Pause it, please

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

I have a specific prayer I am asking of the Lord right now…”Please hit the pause button, Lord.”  For the past nine months I have been spiraling downward.  It seems I just get used to one new way of life and then another one comes along.  There has been no break.  Each month I think “ok, I can get used to living like this…it’s not great, but we are making it.”  Then something changes.  And with ALS, the changes are never good.

God has taken care of me;  He’s faithful; we have much to be grateful for.  These are truths I try to focus on each moment.  But to be perfectly honest, my new life is exhausting.  Not just physically, but emotionally.  We have virtually been thrown into a foreign land where we don’t know the language nor the customs. Hours are spent on the phone with the doctors and insurance providers.  All the i’s have to be dotted perfectly and the t’s need to be crossed properly.

It feels like we are in the middle of the ocean barely hanging on to a life preserver.  We get hit by wave after wave when we just want to climb out of the water and sit next to it watching the sun set.  We get choked up over little things every day;  Barely a week goes by where we don’t sit down and just sob.

The hardest part is watching those I love suffer.  They have to help me more each day.  Their worlds are upside down now too.  They have to go about their normal duties, plus worry about me.  They try to hide their fears and sadness, but it’s impossible to do so continuously.  Add to that, we are all still sinners.  I get irritated when they don’t know what I need help with or they don’t do it the right way;  Likewise, they get frustrated when they want to help me, but don’t know how.  And like I said, we just get used to the “new normal” and then something else starts to happen.

Don’t get me wrong – I  have moments of joy and laughter each day.  Mostly when I hear from or get to see a friend.  But today, I am asking for a pause in this awful disease’s ugly symptoms….for a few months would be nice…but I’d even take a few weeks.

Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They will mount up on wings as eagles; They will run and not be weary; they will walk and not be faint.

  1. says:

    Praying for you. Amber Campbell post your updates and I always read and pray for your family. No words are really adequate enough so I will just promise to say a prayer for your family everytime I pray for mine.

  2. Carl & Lori Reichanadter says:

    “God, would you hear the prayers of Patrick and his family and ’cause time to stand still’. Stop the changes, eliminate the downward, constantly-changing lifestyle they have experienced and just let them rest. Let there be a ‘pause’ Lord. Let it be soon. Give them an opportunity, even though it may be brief, to experience a retreat from the new normal. Lord, speak to their weary spirits and encourage their hearts. Help them each to be strong and courageous. May they hear from you, O God.”

  3. Pat Jenkins says:

    My dear brother in the Lord, I am praying with you and for you, that the Lord will answer your prayer. God is Forever Faithful, and we can Stand Firm in HIM!

    • sharonkonop says:

      Just prayed and will continue to pray! Hopefully will get to get over there this week to catch up as i said today at church. Love all you guys and asking the Lord for some much needed relief.

  4. Jane Miniard says:

    I will be praying specifically for a pause for you. Praying also for strength for you and your family.

  5. Julie Bedford says:

    We will pray for a slow down! Love the Bedfords

  6. Kathy Ray says:

    Praying earnestly for this pause for you and your precious family. We love you!!

  7. John Harris says:

    The Harris’ Family will continue to pray for you and your family!

  8. Russ Arbuckle says:

    We continue to pray, love, think of you and Dena, Paige, and Parker everyday. We know God is
    in control. He loves you very much and as Nathan said yesterday that He knows the battles within your body. Every inch of your being and He will care for you. Continue your journey knowing that
    God is there and we continue to pray for you, you mighty Warrior.

  9. Mel Stull says:

    Patrick, I just read your post and the Stulls are praying earnestly for you and your family.

    My job has changed and now I work form home, I can swing by and visit for lunch sometime if you are feeling up to it. I will touch base with you soon.

    Regarding the new normal, we understand. I love the verse you mentioned in the blog, check out Isaiah 26:3-4. My dear brother, King Jesus will never let you go! My brother we are with you!

  10. Julie says:

    I am pausing to pray for you. You don’t know me, but my son and Hunter Stevens are friends from Granger. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains… where does my Help come from? My Help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot stumble. He who watches over you will not slumber.” Praying.

  11. lorie says:

    thank you for speaking truth plainly, i have similar feelings with the ms, but not near as quick a decline, but things have sped up since surgery, which i do not regret, not complaining just explaining, perhaps we ask Him the same question, how much longer. . .praying 4 u

  12. Leetha Tomlinson says:

    Praying for you Patrick and your family.

  13. Don Mackewich says:

    I will be praying for you and the family.

  14. Mel Stull says:

    This for you Bro! By Charles Spurgeon:

    A Permanent Promise

    Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
    John 6:37

    There is no expiration date on this promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner at his first coming,” but “I will never cast him out.” The original reads, “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.” The text means that Christ will not at first reject a believer, and that as He will not do it at first, so He will not to the last.

    But suppose the believer sins after coming? “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”1 But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.”2 But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”3 But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but He will “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”4

    Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
    Nothing from His love can sever.

    Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”5 What do you say to this, O trembling, feeble mind? This is a precious mercy. Coming to Christ, you do not come to One who will treat you well for a little while and then send you about your business, but He will receive you and make you His bride, and you shall be His forever! Live no longer in the spirit of bondage to fear, but in the spirit of adoption, which cries, “Abba, Father!” Oh, the grace of these words: “I will never cast out.”

    11 John 2:1 2Hosea 14:4 31 Corinthians 10:13 4Psalm 51:7
    5John 10:28

  15. joe & Gail Asaro says:

    Patrick & Family,

    We love you all and are praying for you. This is from a book that Gail & I recently read called, “Note to Self”. It helped us see things a bit more clear,– it should help all of us.

    Live Short

    “Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.”
    PHILIPPIANS 1:20-26

    “Dear Self,
    The call to live every day as your last is not anything new. You’ve heard it quite a bit, and you even “amen” the sentiment. But why haven’t you given it more thought? The call to live today as if it were your last is not a romantic notion of living life to the fullest. It is a call to recognize that God is sovereign and has ordered your days from beginning to end. It is to recognize that God has give you today but has not promised you tomorrow. What this means, then, is that you are a fool if you presume that you have tomorrow while taking for granted the grace you have today.

    Consider that God has ordered your days. He has given you a certain number of days to use for his glory and the good of those around you. What are your doing with the time you have? Remember, we are not talking about the time you think you have, but the time you actually have. If you knew for certain that this was in fact the last day of your life, what would you do? Would you hole up in your house, kneeling, repenting for all the sin you have neglected? Would you run to every friend and relative who does not know Christ and encourage them to repent and believe the gospel? But while today could be your last, you do not know it, so the best course of action is simply to be faithful to the things God has called you to this day, for it could be your last. Will you love your spouse? Talk to your kids? Do your best at your place of employment? Pray and seek God with earnestness and sincerity?

    You see, you have to make the most, not just of the day as a whole, but of all the parts that make up that day. That is your responsibility. Live short, live with urgency. This is the natural outworking of truly embracing our chief end of glorifying God and enjoying him forever.”

  16. janet searle says:

    We are starting a new campaign here. “Pause to pray for a pause for Patrick!” The Lord has kept you in the forefront of my thoughts and prayers. You are loved so much!!!! Thank you for your honesty and giving us a very specific way to bring our requests before the throne of our Lord.

  17. Amy McChord says:

    Prayers each day coming from the McChords.

  18. Steve and Rose Yost says:

    My Husband and I are praying for you and your family.

  19. Cathy Mullins says:

    “Dear God, we know that you are the Mighty Physician that loves Patrick more than anyone else ever could. We know that You are with him and holding him in your arms. We ask You, God, to please give him and his family a break from this downward spiral, even if just for a few weeks. Most of all, give them the grace to accept whatever Your will is for them as they continue following this road that You are leading them down. We love You and trust You to do what is best! In Jesus Name, AMEN”

  20. brooke Avolio says:

    Patrick, I will stand in prayer with you on that request! My prayers are continuious wih you all.

  21. Marilyn Wisswell says:

    Just finished praying and weeping for you…no that isn’t true, I still weep. Praying that the dump truck with all those new symptoms doesn’t stop at your house today and unload. My grandma used to say when it rains, it pours. Praying you have a good day today with NO new symptoms. Is. 40:31 is one of my favorite verses. Thanks for including it in your blog, I needed it.

  22. Julie Rosol says:

    Dear Patrick, Dena, Paige and Parker,
    Thankful for your transparency and allowing us the opportunity to specifically pray for your requests! Our hearts are heavy for you and your family as we personally know the physical and emotional strain of watching someone you love deal with such a debiliating disease! Sometimes, it can be very hard to see through the fog of the day to day challenges. I pray this verse, that was part of my “Daily Bread” Devotions, may be an encouragement and reminder that your labors and struggles are not invain!
    “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageoulsy and fearlessly”. Phillipians 1:12-14

    “We often think if life were smooth we would a better witness be; But God knows best-that faith midst trials can honor Him more powerfully. ” Cetas

    Praying for you to see Christ as your “Lifeguard” during these stormy seas and that He would be pleased to allow you all a “pause”!

    Much prayer and hugs being sent your way!
    The Rosol Family

  23. Jonathan says:

    My heart breaks for you and your family. We will pray for a pause in this horrible disease. I love reading your posts. Thank God for your dedication to Him and desire to please Him in everything you do.

  24. Ruth Klein says:

    Dear Patrick, Dena, Paige and Parker,

    My heart is heavy for you all. I continue to pray fervently that God will give you continuous grace to bear up under the symptoms and circumstances of the trial you are going through, knowing that in this suffering our loving Heavenly Father is walking ahead of you and beside you each step of the way. And, yet, the sorrows and burdens of each day press down on you, and so I am praying that He will give you comfort, peace and strength for each day, and a reprieve from this downward spiral.

    When I was a young girl, I memorized Psalm 121, and this passage has been a regular source of comfort to me throughout my life, and I share it here with you.

    “I will lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

    Go with God and in the strength of His might my dear friends!

    Love in Christ,

  25. Les and Judy Johnson says:

    We will pray for a pause if that be Gods will. In the mean time we pray for you and your family during the storm

  26. Viv and Daryl Poole says:

    Patrick and Dena,
    Tho I rejoice with you about the many ways in which people have helped you, the tears are choking my voice as I speak This note to you. So much so that I’m not sure my phone wil recognize my words.
    Dena When you were just a third grader In my class at Grndview, I sensed that God was going to use you in a great way. I know that right now, God is using your tender sweet spirit in caring for Patrick and your family. I pray that you will not get discouraged or too frustrated. I am praying for you and for patrick’s request for things to slow down.

  27. Darlene Krucker says:

    I thank the Lord that I know you and I’m
    Blessed to be praying for you! Will pray
    For a pause! The Kruckers

  28. Shirley Piatek says:

    Dear Patrick, Dena, Paige & Parker,

    We are praying for you all every day! Thank you for being so open and sharing your struggles and triumphs with us. Right now it seems that there are more struggles than triumphs, and so you are praying for a pause. That will be our prayer for you now as well. We are praying that God will continue to hold you all tightly in His arms as He takes you along on this journey. We love you all and now we will be praying for a pause for you, in the coming days, weeks and months.

    Psalm 73:26 NIV ~ “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

    Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV ~ “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

    Love & Prayers,
    Larry & Shirley Piatek

  29. Lisa Moen says:

    Our hearts and prayers are with you all. Hang tight to His promises and continue residing in His strength.

  30. James says:

    i debated whether or not to post this but God will do with it as he pleases so here goes.
    The night before your’e April 22nd sermon was the lowest point in my 30+year Christian walk, I won’t get into the grusome details but just suffice it to say my Lowest point in my life. I know Believers are not suppose to pray & beg to God to take them home, but I found myself doing so, pleading and actually getting mad and cursing God because he would not answer my prayer. I was in so much pain emotionally I thought I was just going to lose my mind. I fell asllep that night exhausted over wrestling with God and actually waking up the next morning so dissappointed I was still alive. I dragged myself to church to hear you speak, and it was as if it was just you and me in the room and God was just holding me and sitting with me while you spoke. I truly found out what I have been reading about all those years- his grace. Needless to say, God gently put me back on the road to recovery and am mindful of my hourly dependence on him. It has been 3 months now, and I got tired of debating with God of whether I should post this, after all suicidal thoughts for a believer just are not something you publish. This is the first time I have spoke of it and already as I am typing this God is healing me more and tears are running down my face overwhemed by his love. I shutter to think what I would have done that night if I was not totally convinced that I would be with God if I took my own life but I am sooooo thankful for your message of hope. I know that I am not the only person suffering in the body of Christ but for now, I can only communicate my incident this way but I hope that God uses this post to minister to someone as he sees fit. I think we should tell of God’s wonderful grace when it comes our way even if it has to be annonymous for sensitivty sake. To my Cornerstone family, a lesson as to you never know who is hurting so bad that a kind genuine word will do wonders for a person. I know the bible and did not need verses thrown at me but just tender love as tho Christ was loving me.

    • Les and Judy Johnson says:

      Patrick: There is a window in your heart through which you can see God. Once upon a time the window was clear. Your view of God was crisp. You could see God as vividly as you could see a gentle valley or hillside. Then suddenly, the widow cracked. A pebble broke the window. A pebble of pain. And suddenly God was not so easy to see. You were puzzled. God wouldn’t allow something like this to happen, would he? When you can’t see him, trust him…Jesus is closer than you’ve ever dreamed. (Max Lucado).
      Psalm 91:1-2
      John 14:27
      Praying and thinking of you always
      Les and Judy

  31. Sandy Love says:

    Pat, I praise God for the positive spin you put on things, and I admire that. If I were in your shoes I would be angry and mean. I pray that God will put a pause on your life, not just now, but for months to come. God bless you and your family.

  32. Tracy says:

    While I can’t begin to imagine the roller coaster of stress and emotions this puts upon you and your family, please know my heart goes out to all of you. I pray regularly for you, and will now pray specifically for the pause you deeply desire. I’m grateful you’ve shared with such honesty how difficult this aspect of your illness is, as it helps to show the importance of our fervent prayers on your behalf. With love and prayers for God’s grace upon you and yours…Tracy

  33. Keith and Marilyn Kaynor says:

    We will pray for a pause. We will pray that many friends respond. We will pray that, most of all, God will be even more real to all four of you. We can’t imagine what you’re going through, but we will pray. I think it’s OK to cry. God gave us tears to let out our emotion. He will meet you there too even in your tears….

  34. DOUG says:


  35. Keith and Marilyn Kaynor says:

    Our minds and heart go out to you! My understanding is that Paige has gone off the G.R. That’s good. Her heart is here with you. We are asking God for a pause. K

  36. Lisa Davis says:

    I just caught up on your last entries. With tears in my eyes and aching in my heart, I read this to my kids and a couple neighbors who are here. You are all in my thoughts frequently and also top on my prayer list. Thank you for sharing every word you have shared.

  37. Deb says:

    Patrick & Dena, I don’t know if you’d remember me, we were at BBC together, years ago. My family has experienced crisis after crisis. Our son Connor was born with multiple medical and developmental challenges and lived his life with a trach, ventilator, oxygen….. the list goes on and on. I only say this to let you know…you are not alone as you go through each day. It is not the same battle, but know that many of us face battles, so difficult, so challenging, that we wonder if we can keep on going, keep on living. Connor breathed his last breath, and met his Savior in September of 2007. He was only 8 years old. He knew God’s love, His grace, His hope… and our goal was for Connor to feel those things, to know them to his very core… he knew these things and so much more. He suffered more than any child should ever have to… and we miss him more than words could ever express… these things are honest, they are real…we face them every day. I think often in our Christian world we don’t say what’s real and we put on false faces for others….This not only hurts us, as we are then so isolated in our pain, but it also hurts others, as they never learn the reality of struggle and how they can truly help us and others. I’m so thankful you are stating the truth about what’s happening and helping others see. Keep saying what is real, and sharing your heart. Let others know that our faith isn’t just about when the times are good, but also when life is so hard you just can’t keep going, and God carries you. This is what love really is and how God uses us. This is where true faith, hope and love carry us to Him. Know you are in our prayers, for what really matters. For God’s grace, His hope and His love to carry you through the very tough times, through the darkest days. Know you are being prayed for and held in God’s arms. Deb

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