"I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up." Isaiah 49:11
Lori was one month pregnant when Justin started experiencing weakness in his right hand, which was uncommon for him- an incredibly fit and active 35 year old, who enjoyed backpacking, soccer, and rough-housing with his daughter- so, naturally, we took the symptoms seriously at the advice of a friend and after several months of inconclusive blood tests, MRI's, EMG's, spinal taps and several drs. our worst fears were realized on December 15, 2020 at UPenn.
Our world as we knew it came to a screeching halt that day. Dreams were paused, our desires to grow our family felt crushed, and our work, time and resources were drastically altered as we shifted under the weight of the terrible diagnosis of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
It's crazy to look back at the last two years- in a way, we're impressed that we've made it this far. Some days feel insurmountable and we're leveled by the ongoing and ruthless trauma of this diagnosis and the daily impact it's had on our family. But then again, there are days when God in His goodness and mercy sends help- others to lift our arms when we can't stand.
We can both attest to life-giving moments where we see life more clearly than before as we hold our fragile lives in grace and sit with the reality of why we're even on this earth - and it's in those moments where we try to linger and let the gift of the present hold us and strengthen us. We've had moments where God has felt so incredibly near and we've strived to create goodness and joy, even as we walk up this beast of a mountain. We've also had moments where we've desired to create purpose and beauty out of the ashes. While our emotions can change daily, for us, the point (and my daily prayer) is that we see God a little clearer every day... in the mundane and in the present, and then go and reflect His light so others can experience His love too.
We're a work in progress, but our prayer has been that God would heal us WHOLEY- physically, spiritually, and emotionally as we walk uphill.
Thanks for following along, and riding the ups and downs with us as we try to faithfully walk out this journey trusting that God will turn His mountains into Highways.
-Justin + Lori
Thanks for loving us in tangible ways!
If you'd like to donate, you can write a check out to:
216 Owl Hill Road
Lititz, PA 17543
You're invited to listen to the conversation.
God has changed out hearts in many ways the last two years. We've had moments where we've said to each other "we wish we were writing this down" because some moments are too beautiful and we just want to savor and hold them forever. Sometimes it's because we utter words that feel so utterly different than the words coming out of our mouths just a month prior. It can be an isolated conversation that feels precious or the ability to look back 2 years later and recall moments of gratitude, grief, hurt, fear, joy, transformation... the point is the collective sum feels important.
Please note you may hear cursing, tears, anger, but that is a part of our story so it's, raw and honest, and our God is big enough to hold it all. Also, be aware that part of the journey is knowing that even if you say and believe something one day there is always room for transformation, and so please listen and leave room for the growth that is happening, knowing tomorrow we could be sharing a different part of the story. Again...God is bigger.