Saturday, December 24, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR from Charles and family!

Charles has progressed little by little in the last week or so. He is not able to speak or move yet, but he is now opening his eyes and blinking at times (Thank God!). We have seen progress and are encouraged by it, as are the doctors. According to the doctors' reports and MRI results, Charles sustained significant brain damage as a result of extremely low blood pressure and possibly a stroke as well. They are not able to tell us at this time when Charles will recover. The plans for a bone-marrow transplant are also on hold until more progress is made. We will keep you posted. Remember that we do not place our faith in doctors' reports, but in God's report! Do not ever stop believing in God's power, all you have to do is look past the present, move forward with Him, thank Him, and praise Him for what he has in store for us.

As you continue to read, please keep in mind that I am not naive, I am not in denial, and do not think for one second that I am setting myself up for some great disappointment. Do not feel sorry for me, but continue to pray for me and my family. You see, God is not a disappointing God. If we allow him, He will reveal great things to us despite what we see in the natural world. God has allowed me to see past the present situation! I am not allowing myself to get bogged down with all of the negative fears and doubts many might feel surrounding Charles' condition! I will continue to thank God for the future no matter what happens. You see, it has already happened, it is done, and God had this all planned out way before Charles was even born! We often don't realize it, but God has a plan bigger than we can sometimes comprehend. I do know that he has used Charles mightily and because of that God has given me more and more faith. I have seen past the present and God has great things in store for me and my family.

I know that Charles is able to see past the present and for that he has inspired many. One of the many things that God revealed to Charles was looking ahead and remaining steadfast despite ANY situation he was faced with, even death. He almost made it look easy. I wanted to know how I could find that kind of faith. God answered my prayer and has allowed me to experience it on my own. It is liberating and can only be described as true freedom! There is no way humanly possible to explain it or to transfer it over. You have to want it and it can only come from God and His word!

The bible teaches us continually that despite trials and tribulations we are capable of seeing past the present. What we are going through is nothing compared to what many before us have endured. Nothing, with God's help and grace is impossible! I am looking past the present like the apostles did and I will not allow any current negative situation and negative emotions way me down. I’m prepared to do what it takes for God in the future. I realize that many will think that I’m a little crazy.... but even that; I can endure with God on my side. Please read God's word concerning faith, trials and tribulations, and how we can overcome anything with God. His truth will set you free! Free from anything that you are going through.

You see, once you entertain the thought of “well, you don’t know what I’m going through”, you have set yourself up for not allowing God to do His work. So don't allow self pity, worry, anxiety, doubt, fear, pain, suffering, sickness, confusion, family problems, financial problems, etc. have control over your walk and climb with God! Do not let the enemy rob and steal the joy of God from you! Place beneath you all of your worries and problems and use them as a giant stepping stool, you will SEE past the present and SEE what God has in store for you and His glory! Once you do that, there is no looking back, Thank God!

The biggest obstacle that prevented me from accepting God’s complete faith was doubt and uncertainty brought on by the enemy. That very doubt and uncertainty would not allow God to give me a more complete faith in Him. I began to worry about how I would handle disappointment and failure in prayer, after placing my entire trust in Him. How would I handle trusting Him completely, and then have the floor I stood on kicked out from under me? I also began to wonder how God could allow something like that to happen. Christian friends would even tell me that I needed to be ready for that kind of disappointment. Some would say that I shouldn’t have that kind of faith because ultimately I don’t know God’s will and believing the uncertain is almost like having false hope. In God there is never, ever any false hope nor is there never, ever any disappointment! That may seem like a hard pill to swallow for some, but it is the absolute truth!

Now that I have given God complete control and my complete trust and faith in Him, he has shown me that I need not worry about the floor under my feet because I will remain standing firm, regardless! I thank God that I am able to handle the present situation, or having the floor kicked out from under me or even handling the unknown. You see when you allow Him complete control, there is never any need to worry or doubt. I will remain standing firm and will never look back. I will look forward and upward and never lose sight of Him.

God is now able to teach me that faith alone is not enough. As His word says in James 2:14-17:
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

For many, the uncertainty of what happens after death is fearful. It doesn’t have to be. Remember that anyone one of us can die unexpectedly. Charles understood that a long time ago. Because of God’s knowledge and by God’s saving grace, Charles is saved and will go to be with the Lord when that day comes. I can say that with absolute certainty, not because it sounds "nice" or because it will read nice in the obituaries. Unfortunately many believe that we are born, we live life, we die and by God’s default we are all floating on some cloud in heaven. It doesn’t work that way.

Charles is in a “win- win” situation. I know that even in his last breath he would tell us not to worry about him, but rather would remind us that we need to take care of ourselves here on earth while we still have the opportunity to make sure that we are ready for eternal life in heaven. That my friend is liberating! Thank God! Because of that freedom, I no longer worry about what the doctors will say next. I will continue to stand firm and believe that God has already healed Charles. All we need to do now is to wait for the manifestation. Because of Charles’ future with God here on earth or in heaven, I no longer have to worry about Charles’ present. God is in total control of His perfect will.

Despite all of the turmoil that we face, God has continued to bless my family with His love, peace, joy and knowledge in His word. As we continue with the spiritual battle for Charles, we have at times grown weary, but through God almighty, we are renewed in our strength and press forward towards victory. You see, we believe that victory already belongs to Charles because of our ability to look past the present.

About four months ago, I was faced with telling Charles, for the first time, that doctors believed there was nothing else they could do for him. They contemplated sending him home and making him comfortable to eventually die. While a difficult thing to do, imagine being on the receiving end of that conversation. Now imagine being told that several times during the last 4 months.
We prayed, cried and talked a short while. I left him alone for an hour or so and when I returned it was as if our conversation had never occurred! He refused to accept defeat. Charles never conceded, instead God was honing his faith and put him to the test. You see, he was able to see past the present because of God’s grace, not due to denial, but rather because of God’s freedom and showers of mercy and grace which reign in his heart.

What ever you struggle with, remember what God's word says in Hebrews 11:23-27:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

If you are still struggling, then put on God’s armor of faith like He says in Ephesians 6:10-18:

"Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.
Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occassion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke 1:37 (NIV)
37For nothing is impossible with God.

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31b (NIV)
31If God is for us, who can be against us?

Psalm 28:7 (NASB)
7The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.

4:52 PM, December 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to your whole family. I've heard what happened. I posted a memorial to Charles in my blog at

Charles was loved dearly and his memory will continue on forever.

12:16 PM, December 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Valerie and family,
Valerie we met at MD Anderson when you were visiting Pamela and Dinah. My 18 year old son, Jonathan, was being treated for lung cancer. I am so sorry for your loss of your precious son. Our son has been in the presence of the Lord since June 16, 2005. God is enough to get you through. Praise God that Charles is enjoying wholeness and total happiness now. Sincerely, Sandy Bouchard

2:04 PM, December 30, 2005  
Anonymous khouloud,Wayne and Chaise said...

My heart goes out to you Valerie and your whole family and friends.
I'm quoting this from the poem Charles written:
We find strenght in God,he who comforts us in our sorrows,who heard us when we mourned.

But now our eyes are cleared,We see the truth,that in our weakness he is made strong,that after sorrow comes joy,and through trial comes patience.So we press on..towards the prize in the end having done all,to stand.
From my heart to your.

His poem touched my heart and everyone's that read it.

Valerie keep in touch,you've been such a true friend with true faith that helped other families that you've met and touched our hearts.

Khouloud,Wayne and

4:54 PM, January 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although your precious and beautiful son is now in the divine presence of our Lord...he leaves behind a legacy of words,scripture and thoughts that will inspire many for years to come. This is the true miracle of life..because we are only here for a brief moment in time. I learned through the death of my father and my own sick child that faith is not believing in what we intend..but rather, what God intends, His will always prevails.

Charles had a very special gift. The Lord obviously worked through him as he faced new challenges each day. But glory to God that he is now home in Heaven and all that he suffered has been rewarded ten fold with God. For he worked as an Ambassador to the Word of God through his presence and work. He understood at such a young age, what it trully meant to be a servant of our Lord. God was simply preparing a place for him all this time.

I will pray for your family as this must still be very difficult and painful a time. You are still human afterall. But know that Charles will send you silent and brief messages throughout the years of your just have to listen and watch for them. And I will share with you the same message someone said to me the day my father passed away..."He only got their first."

God bless you and Praise the Lord for having blessed you with such a beautiful and blessed son!

2:59 PM, January 16, 2006  

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