Monday, September 23, 2013

I want to hear from you

Whew... my busy speaking circuit (ha, ha) has finally slowed down.  And just in time, because I am at the point in my pregnancy where I am pretty fat and just want to be a lazy bum as much as possible.  In the last couple weeks, I have spoken at an IU Health Transformation Team Retreat (a.k.a., a conference hall full of people in suits who do important stuff for IU Health and who invited me to share our family's story at their quarterly meeting); I have spoken at the Pray for Caleb Rally; I have, with Daniel, been interviewed and videoed for the Ronald McDonald House, who are making a video with our story to be used at fundraisers; and I have spoken at the awesome Henry County Women's Retreat, which included making another video about our story.  I am now officially worn out and a little tired of hearing myself talk.  :)  Of course, I loved every opportunity, even though they have all been back to back, because I love when I get to shine a light not necessarily on our family, but on God who makes our story good and not depressing.  I hope I get many more opportunities.  But maybe not for a couple months.... first, I need to push this baby out.  Which will be soon!  Six weeks to go.

If you're wondering what on earth we're going to do if this baby is born and we're STILL in the hospital, join the club!  The answer is, we will just figure it out.  I never dreamed I would deliver this baby and then bring her "home" to.... the Ronald McDonald House.  But if that's what happens, we will be fine.  We aren't even stressed about it.  We're just really, really excited for her to join our family.  Baby Lucy is going to have to be able to go with the flow, just like the rest of us.  And she will, because she has no choice!  She's going to be tough and flexible, just like her awesome brothers.

At the Pray for Caleb Rally, Tisha Sledd prayed for that event to be like a tidal wave of grace that carries us to the finish line.  We are riding that wave of grace and have been encouraged.  God has given me the courage to keep asking that He would not only provide a new heart for Caleb, but that that heart would not even come from a transplant.  I am praying that God would miraculously heal his current heart, with no surgery, and I know that is a totally crazy, almost idiotic thing to hope for.  But I am hoping.  Whatever God does, I believe wholeheartedly that Caleb WILL have a new heart, some way or other.  

The Rally was a very special night for me.  It went exactly as I hoped it would go, and the feedback I have gotten from people who were there has blown me away.  Obviously many people had an amazing experience with God that night. For those of you who weren't there, I shared with the crowd that I was tired of praying these prayers of discouraged resignation, just asking God to help me get through the day instead of BOLDLY asking God to heal Caleb and make him well.  My prayers have shifted to ones full of hope and confidence and my perspective of God is changing; I believe He wants Caleb to be well, too.  I challenged everyone there that night to begin to pray boldly themselves, not just for Caleb, but about their own lives.  And from what I've heard, God spoke to so many people that night who have now begun to pray boldly too.  I want to encourage you, if you were there that night:  If a seed was planted in your heart, a seed of faith or boldness, protect that seed.  Jesus talked about this in a parable He told in Matthew 13.  I am praying that every seed God planted in our hearts that night would come to bear fruit.  Sometimes God speaks to us and we very easily forget, or get discouraged, or fail to obey what we thought He wanted us to do.  Those seeds are snatched up or blown away and sometimes they don't take root.  I pray for each of you, that whatever seed God planted that night in your life would take deep root and grow to completion, bearing fruit that lasts and lasts!  Don't lose heart if God spoke to you!  

In fact, please share what He spoke to you so I can pray for you and so we all can be encouraged.  I want to ask you who read this blog to do something for me; would you help me make this blog more interactive?  Meaning, I want to hear your responses to what you read and what God speaks to you through this blog.  I would love for there to be dozens of responses.  I want this blog to be more of a two-way conversation, a dialogue where people share what they're thinking so we're all encouraged.  So please!  SHARE WITH ME, and the other readers, what God has been speaking to you if you attended the Pray for Caleb Rally.  Leave a message on this blog, and give me some feedback.

I look forward to hearing from you!


  1. God instructed me when I first started praying for Caleb almost a year ago, to pray for healing. And I have been praying for God to heal Caleb's heart ever since.

  2. I was not at the rally because I live a few hours away and couldn't make it in. God works in amazing ways, though. This morning, I was praying on my way to work, and I was explaining my frustration to God over an unanswered prayer, and immediately, I heard the latter part of James 4:2. "You have not because you ask not."

    I argued with God. I HAVE asked. And then I realized.. I have asked, but I have never asked with faith. I have never said "Lord, I know you CAN and I believe you WILL..." Instead, I ask, "Why not yet, Lord?"

    And then I saw your blog post today about praying boldly....

    It is time. I think that I have been afraid to pray boldly because I am afraid He will not answer the prayer. To pray boldly means to trust let go of all control.

    And that's scary.

    But it is time. It is time to pray BOLDLY. Thank you for that reminder.
    - Jessica

  3. I am so sorry we were unable to make it to the Rally. We really wanted to be there and were looking forward to it. I am so inspired by your faith and your willingness to share your joys and struggles with all and how you go to God and encourage others to go to God with whatever our joys/burdens are. I also agree, it is time to PRAY BOLDLY! Caleb and your entire family are constantly in our prayers!

  4. We were at the rally & it was amazing! Not only was amazing to pray in person for your family & Caleb & to hear more in depth of your story, but also to be praying for the hearts of all of us to change as well. I feel like though you may be worn out physically their has definitely been a mental shift in your blog. Your words have always been wonderful to read, it has more often than not been a reminder that I should stand proud & be full of joy and hope regardless of whatever crazy, stressful, sorrowful thing is going on in our lives, but this post is different! Maybe it is because I have now actually heard your voice in person but the language you have used today is positive, bold & strong. God's voice through your voice is being heard, the voice of a woman who not only loves God but now is boldly asking for miracles & BELIEVING they will happen...again thank you for the reminder because I too am asking boldly for Caleb and other things. Keep up the faith & keep up the blog, it is SUCH A BLESSING!

  5. Oh Katie, so many things are going through my mind right now! First and foremost, my heart felt renewed to pray for healing in Caleb' s heart with boldness! God made Himself so real and tangible that night that I was sure if I opened my eyes Jesus would be standing there! I still get "Holy Ghost goosebumps" when I think about it. I want to keep that momentum going! Pretty sure we need to "rally" more...even if it is two or three together in praise! :) I just know God has BIG plans and I love watching Him shine. Sending love your way precious friend! Miss Pam

  6. Katie I have been following your blog, and praying for all of you. You have been a source of encouragement for me for a long time. It has been a comfort to let you minister to me as I have tried to work through the last year. My Dad was sick for 2 years. Last October my mother in law fell and broke her hip. My husband moved in at her house. He worked days and stayed the nights with his Mom, all the while we would have family dinners at her house, and I would help my mother with my Dad. Dad passed on April 5, 2013. Greg and his sister Vicki were real troopers when it came to her care. They cared for her for 8 months. Then they had to make the difficult decision to move her to a nursing home in May. She was there 4 weeks when they discovered she had cancer, it moved quickly and she passed August 22, 2013. All the while as our family was separated and we cared for our parents, when I couldn't pray myself or for our own families, I could pray for yours. It has been a solace for me to read your words of encouragement. You have blessed me more than you will ever know. Now we are working through the grieving process. I still find peace when I read your amazing words of encouragement. I did not know you were speaking this passed weekend. I know you were a huge blessing to everyone in attendance. In fact I have seen several post on your amazing faith and strength. It blesses us all to follow your story and be encouraged daily by such a faithful wife and mother. I too pray for a miracle for Caleb. I also want to strive to be more bold in my own prayer life. Thank you for your bravery and helping all who follow your story to see Jesus in the flesh. You are a sweet blessing to so many. Love and hugs to your beautiful family.
    Donna Phipps

  7. Katie, I was at the Rally and the Women's conference and I was very inspired to hear your testimony about your family...You have inspired me to be bold when I am praying and asking God for a miracle for your son Caleb.....I believe God will hear your prayers and your son will get his new heart. I love hearing how God is moving in your life and how he has changed you to be stronger in him..That is so awesome, keep doing this blog cause it is so inspiring to me, that even in your hardest trials you are able to praise God and that has me wanting to praise God during my hard times in life so thank you for sharing your life with us!!...Donna Richardson

  8. Katie, I so loved being at the Rally, for me it was a life changing experience! When you shared your fear about asking God to heal Caleb's heart, I realized I had felt that way many times in my own life. I can totally relate to what you said. It made me think about how I put God in a box and I don't appreciate how mighty He really is!!!! God is not limited in His abilities, He can do greater things than I can even dream of or imagine!! I need to pray more boldly and with more expectation. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, if we only ask believing! I have started praying for God to "heal" Caleb's heart and I have asked God to forgive me for my lack of trust because He is more than able to fix Caleb's heart! Thanks for letting God speak through you to help others! You are such a blessing to me!!! Love ya, Shari Neal

  9. I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: Sorry, I was praying for you.

    Just kidding! Hope everything is going well for you and your family. Some times it's better when you see the humor in life instead of focusing on problems. I am work on this consistently. The ups and downs of life can feel like a roller coster ride. I would like to say I don't get sick on the ride but I do! No matter how much my friends say, its not always easy to cowboy up. Some how God sees me through and I am amazed at His grace and am thankful I sewed mercy.

    This may sound strange but this is the way I deal with life's storms 1) attend the wounds 2) decern the truth from the tactician 3) fight back with "you don't own me" 4) prove you don't own me by doing good 5) stay the course to complete journey. 6) illuminate the path for others to follow. 7) enjoy and rest in the calm 8) drink plenty of stored up living water 9) commune with the other fellows in the ship 10) thank the captain and sing His praises. Add in a little humor and we can all face the storm together.

    I do pray for you all, sending love from your fellow runner.

  10. Katie,
    I was at the Pray For Caleb Rally! Truly the Lord was in that place! I was awed and inspired by everthing that went on at the rally! From the worshipful songs to your transparent testimony. I too am praying more boldly for Caleb and for things in my family`s life!! I was also blessed by the story you shared from Mike! It is amazing how God speaks to and uses people for his glory! Stay strong in the Lord! We are praying!

  11. Hi Katie! This is Jen Whitson. We met you and your family in the heart center at Riley. Our son, Carter, was also in the heart center from July 19-August 11. We really enjoyed getting to know you and your family, and Coen loved seeing Jonah run around with his cape. We found out about Carter's heart defect in February, and shortly after that one of my friends, Emily (Matt) Crider, posted a link to your blog on her Facebook profile. I spent a lot of time reading your blog and found comfort in getting a better understanding of what we were about to face. I just recently put it together that the blog I read and the sweet family we met in the hospital were the same people. I love your positive attitude and the great perspective you have. Thank you so much for sharing your story - you are an inspiration! I hope you are all doing well! I think about and pray for your family often. - Jen

  12. Everyone at IWU and ITeams is praying praying praying today!! Know you are in our thoughts for a miraculous outcome! Dianne Clark

  13. You and your family are an inspiration. Your blogs helped me get through my daughters health scares. She is the same age as Caleb. Anytime I feel like I am loosing faith, I go back and reread your blogs. They help me me find my way back. I admire your faith and strength. I pray that through all this you always know that God is with you. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story.

  14. I knew a man who received a new heart from God. He died and God placed a new heart in him without medical doctors, "Jim Sepulveda". I was at several of his meetings in the nineties. Today I noticed your post about your rally for Calob and prayed for him knowing God could do the same. A new heart is a small thing to God and your work is not over. Jesus asked "will I find faith on the earth when I return?" This faith is not about believing that God will do something, for all great revivals started from hunger. Stay hungry for more, stay vigilant for those who are still waiting for their miracle or healing.

    My friend and I prayed for a man once who did not believe in God or even wanted to be healed. As we were praying a nurse came in and said before they operate they would take one more ex ray to be sure of the procedure. He called us cussing at us telling us not to come near him again. A miracle happened that day. I have never seen or heard of the man sense but learned a valuable lesson. We were hungry to see God.

    Your post today did not spark only believing in me but hunger to see God. I see God in your blessing like the breath that moves an object. It's the breath of God that moves mountains through hunger. Keeping this hunger alive is the true test of faith. This hunger is not about learning scripture or being perfect. It's about being obedient in love as the scripture says "As for God His way is perfect", it's called sovereignty. The widow who begged the king continually was not using faith in the kings authority alone she was hungry for more.

    Thankful for a new heart, hungry for more.

  15. Katie, I was at the pray for Caleb rally, and I feel so very blessed to be a part of your journey. I have been praying for Caleb and your family every day, every single day! The Holy Spirit was at the rally, His Grace was everywhere! Our God is so faithful and His timing is perfect and WOW...CALEB HAS A PERFECT NEW HEART! I was praying all day yesterday and so was my family and many friends of mine!! I am overflowing with joy for your family. I woke up several times during the night last night and that's okay, the Holy Spirit was leading me to pray every time I woke up. I prayed for a peaceful, healing night for Caleb and rest for you and Dan. I also prayed for the donor family. God bless them for their most precious gift! It's not for us to question how or why Caleb has his perfect, new heart, but to know with confidence that God is in control and we can trust that He makes no mistakes!! James 1: 17....Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. We will continue to pray for Caleb as he heals and grows stronger each day! I will be praying with BOLDNESS for God's healing touch on Caleb's body! All of your sweet family will continue to also be in my prayers every day! I think it would be fabulous to have another Pray for Caleb Rally, in God's perfect timing of course, to give praise, worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His love, faithfulness and His grace. I look forward to seeing all of you in of these days!! There is so much more I would love to share with you about things I am praying for! Most importantly, I am praying that we will live our lives according to God's will and trust Him to put us at the right places at the perfect time!! God bless you and protect you, guide, direct, heal and prosper you, Katie and your family!! Much love and prayers to all!! Rita Reuter

  16. Hi my name is Theresa Shaw, I live in Elwood.. I read your story about your son on facebook, and I just had to send you this message. My son (tony Shaw) was born in 1977, and he too has Tricuspid Atresia, but back then they didn't know to much about it. I couldn't tell you how many surgeries Tony 's had. Dr. Caldwell was his doctor too.Tony is 35 yrs. old now and has a little girl , her name is Maddy and she is 8 yrs. old.Tony's last surgery was about 3 yrs. ago, they removed the top part of his heart.And he is doing great.. He had the surgery done at Riley. And he still goes there. Now he see Dr. Joyce Hubbard..Back then the Drs. had put a pacsmaker and a defibulator in Tony, and they used to go off all the time, but after they removed the top portion of his heart, the devices have not went off....Thank God...... But just know that I know what you have been through, and my heart goes out to you...