For those of you who do not know Dennis and Ellen Hierl and their daughter Brooklyn, they are a family that are a part of High Point Church. You may recognize the names from the Sunday morning prayer requests asking you to pray for healing for Dennis from a brain tumor. It’s been quite the journey for them – but as anyone will see when you read their blog, they are trusting the Lord through it all and depending on Him each step of the way. We wanted to share the most recent ways this family saw God provide in their lives and what He’s been teaching them most recently.
Originally posted on Sunday, August 3 on Praying for Dennis
Dennis continues to struggle with getting up from a seated position. This is especially hard if he is on a soft surface like a couch. We decided that having a recliner that would lift him up would be beneficial to him. So, while Dennis went out to lunch with some friends, I went to the furniture store to purchase a chair for him. One of the guys Dennis was out with for lunch felt God laying us on his heart and gave Dennis a check. He did not know we were making a major purchase at that same time. On Saturday, Dennis’ Bible study group also gave him some monetary gifts. These gifts paid for the new chair as well as a little extra. Because Dennis can’t walk stairs, he is unable to get to the family room to watch TV. We are very low end TV watchers but Packer season is around the corner. Moving the TV upstairs was beyond my skills as Dennis has a lot of “extras” attached to it. I decided I’d put some money with the extra from the gifts we had and get a TV for the living room. While I was out shopping someone else dropped off a gift for us. When I got home and saw this gift, it was just enough to cover the TV. Isn’t it amazing how God used 9 different families to provide the exact amount that we needed for these two items? We are overwhelmed by God’s provision and attention to detail.
Dennis is gaining some strength and increasing in other skills as well. He is better with his speech but still has room to improve. His walking is very slow and he can’t walk very far. We are working on this by taking short walks. He will have an MRI in a few weeks and that will tell us how well the radiation worked. We will also be determining if some speech or physical therapy would be helpful.
My shoulder is still troublesome. I have started physical therapy and see the orthopedist this week. An MRI may be needed to determine if I have tear in the rotator cuff. I’m unable to even be on the computer more than a few minutes without pain.
Please pray for continued healing for both of us.
What I Want – What I Have
Since we lost our golden retriever in December, Brooklyn has been talking about getting another one. Recently as I was watching our springer, Willow, play with Brooklyn, I realized she was missing out on what she currently had – a loving, tolerant pet who is her constant companion. After discussing this with her, she saw too that by focusing on what she didn’t have, she was missing out on the blessing she did have.
But I wonder – how different am I than Brooklyn? I find myself wanting what I don’t have rather than focusing on the blessings in my life.
I could, and frankly have, often thought of all the – I really miss… items in my life right now.
- I miss carrying on a conversation with Dennis that is easy and not hampered by his problems communicating.
- I miss Dennis coming home with flowers for Brooklyn and me.
- I miss being able to go someplace without having to plan for Dennis’ safety.
- I miss being able to enjoy summer fairs, festivals, hikes, biking…
- I miss walking hand-in-hand with Dennis on a summer evening.
- I miss seeing Dennis play with Brooklyn and hearing her giggles.
- I miss knowing Dennis is taking care of us.
- I miss seeing Dennis mow the lawn or drive his truck.
- I miss knowing Dennis can fix anything on my computer
OK, I think that is enough. My discussion with Brooklyn made me realize I too was focusing on what I didn’t have rather than what we do have.
- Dennis has improved some since ending radiation.
- We can go out for a meal together.
- We have many friends who make it possible for me to get out and know Dennis is taken care of.
- We have seen God meet our needs in so many ways and through so many people.
- We have learned to trust God on a completely different level than ever would have otherwise.
So as we continue to walk down this path, I am trying to focus on all that God has provided for us so I don’t miss this because I am looking for something else.