Saturday, October 08, 2011

Grace Lavishly Poured Out

Our family’s testimony has been and continues to be, “Our heavenly Father delights to bless His children and withholds no good thing. He faithfully provides all they need without exception. We can trust Him.”

That testimony has not so much been tested as it has been proven time and time again. Though we know we are not exempt from difficulties and hardships, we have not really felt the incredible “fiery trials” that we have watched others go through.

That may be changing.

Though, our hope is secure in the LORD’s faithfulness to us through times past.

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During 2010, our little Annie began having what we started calling “episodes” where she would become nauseous, extremely pale, and very tired. She sometimes would throw up and sometimes not. I would put her to bed and she would sleep awhile. Sometimes she developed a fever, sometimes not. She almost always had no appetite for awhile, but was usually back to normal by evening. And these “episodes” would almost always occur on a Sunday right after the worship service began. We explored all possible reasons . . . diet, rest, anxiety . . . you name it. And we prayed. And we sought counsel from others. We looked up symptoms on-line. And we prayed.

2011 began with various different illnesses for her . . . none out of the ordinary, but different than what any of our other children ever had (she had a kidney infection for one). Finally in June she had another episode and then another one a month later – both on a Sunday. That was the last straw for me. It was summer and something was definitely going on. I had already spoken with her pediatrician about this and so decided to pursue some testing while school was out. We tested for allergies (a blood draw), but all tests came back negative. Our pediatrician then referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist who took our history and ordered a complete workup of lab tests. We saw her again on September 14 and were told that all of Annie’s labs came back fine. It didn’t look like she had hypoglycemia issues or Celiac’s disease. The numbers that would have pointed to mal-absorption issues looked normal (Annie’s weight is below normal and she seems so small for her age . . .though not in height). The doctor told us to continue to supplement Annie’s diet with calorie-enriched smoothies and to come back in November and we would look at possibly running some more tests and see if they still came back negative. Oh, and just to rule out all possibilities, she ordered one more test, “Though I don’t think she has it.”

Well, we completed this “last test” on Wednesday, September 28th, and later that day got a call from the dr.’s office saying that they wanted to see Annie back at the next available. Earl and I both knew what that meant: she tested positive.

Sure enough, we saw the doctor two days later and were told that Annie’s test came back positive and we were being referred to another specialist. (I am refraining from naming the condition we are exploring until we have a positive and definitive diagnosis.) We saw the specialist and we are in the midst of getting further testing done to rule this out. It could go either way. Our visit this past week was encouraging in that Annie is not showing any of the classic symptoms and if her symptoms (lower GI) are related, she most likely will have a much more mild form, if it turns out that this is the cause of her “issues”. If it is not . . .than PRAISE THE LORD!!

My purpose in this post is to update and also to testify of how kind and gentle the Lord has been with me through this all. The Potter certainly knows the clay! He has given me much time to gradually grow in my understanding of the possibilities and to think through things instead of being overwhelmed with sorrowful news all at once. Whatever the future holds for our family, I have had sufficient time to make sure my feet our grounded in the truth of all that God is and in all that He has promised for us. I am confident I (and we) will be fine . .. .in fact, we will be better as I know my Father works all things according to the good that He has purposed for us. Even though there be tears.

Right now, life seems very normal and Annie seems very healthy. It almost tempts me to try and stop this whole process. We are spending our days doing school and keeping very busy with activities and ministry and normal running-a-household-of-seven routines. We are fitting in phone calls and visits for testing and flexing constantly to accommodate the ever-changing schedule. All the children have helped wonderfully and that has been a huge relief for Earl and I as we have found the freedom to run to make unplanned appointments without having the time to really make plans for the home front before leaving. But . . .oh how disappointed I am that this is such a busy season . . . I truly want to just have some cozy days and evenings with nothing to do. But THAT, dear reader . . . is a whole ‘nother post about what the Lord has been challenging me with . . .

Keep checking back . . .

He remains faithful to us!

Enjoy this song by Laura Story that has blessed me continually this past week:

Faithful God by Laura Story

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