Our Journey

The past year has been an interesting one for the Morris clan.

We’ve experienced some great highs and some painful lows.

Highs would include the birth of our second daughter, Jocelyn…moving to the greater Lafayette area (which we absolutely enjoy)…moving to a new church (which is filled with amazing people…we love this place).

And, then there are the lows. The lows basically center around Emily’s health issues. And, while we are thrilled to be in Lafayette, we do miss our friends and family back in the Muncie area.

We have, at times, solicited prayers from our family, friends, and church. In regards to Emily’s health, we’ve been fairly private. But, the longer the journey, the more open we become.

Basically, it’s two-fold. Prior to moving to Lafayette, Emily was having issues with kidney stones (somewhat ignored in Muncie). She has had three procedures in the past 9-months to rid her of the stones. That seems to be behind her at this point.

At the same time, Emily is in the midst of a long battle for her health. She has been struggling with a very resistant form of c.difficile since April. She has good days. She has bad days. And, the bad days wipe her out.

We have been very fortunate to get connected with an ID specialist in Chicago. He is on the leading edge of treatment and very open to trying just about whatever it takes to get Emily on the path to healing. To find a positive out of having to go to Chicago regularly…the hospital is a block off of the Magnificent Mile. So, we get to do some shopping and eat at some great restaurants on our frequent trips to the city!

We have been very blessed to have high quality health insurance that has tremendously off-set the costs of medications and treatments. For example, one of the medications Emily  is on would be $6,000 without insurance. With insurance, it’s a $15 co-pay. So, though I have been known to rant about the high cost of my insurance (and, frankly, it is a bit ridiculous), I am definitely appreciative to have the benefits. Of course, we’re paying for it one way or another…but it’s nice not to have to pay it all out of pocket upfront!

We have been blessed by an amazing church! The people here have been amazing in offering prayers, meals, support, encouragement, and help throughout this journey. We couldn’t do this without you all! And, the church has been very understanding when I have needed to adjust my schedule to take Emily to Chicago or go home and watch the girls.

We have been blessed by our families, who have been awesome in offering their time and support. We know we can count on them to watch the girls and help out in any manner needed. And, they have all done their fair share of research…attempting to find something that will work for Emily.

So far, the various forms of treatment have not been successful in ridding Emily’s body of the c.diff. Now, with the help of some research by family, we are pursuing some forms of treatment that are still in the process of seeking FDA approval…because there are very few options left.

It’s a pretty bizarre thing, as Emily is not the typical c. diff patient. Generally, c. difficile is something the elderly or extremely sick struggle with. And, when someone younger gets c.diff, they usually respond to the medications. But, we all know Emily is special…so of course she throws all of the stereotypes and generalizations out the window.

It’s extremely difficult to watch your spouse suffer, especially when there is very little you can do to offer relief. And, so, I do what I know best…and that’s prayer. Honestly, in the midst of this journey, especially on the tougher days, it can be difficult to offer prayers and praise to God. I’ve had a lot of brutally honest conversations with God. I just don’t understand all of this…and yet, I still find hope in God.

And so, if you are the praying type, we ask that you would join us in prayer for Emily’s healing. Pray that her body will respond to the various treatments. Pray that God will guide Emily and the doctors to something that will work. Pray for rest and relief from pain and suffering.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” ~ Psalm 43:5

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” ~ Hebrews 10:23

Censorship is Un-American…And, Apparently, So is Common Sense

When I was in high school and college, I was a big “censorship is un-American” kind of guy. And, to be honest, I’m still that kind of guy. I believe authors, artists, musicians, and the like should be able to express themselves as they see fit.

And, yet, I find my limits being pushed. “Freedom of speech” is generally a good thing…until we come across a message that we do not agree with. Then, we find ourselves up against a brick wall. Is it freedom for all or freedom only for those we like?

No, I’m not talking about the new Cee Lo tune…that thing is funky! Yes, I know it’s wrong for me to like it…but I just can’t help it!

I’m talking about the “Christian group” known as Westboro Baptist Church. They are in the news again. And, every time they receive press, I get angry. Every time I see one of their signs, I find myself becoming furious. I get so irritated because they do so much damage in the name of the Lord.

While many Christian groups are out their trying to love one another and bring about peace and unity, Phelps is creating a great divide between his church and those outside its walls. His message of hatred does damage to Christianity as a whole. It’s not often that one can “hate” someone into the Kingdom of Love.

Most sane people, inside and outside the Church, can see Westboro Baptist Church for what it is…a beyond fundamental institution that does not represent the whole. However, some may see the folks of Westboro and think that they represent the thoughts and beliefs of all who follow Christ. Obviously, this frustrates me.

And, yet, the same freedoms I would proclaim to protect art, literature, film, and music are the same freedoms that grant Fred Phelps and his insane clown posse the right to stand on street corners and preach their hatred. So, if Phelps doesn’t have the freedom to say the crazy things he says, that means you and I don’t have the freedom to say the crazy things we say!

The thing that really seems to be lacking in these United States of America is common sense. Yes, Phelps and his crew are entitled to their own opinions. But, common sense would indicate there is a proper time and place to promote their agenda. And, a soldiers funeral would not be the time and place.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Church received media attention because of the extravagant love it portrays in our world? Wouldn’t it be awesome if, instead of being known for its protests and scandals, the Church was known for being a place of grace, mercy, compassion, acceptance, tolerance, and peace?

So, today, I came across some images that demonstrate some creative protests of Phelps’ sign carriers. I think it’s great!