Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Cove and Michael at 8 Weeks.

Daniel, Michael and one-sock Nicky
This evening is my last evening here in Asheville, NC leading worship at Billy Graham's Training Center for the Samaritan's Purse staff.  My band drove in on Monday from Nashville and Atlanta and we dusted off some great hymns like How Great Thou Art, Come Thou Fount, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Jesus Paid It All, Holy Holy Holy and It Is Well With My Soul.  We also rocked some "old" favorites like Our God Reigns, Shout To The Lord, Because He Lives and You Are Holy (Prince Of Peace).  They were certainly fun to re-learn (or Learn!) how to play and I believe those songs from our collective past made it really easy to enter into worship, focusing on the words and their meaning.  We also played a few "Shustunes": My Savior My God, My Hope is In You, My Matchless...Matchless, Risen Today, of course you can't go wrong with a Chris Tomlin song or 5.  But I think my favorite moment was playing a new song that I wrote 2 days before Michael was born on January 13th of this year.  It was the first time introducing it with the band and I am so excited about how it sounds.  It went over really well I believe.  (At least I loved singing it!)  It's the only song I felt comfortable playing 3 times during the week.  :)

I also wrote a part of a song after I walked down to the beautiful Chapel that Ruth Graham designed.  I loved that so much too that we played it the next night.  This place is so restful and the Spirit just seems to be speaking so loudly, if you'll listen you can't help but hear Him.  What a legacy of God's work through the lives of Billy, Franklin and now Will Graham.  Men after God's own heart.  Will spoke most of the week and he was fantastic.  Opened up my eyes about I Samuel 1-3.  My favorite quote of the week was a Billy quote: "Everyone wants to stay on the mountain top, but the fruit is in the valleys!"

Tomorrow I fly home to see my family!  Michael has been slowing down when drinking his bottle, a indication that he is having more difficulty getting enough oxygen to his blood while he drinks.  So I'm guessing his open heart surgery could be this month.  There is a small window at the end of March and the beginning of April that I will be home, hopefully the surgery can take place then, otherwise, I will fly out of wherever I am on the Called To Love Tour to go home with my family for a time.  

Honestly, I'm asking the God of Wonders who healed Nicky's Eosinophilic Esophagitis with a bat of His eyelash to give my Michael a whole heart with 4 walls and 2 valves before surgery even happens.  God will accomplish His perfect plan regardless what I ask for, but sometimes we have not because we ask not.  

Sorry for the month off the blog.  I was soaking up family time, can ya blame me? ;) 
Thanks for caring. 


Newrunner_08 said...

First I just have to say how precious your boys are! That is the cutest picture ever! Thanks for the update. Prayers are coming your way from the chilly tundra of North Dakota. :) God Bless.

Kirsten said...

Your boys are just beautiful! Praying with you that Michael's heart will be healed before surgery. How amazing would that be?!

MeandCrg said...

Hi Aaron...what a beautiful family you have. wow does Daniel look like's like a flash back. lol Praying for Michael. Melinda Mertz Simons

Kerry said...

I LOVE that pic. Of your boys. What blessings! I was glad to hear a little bit of how things are going. I was thinking about your family a few days ago. Will pray that he doesn't have to have surgery. :)

Sarah said...

Not praying here that his heart will be healed, but BELIEVING it will be!!!!

Michael is getting so big!! His head control is amazing!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for letting us know how things are going. So glad to hear about the Graham's ministry ministering to you, and can't wait to hear the new songs!
Praying for Michael's heart to heal. If you do end up with him needing the surgery, I pray it's right when you all need it to be. My nephew had the same scenario. It was such a relief when it was done and he could grow well! Praying for your two older boys, too, as they adjust to all of this.

Susan Allgood said...

Believing and praying with you that Michael's heart will be whole!! The boys are beautiful!!

stephanie said...

Oh thanks for the update!!

Will be praying for Michael!!

anniemm said...

Aaron - what a wonderful photo of your boys - they are adorable! I'll be in agreement in prayer that God will do a complete healing for Michael. My granddaughter is almost 1 month old - she had major difficulties after birth and spent 2 weeks in NICU. A lack of oxygen and blood flow caused some neurological damage. It was a test for me to take everything to God and lay it at his feet - but He gave me great peace afterwards. Olivia continues to get stronger everyday and i am believing that there will be no residual brain damage. I pray God's peace on you and your family as you go through this difficult time! extra hugs to Michael!

Carol said...

Michael is beautiful! How he is growing!
What a wonderful family you have. Will continue to be praying for Michael.

April Vernon said...

Great picture of the fam! I will br praying right along with you for healing!

Tunafish said...

Great post man, thanks for the encouragement! It's awesome seeing what God's doing in your life and all the cool stuff that goes down =)

MrsMcGoo96 said...

I love the picture of the Shust boys. They are all so handsome and absolutely adorable each of them! I was wondering how Michael was doing.
Children with Down Syndrome are close to my heart. I worked with lots of them with Special Olympics when I was younger. They are, I believe, angels here on earth to teach us how to love fully and trust in God always.
I really loved your Called to Love concert in Dickinson, ND.
My prayers are with your family and beautiful little Michael.

Kim V. said...

So glad to see an update. The picture of your boys is adorable.

awilburn17 said...

So glad to hear an update about you and your family. Gosh those boys are adorable. I'll be praying for little Michael's heart and that the weeks and months to come are as easy as possible for your family.
I have a 2 year old little boy that just happens to have down syndrome. He is the light of our lives and the joy we feel is so great. Your tour is coming to our city (Louisville, KY) this week and you'll be just minutes from our house. I've thought about bringing him to the concert to meet you all and to show you some encouragement along this road. He's an amazing kid as I'm sure yours are too. :)

Helen said...

My son was born 5 weeks early, which wasn't a shock at all as most of our 7 children born before Anthony were preemies (we have 9, 8 girls, 1 boy) We were sent home with a congratulations, but on guard with a baby born early even though he appeared healthy. Our first night home was an alarming night for a seasoned mom, so in the early morning hours we went back to the hospital were Docs agreed that something was wrong, so many tests were ran to find my son had a Co-arctation, the Arota was closing off and Anthony's was 70% closed off. Docs placed Anthony on total life supports with plans to keep him on supports for a few weeks to fatten him up before open heart surgery. Sadly, Anthony's heart had different plans. Very early in the morning at 4 days of age the docs had to take my son to OR for open heart surgery as his aorta had closed off 90%, kidneys shut down. 5 1/2 hours in OR, my sons heart was repaired. After 2 weeks in ICU we were being moved to regular room since Anthony was doing so well. That day became very dark, cold and lonely when the Doc told us that our son had Down syndrome. I will never forget all the emotions that took over. We were blessed to have the news delivered by our pediatrician, who told us that "Anthony would bring more love and joy to our family, that Down syndrome would not define who he is, that he is our son who happens to have Down syndrome." What a blessing to be told such positive words when everyone around us seemed so sad and grieving.
Today our little guy will celebrate his 9th birthday on April 25th and his 9th heart day on April 29th. Our life's are so blessed for so many reasons because of our sweet boy.
One lesson that Anthony taught us: "God does give us more than we can handle, but he sends his angels here on earth to help us and we must humble ourselves to let them do the work that God has called them to do."
I just wanted to share a little glimpse of our story with you with hope that you will see that you are not alone here and that the many emotions you have are normal, just allow them to happen and let God's angels hold you. Someday you will look back on these days and find the gifts in these days, but more importantly your days will get brighter.
We have been holding your family in our prayers. Welcome to the Down syndrome family and congratulations on the birth on such a beautiful baby.....he looks great!
Enclosed is our blog link. Sorry, it hasn't gotten much attention, but with 9 children.....well....hmmm, yeah the blog is on the very bottom of our priorities ;-)
Many blessings to you and yours and thank you so much for sharing.

PS: If you want to ask questions or chat please feel free to message me on my blog or my email: (I'm now an advocate for individuals/families with disabilties)Arc's are national nonprofit)
One more thing......we are huge fans of your music and have seen you in Spokane :-) My oldest who just got back from Africa is thankful for what you do too.

Rochelle said...

Little Michael is so handsome!! The other boys are cute, too, but I'm partial to DS. I wrote on your fb wall when he was first born :) My daughter was born in 2003...she developed pneumonia at 2 mos, recovered really well, then went on to have her AV Canal repaired at 3 mos! She did awesome and only stayed in the hospital for about 7-9 days (can't quite remember now). She was the BEST baby; always quiet, sleeping, had to wake her up for feedings. My 3 older girls were 2,5,and 9 at the time. They would fight over her all the time :) Praying for your family and Michael's upcoming the way, Sarah is a strong, sweet, mischevious, lovable, popular 9yr. old...I wouldn't trade her for the world!! God will give you peace, I'm sure :)

Rochelle Wilson
Elk Grove, CA

Rochelle said...

Praying for little Michael...he'll do great, Im sure! My 9 yr old daughter has DS, and she had her AV canal repaired back in 2003, at 3 mos old. She's strong, sweet, smarter than the average dog(don't EVER underestimate his thinking skills!)ha ha, and she has 3 older sisters that love her to death! She's also pretty popular at our church :)God will give you peace during's amazing :) Take care!

Rochelle Wilson
Elk Grove, CA

April Lesher said...

God used your song "My Savior, My God" to bring me peace when my son was born at 1 lb. 14 oz. My own life was also in jeopardy. The first four lines have great depth and meaning. I am praying the same Peace that comforted me six years ago will be with your family today. (We are both well.)

Christian Baluyut said...

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