a time to dance" Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

Jack Isaac left my arms and was carried by the arms of Christ. We prayed for his healing and God answered those prayers to the fullest.  Jack received the ultimate healing. If there were ever one to take my place and care for my son, I would want it to be Jesus.

             Jack was 58 days old. He is still so very loved, not only by us, but by everyone else who prayed for him and thought of him.  The unexplained trials we go through in this life allow us to realize how great the promise of eternal life truly is, to know that one day there will be no more tears and no more suffering. My baby is feeling a bliss of a nature I can only imagine. Jack was a very special boy; I watched him endure things that most grown men could not stand. He had a soul that reached out to you and held on.  His doctors and nurses were touched by his tenacity and the sheer willpower he exhibited throughout his brief time period with us. I do not understand God's will or plans. I only know His will is holy, and our minds cannot comprehend it. We know that Jack achieved everything God intended for him to do, and we celebrate that he is home. This day is just as much cause for joy as the day he was born, and we praise God for it. We were both so deeply moved by his presence. We are both
better parents, better spouses, better Christians for having known him, and he will be missed. He will be mourned. He will be loved, now and for the rest of our lives.


"Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked will I leave.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

May His name be praised."  Job 1:21

before you were born I set you apart

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart"

-Jeremiah 1:5

After much heavy deliberation and prayer, Angi and I have decided to take Jack off the different machines tomorrow morning. They will allow us to hold him, and we will until God takes him from our arms. We know that Christ Himself will carry him home, and that comforts us. We know that "God Himself will be with him. He will wipe away every tear from his eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things will be gone forever." God has blessed us with a child that has changed our lives. He has been so very strong, stronger than I could possibly imagine a two month old child could be. He has revealed to us that no matter how low in Spirit a person can go, He is there. "If I go up to Heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me." I pray that if you don't know my Father as the only hope that any of us have for comfort, that you will let Angi and I talk with you about Him. He has been the only stability in this whirlwind we have known, and we would love to share Him with you. He knows you better than you do.

Thank you for your irrepressible support. We value it more than any gift. Please pray that we would be continually comforted and continually reminded that Jack will be in the presence of God. How much better is it to be in the house of God than the house of man. Thank you and God bless.

"We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us." -2 Corinthians 1:7

-Tony, Angi, Gaige, and Jack

Together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory but if we are to share His glory we must also share His suffering.
Romans 8:17

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

our God is a God who saves

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves." Psalm 68:19-20

First, the good news. The bleeding at the catheter site has slowed down a great deal! Previously, his bandage would have to be switched every few hours; today, he's had the same bandage since late last night and it hasn't been replaced to this point. It's still clean, too, minus a few areas on the side. So that's really cool!

The bad news is that the doctors have discovered an infection. Dr. Barton believes that there is an infection inside the blood clot, which will be hard to fix. We've started him on antibiotics, and I know that if it's God's will, the infection won't even have time to take root. Also, Jack's blood pressure is still in a state of fluctuation. He's on quite a bit of epinephrine to maintain that pressure, and even with it, it's still not really where we would like it. And thirdly, Jack is showing signs of liver failure. Because he has a form of kidney failure, the blood is backing up into his body, and the doctor says that can cause liver failure, which you can see in his clotting abilities. Granted, his leg is starting to do better than it had been, and that's a good sign, but please pray against it!

The bottom line is that Jack is in a very precarious state. Angi and I still believe 100% that God can save this baby, and that He alone can make Jack whole, praise God. But we also do not want to move the hand of God if He has already decided what Jack's outcome is to be. We love our baby so very much, and want to bring him home, but if God's will is to bring him to His Home, then no amount of fluid or pressure medicine is going to make him better. To that end, we have asked the doctors to implement a DNR, which means Do Not Resuscitate. There are a lot of different forms of this, and the one that we chose means that we do not support any escalation of medication to that which he already given. Our prayer is that Jack will get better on what he has now, and we will progressively wean him off the different medications. I can't tell you how hard it was to make this decision, and we ask that you continue in prayer that we made the right one, and that if God would have us move differently, that he would impress it upon us.

If you could keep praying, we would greatly appreciate it. Right now, Jack has been in a state of semi-consciousness for a bit, and we're afraid that the blood pressure could affect his other organs, including his brain. Please pray against that! We know that God is bigger than any clot and any damage that said clot could bring, but through prayer and petition we know that God can fix it before it happens. Again, please pray that there would be no liver damage, and furthermore that his other organs would be protected. Also pray that the infection would not take root and that there would be no complications from it. Pray that the antibiotics would wipe it out. And pray for us, as well. Pray that we would be able to discern God's will in this difficult time, and that we would be able to have comfort through the Holy Spirit, knowing that either way, God's will is done, and that we can praise Him one way or the other. Pray for Gaige, that he would not blame God for anything that should happen to his baby brother, and that he also would be comforted. And on a tangent, Angi's dad, Mack, is having a back surgery on Friday. Pray that it would go well and that he would, according to scripture, Do not be afraid, just have faith (John 5:36).

God bless all of you for your continued faithfulness to us in prayer. I pray that He would bless you beyond measure.

"Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So I say with confidence, the Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid." -Hebrews 13:5 (Thank you, Will and Weston!)

Tony and Angi

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

wait in silence

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, oh Lord, do not abandon those who search for you." -Psalm 9:10

This weekend was a little bit of a coasting type of weekend. Jack's blood pressure remains low, and he's fluctuated back and forth with it, but that's about it. Last night, around the time his dialysis circuit was due to be changed, Jack's leg started bleeding, and hasn't really stopped even now, though it is a slow bleed. At first no one was terribly concerned about it, thinking it would slow and stop, and that changing out the bandage constantly would slow the clotting process. Today, however, Jack's saliva was pink, indicating internal bleeding. Dr. Powel believes he does have bleeding inside his body, and is talking about life support should we need it. She also told us that she's sorry. I would accept that if Jack was going to die. But Jack is not going to die, and I reject that. As many people are praying for this baby, Jack is going to show all of us a giant miracle in his tiny body, and all will know that God saved this child. It isn't the doctors who are so willing to give up. God is going to save this baby.

Thank you for your prayers to this point. Angi and I appreciate them more than we can say. Please now pray that Jack's pressure would come back up so that there would be no concern or risk for heart failure. Please pray that Jack's body would resume clotting the way it is supposed to clot, and also that his normal blood functions would continue. Pray that he doesn't get any infections or other organ complications from this long process. And please pray for us, that we would continue to be strong for each other, and that we can be there for Gaige. Thank you and God bless you.

"For God alone, Oh my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him." -Psalm 62:5-6

Tony and Angi

Saturday, March 28, 2009

a refuge from the storm

 "For you have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat." -Isaiah 25:4

Sorry for the lack of update yesterday. We were a bit overwhelmed, between going to work and not getting back till late, bringing Gaige up, etc. Yesterday was a pretty rough day, I'll come out and say. Angi and I went to get some food before noon, and Angi felt confident that she could leave and it would be okay. We had a new nurse named Rob Anne, but we also had a pump nurse named Melissa who we've had a time or two before. We let them know we were leaving, and I dropped Angi off at the hospital at around 12:15. I got a very emotional phone call a few minutes later, and it took me a minute to figure out what was going on. Eventually, this is what I discovered.

Last night, when our normal night nurse Elizabeth left this morning, she noticed there was some sediment in his Foley (urine) catheter. The day shift decided to flush the catheter to get rid of the junk, and when she couldn't get it to flush, it slipped out. I don't know if she was panicked (I would have been) or not, but she tried to put it back in, and it wouldn't go in. In fact, he started bleeding profusely from the penis, and continued to do so for a while. Angi sent me a picture of it later, and it's not pretty. I'll spare you. The doctor came in and looked at it, deciding not to try to put the Foley back in. Elizabeth believes that the balloon that keeps the catheter in the bladder must have deflated. Furthermore, she said that she thinks there may have been some tissue buildup around it, which would explain its inability to be replaced, and they are discussing having an urologist step in for a second opinion. We strongly support this idea.

Jack is also still fluctuating in his blood pressure. This morning, the nurse was giving him a bath, and he got a little fussy. His blood pressure was normal before that, but when she put on his cd (which is great- piano and cello arrangements of hymns), and gave him a dose of fentenol (sedative), he went to sleep and his pressure dropped. We've noticed that when Jack rests, he REALLY relaxes, and his blood pressure drops. He is on a lot of medicine to regulate his blood pressure, which they have been able to wean down by half, so praise God! The problem is that while he is going up and down, they can't pull any extra fluid off of him, because it's too taxing on his body. He's maintaining a zero balance, which means they're able to take off all the fluid they're putting in via medicine and blood, but no more.

So! In all of this, we have new things to ask of in prayer. Please pray that Jack would heal and that lifelong function in his... body would be restored and secure. Pray that there are no blood clots or scar tissue in the urethra, and that he will continue to heal. The really nice thing is that Jack didn't seem to be in too much pain through all of this, and even now hasn't really shown too much discomfort. Pray too that his pressure would consistently normalize, and that they will be able to start pulling fluid from him again. And keep praying for Gaige, too. It's hard on him to be away from Angi, and he also doesn't have her discipline while he stays with his grandpa, and he can kind of be... well, a teenager.

Yet through this mostly downer of an update, I hope you don't think we have stopped praising God, because it's through His strength we are able to remain here with Jack. With his support through the Spirit we are able to count on each other, and that's a terrific blessing. I can't imagine what this would be like to someone who didn't have a devout wife like Angi with whom I can endure this. And without the strength of God, I would have given up long ago. And without family and friends praying for us and supporting us, how could we continue? So thank you, too, and God bless.

"Wait patiently on the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently on the Lord."

Tony and Angi

Thursday, March 26, 2009

to be certain of what we do not see

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." -Hebrews 4:16

Today was a different kind of day. I had to be at work today from 1-5, so Angi decided she would take a much-needed break and go home for a bit, pick up Gaige, visit coworkers, etc. Plus our favorite and most dependable nurses were on during the day, so Angi was confident that if anything went bad, they would notify us. So we went and grabbed something to eat (at Qdoba, which is very tasty, in my opinion) and headed home. Pretty soon after we left, however, things with Jack started to get a little worse. His blood pressure started to drop, and his medicines had to be upped several times. At one point (and even still to this point), his medication was at a .5 concentration, which is used for children and babies with no blood pressure at all. Even at that, his blood pressure was still dropping. Being the awesome nurses that they are, they called Angi to let her know, and so Angi started a text chain and with a lot of prayer, his stats started to recover. So thank you for your prayers!

Right now, his stats are fluctuating, and we can still use all the prayer we can get. Pray that the blood pressure can be maintained with a lower dose of medicine successfully. Pray that his lungs will continue to do their job, and that he will breathe past the ventilator as much as he can safely. Pray that they would fully expand. Right now he's letting the vent do all his breathing, and his CO2 levels are rising again because of it. Pray that we would not need to do a second treatment of the tPA. Dr. Barton would like to do another on Monday, and he wants to do a stronger dose this time. We really don't like the idea of that. I feel God blessed us with no side effects with the first one, and of course we believe that God is God of all, and in control. But I'd rather not push our luck. Also, please pray for Gaige, Jack's big brother. He has been home with his grandpa this whole time, and he's starting to feel rather lonely. He's come up and visited during spring break, and a couple other weekends, but that doesn't make going home away from his mom any easier. Tonight he's staying with his Uncle Greg. Please just pray that Gaige would be comforted and that he would have his brother home soon. :)

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." -Hebrews 11:1

God bless you all.

Tony and Angi

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

abounding in mercy

The Lord is merciful and gracious; slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. Psalm 103:8

Today at 8 Jack went in for his scheduled catheter and dye test. The doctor ran the catheter from his thigh into his inferior vena cava in his heart to check on the presence of the blood clot. He could only get it so far up, and discovered that the treatment yesterday did not clear the clot from his vessels. This is very discouraging, but God is still on His throne, and can still heal my son.

From there, Dr. Kimberling decided that since they had Jack in the cath lab, they would go ahead and check on the pressures in his heart. I'm really glad they did this, because they discovered that some of the pressures in his right ventricle were much higher than they would like; Dr. Kimberling poked around a little bit more and decided that the pulmonary arteries were a bit too thin, so he put a stint in both the left and right arteries which lead to the lungs. This will certainly relieve some of that pressure, and will possibly allow better flow through his heart altogether. So praise God! This was a blessing in what could have been a very disappointing procedure report.

So now Jack is back in the room with us, and his swelling is still much lower than it had been a couple days ago. He seems to be much more alert now as well. Thank you for all the prayers and consideration that you've shown my family. We appreciate it so much. And send us cool verses that you come across, and we'll put them on our scripture wall!


"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." Nahum 1:7

Tony and Angi

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

such a fighter

Just a quick little addendum as I promised. They changed up the exact procedure today, and instead of going in with a catheter to the blood clot itself, they decided to pump the medicine into the body systemically, which means that they didn't have to do any kind of cutting or other surgery. Dr. Barton said that this is just as effective as the other route without the trauma to the veins of running a catheter in. So that's good. The drip started at 3:30 today and will end in a few hours at 3:30 a.m. We have seen Jack respond fairly well to the medicine; his blood gas came back very good. Also, some really great news is that he is dropping swelling, not only since the medicine was administered, but since early this morning. He even opened his eyes for the first time in over a week today. That was awesome! We're not done with the medicine yet, so we still have a bit farther to go, but everything looks pretty good so far. The only misstep in it has been that he bled a little bit around the catheter spot on his leg, but it wasn't too bad and has since either stopped or slowed to a point that it's not a worry.

Tomorrow at 8 is when we'll really get to see how effective the medicine is. They will be taking him to the catheter lab and running a catheter, releasing a dye in his chest to see how well the tPA cleared out the veins in and around his heart. From there, with God's grace, we'll see a very high dissolve rate and won't need to do a second dose of the medicine. Please pray for this to be the case! (Granted, most of you won't see this until after we've already gotten the results back, but pray for Jack anyway!) If it turns out that it's just a partial dissolve, the medicine will be administered again on Thursday. Hopefully, however, we'll have a really good result from today's dose.

Praise God! Praise God because our baby is such a fighter! He's been through a lot of tribulation, and he's still kicking. Praise God because the swelling is coming down, and we can see his eyes again. Praise God because He's worth it regardless!

God bless.

Tony and Angi

just believe

"If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believeth." Mark 9:23

Jack is having the procedure today. Just a real quick rundown: they're doing the echo cardiogram right now, and they're going to get him some more blood platelets. He's at 70k and he needs to be at 100k. They're also going to do an ultrasound on his brain to make sure there's no damage before they do the catheter. Once the platelets are in and the ultrasound is done, they will start him on a drip that will go for 6 to 12 hours, depending on how he responds. Once everything is done, I'll post an update and let you know what they think. God bless you for praying for my baby. Keep praying until he comes home, and even then it'd still be nice. :)

Don't be afraid; just believe, and (s)he will be healed." Luke 8:50

Tony and Angi

Monday, March 23, 2009

come quickly to my rescue

"Turn your ear to me; come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me." Psalm 35:2

I'll come out with the hard stuff first today, and get it over with, so that we can praise God for the good things He is doing. We met today with our PICU floor doctor, Dr. Barton. He is the one who first recognized there was fluid in Jack's abdominal cavity and drained it out. We're pretty fond of this doctor, and he has been forthright with us. Today he was very level with us: he let us know that there's not many more safe steps, and we are about to require more aggressive action, and he thus has an idea for the next step. This step is still just a possibility, and not a definite procedure. Dr. Barton has to confer with our surgeons (Dr. Nokaidoh and Dr. Barth) before he can even be sure we can do it. There is a medicine that is commonly used in heart attack victims called TNP. TNP attacks and destroys blood clots, and it does it quite well, with a nearly 100% success rate. The procedure would entail entering the body with a catheter and shooting TNP directly onto the clot, allowing blood flow to be restored to the heart and the lymphatic ducts to drain. Now the risk and it's a huge one... The risk is that the medicine has a chance to cause hemorrhage in the brain, which would be immediately fatal.

Dr. Barton did let us know that if it were his child in the same situation, he would do it. He also allowed that in the last 15 years, it has happened once that the brain hemorrhaged. So it definitely can happen, but it is rare. He came in today at noon and shared this with us on his rounds, and he said that he'll be back before the day is up (most likely.) So far - at 3:10 p.m. - we haven't seen him yet.

Please pray for us today. Please pray that God would bless us with His wisdom, and that He would bless us with a peace about whichever way we should take this road. We believe that Jack will be healed, and we trust that God's Will will be done in either scenario. Please pray that if it's His will, another option would present itself that would allow Jack to be healed without this decision. They are still treating him today as though this option is not being discussed; they put him back on the nitric gas, and we're hoping that his fluid levels will diminish and perhaps the blood clot will dissolve on its own. Please, please pray for this. It would be absolutely terrific if the means to his healing would show up before we have to take this route.

We do praise God right, though, because Jack has done really well on the ventilator. His breathing and his gas numbers have been better even before he was put on the oscillator, and that's praiseworthy indeed! We praise God because we have now been in the hospital for 7 weeks, and our family and friends have made it possible for us to stay here and not worry about gas money or food money or even bills. God bless you all for that. And we praise God because Jack has such a wonderful extended family in everyone who is in continual prayer for him. Again, God bless you all for that. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I leave you with two more verses (and Angi's signature as well.):

"Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9

"Then your light shall break forth, like the morning; your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you. The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." -Isaiah 58:8 (Thanks Amanda!)

Tony and Angi

Sunday, March 22, 2009

we owe it all to God

Just a quick update today. Yesterday we pulled Jack off the oscillator, and today he has had consistently good stats. His blood gases have been good, and he has been weaned down on the oxygen percent a good bit. Even his fluid has been draining out of his abdominal cavity. So today is a really good day, and we owe it all to God. We have been pouring over the Word and finding all the different possible verses we can that speak of healing and delivered promises. (If you have any good ones, let us know! We've been writing the ones we find on post-its and sticking them to the walls and doors. Thank you all for your consistent prayer and your dedication to our child. We're sorry that you can't come back and see him now, but I promise that when we bring him home, we'll show him off like crazy.

Today our specific prayers that you can aid us in are that his catheter for his abdomen will continue to drain, and that he will continue to resist infection or sickness. Also pray that his blood pressure would be maintained so that they can continue to aggressively pull the fluid from his blood and wean him further on his medicines.

-Angi, Tony, Gaige, and Jack

Saturday, March 21, 2009

jack is a child of the Most High God

Today, Tony and I had a conference with the doctors. Jack had been on a machine called an oscillator, which is a breathing pump that handles all of his breathing for him via little puffs of oxygen. This means that Jack could be sustained indefinitely on this machine whether he is able to breathe on his own or not. We feel like this is man's way of intervening in God's process. If Jack is to get better and be able to breathe on his own (which we 100% believe is God's will,) than he needs to be off this machine. We asked the doctors to put him back on the ventilator. The doctors were very supportive, and agreed that this was an acceptable step in a good direction. The best part is that the doctors with which we spoke do believe in God, and they vaguely suggested that if he is to get better, it will be because God willed it so. So now we are back on the ventilator, and Jack has accepted it well. He is breathing what the machine supports, plus most of the time he will breathe 2-10 breaths a minute in addition to it.

Jack is going to get better; we believe it, and so should you. Please pray for his continued progress. We are specifically praying that the fluid in his tissue would come out, so that there would be less pressure on the lungs and kidneys. Once the fluid comes out, we also need to pray for that clot in his SVC. The clot is the core of everything that is wrong. We know God can and will destroy that clot, and we need that prayed for as well. (This is Tony typing.. I'm a robot.. I like to type eloquently and Angi is making fun of me for it.) Seriously, please pray for these things specifically. We love Jack and want him to be healed, as we know you do as well. We're intent and focused on bringing him home. We know it's going to happen. We accept and expect it. Thank you for all the support you've given. We appreciate it more than we can say. Do also say a prayer for us as well. We are positive God is bringing him home, but there are a lot of ways in which the enemy is trying to distract us.

Jack is a child of the Most High God. No weapon formed against him will prosper!

Angi and Tony

God is bringing him home

Today, Tony and I had a conference with the doctors. Jack had been on a machine called an oscillator, which is a breathing pump that handles all of his breathing for him via little puffs of oxygen. This means that Jack could be sustained indefinitely on this machine whether he is able to breathe on his own or not. We feel like this is man's way of intervening in God's process. If Jack is to get better and be able to breathe on his own (which we 100% believe is God's will,) than he needs to be off this machine. We asked the doctors to put him back on the ventilator. The doctors were very supportive, and agreed that this was an acceptable step in a good direction. The best part is that the doctors with which we spoke do believe in God, and they vaguely suggested that if he is to get better, it will be because God willed it so. So now we are back on the ventilator, and Jack has accepted it well. He is breathing what the machine supports, plus most of the time he will breathe 2-10 breaths a minute in addition to it.

Jack is going to get better; we believe it, and so should you. Please pray for his continued progress. We are specifically praying that the fluid in his tissue would come out, so that there would be less pressure on the lungs and kidneys. Once the fluid comes out, we also need to pray for that clot in his SVC. The clot is the core of everything that is wrong. We know God can and will destroy that clot, and we need that prayed for as well. Please pray for these things specifically. We love Jack and want him to be healed, as we know you do as well. We're intent and focused on bringing him home. We know it's going to happen. We accept and expect it. Thank you for all the support you've given. We appreciate it more than we can say. Do also say a prayer for us as well. We are positive God is bringing him home, but there are a lot of ways in which the enemy is trying to distract us.

Jack is a child of the Most High God. No weapon formed against him will prosper!

Angi and Tony

Sunday, March 15, 2009

fighting to live

This morning, Jack was put on a different breathing machine called an oscillator. It does all the breathing for him. He was put on it because his CO2 levels were rising higher than the doctors would like. We have been praying for Jack to live, of course, but also for God's will to be done. The doctors give a very disconcerting prognosis; our surgeon came in this morning and told us that some of the cardiologists are still optimistic, however it is very grim. But we trust in God. We trust that if it is in God's will for Jack to come home, that he will come home as healthy as he can, and that God's healing power is limitless. If it is not His will, then I pray that we can accept that with grace. We just don't want Jack to suffer.


Pray for us, please. I know and appreciate that you have been praying; we appreciate it more than we can say. Pray for us that God's will would be done to his glory, whether it be for Jack to make his miraculous recovery we all accept and expect, or if it would be that Jack would be taken home to God's glory. Also, pray for Tony and I that we would be able to weather this storm and come out on the other side. And for Gaige, that he would understand what is going on and not be bitter or angry with God. And especially pray for Jack. Pray that this new oscillator would restore his CO2 to the levels it needs to be (and that he can be put back on the ventilator soon), and that his fluid would continue to drain from the machine he was put on yesterday. Pray that he wouldn't suffer. Thank you for your prayerful support and your friendship. It means a lot.


Tony and Angi

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

our anniversary

It's our first year, I have been staying in Tulsa with Jack. Tony drives back and forth from work and to keep tabs on our older son Gaige. It's not what we had expected.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

my husband's birthday

My husband and newborn son are in Tulsa at St. Francis, Jack has had his first of many surgeries. It was a success, praise God Almighty. We are celebrating a new life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

an hour later

 We got to hold him for about an hour, and then when he was getting his first shots and everything in the nursery, we noticed that he wasn't crying. After some observation, the doctors became afraid of complications due to a lack of oxygen in his blood. He was then life flighted to St Francis in Tulsa, and we have been there since. He has had 3 surgeries, and is slated for one more. His problem is that when he was born, the two main veins that stem from a normal heart, the greater vessels were backwards. Here is a link explaining it.
http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/heart-encyclopedia/anomalies/transposition.htm
God blessed him with a hole in the septum, the dividing wall between the ventricles, allowing good oxygen circulation despite the defect. The night he made it to St. Francis, they went into his heart via a catheter and inflated a balloon in the upper septum, allowing more oxygen flow. Then last Thursday, they went into the heart and made the change to his vessels (the procedure is called the Arterial Switch.) These procedures were both successful, and the doctors are pleased. The complication is that at the same time, Jack has had a problem with his lungs, which may be a result of the ventilator. It has really messed things up, and a couple nights ago he had to have a chest tube placed in his lung to drain it. Now we're waiting on the swelling to come down that happened when he had the surgery. When he is back to normal, they can finish closing his breast bone together and eventually take out the ventilator. Assuming everything goes well, next week, Jack will be 3 weeks old and we will have got to hold him for only one hour. So we are desperate to pick him up and for him to be better. Right now I'm driving back and forth every night when I have to work, and the rest of the time, staying in Tulsa at the Ronald McDonald house with Angi. Our older son, Gaige, is staying with his grandpa. Thanks for your prayers. They mean more than anything else right now.


Tony and Angi