A year later

I thought I would have a flow of words to share with you today, but I don’t. Maybe it’s fatigue. Maybe it’s being busy with no time to let my thoughts flow. Possibly.

But I think it’s simply that when you are reflecting on something that is so meaningful to you, sometimes the only words you have are, ‘Thank you, Lord.”

One year ago today we were in the emergency room followed by days in the hospital including the ICU. What I had no idea of at the time (and that’s probably a good thing, actually), was just how long her recovery would be.

The doctors told us to give it a year and then we would know for sure what was permanent. So today has been a little scary for me to anticipate. What if we’re not there?

The short answer is, we’re not. In many areas she has made a full recovery, but there are some areas where encephalitis has left its long term mark.

And, so as strange as it seems, one year after that awful day we are launching back into the world of therapy. We’re so incredibly grateful for how things have lined up for that, and we are hopeful to see improvement.

But today instead of being frustrated that we need more therapy, I’m grateful that she’s alive. I’m grateful that the things we are dealing with are in fact things that we can help through the right kind of therapy. There are many other stories where children have not fared nearly as well.

We count ourselves incredibly blessed. And we’re also ready to tackle the lingering difficulties she still has.

So while this past year has been a year of recovery. This next year will be a year of learning new ways to help her, and then passing those tools on to her bit by bit. I’m very encouraged and full of hope.




  1. We praise the Lord with you and are eager to see how God will use Olivia. She is precious, and so are you.

  2. Love you all! And praying for a wonderful year of growing ahead.

  3. Praising God for the victories and praising Him for the healing to come.

  4. I am so glad she made it, even if the road to recovery is a long and imperfect one. Love that last photo of your gorgeous girl. Thank you for sharing this today.

  5. “But I think it’s simply that when you are reflecting on something that is so meaningful to you, sometimes the only words you have are, ‘Thank you, Lord.”–YES, so true! Praising the Lord along with you for the victories and asking Him to give you grace in the days ahead as you trust Him to bring complete healing!

  6. Emily Tyler says:

    Johanna, my mom contracted encephalitis when I was a baby. They didn’t think she would make it but she did, praise God! I’m glad to hear Olivia is doing so well after all she went through.

  7. We love this sweet, beautiful girl and are so very thankful for God’s sustaining grace on her life. Lots of Love from her Uncle Bob, Auntie Jennie, and big cousins who love & adore her Patience & Corban

  8. Praising God for his precious gift of Olivia’s life, excited for you about the coming year and praying about the continuing therapy. Love Olivia’s sweet smile.

  9. Becky Rulapaugh says:

    A song comes to mind, “The Lord is good. His mercies are endless. The Lord is good. His love has no end. The Lord is good. Come taste his forgiveness. Oh, come with me. Oh, come and see. The Lord is good.”

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