Wednesday, March 30, 2011

“What’s Today Mommy?”

April 4th, tissue matching begins.

Nicole’s CBC blood work-up from last week came back outstanding.  Nicole’s red blood cell count is normal and her hemoglobin level is up to 11.  A normal hemoglobin level is around 12, but we will take it.  As I speculated in last week’s blog, Skipping Like Charlie Brown ( ) Nicole’s recent burst of energy is due to her feeling more normal than she has in quite some time.

Titia and I go to University Hospitals in Cleveland on Monday to have blood drawn, along with Nicole, to see if we are match to donate our kidney to Nicole.  A normal CBC work-up requires 1 vial of blood.  On Monday, Nicole will have 10 vials of blood drawn.  Yes, 10!  Please remember Nicole in your thoughts and prayers as this is going to be difficult for a little girl.  That is a lot of blood.  She has a tenacity and toughness that most of us so-called adults would love to have.  She also has a naivety and innocence about all of this that has made me do some soul searching!

Nicole has absolutely, positively no idea what is going on.  Even if we told her about Monday she would not know what we are talking about.  She does not even know, much less care, that she has only 1 failing kidney.  That fact alone would keep most of us up at night…every night.  It is not relevant to her.  She wakes up each day asking a simple question, “What’s today mommy?”  By this she is not asking what day it is, she is asking what is going to happen today.  (She says this in her cute, little speech that part of me hopes will never change.)  You see, only what is next is what matters.

We are the opposite, aren’t we?  I have been blogging about the donor tissue matching for weeks.  Pondering the potential outcomes, problems, and so on.  Nicole…not so much.  “What’s today mommy?”  That’s all.  As I said, she doesn’t know or care.  It is completely out of her control.  Come to think about it, it is completely out of my control as well.  I cannot control what happens on Monday any more than she can.  In fact, this entire process of working towards a kidney transplant is totally outside of my realm of control.  Sure, Titia and I can jump through the administrative hoops, administer the medicine, drive here and there, and worry until our hair falls out.  But we can’t make there be a kidney match, we can’t make her red blood cell count go up, we can’t make her hemoglobin go up, and we can’t keep the pain that lies ahead for our little girl from happening.  And even if there is a match we can’t make her body accept that foreign kidney as her own.  It is ALL out of our control.

A few years ago I went through a personal situation that was completely out of my control.  It went on for months and months and months.  I literally had no say or control on what was happening.  Titia and I were taking a walk one night and I told her that I felt like a stick that had been thrown into a river and the current was taking me where it would.  I would land only where (and only when) the power of the river determined.  You see, a stick has no say against the raging waters.  It is helpless.  I remember distinctly, as if it was yesterday, throwing my hands up, not in disgust, but in relief.  For months I had tried to change the circumstance I was in to no avail.  I had found a great joy and relief in losing control.  Giving up control!  That is better said as giving up the illusion of control.  The reality was that I never had any control to begin with.  I often think that if I am in control then there is peace.  The opposite is true, there is just worry and stress.  After all, it all depends on me.  Right?  This must be true.  The truth is that there is a great peace in realizing that you are not in control.  Just letting the rivers of life and the sovereign hand of God take you where you need to go.  Learning to trust His provision, His timing, and His results of our labors.  I truly believe this is the great lesson many of us are to learn in this life…trust, believe, faith.  Giving up the illusion of control and turning the outcome back over to our creator.  Like the ark that carried Noah and his contingent of animals, my life is very much rudderless.  Did you know the ark, as in Noah’s Ark, had no rudder?  Why?  I will tell you why.  If there had been a rudder Noah would have tried to steer the ark and he would have wrecked it.  All he could do was float along and let the Lord guide the boat through the greatest storm this world has ever known.  The destination was not the point.  It was the journey that mattered.

I am here again.  At a point where there is no control.  And I can say with great joy and anticipation that I feel an overwhelming peace.  This time I know I have no control and I feel so, so good about it.  There is a great relief in losing control.  I guess I have been taught another life lesson from Nicole.  I now say, “What’s today daddy (Lord)?”  And he shows me what’s next. 

Matthew 18
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

What a relief, it doesn’t all depend on me.

What are you toiling about in your life trying to control, manipulate, and otherwise royally mess up?  J  Drop the illusion of control and place your trust squarely in the hands of the One that truly does have control, Yahweh!  Praise is to Him and Him alone as the One and only true Sovereign of the Universe.

Next week I will report where the ark is at.  I may not know where this is going, but I am quite certain of who is steering the boat.

For His Glory,


  1. Holding up Nicole to the Great Physician. His Eye never leaves your little sparrow...

  2. Praying that the boat lands where you want it to, but if it doesn' will still land on solid ground. Either way, I feel confident that God has the perfect match for Nicole out there and it will be found. Love you guys. Terri

  3. Great post Brian and love the word pictures. From one control freak to another, I of course, always need to hear that! Thanks for the reminder. It is all an allusion.....He must chuckle at our attempts to steer the boat. Oh my. Praise Adonai that HE ALONE is in control!!!

  4. As usual, wonderful word pictures! Maybe a book should be in your future... ;)