An Update on Nicole...
The donor process is proceeding. Those that have volunteered to donate a kidney to Nicole have been contacted by University Hospitals in Cleveland and are determining if they are a blood-type match. Nicole is A+ and is fortunate to be able to accept a kidney from anyone with blood-type's A+, O+, and O-. Titia and I are in this process as well. Both of us are A+, along with Nicole, which allows us to move onto phase 2...tissue matching. We will be going in the last week in February to give blood. Tissue matching involves both the donor and the recipient (Nicole) giving blood at the same time. Nicole is so small that she can only safely give enough blood for 1 to 2 potential donor's at a time or otherwise more potential donors would be giving blood that day. They decided to start this process with us because we are immediate family and therefore have a reasonable chance of being a match. They will draw the blood, put it in special containers, and ship it overnight to Cleveland. The other potential donors will perform this same procedure once Nicole has recovered (a lot of blood is drawn).
On a more personal note, I have to say that I am extremely excited about the potential of being a donor for Nicole. She is a “daddy's girl” and the thought of having one of my organs contributing to her life is thrilling to me. It seems to me that giving of oneself is the greatest gift one human can do for another. This applies not just to giving a kidney, but giving of oneself in service and love. Jesus (Yeshua) stated that “ by this all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (John 13:35) True love is not a warm and fuzzy emotion, but an emotion that is guided by our will. In other words, true love is something that we must choose to do. This does not always come easy for me, I must admit. Like many of us, I am often selfish. True love does not seek its own, but the good of another. This gives me an opportunity to make a choice to love. This is one of the reasons why I am so excited about this possibility. Another reason I want to be “the match” is so that Titia can be the “mommy” post-surgery. Titia really needs to be there with Nicole after the surgery and if she is the match then that cannot happen. I can be there for Nicole, but I am not mommy. Titia has patience and a nurturing motherly love that I can never have. It is just the way it is.
The sequel to From Deliverance to Hardship to Glory...
In my first blog, From Deliverance to Hardship to Glory, I set the stage for how we arrived where we are today regarding Nicole's kidney transplant. I received such an overwhelming response to the blog that I have decided to finish the story this week.
After the birth of Nicole, the diagnosis of BOR (branchio-oto-renal) syndrome, and the drama that resulted things calmed down for a little while at the Miller house, but that didn't last long. It was not long and Titia was pregnant again. Learning that BOR is from a dominant gene we knew that 1 out of every 2 children that we had will have this potentially debilitating disease. Fear, is the opposite of faith. We had not learned, completely anyway, that we are not in control. We attempted the level 2 ultrasounds again even though they had failed so miserably with Nicole to diagnose her problems. We went to the finest doctor that Columbus, Ohio had to offer at The Ohio State University Medical Center. At 28 weeks of pregnancy he was convinced that all was well. A few short days later, less than 1 week, our greatest fears were realized, the baby was not moving and Titia was convinced we had lost the pregnancy…again. She was right. Once again, sadly, Titia had to go through the incredibly painful process of delivering a life-less child. This time it was a little boy. We named him Benjamin.
As a husband, I had never been so sad in all of my life. There was nothing I could do or say. After Titia delivered I had never seen her so sad, depressed, faithless, lifeless, and weary in all my life. Titia is an optimist, full of joy, and full of child-like faith. But not this time, it was over. Understandably so. Knowing there was nothing I could do or say I left the room to take a walk around the hospital and contemplate...why? Once again, there were no answers. (I think there rarely are to situations like this.) A few minutes later I returned to the room to find THE MOST DRAMATIC TURNAROUND IN HUMAN HISTORY. Titia was up in her bed, smiling, almost exuberant. To be honest, I had figured they had come into the room and given her some “happy pills”, if you know what I mean J. Seriously, what was there to be smiling about? Why the joy? Titia could not wait to tell me what happened. I will do my best to recount this most amazing story:
After I had left the room Titia had prayed to the Lord very openly and honestly...
“Why did you have to take my baby? Why did you have to take my baby boy from me? It is all so unnecessary. Why?”
The God of all the universe responded (what is man that God is so mindful of us? (Psalms 8:4, Hebrews 2:6). The most profound statement of all time. The simplest, yet the most profound...
“I know what it feels like to lose a Son! I will give you another son.”
These words turned Titia's sorrow into joy, her tears into laughter, and her lack of faith into breath-taking action. “For God so loved that world that he GAVE his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This was the greatest news mankind had ever known. Our Heavenly Father sent his Son, Jesus (Yeshua), to pay the sin debt for all of mankind once and for all and he became the curse of the law (death) for all of us that we might become the children of God. And now our Father had reminded Titia of this news to tell her that just as His Son had risen from the dead that new life would once again spring forth from her womb in the form of another son. God knows! God cares! God understands!
We came home from the hospital and the most incredible testimony of faith that I know was being lived out right there in our home. I came home from work one day and Titia was knitting a baby blanket. I asked her, “Why are you knitting a baby blanket?”
Titia responded, “The Lord promised me another son and I am going to knit this baby blanket for him until he is born.”
Wow! Titia believed the spoken Word of God and she was living out that faith in action...not doubting. Caleb Robert Miller was born on July 10th, 2007 perfectly healthy. Caleb, a powerful example of faith in scripture, is an appropriate name. GOD WAS TRUE TO HIS WORD.
Has God ever spoken to you? Do you believe the Word of God? Whether it is written in the pages of the HOLY BIBLE or spoken in an answer to prayer, it is trust-worthy. God cannot lie and is completely reliable. If you have never prayed in faith believing that God will speak to YOU, grant you wisdom, care about your circumstances, intervene on your behalf, then I am going to challenge you to TRUST HIM! Our family has found that He is trust-worthy.
For His Glory,