Today's Devotional Thought
July 24, 2012 by Rachel Piferi
As many of you know, Isabella (the miracle who started this journey after the miracle) is followed by a team of renal specialists due to the problems that she had in utero and immediately following birth. We see her kidney doctor twice a year and they test her kidney functioning and the size of her kidneys to make sure that she is developing well.
In the four years of her life, she has progressed very, very well. But despite her progress, doctors have always been preparing us for the worst. I have to go back to her being less than 19 weeks old in utero to remember a day that doctors haven't been concerned about her. Even though she emerged into this world full of life and just shining the unmistakable power of God, her physical health has always been a concern of doctors and she has been very closely monitored.
She was diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Disease at birth due to the small size of her kidneys and the early struggles that she had. And to this day, doctors still advise us that her kidneys will likely fail her and she will require a kidney transplant.
Last Thursday, at one of her routine appointments, we found out that her kidneys have not grown as much as they should have in this last year. Not too alarming according to the doctor, but evidence that she needs to be closely monitored for any change in kidney functioning. Our very wise and wonderful doctor believes that we won't see any problems until her teenaged years, a time period of great physical growth and extra work for the kidneys. She told us last week that if we were to expect a kidney transplant to be necessary, it will be during her teenaged years.
Her teenaged years.
When her friends will be going to football games and the mall and planning for prom and driving, she may be preparing for an organ transplant. When her friends are worried about boyfriends and makeup and clothes, she may be taking medications that have side effects of acne and weight gain and the appearance of a "moonface." When they are worried about whether a certain boy will ask them to homecoming, she may be worried about whether her body will reject or accept a donated organ.
Her teenaged years could be unbelievably different than her peers' will be.
As I thought about it all over the last few days, I found myself in moments of sadness about this possibility for my beautiful, curly haired daughter. I could almost hear her cries for a "normal" adolescence. I spent many hours this weekend reading stories of other teens who experienced kidney transplants. I read about their loss of normal and the anxieties about life and death that they experienced. I read about organ rejection and how they experienced it and feared it. I read stories that just made this mama's heart ache for the things that my daughter may have to face.
But while I read about a lot of angst and worry and struggle in each story, I also saw such evidence of hope and victory. I read about the special people who helped them on their very unique journeys. I read about the unique experiences that they had and the opportunities to be helped by and to help others. Very unique stories of strength and determination and love and purpose.
As I thought about this possibility for my daughter, I thought about how I would guide her, answer her many questions, and ultimately help her through this period. And, I found myself awed once again by the amazing story that this little one has and the place that I have in it. From the very beginning, I have fought for her and God's purpose for her. And I know, as it says in Exodus 14:14, that God has fought for her even more than I have. And, he has a mighty plan for her...however abnormal the path may look to us.
Oh how my mother's heart aches at the possibility that she will not experience "normal" in her teenaged years, but as her sister in Christ, I am awed at the amazing path that God has for her. In her "abnormal," she will have opportunities that the rest of us will not have. While I do not know the plans that God has for her, I do know that they are good and they are specifically chosen for her. As doctors were concerned about her health in the womb, God was intricately weaving her body to be exactly as he wanted, for the very specific plan he had for her (Psalm 139). A plan that we will continue to watch unfold in the coming years.
I will admit that the possibility of a kidney transplant has laid so very heavy on my heart these last few days. And my flesh has cried, worried, and played the "what if" game. But, as I have prayed through a lot of the emotions since this last appointment, my spirit has been strengthened by the very promises of God that I know to be true. And as Isabella grows, I feel so privileged to be her mother and to have the job of guiding her through whatever the next few years will hold and to help her believe in the purpose that God has for her. And just like he has for Isabella, God has a very detailed and specific purpose for our lives, however abnormal that purpose may appear. A purpose that develops for each one of us through our unique struggles, victories, and stories.
Her story is so far from normal. And the next few years also may be.
An extraordinary life with extraordinary challenges to tell the story of an extraordinary God.