Not The End of The Story…

Dear ICSers and Faculty,

Thank you very much for your kind letters, prayers, and well-wishes as I recover from my recent injuries. It meant a lot to my wife, Amber, and me to receive so many encouraging messages over these past few weeks! And as you can see from the photo, you guys showered us with kindness!

ICS lettersThe thing that struck Amber and me the most from your letters was your understanding of the Gospel and how God’s word is such an encouragement during dark times in our lives. Most cards included a favorite verse or passage that Amber and I spent time reading through and meditating on. Through hardship, I’ve begun to realize more and more that  despite all that we endure in this life, God promises to “go before us” and fight for us. And that is a comforting thing. Sadly, from reading your notes, a good number of you already know what it feels like to lose a close friend or a family member. And you are right, it IS tough. It was hard to lose my two friends 1LT RJ Hess and CPT Aaron Blanchard but thankfully God does not make us fend for ourselves in those moments because God understands loss. He endured the separation from Jesus when he sent Him to die on earth in our place. But as we all know, that was not the end of the story: Jesus rose and lives. Therefore, with respect to these kinds of hardships, the Gospel shows us two things about God: God does not make us go through things that He Himself does not understand and God allows these situations to happen because He loves us more than we can understand. As Romans 8:28 says, ” And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” I choose to believe that God is in the business of redemption…even in situations like this. Even when its hard to see at the time.

My recovery is going well! I am now walking only with the assistance of a cane, which may not sound too sound great. But when I’ve been using a wheel chair and then crutches for the past 7 weeks, a cane is a blessing. I am doing physical therapy about three times a week in order to strengthen my leg and ankle and to re-establish my flexibility and range of motion. For the times being, I am done with surgeries and doctors are pretty hopeful that I should have a 98%-100% recovery back to normal. Other than that, the Army is pretty good at keeping me active with “adaptive sports” programs like archery, kayaking, and wheel-chair basketball (my favorite.) I’ll talk to Mr. David about tying to get ICS some wheel-chairs so you guys can play during PE as well…but I wouldn’t get to hopeful! Haha.

All in all, Amber and I are doing well. We are encouraged, being well-taken care of, and excited for God’s plans for us in the future. I know the school year is just about over for you guys so congratulations on another year down! Stay focused during these last few days, especially if you have exams! And can I ask each of you a favor? You all have been so encouraging to Amber and me but I have many more friends that are still deployed in Afghanistan and will be there for the next seven months. Would you please join with me in remembering to pray for them over the summer? They would greatly appreciate it! And so would I. Thank you each once again and God Bless!

This letter was written by ICS graduate, Justin Joyce.  His wife, Amber, spends her days helping Justin recover from injuries received while serving in the Army in Afghanistan.