Friday, February 1, 2013

The Healthy Year

Tonight I sit at my desk caught up in thoughts of what our household looked like two years ago.  Two years have flown by, and at the same time, the events of that time period seem so far in the past it's almost like nothing really happened.  Two years ago tonight... Keith was recovering from sinus surgery, and after a couple of months of not feeling well, things were becoming distinctly strange.  A pretty rapid decline in his health began - and hours that turned into days were spent divided between him laying in bed and visiting doctors.  Two years ago tonight... I would never have guessed all that was to quickly come our way.

Following Keith's diagnosis with Wegener's and then Carson's diagnosis with cystinuria 4 months later, the better part of my 2011 year was spent keeping friends and family members updated on the not-so-healthy happenings of our family. 

For me, the first month or so of any given year is spent in reflection of the year past.  Even before I was aware of God working in my life, as a kid, I would sit at my desk many nights well into the following year...thinking back on all the cool & unexpected ways my life had changed.  Tonight, a full month into 2013, I continue to think back on 2012...and realize how different things were for us this past year.  I'd have to call it our Healthy Year.

I guess I would say it was a year of transition for Keith. He's handled the changes in his health as gracefully as I imagine anyone could.  Sometimes even I forget that he's not the same, physically, as he was before.  He has truly been the best ever example to the boys and I.  I see and read and hear of inspirational stories of people whose lives have taken a sudden and unexpected turn, and then realize my own husband is a living example of that same inspiration.

Keith took 3 trips to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota last year, underwent hip replacement surgery in Seattle in April, and received a round of treatment for Wegener's in August and September.  A seemingly eventful medical year, but for him, it was a whole lot to be thankful for.  If you've asked him how he's doing, you've heard the same answer he always gives: "I'm great!"  And he means it.  He's not great because he's healthy; he's great because he knows he doesn't have reason to worry. 

"With God on our side like this, how can we lose?" Romans 8:31(MSG)

My very favorite paperwork of 2012 came in the mail just over a month ago...

The words "in complete remission" brought me to some of the happiest tears of my life. :)

Carson's latest appointment at Children's was in September.  It felt like an eternity as I sat watching the ultrasound tech save countless images of his kidneys.  With each new picture, the knot in my stomach got a bit tighter.  An hour later, the nephrologist walked into the exam room where Carson and I waited; she quickly announced that his kidneys looked great.  Instantly, that gut-wrenching knot was gone.  The prior 6 months in anticipation of that appointment were finally behind me. Such a relief.

As we drove out of the Children's parking lot, my eyes were spilling over with tears.  Carson sat in the back seat, unphased by the events of the morning.  I don't recall his exact words after the doctor announced the good news, but it was something like..."Oh cool! Can I have a sticker now?"  It was clear he hadn't wasted any time thinking about what the next ultrasound results would be.  When we prayed at night, I would ask God for his kidneys to be healthy, but admittedly, I would go on wondering.  He would ask God and leave it to God. I think that's where the phrase "faith like a child" comes in.

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.  Don't assume that you know it all.  Run to God!" Proverbs 3:5-7 (MSG)

If we could just easily do that...trusting that He is in control...believing that, no matter what, His plan is perfect in each and every circumstance.  Right?

Although scattered with negative health news, 2011 proved to us that trusting God was the only way.  He surrounded us with peace through everything.  He gave each of the five members of our family strength.  He showed us His shelter, and we can be sure He'll do it again down the road.  We learned that God's protection is ever present.  He doesn't drive away the storms in our lives; He is our shelter during them.

And 2012 turned into what I call our Healthy Year.  I reflect on it with more thanks than I ever knew possible.  Experiencing the loss of good health, and then seeing it's really hard to describe, except that it is received with overwhelming thanks.

Two years ago tonight... I would have never guessed all that was about to quickly come our way.  And isn't it amazing...I wouldn't want a day of it to be changed, because each of those days was designed by God, exactly as it happened.  2012 can only be known as our Healthy Year because of what came before it. 

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