Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Grandpa - August 2, 1930 - May 13, 2014

My grandpa and grandma at the beach during Christmas in 2010

My grandpa, Elmo Hall, passed away on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014, surrounded by his family.

Where do I start? There's so much to say. My grandpa was such an incredible man. I couldn't have asked for a better family. My grandma passed away a little over a year ago and ever since then my grandpa has not done well. He was diagnosed with cancer 2 days before she died and then dementia shortly after she died. It's incredible to see how much he loved her. He couldn't imagine life without her, so when she died, he seemed lost. The dementia took over and he had to move into a retirement home, and then got worse and had to move into assisted living. Because of various things, he had to move 2 more times and finally ended up back at home with 24/7 care. We knew he wanted to be home.

However, when we got him home, he deteriorated very fast and we didn't know what to do or what was causing it. He was admitted to the hospital to a geriatric diagnostic center that was an hour away from where we all live. We were told he would be there for about a week and that they would get his medicines all straightened out and get him more stable to come back home. He had only been home for a week before he was admitted to the hospital.

In the hospital, they started doing all the tests and found out that he was in acute kidney failure along with heart failure and several other issues. We had no idea how sick he was. No one did, not even his 24/7 caregivers. At first we were told the renal failure could be reversed, but he kept getting sicker and sicker.

He was in the hospital for a week before we really realized how sick he was. Three days before he died, we realized that he would not recover from this. His body was tired. We wanted to get him transferred to a hospital where we live since the hospital he was in was an hour away but he was too sick and frail. So we started calling family and he was started on hospice to keep him comfortable.

Monday, May 12th, people started arriving to say goodbye to him. So many people drove the hour to the hospital to see him. He was so loved. That day was spent holding his hand, talking to him, and just being with him. He was still a little responsive, but not much. We listened to worship music a lot that day. My mom, aunt, and I spent the night with him in the hospital on Monday night. I spent most of the night watching him breathe, cherishing every moment because we knew that he didn't have long.

More people came on Tuesday and by then he wasn't responsive anymore, but we were told he could still hear us, so we talked to him a lot.

We each got time alone to talk to him. I did this with my best friend right before she passed away from cancer, and also with my grandma right before she died last year. I told my grandpa that it was okay to go. That when God called him, he needed to run to God. I told him that we would miss him so much but that we would be okay. We would take care of each other. I told him how much I loved him.

Once we all got a chance to talk to him, his breathing changed and we knew it wouldn't be much longer. My dad, brother, mom, aunt, and I were all there. I was holding his hand and at 4:48pm, God called him Home. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8

My grandpa has received his reward for being so faithful and by God's grace.

Sitting by him, treasuring every minute

Holding his hand as God called him Home

My grandpa died on my mom's birthday. Someone mentioned that my grandpa also got a birthday that day and we loved the thought of that. While my mom celebrated her physical birthday into this world, my grandpa gained a new birthday- a birthday into Heaven- the best birthday there is!

I think my grandpa would have been happy with how his funeral turned out. It was perfect, if you can say that about a funeral. There were so many funny stories about him and also stories that showed how much he loved our Savior. He was truly an incredible man and I miss him so much.

This is a song that we used during the slideshow during the funeral and I love it. It's called See You in a Little While by Steven Curtis Chapman.


"I hold your hand and watch as the sun slowly fades
Far in the distance the Father is calling your name

And it’s time for you to go home
And everything in me wants to hold on
But I’m letting you go with this goodbye kiss and this promise
I’ll see you in a little while
I’ll see you in a little while
It won’t be too long now
We’ll see it on the other side
The wait was only the blink of an eye
So I’m not gonna say goodbye
‘Cause I’ll see you in a little while
And just one more thing before I let you go
Please tell my little girl I love her
Though I’m sure she already knows
And ask the Father to please tell the Son
That we’re ready and waiting for Him to come
I’ll see you in a little while
I’ll see you in a little while
It won’t be too long now
We’ll see it on the other side
The wait was only the blink of an eye
So I’m not gonna say goodbye
‘Cause I’ll see you in a little while
Maybe you’ll teach me all the songs they sing in heaven
Maybe you’ll show me how you can fly
And I’ll hear you laugh again
And we won’t remember when
We were not together and this time it’s forever
I’ll see you in a little while
I’ll see you in a little while
It won’t be too long now
We’ll see it on the other side
The wait was only the blink of an eye
So I’m not gonna say goodbye
‘Cause I’ll see you in a little while
I’m gonna see you in a little while"

Here are some pictures from his funeral.


Beautiful flowers on the casket 

Landon and I before the funeral 



I took this flower from the casket and dried it so that I can keep it forever



Someone drew this incredible picture of me holding my grandpa's hand as God called him Home. I will cherish this picture forever!

See you in a little while Dia Dia... (when I was little I couldn't say grandpa, so I called him Dia Dia and ever since then, that's what we all called him)

Monday, May 12, 2014

My grandpa

My grandpa is close to Heaven. Close to seeing our King. Please pray for our family as we wait for God to call him HOME and pray that he is not in pain. 

We've been by his side all day and have listened to worship songs and spent time talking to him even though he doesn't respond much. I love hearing stories from the people who come to visit him. We're staying the night with him in the hospital and continue to wait for God to take him HOME where he'll see Jesus and be reunited with his wife who died last year and his daughter who died when she was only 6. We're just enjoying the time we have left with him in this life. 

This first picture is of my grandma, me, my brother, and my grandpa at Christmas a couple of years ago. The second picture is of me holding his hand today in the hospital and the third is of me holding his hand last week when he was still at home. I had just had a procedure which is why I have hospital bracelets on. 

Please keep us in your prayers. 



Friday, May 2, 2014

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

May is Lyme disease awareness month, but it is not just about awareness. It's about doing something. Everyone in the world can be "aware" about Lyme, and nothing would change. We need people to become aware and actually DO something with that awareness! We can talk about awareness all day and at the end of the day nothing will have changed. So what can we do to change things? I don't know and would love to hear your ideas so please let me know! This disease is so devastating, yet there are very few accurate diagnostic tests and we are forced to travel around the country and world for treatment that may or may not work since there isn't a protocol or cure for late stage, Neurological Lyme Disease. But we won't stop fighting, hoping, praying, and supporting each other! We can not only spread awareness about this disease, but about where our HOPE and PEACE comes from! 
God is so good and is how we are able to have hope and survive with this disease! "My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" Psalm 73:26

Monday, April 28, 2014

Easter Sunday - Cardboard Testimonies

On Easter Sunday I was blessed to be able to share part of my testimony at church! I did what's called a cardboard testimony along with about 20 other people!  

This was the front of my cardboard 


And this was the back! 




The service at church was so encouraging. Others who shared their testimony had incredible stories. Some had lost a child, lost their legs, overcame addiction, overcame an illness, lost their home to a tornado, were going to get divorced but then God healed their marriage. 

The message was that the worst situation is not the end. The worst situation was that Jesus died. He was crucified for crimes he didn't commit. There was no hope. He was dead. But then on the 3rd day, He rose! There was hope! The worst situation did not win. Satan did not win! So when the worst things happen in our lives, we know it's not the end of our story. 

Because Jesus lives, I know that one day I will be healed. God's timing is perfect and I'll keep running the race, even while I wait. No matter how long it takes. 6 years has nothing on eternity in Heaven!

After everyone had shared their testimony, we sang the song I Will Rise. This has been my favorite song since I got sick. The first time I heard it was one night after I had gotten home from the hospital right after I was diagnosed with Lyme. It's been my favorite song. I'm not sure that there was a dry eye during the Easter Service! God is so good! Here are the lyrics to I Will Rise. It goes with my favorite verse, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" Psalm 73:26 


"There's a peace I've come to know 
Though my heart and flesh may fail 
There's an anchor for my soul 
I can say 'It is well' 


Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead 

[Chorus:] 
And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise 

There's a day that's drawing near 
When this darkness breaks to light 
And the shadows disappear 
And my faith shall be my eyes 

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead 

[Chorus:] 
And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise 

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, 
"Worthy is the Lamb" 
And I hear the cry of every longing heart, 
"Worthy is the Lamb" 

[Chorus:] 
And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise"

Monday, April 14, 2014

For the times that require you to be still

My devotional the other day was perfect. God knew exactly what I needed.
Here is what it said.

"Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again. Some of the greatest works in My Kingdom have been done from sickbeds and prison cells. Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of these very circumstances. Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me.

     Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of My Presence with you. Do not despise these simple wasys of serving Me. Although you feel but off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms. My Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.

"Be still before the Lord, all mankind, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.” Zechariah 2:13

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength" Isaiah 30:15


 "But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ may rest upon me!" 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wow. I think the reason I haven't posted much in the past year is because I want to come here and have answers. I want to say that I can see the exact purpose in all that's happening, and I just can't. But I'm learning that that's okay. God's plan does not always include us knowing why something happens. When we don't know why, we cling to Him harder. We pray more. We use HIS hope when there is no hope anywhere else. 

During the past year especially, I have spent a lot of time being still. You see, I had my 4th abdominal surgery last May. That caused me to be still. On July 30th we flew to Reno, Nevada where my Lyme doctor is. We planned to stay for 4 weeks while I received treatment, but 4 weeks turned into 10 weeks. The treatments were really hard on me and in the middle of August, I got a staph infection that started in my port. I was admitted to the hospital in Nevada and had surgery to remove my port. I stayed in the hospital for about a week while on strong IV antibiotics for the staph infection that had spread throughout my body. It was just my mom and I at the hospital since my dad and brother were at home in Oklahoma. I was scared and didn't understand why I had gotten so sick in the middle of intense treatments for the Lyme. In the hospital in Nevada, I had my 2nd PICC line placed so that I could continue IV antibiotics out of the hospital. I was discharged from the hospital and went back to the clinic where my Lyme doctor is. I was on IV antibiotics every 8 hours. I finally started getting stronger once I was out of the hospital, and on September 8th, I got to come home to Oklahoma! We were in Nevada from June 30th until September 8th. That time required me to be still. I spent most of that time in a hospital bed at the clinic and in the hospital. 

Once home, I continued on the IV antibiotics for another couple of weeks. I was on  IV antibiotics for a total of about 7 weeks. I had my PICC line taken out when I finished the IV antibiotics! For the first time in 4 years I didn't have a port or PICC line! 

During the fall last year after we got home from Nevada, I started having more problems with my stomach that required a couple of ER visit. My primary care doctor sent me to a GI doctor. He did many tests and in January of this year, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis. That means that the nerves and muscles in my stomach don't work as well as they should. These stomach problems have caused me to be still. Weeks of nausea and vomiting will keep even the strongest in bed. 

This year I also saw a cardiologist who is working to try and fix some things with my heart rate. 

I wasn't able to be in school last semester or this semester due to all of these problems. All of these things have required me to be still. 

I'm doing better right now, thank God! But I still struggle with these problems every day. 

Being still is not something we as a culture are very good at. We want to go somewhere, do something, and see people. But it's during the times of quietness and stillness that we draw closer to God. In the Bible, God put the stories of Paul making a difference from jail and David and Job from their sickbed because it shows that God works during the hardest times. He uses us even when we feel unusable. Those times that cause us to be still are not bad. They are not useless, even though it seems like that. I can't tell you how many times this past year that I've wished I could do more. I want to go make a difference in the world. I sometimes feel like being at home and going to the doctor is not accomplishing anything. Sitting here in my house for so long is not okay! But God assures us that there is a purpose. I've realized that those long nights when I don't sleep are some of the most powerful times to talk to God. Everyone else is asleep and quiet. Maybe God wanted a little extra time talking with you. And during the day we don't give him time to talk because we too busy not being still. 


This is my story...I have no idea why all of this is happening. I don't understand why there is so much pain in this world. But I'm standing on God's promises because life has brought me to my knees. Maybe we need to slow down and be still for a while. 


My devotional last night said this:

"Be thankful for quiet days, when nothing seems to be happening. Instead of being bored by the lack of action, use times of routine to seek My face. Although this is an invisible transaction, it speaks volumes in spiritual realms. Moreover, you are richly blessed when you walk trustingly with Me through the routines of your day"

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always" Psalm 105:4

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

21st Birthday!

    (My brother and I on Christmas     morning this past year - 2013)


Today is my 21st birthday!!! 

I am working on a blog post that I will post later today so be watching for that! 

I'm so thankful for each one of you. Whenever you leave a comment on my blog, or if we're friends on Facebook or twitter and you "like" or comment on one of my posts, I pray for each one of you by name. Please let me know if there's anything you need specific prayers for. I would love to pray for you more specifically!! 

I will post again later today and I would love to hear from you to see if anyone still reads this! 

I hope everyone has the best day today!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm back!

Happy New Year!! 

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted in so long! I've started probably 20 or more posts, but haven't been able to finish them or post them. But, I'm so close now to finishing an update on all that's happened since my last post in May! 

I will post that update in the next couple of days, so be looking for that! I've missed blogging so much because it's really therapeutic for me, and I hope it helps other people as well! 

I just got home from the hospital because I had a procedure done today to try and figure out the cause of some problems I've been having. I'll explain more about that in another post! 

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm back and will start posting regularly again! Thank you so much for you prayers, support, encouragement, patience, and understanding! It means so much to me!!! 

I would love to hear from you to see how you all are doing and if you still read my blog! So if you want to, you can leave a comment on this post and let me know
how you're doing and if there's anything that you need prayers for! I would love to pray for you! 

Hope to hear from you all soon!