Monday, March 18, 2013

Just a servant

I completely realize that you could chalk up what I'm about to tell you to just about anything... you could say it is luck, or medical science, or whatever it is you believe in.  But I'm confident that the reason my news is all good is because of the work of God in the life of my family. 

First off, our insurance issues are completely resolved.  Caleb's disability insurance got re-authorized and his coverage never lapsed.  We didn't even have to use our backup plan!  He still has the "Cadillac" of insurance coverage... ALL of his bills related to his transplant will be 100% covered by Medicaid.

Second, Caleb's liver issues have greatly improved, to the doctors' pleasant surprise.  Today his numbers looked so good that they could go back up on his TPN (that's his IV nutrition).  His kidneys look completely fine.  He shows no signs of other organs failing because of his poor heart funtion.

Third, Caleb's energy level and appetite have increased.  He has been out of bed to play and walk every single day for the past week, with no problems.  And he has started to show interest in food again, even if it is tiny bites here and there.  For lunch he had 3 grapes and I was SO proud of him.  For supper he had one pepperoni, one bite of a breadstick, and 2 ounces of Sprite, and we were thrilled.  This may seem like nothing, but it is a victory for Caleb, considering how many weeks he went without eating or drinking anything besides water.

Last week, I was praying desperately for God to have mercy on Caleb and give him a heart that very day.  And while I was praying that, over and over saying "Please God, have mercy on him", God responded, "I am having mercy on Caleb.  You don't always recognize My mercy."  Caleb may not have gotten a heart yet, but God IS merciful to us and is continuing to keep my son going and giving us help in many ways.  We know in our hearts that God's mercy is the reason Caleb is still alive and the reason I can tell you that he is doing much better.  Thank you for your prayers!  They are powerful and effective.

You know, I've had several conversations about just how many people are praying for Caleb... there are thousands of people, all over the world.  One thing people say to me sometimes is that it's hard to imagine how thousands of people are praying for Caleb and yet he still doesn't have a new heart.  To me, that is pretty easy to understand.  See, every day we see ways that God is active in our life and using us and Caleb along the way.  For example, let me tell you a crazy little story.  Daniel works for a Christian missions organization, working with missionaries all over the world.  One day he was on the phone with a missionary in Costa Rica, and he shared with Daniel about a family that needed prayer.  The couple had just found out that their unborn baby had a heart defect and they didn't even expect the child to live.  The couple were Costa Rican, but they were serving as missionaires in Bosnia where medical technology was not very available.  Daniel got off the phone and started praying for them, and as he prayed, he felt overwhemed with grief for them.  Because of all we'd already gone through with Caleb, Daniel knew the fear and disappointment they must be feeling and he begged God to provide for them.

As months went on, many people were praying for this family as well.  Well, someone from the U.S. heard about their situation and generously paid for them to come to the U.S., helped them to get visas, and to get the kind of medical help they needed.  Their daughter was born here in the U.S. and after being at a children's hospital in Oklahoma for a while, a friend of a friend offered for them to stay in a missionary house in Valporaiso and guess what.... they ended up at Riley.  Four doors down from our room.  And they are now our dear friends and a great encouragement to us.  It's so crazy to think that in the whole wide world, this family that we prayed for ended up right next door, at the same time we were in the hospital.  The missionary house where they live is 2 and 1/2 hours away from the hospital and they are only able to stay there for one year, the lease ends in a few weeks.  When they shared that with us, both Daniel and I immediately thought about offering them to come stay in our house, our old house which hasn't sold yet (much to our frustration, but isn't God interesting the way He works?).  They were thrilled... our house is less than an hour from the hospital and they can be near new friends.  They will probably be discharged from the hospital in the next few weeks, but their daughter cannot fly home to Costa Rica yet because she will need ongoing care for several months.  So in that time, they will be living in our hometown, in our house.

If Caleb had gotten a heart back a few months ago, we would never have gotten to know the Espinozas.  We never would have been able to offer them to move to our house.  And there are so many other things every day that help us see how God is not late in answering our prayers.  He is always using our circumstances for His purposes, and we are just His servants to submit to what He lays out in front of us.  That's what I have been praying this week... I'm your servant, Lord.  I'm your servant in this hospital.  I'm your servant at the Ronald McDonald House.  I'm your servant in this family.  I'm your servant wherever you put me.  If I hold on too tightly to what I want God to do for ME, I will miss out on what He wants me to do for HIM. 

35 comments:

  1. I love you, Katie. I think of you guys often, though I know I haven't been very good about keeping in touch. Sending love to you all.
    Kim

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  2. Katie you summed it up very well! May God continue to use you as you submit to Him . May those of who have read your update letter do likewise. Prayers/Mary H.

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  3. Wow, how amazing!! God is so good. Thanks for recounting His mercies and helping us worship Him through what He's doing around you and in your heart. Love you guys. SO glad Caleb is doing better. He's a fan of pepperoni, eh? I don't think any of my kids liked that when they were only 2!

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  4. Thank you, Katie, for opening my eyes and my heart for what God wants us to do. You are right. It's all in God's precious timing. Still praying.....

    Judi Conley

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  5. Katie, it is simply amazingly miraculous how God is both keeping and using Caleb and your family through this difficult time. Be assured that your blogs and testimonies are inspiring and being used to life thousands of hearts around the world, even as they pray for you. Be assured that you are still in my prayers daily. Tim.

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  6. There are no coincidences.....I tell everyone that...what is God's plan is exactly that, God's plan. So everything works out for a reason, even when we don't understand!

    Terry Reese/Roberts

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  7. Praising God with you for the good news concerning Caleb's condition. Isn't it amazing how God uses the "little" things to open our eyes to how BIG He is!!!? What an amazing testimony He has given you and this family from Costa Rica. Prayers always for you all.

    Love in Christ,
    Dena Appleby

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  8. Liz Brooks WhitmerMarch 18, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I love the last paragraph. It really spoke to me. Have been praying for you and your family..and your extended family. Carrying Caleb around in my heart.

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  9. praying for you and your family, God is Good and your amazing!Teresa

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  10. Pretty cool stuff :) Praying persistently -- Delora

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  11. Katie, please let your new friends know that our office is available and would love to see them while they live in New Castle. Continuing to pray for you daily and love when I wear my shirt to the office and get to hear patients tell me that they wear theirs to bed or to school or wherever it may be. Love and prayers, Lisa Richmond

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  12. wow.. what a wonderful story and touching event in your lives... Please know that we all continue to think of you often and are sending global prayer request.

    Hugs to you
    Jennie
    NCP

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  13. Wow! This is really amazing! You guys are awesome and you really inspire me to be a better person and to be a better follower of God! I will continue to pray for Caleb and your family!! May he bless you and help you get through each day!

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  14. praying for you

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  15. God bless you and your testimony. What a blessing and encourager you are to others through the midst of your personal struggles. You will continue to be in our prayers. Praying for God's blessings and His capable, loving, strong hands upon you.

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  16. No matter what comes your way this week, remember that God is good, God is for you, and he will never, ever leave you!

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  17. I have no words after reading your testimony except God is the everlasting and almighty God.He loves a servants heart and will bless them. Praying for Caleb and the entire family, He hears and understands your needs. He cares and will hold you in His arms to give you strength and love.

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  18. Prayers are coming your way daily and you inspired me so much by what you had posted yesterday!! God is a merciful God and Katie, God is using you all and Caleb for His will !!! Your testimony is such a blessing to God and to all of us that have read it!! I know that Caleb will get his new heart but it will be in God's time!! Just hang in there and keep trusting God for He will never leave us Nor forsake us and He will always be with us!!!

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  19. Continued prayers for Caleb and your family. Thank you for YOUR encouraging words to me to remind me I am serving HIM.

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  20. wow - how exciting to see God's perfect plan as you yield to Him! Tell your friends about the pregnancy center - we just got in a HUGE load of diapers and wipes - almost more than we can store! I'll tell Janet and when they have time they could stop by and get a LOAD of diapers, wipes, and clothes if needed.

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  21. sometimes it's those little things that we weren't expecting that turn out to be little miracles in their own way. It's so neat to see how God has weaved these into your lives, a little at a time, just at that moment when you need them most!
    Also to see how he has used your family to help others, it's not something you wished for-but then you realize it was all in his plan-his timing.

    Aunt Pat

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  22. What a truly amazing story. May God continue to use you mightily as you wait on HIM.
    Rachel

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  23. Dear Katie and Daniel,
    Thank you for your post. I am walking through a valley with God that has gone on for a long time. You wrote, "I'm your servant wherever you put me. If I hold on too tightly to what I want God to do for ME, I will miss out on what He wants me to do for HIM."

    That ministered to me. I want to server Him while I walk through the valley.

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  24. What an amazing story. What an amazing post.

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  25. Katie and Daniel,
    It is overwhelmingly encouraging to see that you are remaining positive as you walk through this storm, that is a GREAT witness to others! We will continue to pray for Caleb and continued strength for your whole family. We miss you at small group! With Love, Melissa and Eric

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  26. That is an amazing testemony !! Thank you for sharing . you are amazing people God Bless you and your family.

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  27. Katie, You are an awesome and humble young lady.....with wisdom beyond your years...This blog brought tears to my eyes..Happy for the GOOD things for Caleb, Happy for the GOOD things you are doing to serve OUR LORD! I enjoy reading each blog you post.....YOU are strengthening my faith with your thoughts you share here.....BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!! You all mean the world to so much of my family, that have become part of your family...I pray for all of you each day...God knows your heart....and I believe HE will take care of you throughout .....just as HE has taken care of you thus far....Much love to you and your family......As clearly, you LOVE the path you have been given.........your friend and extended family member...Grayce White

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  28. You are amazing and God is amazing! Everything happens for a reason even if we don't understand why at the time. I continue to pray for Caleb and your family.

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  29. Katie, you were an amazing person in school and I always knew you would go on to do great things! You had a heart of gold back then. The strength you and your husband have is nothing short of AMAZING! ! Last February my 10 year old daughter had heart surgery and as I looked around I relized it was just my husband and I dealing with this. I started crying and praying so hard for hours! A simple 4 hour surgery rurned into a 12 hour surgery it was the worst feeling in the world to see your baby
    suffering. Then when we went back to see her I realized she was never suffering. She was in Gods hand the whole time and she was just happy as she was when we leeft her. I got home and dropped to my knees and thanked God for helping my little girl and asked him to bless all thee children at Peyton Manning childrens hospital. She is now a patient at Riley. They found nodules on her thyroid that they believe to be cancerous. Again as a mom I am scared but I know for a fact pray worked and I am putting all my faith in God that she will be ok. Everyday I pray for Caleb and your entire family. You are truly one of the strongest women I have had the pleasure of knowing, and hope that one day I will have at least half the strengh you and Daniel have..Caleb is one blessed child!!!!
    Heather Thompson-Hoopingarner ♥

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  30. Friend of Thomas' here — lots of people praying for y'all. God bless!

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  31. You have many people praying for you here in Cambridge City, IN. May you continue to find God's mercy and love through this very difficult process.

    Humbled by His grace,
    Terri Abbitt

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  32. wow your story of your new friends gave me goose bumps! that's so wonderful. i'll continue to pray for you guys! <3

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  33. Eye opening Katie. Thank you for your positive post. God is surely using you in many ways. Your an inspiration to many of us. May God bless and keep you and your family.

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  34. I heard a little bit about Caleb on Fox 59.God is good, I am happy you wrote this blog, all should read it. And see God's mercies. My prayers will be with your family, I'm not much of a writer, but I just wanted you to know you and Daniel are an inspiration to me. Love you all!! I STAND IN AWE OF OUR GOD!!

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