Here is our story: We were an ordinary, hard-working family with two good incomes. We have two son's Trace and Brennen. We saved for rainy days as all parents do. We always were the helpers. If someone needed anything, we would try to help. Boy, was all this about to change! In 2003, our son Trace became very ill. We found, after many tests, that he had a kidney disorder. His first surgery was 2004, and he was hooked to a bag and tubes for over 10 weeks. Then, his body started rejecting the tubes. Kosairs Children's Hospital and the specialist released him late in 2004, as there was nothing more they could do. He was referred to a team of specialists in Ohio for treatment. By this time, Trace had undergone 9 surgeries and 11 procedures. During our first visit to Ohio, the specialist informed us that it was not an isolated case. It was a genetic kidney disorder, so all of us had to be tested. Soon we found out the results. My husband, Bryan, the love of my life and father of my two children had the advanced stage of this disorder. The only cure is to remove the kidney or have a transplant. The next day, the results were in for Brennen. Unfortunately, he had the same problem. I felt my world had collapsed. We went to church, prayed, believed and had faith, but the worry and grief seemed to consume me. I had found strength to deal with Trace's illness, but now that my entire family was affected, I felt unsure about my ability to get through the days ahead. As a mother, I thought, I had to be the rock and foundation for my children's day-to-day existence. As a wife, I felt a need to shield my husband from the grief and heartache by caring the burden for both of us. Looking back, the more we hurt and grieved, the less we could comfort each other and the farther we withdrew from friends, family and our church. Because of pride, we did not want anyone to know how deeply we hurt emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. We had always been able to handle things by ourselves. We had never needed any help. We weren't bad people, but our lives had done a 180-degree turn in one year. We had never been on this side of the fence. During this trial, the insurance canceled, we both had to quit our jobs, food was scarce, and bills past due. We found that when you are faced with trials, soon you find out, who are your true friends, unfortunately, most of our friends left when times got tough. We were even told that God was punishing us, that we must have sin in our life and our children were suffering from our past sins. I had placed the family on every prayer list at local churches and out-of-state churches. When revivals took place, I loaded up the kids and took them to get the Pastor/Preacher to lay hands on them and pray for them. People each time would tell our family they would keep us in their prayers, but we never seemed to get a follow-up call, card or visit. I pondered over the thought that many times people say they will pray, but you truly never know if they remember to pray for your need. I felt hopeless, discourage, rejected and alone. We were Christians and knew God could heal, but we could not understand God's plan that allowed us to be broken, to lose all hope, to be discouraged by the world, to fear hunger, rejected by society, forgotten by friends, and the desperate feeling the world had collapse around us. At this point, we had no income to pay the bills, our savings depleted, our checking depleted and the college funds for the boys gone, satan was slowing trying to steal, kill and destroy our lives, but we knew that God would show up and He would use it for His Glory. One evening, I went to fix a peanut butter sandwich, and realized, we only had enough for one sandwich. Reality hit hard, I felt like a failure, my boys & husband was all in the hospital for testing & surgeries and I couldn't take their pain, couldn't put food on the table, and couldn't provide an income. We couldn't get any assistance, because we had made to much, and pride had kept us from asking for help. I hit my knees in the kitchen and cried out to God, before the prayer ended, a knock was at my door, it was the family resource ladies from Trace's school. They had brought us boxes of food, personal hygiene items, and they had received money from different one's wanting to assist our family. They were use to seeing me as a strong, cheerful helper, but they found a broken, crying, humbled mother. After they left, I counted the money, it was to the penny of what it took to save our house. I knew in my spirit, I hadn't given Him complete control, I still thought that I could do something to make a difference in our situation. I knew that He would intervene, but I thought, I had to meet Him halfway, but when I was willing to give Him complete control, He showed up at our door, not once, but twice. First, he provided our needs with the compassion of His Mercy, Love & Grace, so that our minds, hearts & Faith could line up with Him, restoring hope, for what He was preparing to do! In God's timing, He sent His chosen vessel to put Actions with his Prayers. We received a phone call from a church where we had never attended, but had been on their Prayer list for almost seven months. God had impressed upon the Pastor's heart to come and pray with us. We didn't know him, nor did he know us. At this point in time, we had Faith, but it had been shaken. It seemed like our Prayers would bounce right back at us. I had grown tired of loading up the kids and running here, running there, just to get prayer for my family. I knew God was going to heal the family, but I was so busy trying to meet God halfway for the healing, but when I had exhausted all my avenues of prayer, He came to us thru His servant. I will always Praise God for this Pastor being an obedient vessel and for interceding for us in our time of need. My husband was healed upon the operating room table, my youngest healed during the process and Trace was told on February of 2010, that his kidney didn't appear to have ever been operated on, it was Normal! (remember 9 surgeries, 11 procedures at Kosair, 2 surgeries and 12 procedures at Ohio) To God Be The Glory & Praise! God allowed us to walk this path, humbling us each step of the way; He was preparing us to be His Hands and Feet to the Hurting World. We now could empathize with them. Our family has seen God's Healing Power, His Mercy, His Love and His Grace. God has worked many miracles within our family through His Healing Power and continues to pour out His Mercy and Grace each day. We thank Him for His Holy Spirit that leads, guides and directs our path. Please continue to keep our family in your Prayers, as we Serve HIM in Putting Prayers to Action.
In Christ's Love, Tina