Monday, November 12, 2012

Grateful

Despite the fact that I have almost no kidney function, I continue to find myself lavishly blessed. I wake up constantly aware of the mercies of the Lord and how they are new to me each morning. The ironic thing is that the thing I am most thankful for is that the Lord has given me a thankful heart. I realize that there are a lot of people out there in my shoes who are sad, lost, alone, discouraged, depressed, and I am truly broken for them. I don’t have to muster up an attitude of joy and thankfulness – the Lord has just given it to me out of his grace. I did nothing to deserve it. Again, it was all his grace. I sometimes receive compliments for how well I am handling this situation or how joyful I am in the midst of uncertainty. I really can’t take any credit for this. My response is simply – God, you are so good.

I also realize that it may not last forever. If it gets harder, if I have to start dialysis, if I’m not eligible for a transplant…will I have joy then? Will my eyes still focus on the good the Lord has given me instead of the bad that can so easily steal our joy? I can only pray to the God of grace that he will continue to give me a heart of thankfulness….even if.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d love to give thanks to God for the countless ways He has blessed me. I’ll list a few of them below.

1. I have 7% kidney function. I feel like I should be in extreme pain or have unbelievable fatigue. Instead, I often forget that I am even “sick” at all.

2. My friends and family have been so encouraging throughout this whole process. I’m pretty sure the golden bowl of incense in Heaven that holds the prayers said on my behalf must be enormous.

3. Modern Medicine. My doctor in Nicaragua once told me that I should be thankful that I am American, that I have the money and the opportunity to receive great medical care. He told me that if I had been born into a poor family in Nicaragua, my only option would have been to just wait for death to come. I don’t fully understand God’s mercy, but I’m so thankful He has given it to me.

4. For a warm home at the Fredericks, and for the kindness of the Williams’ and Brackin’s who have let us use their cars. Also, for the Lilley’s and Chad, who have shared their phones with us. And countless others who have treated us to meals or hosted us in their homes for a visit.

5. For a doctor who has given more than his job requires to walk through this process with us. A perfect gift to us at the perfect time. His love for God and helping people amazes me.

6. For good health. If you set the whole “Chronic Kidney Failure” thing aside, I’m actually the healthiest I’ve even been! I used to have colds, or stomach viruses or sore throats fairly often. In the last few years, God has kept me healthy despite the fact that my immune system has been suppressed the whole time.

7. My husband. He’s the most faithful man I’ve ever known. He knows exactly how to take care of me and has made sacrifices countless times to do so.

8. Fall in the States. Since we’ve been in Nicaragua the last 3 years, we have missed the whole concept of changing seasons. Chase and I have a strange love for trees, and there are so many beautiful ones here in the Fall! Like this one on the JBU campus…DSCN2503

9. God’s provision. We haven’t had a need go unmet or a bill go unpaid.

10. Lastly, I’m thankful for the capability to serve. Even in the midst of struggle and hard things, when life is messy, God asks me to serve him. It’s there that he teaches me, blesses me, changes me. Even in brokenness and uncertainty, he can still use me. I’m thankful that this is the kind of God I serve.

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