Hello friends. As you are aware, I have used this blog over the past several years to post devotionals, stories, and excerpts from my teaching ministry at Wildwood Community Church. I will continue to do this in the future, however, for the next several weeks I will also be using this blog to post updates about a significant medical situation in our family.
As many of you are aware, my wife, Kimberly, has lived most of her life dealing with a non-specific auto-immune condition that acts similar to Lupus. To over-simplify the situation, I would describe her condition as an overactive immune system . . . her body thinks that healthy parts are sick and sends extra blood flow to healthy body parts in large numbers to fight off the imagined infection. This causes swelling and inflammation on key body parts that leads to damage and long term problems. Over the past 25+ years, this illness has negatively impacted her kidneys and airway. Her airway has been restricted due to this swelling and has led to asthma like symptoms since she was in college. Her kidneys suffered irreparable damage all the way back when she was in elementary school with increased problems developing over time.
All of this has led to Kimberly experiencing renal failure over the past number of months. Back in December 2011, Kimberly was referred on for a kidney transplant by her Nephrologist, Dr. David Williams. This started an eight month adventure of evaluation and preparation that leads to July 30, 2012 when Kimberly will have a kidney transplant. While there is not enough time or space to write about all the ways Kimberly and I have seen God work in this season, I will highlight a few of the big things we have seen God do below:
- When 2012 started, it was unclear if she would have to start dialysis before transplant. Praise God, with one week to go, it looks like she made it! No dialysis needed!
- With a kidney transplant, two options exist: you either get the donated kidney from a deceased donor or a living donor. Right now in Oklahoma, the wait time for a deceased donor transplant is three years. We are praising God for the incredible act of selfless love that was shown us when Kimberly’s sister, Angie, volunteered to donate one of her kidneys as a living donor. We are humbled, blessed, and awe-struck by her act of selfless love.
- We had hoped for the transplant to happen sometime at the end of the summer . . . allowing Kimberly to make it through the summer, enjoying time with Josh before the surgery. We are praising God that the summer has been great, we got to experience a fun vacation together, and the surgery will take place before school starts for Joshua.
- We have been humbled and encouraged by the many prayers and acts of love that have been shown to us by our family, church family, and other friends at this time. We are greatly blessed!
So, we are headed for transplant next Monday. We will keep you up to date as the week progresses with some specific prayer requests before the surgery and updates afterwards. It is hard to be in touch personally with many of you, so we are utilizing this blog to communicate the basics.
As we prepare for surgery, I am mindful of a story I heard Prof Howard Hendricks tell of when he was diagnosed with skin cancer. He told his wife, “Well, God is either in control or He is not . . . I am betting that He is.” As we approach surgery, we have a similar mentality. God is in control and we are trusting Him. Would you join us in that endeavor? Thanks!
I’ll post more here soon.