November 2013 Update

November 8th, 2013

Hey everyone! I apologize that I haven’t given you an update over the past couple of months. Life, as usual, has been nuts and many things have happened preventing me from sitting down to write to you.

 

As I told you in our last update, I started back in the mortgage business in August and I’ve been slowing rebuilding a base of business in Denver and throughout the country. Things were going well as I was meeting with many realtors and financial planners and I had a surge of momentum.  With the progress I was making, we were getting ready to re-launch our worship night and service days with Passion to Action.  Everything was going great until the 21st day of September.

 

We decided to visit some old friends from MN who moved to Colorado and purchased land in Conifer, nestled in the mountains.  When we learned they had dirt bikes we began salivating and we knew we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to ride them up and down their 1.7 mile dirt driveway.  In the past when we’ve had the opportunity to ride motorcycles, we wore helmets and full protective gear. Since we were just tooling around, Beth and I jumped on separate bikes and elected not to wear helmets. As we were riding around, the thought went through my head that we should put helmets on, but we were riding slow and being careful, so we just kept going.  One ride up and down the driveway turned into several trips and on a whim Beth and I decided to go further up the mountain for one last run before heading in for dinner. 

 

Unbeknownst to us, our friend Eric decided to look for us on his four-wheeler to get us for dinner.  At the same time, we were making our way back and we were one turn from being back at the house.  Eric came around the corner just as I was and it startled me.  I immediately slammed on both brakes causing me to slide on the slippery gravel driveway.  All I remember is sliding and then violently hitting my face in the driveway. I jumped right up and began screaming in pain.  The pain in my left shoulder and right foot and ankle was unbearable.  I was spitting out blood and my left arm was limp. Eric told me later that as I skidded my right leg got caught in the bike and as I flew off the bike the full impact was on my left shoulder and then on my face. He said he could literally see me bounce off of the driveway. We immediately jumped in Eric’s truck and headed to the emergency room in Denver.  I’ve never experienced such intense pain and the 40 minutes down the mountain was agonizing. The whole way down I was moaning in pain and crying out to God.  I was repenting for being angry with Him and not pursuing Him as passionately as I had in the past.  Over the last month, I had been wrestling with Him because many of the dreams and reasons we had coming to Denver had not come to fruition.  The anger I was holding on to was causing me to distance myself from Him and from Christians in general.  If I had to be honest, I was becoming cynical and bitter. I really believe this accident was a wake-up call and a form of loving discipline to get my heart aligned with God’s heart.

 

In the ER, I learned that I had dislocated my left shoulder and severely sprained my right foot and ankle. I had road rash on my face with a hole about the size of a dime in my left cheek.  I left the ER about 11 p.m. and thankfully I had a pain killers and muscle relaxers to get me through the night.  I thought I had gotten off pretty easily considering what could have happened, until the next day when I developed a fever and noticed that the road rash on my right knee was red, puffy and oozing fluid. I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor on Monday and I learned that I had punctured my knee joint and that I had a staph infection in the joint. I was told to go immediately to the hospital for surgery so they could flush out the infection and get me started on what ended up being three weeks of IV antibiotics.

 

The day after my surgery, as I was lying in my hospital bed feeling more broken than I have ever felt in my life, it all hit me.  God had disciplined me, but He also loved me and cared for me like the son of His that I am.  As my family surrounded me that evening I realized how blessed I was and how thankful I was to be alive. Another six inches and I could have been brain dead or paralyzed … or even dead.  I wept as I took it all in and thanked God for all of His mercy and grace. I was reminded of the verse in Hebrews 12:6 that says: “…because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

 

The highlight of my three-day stay in the hospital came on the final day.  A young woman who is hired through a foundation of the hospital asked if she could come play a portable keyboard for me in my room.  I obliged and after she played an instrumental song I asked her if she knew any Christian music. She lit up and starting singing a beautiful song that completely met me where I was.  She then began singing “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards and that did me in. I was weeping, singing with her and raising my hands as we sang the words, “You won’t relent until you have it all, my heart is yours”. After the song ended she continued to play under me as I prayed out loud telling God he could have all of me – every broken piece of me. I was a hot mess as we basically threw down in an all out worship service in my hospital room.  It was during my time in the hospital when I released my plans along with my dreams and desires for Passion to Action. I told God to do with our ministry what He desires and I released my agenda and surrendered myself to Him.

 

I’m happy to say, 6 weeks later, that I’m on the road to full recovery.  It’s been a journey and not without it’s ups and downs, but I’m getting stronger every day. I’ve been going to physical therapy two days a week and it’s taken some time for my shoulder to heal and get full mobility back to the joint, but we are seeing great improvements.  

 

In the middle of the hospital stay, we ended up selling our RV to an airline pilot from Chicago. This was a huge blessing and perfect timing, as we didn’t want the RV sitting here through another winter. It’s also perfect timing because it has allowed us to purchase a home!

 

We began looking at houses, not thinking we would find anything right away. We were surprised when we happened upon a house in South Golden that fit the exact needs of our family and ministry.  Honestly, I was hesitant as I wanted more time to get established in my business and felt that next spring or summer would be better timing for me, especially with medical bills piling up. However, living in an RV for almost 5 years and a small duplex with only one bedroom for the last year has taken a toll on us.  So, for the health and wellbeing of my family, I knew the timing was perfect! We made an offer on the house and after some negotiating and each realtor kicking in $2,000 of their commission (without our awareness) to make the deal work, we are officially under contract and set to close on the 22nd of November.

 

What makes this house a perfect fit for ministry is that it has 2 – 2 car garages, one that we plan to fix up and use for worship nights and ministry meetings. It also has a large driveway with ample parking space. The lot backs up to a park as well, which is great for ministry and family use as we’ll have easy access to play basketball, tennis, Frisbee, or baseball.

 

What makes it perfect for our family is that it has a porch (something my wife has always wanted), gardens, fruit trees, a sunroom, 4 bedrooms (which our teenagers are thrilled about) and plenty of room to entertain and fulfill my wife’s gift of hospitality.

 

We are thrilled to plant roots here and have a place that God can use for His glory. We feel so blessed and excited for all that He has in store for us.

 

Thanks for being a part of our journey and for your on-going prayer and financial support.

 

God bless,

 

Jay