Category Archives: Faith over Fear

Staying in Continual Communication

Staying In Continual Communication by Susan Browder

Talking to a friend, moment by moment.

 

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning’s that cannot be expressed in words.” Romans 8:26

Thank you all for meeting me hear each Tuesday to see the abundant blessings that are woven into our difficulties each day.  Today I am looking back to January of 2015, which is four months after his injury.

 

 

Jacob has enjoyed deer season and duck season.  This is what he always has looked forward to but especially now it is something he is so thankful for.  Still having double vision, Jacob wears an eye patch so that he only sees one deer or one duck. 

 


 

waiting……

Worth the wait


Every day I stay in continual communication with God.  I thank God daily for healing and continually ask him to restore Jacob the way that he made him.  I can visually see God jumping up and down and waving his hands at me and shouting, “I hear you…”  Staying in continually communication gave me so much peace.  I had never talked to God so much in my life. 

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Every day as I began to seek God, he spoke to me through scripture. I would go back to what Romans 8:26 says daily and continued to cry out.  Our family can testify that this works today, not just biblical times.  We began to see a glorious unfolding of healing.  I remember getting so excited about Jacob walking better, talking better, using his right side, and many other things.  Then I would hear another person say, “My child got their license today!” “My son is going on a date.”  “My child is visiting colleges.”  For a moment, I felt anger and frustration, then my peace would return and I reminded myself, that one day, not today, but a day is coming when all of this will come full circle and a plan for Jacob will be revealed.   

But for right now, life is hard, tiring, and heavy at school.  Jacob is ready to graduate and be done with high school at this time and is just in the 10th grade.  Things are not the same for Jacob and people don’t know how to handle that so they just removed themselves.  This is the most difficult time.  I am just going to leave that there.  I just continued to trust God that there must be a reason. 

Danny Gokey – Rise

https://youtu.be/8eUGUC4Ko30

 

Counting My Blessings,

Susan Browder

The Love of a Brother

The Love of a Brother by Susan Browder
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17

Jacob’s brother, Nick, has always been his brother’s keeper. Nick was in college at the time of Jacob’s injury. In November of 2014, Nick stayed with us a lot during this time. I went back to teaching in December of 2014. When Nick wasn’t in school, he was with Jacob. They went to therapy, rehab, and appointments together. Nick was such a comfort to us all. He always sees the “sunshine” when it’s raining. You will always see Nick wearing a broad, contagious smile no matter what. There are so many things that I adore about Nick but if I had to pick one, it would be his encouraging soul.
When Jacob lost every friend, Nick was there. Nick was his steady friend. He was there for pep talks every day and that kept me going. Life was so hard. We were use to a “full” house and Jacob constantly coming and going with such a busy and fun life. We were all so weary but every day, God got us through it with the love of a brother. Nick instilled in Jacob daily one simple thought. “Jacob, you are good enough for anyone. If people can’t see that, it’s their loss.” This kind of love that Nick had for his brother, drove out many fears that Jacob had. These “love of a brother” moments are gifts from God.
Nick and Jacob have always been close, but never like they are now. When one hurts, the other feels it. Their protection for one another now is on another level.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

 

 

Nick and Jacob have taught each other many things in life. In my opinion, the most valuable is to grip on to God and let him lead you. Don’t be fearful and to stick with each other no matter the circumstances.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10
Counting My Blessings,
Susan Browder

 

Need to Breathe   ” Brother feat” Gavin DeGraw

https://youtu.be/61Wm_qlVD4Q  Brother feat Gavin DeGraw

Hills and Valleys

 

 

Hills and Valleys’, Three Years Later by Susan Browder

 

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 1I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”  Philippians 4:11-12

 

 

Jacob & Nick

Next week I will pick up where I left off with Jacob’s story.  I want to mention that tomorrow, September 6th, it will be 3 years since his injury.  Every year when the anniversary of this horrific day approaches, I glance back in my thoughts to that night and compare it to where Jacob is today.  Oh how my head spins as pictures of his healing race through and all I can do is smile and have a heart full of gratitude for the Lord.  We all experience mountain tops and deep valleys.  I can’t compare any other difficult time in my life that was as heavy and as heartbreaking as September 6, 2014 and the weeks that followed.  

 

 

My Sunday school class just finished the Matt Chandler study, “To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain.”  In session 12, Matt Chandler speaks of a day that was so horrible in his life that he can never find a day that will top it as the most difficult day in his life.  But he also says that he had so many interactions with the Lord during this time that he would have never had.  That is exactly how I feel about this time in our lives.  My family had so many beautiful interactions with the Lord during this time.  We all came out differently because of these interactions.  It sure was difficult to be content during the toughest time in our life.  This was a process for us.  It was by far the hardest thing we have ever done.  It’s natural for people to lose their minds and be angry when tough times are experienced especially with our children. Only God can move in situations for you to experience contentment.  The only way it happened was through prayer and trusting God to get us through it and bring us out of it as better people and through the healing of our son.  We had peace knowing that God was in control of all that was happening.  We were totally dependent on God and this was our “game changer.”  

 

Jacob’s First Taxidermy Mount

So three years later, where is Jacob today?  Well let me just tell you.  He is about to finish his first 6 weeks of Taxidermy School in Georgia and will start his second Taxidermy School in Tennessee.  He is thriving.  He is walking like nothing ever happened and his running continues to get better.  We still pray for coordination to improve but it is so good compared to where Jacob started.  We pray for his memory to improve also.  

Every day Jacob wakes up with a smile.  That smile speaks volumes to me daily and reminds me how good and faithful God is. Whatever your toughest time in your life is, just think back and look at how God moved you through the desperation.  Seek him, get to know him, and focus on him.   

 

 

 

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:10

https://youtu.be/p4rRCjrAyCs  Tauren  Wells  Hills and Valleys

Counting My Blessings,

Susan Browder

God’s Timing is the Best

 

 

God’s Timing Is the Best by Susan Browder

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” Acts 1:7

Everyone has been stunned by Jacob’s progress.  What seems like such a slow process for us, doctors, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and countless others are at a loss for words.  Most TBI’s sit on the couch.  Jacob goes almost all day long.  

 

Pop, my dad, is one of a kind.  My sons always say, “There’s nobody like POP!”  When you are around Pop, you are never hungry or lack for entertainment.  If someone followed my dad around with a camera on a daily basis, we could have our on TV show.  Jacob loves his Pop.  

 

 

 

 

My husband, Nicky, my dad, Richard or Pop, and my son, Nick were all eager to get Jacob back to his love of hunting.  Two months after Jacob’s injury, he was hunting with all three of them using a crossbow.  He killed a deer and was all smiles.  

 

This gave Jacob a lot of confidence and he still had something in him that he still loved to do that his injury didn’t take from him.  He did this with blurred and double vision.  We saw an ophthalmologist a few weeks later.  He felt like his could correct the double vision by loosening a muscle in the left eye.  After two surgeries, Jacob’s vision was as successful as it could be.  This did not give him perfect vision.  It did give him perfect vision looking straight ahead, but looking up, down, and to the sides, Jacob still had double vision.  The doctor recommended he learn to tilt his head up, down, or side to side when he needed to look those ways.  

 


“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1


As we all took things day by day, we remained calm and continued to see God’s activity.  At this time, Jacob is really close to walking independently. Mrs. Mary Ann continues to push him at Genesis Rehab.  He is working so hard and aGod's Timingt the same time realizes how far he has to go.  His personality is in full swing too!  He kept us laughing a lot during this time.  Even though we do not see the same Jacob, we know he is slowly coming back.  The doctors at Children’s hospital continue to tell us that his humor and personality are a very good sign that he will do well.  It is not normal to have your personality much less humor when you have a TBI.  We continue to pray for coordination, balance, his right side to improve, short term memory, and comprehension.  He has worked hard every day to remember all of his passwords to all of his social media accounts.  One day sitting on the couch, he yells out “tiger nation ____!”  We run in to see what is going on.  He looks at us and said, “I finally remembered my password!”  

 

 

 

Counting My Blessings,

Susan Browder

 

 

 

Healer  Kari Jobe  https://youtu.be/Yzejd6r9DwE

Activity of God

 

Activity of God by Susan Browder

“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind, so you cannot understand the activity of God.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

 

After being home for a few weeks, Jacob’s schedule consisted of Physical Therapy with
Skebo, Mary Ann, and Don at Genesis Rehab, speech therapy with Dana Eddins, and a
homebound teacher, Ali Hathcock. It was great to get into a routine and to see all of
these people that cared so much for Jacob help to get him better. My number one
priority at this time was to get rid of the cane! I bugged the Physical Therapist so much
about this and learning to walk again.

 

We had just learned that Jacob had double vision and this was definitely not helping his
balance. He tripped over things all day long. He fell numerous times trying to do things
on his own and scared me to death.

I can remember smiling so many times during this time because I could see God
working. I could see that Jacob’s walking was getting better and it would bring tears to
my eyes. I would cringe every time a person looked at me and said the words I
despised the most, “Bless your heart.” People had no idea what a blessing it was to
see improvements. My family didn’t look at our situation as a “bless your heart”
situation. It is really the coolest blessing to see improvements at the hands of God
before your very eyes.

Watching God in our lives

One Friday night, Jacob wanted to go to the Demopolis High School game. We got
permission to drive our jeep to the corner of the field to watch. The next Friday night,
Jacob was asked to be a captain for his team. Still in his wheelchair most of the time,
we knew he was going to need assistance walking on the field. He wore his Jersey and
was escorted by two players to the middle of the field. This was bitter sweet, but I knew
as I folder his #7 jersey up that night, that would be the last time that he would wear it.
We all had a lot of time to “BE STILL.” Every day when I felt like kicking and screaming
and so mad at myself that I allowed this situation, I remembered this verse.

As I watch Jacob during this time walk, he shook and trembled so badly. It is really so
difficult for him. He has so many things right now that are working against him. But I
am at peace because I constantly remind myself to live each day by faith.

Counting my blessing,

Susan Browder

Glorious Unfolding

 

Glorious Unfolding by Susan Browder

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

Deuteronomy 31:6 has been Jacob’s favorite bible verse for many years now.  It has been put on t-shirts and bracelets to support him through his injury.  As I look back in my journal on day 44, I see that our prayers were for his right side to get stronger, vision to improve, brain to heal (short term memory, processing, retaining new information), speech to improve, his right side of his face to correct, and to pass the swallow test that he has failed 2 times already.  I also have my praises written down in my journal.

Jacob raises arm

 

 

The praises are that his right arm is moving, smiling, walking better with a cane and assistance, speech improving, and going to the game room with his brother, Nick.

https://www.facebook.com/nick.browder.1/videos/10204169341606088/

The next day, day 45, we got a huge praise.  Jacob passed the swallow test.  He got to EAT!  At this time he was able to eat soft foods and on a pureed diet.  After all of this excitement, we were told something that pumped us up even more.  The doctor walked in and said, “Get ready and start making all necessary arrangements for care because y’all are going home in 3 days!”  I was excited and terrified at the same time.  In my mind I was excited to get Jacob home, but then I wondered why we were being sent home?  Was it because they had done all they could do for Jacob and this is it?  I marched myself down to the conference room and busted up in there crying.  My words were something like this.  “So when you tell me that you are sending us home, what you are really saying is that this is as good as Jacob is going to get, so here you go!”  As I kept crying and rambling at what a huge error in judgement they were making and how wrong they were, the nurse looked up at me and said, “I think you misunderstand, so please let us explain.”  The doctor then said, ”We are only sending him home because you and your family are capable of caring for him.  We see how you all push him and do not cut him any slack.  We know that you all will continue to help him get better.”  As I look at them very embarrassed and say, “Oh….”  What else could I say? So I smiled and quietly backed out of the room.

Day 48 finally came.  So many nurses and doctors came by to see us off.  Jacob was dressed in his western button down, belt buckle, and cowboy boots.  We left in a wheelchair and with a cane.  Walking out of Jacob’s hospital room, I turned for one last look at our life for the past 48 days and it all flashed in my mind of what we all had been through.  My heart was so full.  I felt so grateful to God more at this time for letting me take my son home.


“The Lord is greater than the giants you face.” 1 John 4:4  


The ride home was bitter sweet.  Jacob just stared out the window and was so peaceful.  As we turned down our street, we see a small crowd and a big sign that said, “Welcome Home Jacob.”  As we get inside and start unpacking, I see many things that my friends have done.

 

I walked into a clean house and food for us.  Sweet friends had loaned us a shower chair, a food puree, and a bed rail.

As things settled down for the day, Jacob started feeling like he was finally at home.  Whatever he asked for, he got.  His first day home, he asked for a milkshake probably around 5 times.  He got it.  For supper, he asked for crab legs.  He got pureed crab legs.  That night he asked for a Reese’s Cup, so Nicky pureed his first Reese’s.

As we put Jacob in his bed this night, I scan the room seeing the IV pump, the feeding pump machine, the bed rails up, and all of the medicine bottles, and even though I am overwhelmed, all I can think in this moment is that I am his mama and I am not going to stop until every tube, pill, puree machine, shower bench, speech therapist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Doctor, Neurologist, wheelchair and cane is gone and until God restores Jacob the way he made him.

“For this child I have prayed.” 1 Samuel 1:27

Counting My Blessing,

Susan Browder

Surprise Blessings by Susan Browder

 

They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”  Mark 7:37

I have witnessed so much at the hand of God during this time at Children’s Hospital.  Jacob increased his steps with a walker every few days but he still continues to forget that he has a right side.  Therapist would lightly kick the right leg forward as he used the walker.  One morning, day 40, in walks Mrs. Molly, Jacob’s PT,  Mrs. Molly and I did not see eye to eye in the beginning of therapy.  She was too pushy and I felt she was a little mean to him.  She even kicked me out on the first day of therapy which did not go over well, but Mrs. Molly didn’t care.  Anyway, in she walks one day and she is in even a pushier mood on this day.  Jacob usually did most of what Mrs. Molly expected but on this day, he was in a mood.  Mrs. Molly was determined to get Jacob to move his head to the right today and this was her only mission.  She wheeled Jacob in the rehab gym and told him when he looked and turned his head to the right, he could go and be done for the day.  Jacob sat and stared forward and to the left.  He was so angry at her.  But guess what, after over an hour, Jacob turned his head slowly to the right and then back forward again.  Then he gave her some kind of look.  It was a look that meant, “Are you happy you moron?  Now I’m done.”  I loved Mrs. Molly from that moment on.  I knew that she saw my child as someone who wanted their life back and she was so committed to him and this is why she was so tough.

On day 42, Jacob woke up and he was still in a mood.  It was frustration on top of rage.  He refused to get out of his bed.  He was still not verbal at this time, but we plead daily for words to come.  When Mrs. Molly came into get him, he grabbed onto his bed rails and held on tight to stop anyone from getting him.  Mrs. Molly told me to leave.  I knew this was going to be something I did not want to witness.  I left the room for a short period and returned to find him dressed with his favorite pair off cowboy boots on in his wheelchair.  This did not last long.  Within moments, Jacob had kicked off his boots and lunged into the bed.  Then I saw something I never thought I would ever see.  Mrs. Molly gave up!  I walked outside and asked her was this some kind of trick?  What in the world is going on?  She said, “I’ve never seen that look from him.  He’s beyond upset at the situation, and he’s not getting out of that bed today.”  I turned around and yelled back at her, “Oh yes he is, we aren’t missing a day of therapy!” I went back in the room, snatched up his boots, put them on, and tugged at him trying to rip his hands off the handles of the bed.  It didn’t work.  Jacob was still so strong; I couldn’t overpower him.  So that day, Jacob got his way.

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.”  Isaiah 40:31

The very next day we understood what was going on.  My husband, Nicky, woke up and walked over to Jacob’s bed to ask him if he needed to use the restroom.  Expecting a thumbs up, Nicky heard a very raspy “yea.”  Nicky started yelling at me to get up.  Me, moving in no hurry, half asleep thinking he just needs help, I walked up to the bed.  Again, Nicky asks, “Jacob, do you need to use the restroom?”  Again Jacob says, “yea.”  I hit my knees crying and asked Jacob, “Can you say mom?” He replied in his “duh” voice, “mom.”  I was so emotional and cried on my knees.  Then I heard the words, “chill mom.”  I got so tickled and knew he was going to be fine in the end.  This was such a surprise blessing that we had no idea was in the making because we were told it could be a year before Jacob spoke, if he ever did.

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1

This was a day we had waited so long for.  Our family, especially Jacob, was so frustrated, but God’s timing is always perfect.  It’s so difficult to see this and we had to remind ourselves to trust God to continue the work that he started.

“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”  Psalms 27:13

 

https://youtu.be/xRP8ErNo7d4?list=RDxRP8ErNo7d4

Show Me Your Glory by Third Day

Counting my blessings,

Susan Browder