by Joan

April 12, 2021 is the date of Matthew’s hemispherotomy. Followed by 8 weeks in hospital recovery and rehab. Matthew has not been informed yet of this information, we are still waiting to explain to him closer to the time as it will be hard for him to process. As it is for us his parents. This is the venue that we will use to keep you updated to his progress after surgery. As for the 7 weeks leading up to it, we also will use this method to process our feelings. We are both ready for this surgery and recovery to be behind us – looking in the rearview mirror instead of having it looming large before us. But I can say that after a week of processing, we both are feeling that this is so the right choice for him. Epilepsy is just interfering too much with Matthew’s life.

As I was praying for Dr Kennedy the other night, it struck me how much courage it takes for a surgeon to take the life of a little boy into his hands, slice half his brain away and return him back to his parents in a critical condition – reassuring them all the while that this is best for him. And he does this over and over. I am sorry, but I have a rough time just removing a splinter out of someone’s finger- not my own. There are people put on this earth, that are so dedicated to science and cutting edge of helping others that they are willing to risk their own reputation, skill, and fortitude. I am one who can’t be thankful enough. It takes courage for Ron and me to say, “yes” on behalf of our son, but then we sit and wait as Dr Kennedy does the actual work. Pray for this man!

This waiting period for us also happens to coincide with Lent – the season before Easter when the Christian world is thinking of “giving up” something in sacrifice for what our Lord did for each one of us on the cross. I am thinking that I need to give up worry for this Lent season – doesn’t really benefit anyone and certainly isn’t going to help Dr. Kennedy do his job or give my son courage to face his upcoming life. As scripture also says, “to obey is better than sacrifice” and that is probably what I will focus on more this Lenten season. Trusting Jesus, that He got this. He loves Matthew more than me. Obediently follow Him in my daily profession of caring for others. Watch my attitudes. Is my thinking lining up with Christ’s or am I going my own way? Am I allowing Him to do the finishing work of redemption in my life and am I clinging to Him for my every sustenance? Will I allow others to help and do the work I can’t do as I wait by the sickbed of my son?

Just as I marvel at the ability of this surgeon who wants to help our son, even more I stand in awe of the One who gave up his reputation, setting aside all that he deserved, and courageously endured the cross because we have all gone our own way and need a Rescuer. This is a good Lenten season, the best time to receive his salvation. And thank Him while we wait to be home with him.

Love you all, thanks for continued prayers! 

8 thoughts on “Courage

  1. Thanks for sharing your story (hopes, fears and God’s work) with us. We are excited to have reminder bracelets too. Praying for you all.


  2. Hey Denlinger Family. I appreciate your updates and just wanted to let you know I’m praying for you and the upcoming surgery. May God bless and keep you all. Linda Beiler

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Hello Denlinger family. I learned about your family yesterday from Kerri. I work for the Foundation in the Lehigh Valley. Please know that my family will be praying for you and your family. Psalm 55:22


      1. What a blessing it is to cast it all on Him! And thank you for your ministry. In Christ, Ellen


  4. Dear friends. I’ll just learning about your adventures. This is Zmatthew’s surgery day so I’m praying fir him, for you and fir the medical team. May God comfort each of you and heal Matthew!

    I used to live in walking distance of Chop. As time goes by, if I can help with any kind of transportation please get in touch!

    Blessings. Judy B.


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