Happy Anniversary

Hey everyone, and happy belated one year anniversary of my accident. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank EACH of you for praying for and diligently thinking of and supporting me this last year. I can’t believe I’ve been so diligently presented to my Lord for healing and protection. When I get to heaven I’ll be sure to mention you all.

Like usual, my where-with-all to respond to the gifts and cards is not back yet. But I cannot overstate the love each one gives me. I feel so utterly alone in this battle 99.99999999999999999% of the time even though I have an amazing husband, friends, and twin sister to get through this all with. I really can’t stress what your messages and cards saying that you’re STILL praying for me means to me…

I’d like to give you some updates:

  • Ryne and I recently went on a cruise together to quickly find out that we’re not cruise people. There were way too many kids for us to really relax. Not enough pools and not enough hot tubs. The alcohol (that I didn’t spill) and comedy were SO good though.
  • At the end of our vacation we met two of our very dearest friends ( the Mocks ) with my sister and bro in law in Philadelphia to climb the Rocky Balboa steps. Unfortunately, the steps were closed (with no exception) for Jay Z, Cardi B, and Lizzo. Personally, I think if Jay-Z knew that “I was here” by Beyonce was one of my theme songs he probably would have let me climb the stairs.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41qWJ6QjPI grab some tissues, you’re going to thank me later). Thanks to Ryne I was able to climb stairs TWICE as high anyway.
  • My new therapists feel like my long lost family members! My Physical Therapist, Steven, is kind and super challenging, my favorite combo of a person. If that wasn’t enough he loves Jesus and loves being a father to his many kids. Like, actually loves. He fricken raised them, went to PT school, and homeschooled them at the same time so that THEY could receive full ride educations. And many of them did. So there’s that. He’s definitely my long lost father. Rachel, who is my Occupational Therapist, and meeting me TO RIDE HORSES in like an hour, has already made it possible for me to do photography again AND cook a meal. Ally, my speech therapist, reminds me SO much of my twin sissy. She fiercely advocates for me and protects my sleep. I mean come on, could I be any more fortunate? Plus Kathy, my social worker, and Dr. Gabara, my physician, will literally go to bat for me on just about anything. I wish everyone could receive care like this…
  • Based on the love and support (which sometimes feels supernatural) coming in from friends and family I often wonder if God is using them to speak love to me right now.
  • I am astounded and so grateful to be back at my old job at the Klump lab where everyone seems to value any capabilities I still harbor. I officially came back on Monday of last week and I was happily surprised to find cards and gifts showering my desk. Honestly, for some reason they love me sooo well. I still have to stew on the love to believe it’s real life. Fortunately, my supervisors at Hope are allowing me to work from home some days further mimicking the schedule I used to keep. Finally, my supervisor at Hope mentioned that Kelly is still willing to supervise my tllp (temporary licensed psychology) hours for me. omg!
  • Lately, per my speech therapists urging, I’ve been trying to journal again. If you knew me well before the accident, then you would remember that journaling was my main way of speaking to God and sorting through my thoughts. So as illegible it can be sometimes, I ultimately think journaling is going to benefit me coming back to myself in the long run. 

Finally I have a few prayer requests:

  • The cloud of sadness over my head never lifts.
  • I thought for the good part of this year that I’d been miraculously healed of my eating disorders only to hear that voice of self hatred roar it’s ugly head again.
  • Couples counseling is great but I seriously don’t feel like letting Ryne into the depth of my pain.

Thank you all for continuing to follow my progress and support me and my family, it’s appreciated more than you’ll ever know!

With Love,

Angie

Here I go again

I sincerely apologise for my lack of responses bc I’m so busy and far too depressed to be spending energy dotfully responding to each of you. Though, I wish I could. I still joyfully spend hours paging through responses like it’s the first time I’ve read them. With that being said, I cannot thank each of you enough for whole heartedly and continually caring for me. I can’t see that I’ve done anything to deserve such a wide spread show of genuine support.

Updates;

My birthday was bomb. I spent most of my time with my identical twin, her husband Al, and my sweet sweet husband, Ryne, on a beach near tc. I loved spending time reminiscing of memories I made there in my adolescence.

I also loved moving to a new apartment. I tell everyone that it’s super booshy bc they serve Starbucks in the lobby.

I recently began therapy with a new speech therapist. She’s amazing. She makes everything practical and purposeful for my life.

I will also begin couples therapy with Damaris soon. She is my long term personal therapist. She is very wise and compassionate! I hope she can begin to help me understand this trauma through rynes eyes.

-Anwsered prayer

I was approved for a terratrike bike last week!

I cut two onions this week!

I began salivating again!!

I passed my swallow study last week meaning I can finally share a stout on the porch with my love!

Kelly Klump is willing to take me back to work and Grace ( her RA) is my caregiver!

I can put my education to use on the care team at riv.

-Prayer requests

That the staff at hope would have a gentle re-understanding of the population they are working with.

That the governor and the people who live in the state of Michigan would feel safe and taken care of.

That my depression wouldo be lifted. That every day would be filled with the joy of Jesus and that I would deeply get what role grace plays in my every day life.

Finally I’d like to share a poem my friend Kelsey Hudson wrote:

“And yet I sit here, in the pit of my soul, in the depths of my being, in unbelief

Unbelief in myself

Unbelief in my worthiness

Unbelief that my progress will cover up all of my hurt, shame, and regret

When will the shadows stop being a constant companion?

When will I feel like I can breathe in my freedom?

When will the waters of salvation clean my sackcloths?

When will it end?

I don’t know

And I don’t know that I need to know

I can only move forward, and adapt, and tell myself I love myself until I believe it

Fake it until you make it, that’s what they say, right?

Well then damn, I’m about to be the fakest happiest sunshine bitch ever

I’m about to radiate the stars and the moon, running through fields of lavender, jumping in piles of leaves, like I’m in a tampon commercial

Like I’m empowered

Like I’m someone

Like I’m me

Like I’m my own home

And someday

Someday it will connect

I’ll be safe in my own home, in my temple, in me

And I look forward to that day

Because I know it’s coming

But for now, I’m choosing to be here

To feel everything

To set good boundaries for myself

To grieve

To rest

To laugh

To have coffee with a friend

To ready a good book

To paint

To dance like no one is watching at a friend’s wedding reception, when everyone is watching

To know that not all days will be fully good or fully bad

To embrace embodiment

So I breathe

I breathe in whatever today has for me

Even though I’m exhausted

Even though I wake up and have to crack my hands and unclench my jaw because I’ve been grinding my teeth all night

Even though I have set no less than 12 alarms to make sure I don’t make it to work late

Even though I’m going to spellcheck the hell out of this poem, and obsess and overthink every little phrase and paraphrase

Even though I feel intimidated by today

By the prospect of having another panic attack at work

By the possibility of feeling melancholy, and my tendency to play depression detective and connect all the pieces

But here goes nothing

Well, here goes everything

Here goes today

For today is a new day

Because I am here

And so are you

Take a deep breath, and I will too

And thank today for being today

And thank you for being you

And me for being me

And do the damn thing

It’s only here for today “

Speaking for Myself

Hey all, it’s me, Angie. As most of you know, I lived and from my vantage point, it’s kind of like I took a really long nap and woke up to a whole new body that can’t walk safely, talk long, or eat/swallow the same. The only things I don’t have a recollection of is the weekend before the accident and when I was in a coma and the accident itself. 

Every day I spend 8+ hours in therapy working on my fine and gross motor skills at Hope Rehabilitation Center where Ryne, Nola, and I currently live. Things, like folding laundry and doing my hair and makeup, are challenging for me 

I want to thank EACH of you for lifting my literal life up to our Papa in a desperate plea. I’m forever indebted to each of you individually for taking the time out of your busy lives and personal problems to ask our Papa to find a way to help me live.

As with every post I want to give you each a detailed update of answered prayer and the things I’m still looking for prayer and support in.

Updates:

  • We finally were approved for an accessible apartment and Ryne will be moving our things from our old apartment to the new one on June 1st.
  • I discharge from Hope Networks inpatient facility on June 8th.
  • I have been upgraded from a full-time wheelchair to an (almost) full time standing walker.
  • I plan on walking a 5k with my PT soon.
  • I’m still hurting because I feel my physical has changed a lot but not my psychological hasn’t necessarily.
  • I’m not feeling God’s closeness to me in this, as much as I pray and read His word.

Feel free to email back or text or send me any questions you may have. Right now I plan to regularly update this myself.

With thanks and love to all of you,

Angie

Three Months Of Grace

It’s now been three months since the accident.

We’re still blown away and amazed at God’s grace through all of this.

Not only are we daily thankful for God having spared Angie’s life in the accident, we’re continually reminded that it is He that is sustaining her and each of us with each day. There’s no reason we should have the strength to get through this pain apart from Him. There’s no reason we should find joy in the midst of this hardship apart from Him. We can’t help but point to God for the endurance and hope we’ve been given to face each new day.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7


Moving to Hope

Back in mid-October, Angie passed all the metrics she needed to reach in order to be released from care at Sparrow Hospital. From there we moved over to Hope Network Neuro Rehab Center here in Lansing where we’ve been for the last month. Moving to Hope has been refreshing as it feels more “homey” than Sparrow, but it’s still a reminder that Angie isn’t truly home yet.

Here at Hope, Angie has been keeping busy with her speech, occupational, and physical therapies. Each day she spends a couple hours in therapy, intermixed with the much needed rest that her body continues to need to repair itself. Angie has been focusing on improving her cognitive skills in recent therapies, especially on her information processing skills and attention. Her enduring strength continues to shine through as she’s been taking more supported steps and regaining balance.

One of the most enjoyable things for Angie has been re-introducing solid foods into her diet. We’re so happy to have congealed liquids behind us (if anyone has experienced a diet of congealed water and pureed foods, they’ll know how tiring that can be) and even more so happy at the evidence of Angie’s throat continuing to heal and regain swallowing control.


Nola

A week before the accident we got a dog, which is absurd timing looking back, but living with Nola has been such a blessing. Nola is living with us in our apartment at Hope and has been such an encouragement to us and the other patients. The other day Angie said “isn’t it amazing that we got Nola a week before my accident?!” What could have been another stressor in this season has lead to greater joy and comfort.

Nola also was the star of our Halloween group costume. Even though we couldn’t throw our annual Halloween party this year, we were still able to partake in some festivities and bring the spooky season into our little apartment.

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in him.
‭‭Nahum‬ ‭1:7

While some people have commended our stamina to withstand these circumstances, we truly do step back and point to God and give Him all the glory.

We thank God:

  • for all the lessons He’s teaching us through this season
  • for the character built in Angie over her life to get through this struggle
  • for how He’s teaching us through Angie’s example
  • for the strength He has exerted through Ryne
  • that He is a near God, walking with us through trials
  • for preserving Angie’s life, and blessing us with her presence
  • that our identity isn’t in the things we can do or how we communicate, but in Jesus
  • for all the truths of Scripture

Joy and heartache

Walking in joy and heartache has been a new normal in this season and a recent pang of reality was Ang saying “I feel like I should be able to do this.” It’s these moments that remind us of the very real pain of this situation, but also bring joy at remembering just how far Angie has progressed.

It is by holding onto that perspective and clinging to God’s strength that we continue to walk forward in hope, resting in His grace.


Please continue to pray for:

  • mental strength in Angie
  • spiritual closeness to God
  • strength for Ryne to be the husband he’s called to be
  • God’s continued comfort
  • reminders of the truth of Scripture
  • God to meet all of us in whatever brokenness we’re walking through
  • God to do immeasurably more than we could imagine
  • a miraculous and total recovery

Search me, oh God

Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!

Psalm 139:1-16, 23

Count it all joy

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:2-5

Pray for Angie

This week Angie is transferring facilities, so we’re not going to be meeting up at Sparrow for our weekly prayer time. Please continue to pray at 8:00pm whether it be by yourself or with others. And we’ll let you know about group prayer times moving forward. Here are some current prayer requests:

  • Boldly ask for a full recovery
  • To give God the glory in all of this right now and through the rest of our lives
  • For God to continue to instill in our hearts a desire to point to Him in all of this
  • That we would trust in God’s love
  • For strength to work through our fears and joys and all the blends of emotion we’re going through
  • Continued healing for Angie

We often find ourselves without the words to pray, but take comfort in the fact that God asks us to come to Him with our requests; and when words fail, the Spirit is praying on our behalf.

Thank you for being family and friends who likewise are praying on our behalf over Angie and trusting in God’s sovereignty over this all.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8:26

We do not know what to pray

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:27-28

Strength and finding her voice

Sorry for the delay in posts the last couple weeks. As we walk through each day with Angie, sometimes we forget how all the little steps add up to some major improvements over the course of a couple weeks. Thank you for continuing to pray over Angie and send us texts and notes of encouragement! Even when we’re unable to respond right away, it’s such a comfort and encouragement to hear from friends and family. Please keep those notes coming along as you think of us throughout the day!

Angie has been continuing in her rehab at Sparrow, and she continually blows us away with her strength to push through the exhaustion and physical exertion that each task demands of her. This past week Angie gained a new roommate, which has brought such joy to the whole environment!

Her voice!

The biggest thing we’re thankful for is that Angie has started to find her voice. Initially it started as some groaning and wheezing, but this week was a turning point as she’s pulled out the strength to form words! It is such a blessing to start to hear her tone of voice again even through the strained words. Each word and phrase really takes all of her effort, but it’s been such a relief for her and she sometimes repeats what she’s saying just to hear her voice and practice the movements. While she was just communicating through Sign she expressed how frustrating it was to not be able to produce sound with her voice, so this is a huge answer to prayer.

In addition to her voice finding strength, Angie’s personality is shining through stronger and stronger as her laugh is coming back and she’s often giggly (mostly at Ryne and Alex’s dry sense of humor). This peace is such a tangible answer to prayer for God to protect her from anxiety and continued frustration.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Psalm 23:1-4

Through all of this we really can only point to God for the miraculous healing that is happening in Angie’s brain, body, and voice. He truly is the God of restoration and seeing Him work in this way, all we can do is step back and give Him the glory.

We give Him so many thanks:

  • We’re thankful for God being good and loving through all of this.
  • We’re thankful for God being with Angie even when we aren’t physically present with her in her room.
  • We’re thankful that Angie passed her swallow test and has been able to slowly introduce liquid foods into her diet.
  • We’re thankful for God having preserved Angie’s life in the accident and His bringing her back to us.
  • We’re thankful that we can witness God’s power in the heights and depths and fullness of this story that He’s writing.
  • We’re thankful that we can lean into God in the midst of the confusion of emotions and unknown-ness of our situation.
  • We’re thankful for the grace that God has given us and that His grace is sufficient.


Help our unbelief

With each improvement we witness, it’s also hard; wondering if each skill gained will be the end of her improvement. Will her speech improve beyond this point? Will her walking improve? Will her full ability to eat improve? These doubts and questions strike the reality of the situation and how long this road will be. Yet despite, and in light of, these doubts we are fully confident in God’s character and goodness. We pray boldly for Him to fully heal Angie, but will give Him the glory no matter what the outcome.

In these moments, we call out to God and ask Him to help us believe. Much like the man that brought his son to Jesus to be healed, this is our prayer:

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

Mark 9:24

Please continue to pray with us for our Angie!

  • For continued high and hopeful spirits for her
  • For peace for Angie
  • To avoid anxiety for Angie and the family
  • To cling to God in this time and point all glory to Him