I’ve been itching (and praying) for the time when I could share write this post and here we are. If you’ve been keeping up with my (almost) weekly letters or the little blurbs I’ve shared on my Instagram, you know we’ve had a lot going on in our family with my brother. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, here’s the quick summary: my younger (29) brother, John, got some routine blood work done about a month and a half ago now. A couple of weeks later, he had a message in My Chart from his PCP that he was in kidney failure based on the results of his urine sample. Other than having high blood pressure out of nowhere, he was perfectly healthy. Zero symptoms. A few days after receiving that message, his nephrologist (kidney doctor) admitted him to the hospital where he remained for a week. During that time we learned that for the last 10-15 years his immune system was slowly attacking his kidneys until he only had 7% function remaining. He received a port during that week in the hospital so that he could start dialysis (which he starts daily today) until he can receive a transplant. Now it’s hurry up and wait…
It has been trying for our family to say the least. To hear that your son/husband/brother that was perfectly healthy is (out of the blue to us) now in need of a kidney transplant. It’s just been a lot to process in a relatively short amount of time. But like I wrote in my latest letter, I can’t seem to stress enough how we serve the most sovereign and loving God. He is not the author of what John and our family is experiencing (read the book of Job to dig deeper into this). However, I know without a doubt that GOOD will come from this situation because that is WHO GOD IS. Just like the way Job was blessed ten fold in the end. He is so so GOOD! I know John and our family (and perhaps even well beyond that!) will be blessed because of this suffering. Heck, we have already started to see it happening many times over and it has truly been the biggest blessing to experience a strengthening of faith that only a trial like this can provide. Maybe someday I’ll share more of those pieces of the story. For now, we’ll keep those close as we watch them unfold.
I’m currently working through the Opening Your Heart study with our women’s group at church and woof that has been such a blessing in itself! Last week we studied suffering (what perfect timing). In that chapter, the author shared a passage from C.S. Lewis’ book, The Problem of Pain. It resonated so strongly with me, I can’t help but share it here with you too:
“Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us. “We have all we want” is a terrible saying when “all” does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St. Augustine says somewhere, “God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full— there’s nowhere for Him to put it.” Or as a friend of mine said, “We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.” Now God, who has made us, knows that we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as He leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for. While what we call ‘our own life’ remains agreeable we will not surrender it to Him. What then can God do in our interests but make our own life less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible source of false happiness? It is just here, where God’s providence seems at first to be most cruel, that the Divine humility, the stepping down of the Highest, most deserves praise.”
I’m sad my brother and our family is going through this. I’m also so grateful to be at the mercy of Jesus and that He can provide the ultimate peace and comfort during these trials as we lay down our pain at the foot of The Cross. Lord, help us love you better! Lord, strengthen our faith in you!
While all of this has been going on with John, we’ve also had so many blessings going on “behind the scenes”. Our family is expecting another Tupta Tot (here are the links to our first baby’s story, Ellie’s birth story, Sophie’s birth story)! We are just so so so incredibly grateful, excited, and honored to be given the opportunity to love on another precious soul. My anticipated arrival date (don’t get me started on ‘due dates’) is December 30 but I’ll put it in writing that I won’t be surprised if I deliver on December 31. That means we have about 17 weeks to go! Wild. Every pregnancy flies by faster and faster.
Answers to common questions:
Another blessing and the reason I had to wait to share this post…… WE’RE MOVING TO VIRGINIA! We just got the official orders about two weeks ago that we’ll be headed to Langley AFB (hopefully) in February (we’re still waiting on that approval). This is the closest we will have lived to home since we were in high school. It’s a pretty surreal thought for us. One of the things that has made it extra tough during John’s diagnoses/hospital stay was that our family is so spread out. We’re in Columbus, Mississippi currently, John and Meg are in SLC Utah, and my parents are in Northern Virginia. We’ve loved having the opportunity to live around the country but we are really thrilled especially with what’s going on and with our kid’s ages, etc. to be closer to home. A 2.5 hour drive in much much easier than one that is 13-17 hours (depending on the day with the kids). We’ll be about 8 hours from Stephen’s parents but that is still a cake walk for us in comparison to our current trek.
Needless to say, the last two weeks have been surprisingly hectic. We put in two separate offers on two houses in Virginia that both got selected over which is fine, we know that was a God thing! It’s still a bit early to be buying but the houses were total anomalies for that area so we figured we’d try. As cool as those properties could’ve been, we’re confident and at peace knowing that the Lord has something great in the works for our family.
The next few months I’m sure will be full of chaos in the best possible way. We’re going to be renting out the Mississippi house when we move from here. The plan currently is to keep it furnished for pilot training students to rent out. Some of the furniture we currently have will stay, while things that we want to take will get replaced with marketplace/thrifting/Ikea finds. We’ve already started working on sorting all of that out because we know that the fall/holidays are approaching, I’ll have to pop out a baby at some point, and then pack up our home to move us to Virginia. We also have one last room to work on, the laundry room. I know some of you might be thinking, “Why do that if you’re going to move?!” Here’s my answer – we worked too dang hard on every other inch of this house for it to not be totally complete (and it actually won’t even be because we’re not messing with the garage at all despite how cool I know we could make it in there!). We don’t half you-know-what around here. So we’re doing the laundry room. You don’t have to like it or agree, that’s okay. 😉 It’s going to be wild but it’ll be one heck of a memory-makin’ season.
There’s more to share but that will have to come soon! Most likely in the weekly letter!
Thank you for joining us in prayer and thanksgiving during this season of trial and constant blessings (big and “small”)! We are so grateful.