Friday, February 26, 2010

Jenny's Memorial Service

You can watch the funeral service for Jenny here. We miss her like crazy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God Cried with Me Today

(You can continue to follow my sister Jenny by clicking here)

God cried with me today, and that's exactly what I needed from him.

There are only a few people in this world I don't know life without. Jenny had just turned 2 when I was born. With her, there was never sibling rivalry. There was immediate connection. We were siblings who were also friends, or friends who happened to be siblings. The first 16 years of my life she was the protective one and we have a number of stories to prove it. If she didn't like a girl I was dating, she was quick to make life miserable for everyone involved.

At the age of 16, I experienced a dramatic conversion about the same time she was settling into college life. The roles reversed and I immediately became the protective brother the first time she used the word "marriage". It was like she had dropped the f-bomb or something.
I was offended by it.
It made me nauseated.
And I decided to do something about it.
From 3 hours away I would closely monitor her love-life. I was only 17, but I was confident that I could take out some punk-kid from ACU who tried to make a move on Jenny. After all, Jonathan and I watched Monday Night Raw every week and I'd seen Karate Kid like 5 times.
She contacted us one night to tell us that she was bringing a boy home to meet the family and I was determined not to like him. I wore the tightest shirt I could find and I did bicep curls before "the moment" arrived just to add to the intimidation factor. This guy (David, her husband) walked into the room. My arms were crossed and I was ready to regulate when his first words were, "Hey Josh, I hear you're a pretty good football player." If he would have started with, "Hey Josh, I'm David," I probably would have refused the handshake and had given him the eye, but when he started in with a compliment, I gave in. He's been part of the fam ever since and I couldn't ask for a better brother-in-law.

Over the past 13 days, 29 years of memories have flooded my memory. I've heard about the transforming power of ICU waiting rooms...I've sat in a number of them in my 8-9 years of ministry...but it's been different this time.

I arrived in ICU on Friday, February 5th, about 2:30pm. Even though I knew the seriousness of the sickness, I had no clue what I was walking in to. To see my 31-year-old sister lying in a hospital bed was one of the most helpless feelings I have ever experienced in my life. I wanted to pull the tubes out and take her to a mexican food joint or something. But I couldn't. All I could do was stand there by a bed praying and crying.

Waiting rooms force you to ask questions that you don't ask in the real world.
I've wrestled with the activity of God and spiritual warfare before, but it takes on a new meaning in a place like this.
I attempt to pray through the beattitudes in Matthew 5 regularly...words from Jesus that include "blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted"...but they spoke into my soul in a different way this time.
I preach on the power of community quite often, but now I've felt its power like never before.

I'm a changed man because of this brutal illness in Jenny, and I trust in God that that is a good thing.

For a number of days I've prayed to God for healing and power. I have joined with thousands of people, hundreds of churches, and prayer warriors in every continent (except Antarctica) who have prayed for God's healing power to do something miraculous in Jenny. We have experienced miracles that the doctors cannot explain. In fact, this morning, one doctor shook his head and said, "I'm beginning to believe in things I've never believed in before."

But today, though we continue to pray for God's power to be unleashed, I needed something different from God. I needed God to cry with me, and he did.

Some people think that God doesn't cry because he doesn't have any emotions. This just doesn't sound like the God who hung out in the Judean countryside.
I think some people take Revelation 21:4 and form their image of God from there--"he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away."
So, there won't be any tears in heaven because their won't be any pain. But if that's the reason you think that God doesn't get emotion, then you serve a God who stands at a distance and that can be dangerous to your spiritual journey.

I look around this waiting room and I see a place that has been bathed in tears. We have cried on chairs, against walls, leaning on coke machines, and standing in circles while praying. And, God has joined us here.

I wonder if Matthew concluded his gospel while writing during a time of grief. Persecution was breaking out and he felt compelled to declare that our story is one where Jesus is present with people. He abides. He hangs out. He enters into pain. He cries with us.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Update on Jenny Biz

You can follow Jenny by clicking here.
A few thoughts before I go to bed. I can't believe it has been 4 days. I don't know life without my sister. From the moment I was born she has been a nurturer and a dear friend. We just clicked from day 1. Watching her lying in a hospital bed just blows my mind and I find myself waiting for someone to pinch me so that I can wake up from this dream.
I really missed not being with Sycamore View this morning because I know God did some pretty cool things. But I feel the love from my church family. I have received so many text messages that I have had to delete my inbox twice because it is full. I have received so many emails that it will take hours to work through them. I have received numerous voicemails that leave me in tears because of how much we are loved. I am not able to return all of the messages, so please don't think I'm ignoring you. Our Life Group called tonight after the 3rd quarter and over speaker phone, they took turns praying over Kayci and me. It left me speechless.
I'm emotionally and physically exhausted. We plan to wake up tomorrow and to put one foot in front of the other.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Update on Jenny

Jenny is a very sick woman. Her kidneys have shut down. The doc's are trying everything. At this point they have given her a 50-50 chance to make it through the next 24-48 hours. Thanks for your prayers and for loving my family.
Here's a link and we will try and update it regularly.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Prayers for My Sis

My precious sister, Jenny Bizaillion, was taken to ICU this morning. She was diagonosed with pneumonia and severe sepsis...meaning that the infection is in the blood stream. She is in very serious condition. The doctor said that the two things going for her right now is her age and fitness. Also, pray for her husband, David, and her 9-yr-old daughter, Malaya.