April 07, 2011


Today God spoke to me. In a very convicting way. It felt a little like a punch in the gut.

It's been a chaotic couple of days. We've had all kinds of health care people in and out of the house, helping us get Garren settled. They are all very good at what they do, but when things don't go according to my plan, I tend to get a little agitated. I felt like a dog backed into a corner. I felt threatened. This is my house after all, we'll do this my way. You're on my turf now. Like a dog backed into a corner, I began to lash out. I didn't yell and scream, but I didn't have the greatest attitude either. But hey, it's my house, right?

Today our new physical therapist came by to meet Garren, and to go over some things with us. I was tired of dealing with new people walking in my house and taking over. I said some things to her in a way that really wasn't very kind. She was very kind, and I was cordial by the time I had to leave.

Then this evening I got an email from her:

"Several of us at work, including myself attend Southbrook Weddington. We know of you and have heard you speak at our services. We have followed your blog and prayed for you, Garren and your family."

That was the punch in the gut. Not from the P.T. that wrote it (She was not in anyway criticizing me or trying to make me feel bad. I am thankful for the email). I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit. I have been representing myself and my family on this blog as people of God. I talk about how I want to be God honoring in everything I say and do. And then I turned around and my actions were anything but God honoring.

Why am I sharing this? It's a stark reminder to us all - we never know who's watching us. We never have the right to forget that as followers of Christ, we represent not just ourselves, not just our church, but God Almighty.

Thank you P.T. for your desire to work with Garren. I am honored to have you working with him and us.

Garren took a couple more baby steps today. I worked on some therapy with him on my own this morning. I was doing some exercises to stimulate his face and mouth muscles. I talked about his smile a couple of days ago. So today I asked him to pucker up, like a kiss. He thought for a minute, and then he did! I about fell over, not sure if I should laugh or cry. Later when Nancy was there I had him do it again. She leaned over and accepted a kiss from her son, the first in over two months.

Another one of Garren's exercises is to try and push a small piece of ice out of his mouth with tongue. Tonight I put the ice in his mouth, and almost immediately he pushed it out. We did it a couple more times.

Garren is really working on his swallowing as well. Nancy and I have both seen him swallow a couple of times. Nothing consistent yet, but he's learning.

Tonight looks like it should be a restful night for all. Things have settled down. I pray that Garren is able to get some good sleep tonight. I can't wait to see what he does tomorrow!


michaelr76 said...

Janes Family,

We are so happy to hear of Garren's progress and are glad that you are all finally home. All of these stepping stones are so important. You are all just so inspiring and for me personally your trust in God through this motivates me all of the time. Our whole family prays for Garren and for all of the Janes family. You all are truly an inspiration to all of us.

Keep taking baby steps and before you know it you will be were you need to be!!!

Mike Romano
Romano Family

Anonymous said...

That was a great message. I think, and of course, it's just my opinion, that people are connecting with you more so than ever before because you're honest and you're not afraid to admit you're human. We all have a tendency to reach our breaking points, and unfortunately, stress rears its ugly head in many ways. My former Lt. used to say to me, "the only mistake not worth making is the one you don't learn from." The punch in the gut and your conviction by the Holy Spirit will help you keep your checks and balances in the days that come. You and Nancy and your family remain an inspiration to all of us, and thank you for the post. We will continue to pray for a smooth transition in to the new norm, and more kisses and smiles to you from Garren. In for the long haul, The Sisk Family

Bob and Barb said...

Nancy.....a kiss from your son!! How special and sweet!! (Tears filled my eyes as I read that)

Praying for you guys as you adjust to the new normal of extra people in and out your home. That can't be easy (even if you know it's good.)

Thanks for your letting your lights shine! You bless us in the process.

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

A mom's first butterfly kiss from her reborn again son!

Oh, these tiny little changes are so exciting. My boys ask every evening as they pray over Garren, "Mom, what did he do new today?" Oh, the hope, the answered prayers, the conviction in their hearts of the truth-- that Garren will run an play again and sooner than we all will expect!

And to hear their pastor speak so transparently about the struggles we all have about self control in the most stressful of situations and to hear the grace poured out over you and your family.

Each day they watch, they learn. We can't wait to see more victory!!

Anonymous said...

I love the "kiss!" And Geoffrey, you are not expected to be perfect. God's grace is given to all of us. Your entire family has endured a true test of faith. We see the strength of Jesus when we are weak!

Anonymous said...

Ok, God has forgiven you for your "dog reactions"; now you forgive you...not making excuses for you, but, you have been through a lot...just want you to know that you are loved even when you are not so loveable :)....so glad that Garren kissed Nancy...as a mom, that was a huge "step"...you still have a journey ahead of you...we are still praying for all of you....love, Sandy & Russ

tammywingate said...

a kiss for Mom!!!! the blogs just keep getting sweeter and sweeter!!! and Pastor Geoffery...you have so been a light in a dark world during this time....thank you for your honesty. It is so true! Even safe at home we are to let our light shine, and sometimes that is the hardest place to do so! You all are doing GREAT! We are very proud of you and to call you Pastor!!!!
way to go Garren!!
still praying for Sunshine!!
<>< t

Allan C said...


Alex called last night to say that she and her sorority sisters had an impromptu bake sale in their dorm to raise money for Garren. She raised $130 from the girls in her dorm for you and your family. You know how girls like their sweets. I thought this was a very touching gesture for someone away at college in another state.

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey...you are so honest and down to earth....I think anyone in your position would probably have "reacted" in the same manner. It just makes everyone love you and your family even more, even those of us who don't know you but have grown close to you through your blogs. To God be the Glory...great things He hath done.....in the Janes Family!!!

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how things prioritize when trials come. The cares of the world, petty differences, etc. all take a back seat to the task at hand and that is seeing your son restored to his former self as soon as possible. You are willing to do anything to accomplish the goals and reach with all your might each day for some sign of baby steps and joy in each one. We are standing in the gap and rejoicing with your family with each step of Garren's progress. Thinking and praying for you all today. Donna Lochridge/Metrocrest Presbyterian Church.

Anonymous said...

Hi Geoffrey and Nancy,
Welcome home Garren and you all as well. We are so glad one leg of ths journey is behind you. We are so excited about all of these steps toward recovery. I know that sweet kiss had to be one more wonderful emotional moment. Geoffrey thank you for your honesty. I believe this has been one of the many ways God has used you all for His glory during this trial. We all can connect with you more through your honesty and reminders of how our responses to stress matter. As you well know your response is understandable and forgiven. Move on in His grace as I know you will. We love you can't wait to see you guys again. Love, Cecil and Karen

Vicky Scott said...

I have been following your blog from the beginning, and placing your son and family for prayer in my daily emails. I understand completely your reaction to those who have come into your home. On one hand, you are extremely grateful for their help, but on the other hand, you and your wife are responsible for Garren. In other words, they get to leave and you do not. Therefore, as his father and mother/caregivers/ the ones he is totally dependent upon need to maintain order and control so you can continue this journey on a daily basis. This is a marathon and you are on a learning curve. Your feelings are normal. Your conviction regarding your attitude, I am sure, is very much appreciated by those coming in to help. Ultimately, if not already, you will know more about your son, how he is doing, and what he needs than anyone in the medical community that attends to him. Grace to you and yours. God is doing in great work in all of you. We are merely on this earth for a flicker, compared to eternity and He is just preparing us. Praying.

Anonymous said...

This post made me cry a happy cry. I know as a mother, Nancy cherished that sweet kiss from Garren! I continue to see everyday through your posts of how God is healing Garren and I am so amazed, happy, and in awe of God's work! I continue to pray for you all!! God is so good!!
Monica Newsome

wendypoovey said...

You know, you and your family have been through and are continuing to go through such a difficult time in your lives that most of us will never experience. You are human. Honestly it is comforting to know that a man of God such as yourself also has weaknesses as do the rest of us. Your honesty and transparency are actually uplifting. We all have those not so proud moments. The difference is when we are living for Christ, He does parent us. We just have to listen. Your family is such an inspiration and wonderful example of putting God first in our lives. Thank you. And please tell Nancy I am so happy she got that kiss from her son. That will make your heart melt!

camroks1 said...

"I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can't. I do what I don't want to - what I hate...." Romans 7:15 TLB. Geoffrey - we have ALL done it. It is completely understandable and so courageous for you to put it out there. Rejoicing with you and your family for Garren's being back home. I will continue to pray for healing, strength & protection for you all. How cool for him to attend church today! God is GOOD, even when we're not!! A. McManus