Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grace in VICTORY

I don't think I've ever considered just cutting and pasting here, but this is so inspiring and you'll even find Grace Stacked On Grace, from the mouth of the pastor included. Enjoy God's rich response to our calling on Him.

This is an email from a husband and father who, along with his family and church, has been seeking God's faithfulness for his wife. And look what God has done:

Dear Family, Friends and Devoted Prayer Warriors,

VICTORY! . . . Mission Accomplished.  I am honored to report that by the grace of God, Teresa received her liver transplant today. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. Three was indeed the charm!

Earlier this month, Teresa and I decided to take an inventory of the many perfectly orchestrated blessings that the Lord had been raining down on us during her journey. One by one, we recalled praise report after praise report. My friend Jeff  & I like to call them "God-Incidences". We stopped when Teresa got tired and our list was over 20 blessings.  Then came almost 3 weeks as we waited for another opportunity. After a wonderful visit with our daughters, Nicole and Sarah, "the empty nest" at the hotel left Teresa very homesick and anxious.  After several sleepless nights we took a long walk around the campus and soaked in God's creation.  The chirping birds, the quacking ducks, the blue waters in the ponds, the budding trees, the cool ocean breezes.  All around us, Nature shouted out, "Be Still and Know that I am God".  We sat down to a nice dinner and felt a peace that is beyond all understanding.  We realized that it was time to let go of any expectations and trust that God would provide the transplant in His timing and in His way . . .  not ours. A huge weight came off our shoulders and it felt great to just be back in the moment again . . . not looking back . . .  not looking forward . . . happy and content in the now.

After dinner, Teresa called our friend Mandy to wish her a Happy Birthday. We walked back to our room and kicked back to enjoy a few television shows (American Idol and the Lakers game - our respective favorites) Sitting on the couch, we felt like teenagers in our parents basement.  Later, Teresa called her cousin Clint on our cell phone. Just before midnight the hotel phone rang with "The Call" . . . The Mayo Clinic Organ Procurement Team was on the line for the 3rd and final time.  A young lady who was brain dead on life support would be the kind soul who would give Teresa the opportunity for life. Our prayers and thoughts go out to her and her family. We believe her act of love was the greatest of gifts and will be forever grateful. 

Here's the play by play for those keeping score at home:

11:30 PM on Tuesday "The Call
12:45 AM we checked into the Hospital.
12:45 Prepped for Surgery
7 AM, The donor organ arrived
8:30 AM Teresa WALKED to Surgery (Our prayer had been that she could walk into the hospital on the day of her surgery.
10 AM Surgery began. Within the first hour the liver was in her body and responding favorably. Minimal blood products needed to be given
1 PM Taken to Recovery
1:30 PM Her brilliant surgeon, Dr. Dana Perry came and gave me the wonderful news
4:30 PM Teresa is resting beside me in her Hospital Room, the proud owner of a brand new liver!

Receiving a transplant is just like God's grace. It is freely given even though we've done nothing to deserve it. Or as Pastor Harold likes to call it "Grace stacked on Grace."  And now we begin Teresa's Road to Recovery.  After 10 days in the hospital, we look to be here in Florida for anywhere from 3 - 6 more weeks (depending on many factors) as Teresa heals, gets stronger and adjusts to the anti-rejection drugs, etc. We'll call this leg of the race our VICTORY LAP! Then it's California Here We Come!  Thank you ALL for sharing in our joy and Teresa's Journey! It is only by your prayers that this has been made possible and we look forward to the opportunity to thank you all personally very soon and very often. :)   We've come so far together and to say we are thrilled would be a gross understatement. Suffice to say, we are floating on air.  As Pastor Larry has encouraged us for many months, "THE BEST IS YET TO COME!"

All our love,

Karl, Teresa, Phil, Nicole, Sarah & Savannah

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