Summer is over and I am back in the blogging saddle. I took a few months off because the days here in North Central Ohio were MUCH longer and one needs to take advantage of the much valued sunshine. As I look out my window right now what I see are clouds, clouds, rain, and more clouds. With that, it is officially fall in Ohio. No need for a calendar here. Just look outside and it will be all too obvious to those of us lucky enough to live close to the shores of Lake Erie. Grrrrrr. I can honestly say though, summer in Ohio is just about as beautiful as it gets anywhere in the country. It is just from mid-November to mid-April that you want to throw yourself off the nearest bridge. J This too shall pass.
I have received so many warm-hearted questions concerning Nicole during my sabbatical from writing. It has been encouraging to know that so many of you have continued your prayers for her and not hesitated in letting our family know. You all are so amazing and thank you. You will never know how much it means to us.
Now an update
Nicole is doing amazing. When I first started my blog back in February Nicole was at around 21% total kidney function and sliding fast. The doctors were estimating that a transplant would most likely be in the works in 6 months to a year. They asked us to find potential donors. Wow, did the donors ever come in. Praise God. We eventually reached 18 potential donors who volunteered for Nicole and the hospital made us stop. Now, a mere 6 months later, Nicole has a total kidney function of 25-26%. Yes, that is right, things have improved! Not by a ton, but they have improved and stabilized. She stopped dropping and even starting inching back up. This reprieve has made Nicole feel so wonderful and she is doing amazing (relatively speaking). She started kindergarten this year at Mansfield Christian School and is doing great. Her growth is still anemic, but all in all we give praise to God for the progress! Keep praying, you never know what might happen!
We also have a little more time to assess where we are at in the donor process. As you know, Titia and I were “matches” to be a potential donor for Nicole’s kidney. Titia’s niece, Tiffany, and Krista, from Florida, also came in as matches. So far, all 4 people that have been tested are potential matches for Nicole. The doctors have asked us if we want to pick from those that match so far or if we want to test any more of the potential donors. If we pick from one of the four then a whole series of additional tests will be performed on that individual. We have been praying about this and we believe we are going to test 2 more individuals before making a final decision. We believe we have decided on who one of the two individuals will be. The second choice is a work in progress, if you know what I mean. We need clarity on this and would ask that you would remember us in prayer as we make this decision. This will be the next step in the process. Because of Nicole’s improvement we have a little time. However, we don’t want to take that for granted because things could turn on a dime and we would be scrambling. That is not where we want to be.
Don’t give up
Now, a final thought. The title of this blog reminded me of a quote that I recently heard. It went something like this…”It is no sin to get knocked down, but it is a sin to stay down”. A scripture related to not giving up:
Galatians 6:99 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I have to be honest, there are times when Titia and I get tired and frustrated, like everyone. Nicole is not growing fast enough. Nicole is not learning fast enough. Nicole is always more tired than everyone else. Nicole..Nicole..Nicole..Nicole. There are times we feel like giving up and that our labor is in vain. Then, I look into her beautiful blue eyes and realize what an amazing gift she is. What an amazing little girl, full of life, love, so trusting, and in need of so much. She is like a field that Titia and I are sowing seeds of love and life into. Hoeing the field, preparing the soil, and planting the seeds sometimes is back-breaking. The harvest we are looking for is a godly woman who is a blessing to everyone she knows. She can be a loving wife, mother, and anything else that God has prepared for her. We have been given the gift of laboring in this field and it is worth every last minute of it. We will reap a beautiful harvest if we do not give up.
What field are you laboring in? Are you laboring? Are you tired and want to give up? Look past the difficulty and look forward to the harvest. Don’t give up! It will all be worth it when, at the “proper time”, you reap the long-awaited harvest.
For His Glory,