Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Date of Significance

I may be the first pregnant woman ever to pray:
"Dear Lord, please do not let this baby come early
 {like his brother, ahem}.
'On time' or even 'Late' would be awesome
Thank you, Amen."

I just heard several of you shout at the screen:
"What in the WORLD?! 
Sister, is you crazy?!"

:) Yes, I know it may sound crazy. But, perhaps if I can explain the last few months in the Radtke house, and what still lies ahead, you'll understand the reason I have such an insane passionate prayer request about a "date".

On November 15, 2011 our world was rocked. While away on a business trip to Indiana, Trip woke up to the most excruciating pain he has ever experienced. The pain started in his neck and radiated down into his shoulders causing numbness and tingling in his left arm and hand. By the grace of God he made it through his meetings and got back on the plane to return home later that day. But the moment I saw him walk through the door of our home I knew something was very wrong.

To make a very long story short - after medical consults and an MRI we learned that Trip's pain was caused by the degeneration of his cervical discs in four of his vertebrae {C3-C7}. Because of this degeneration, his spinal cord and nerves were lying unprotected and being pinched, causing the severe pain and numbness. After meeting with a surgeon the decision was made that surgery was our only option.

This Tuesday, March 13, Trip will have the surgery to fix his spine. The surgeon will remove what is left of those four cervical discs from his neck, fuse each of the vertebrae together and seal them titanium plates. Then bone marrow from his pelvis will be placed down the middle of his vertebrae to promote bone regeneration. Following his surgery, he will be in a neck brace for 8 weeks.

If you just did the math, following his surgery and recovery time, that puts me 2.5 weeks from my due date. {And everyone says..."oh I see...well, then the prayer request isn't that crazy."}

The point of this post isn't to give you a medical lesson. Or have you feel sorry for us. {Or seriously question my sanity...}

It's the opportunity to tell you that in the midst of all of this...
                 ...our God has been faithful.

Make no mistake, there have been moments of pure anguish. To watch the love of my life, my best friend, experience crippling pain has made me question God's purpose for this trial.

But as I would struggle to understand, He would give me one lesson after another in His word. Three weeks into my study of James, the lecture focused on verses 2-4:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing 
of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you 
may be mature and complete, 
not lacking anything."

The teacher pulled apart those verses and walked me through a lesson about anguish and joy I had never known. She closed with this point, "Anguish is meant to lead to a birth. If you trust God {regardless of the circumstances} he will birth something precious to you."

I could barely breathe as she closed with that thought. As I sat there 22 weeks pregnant, in the midst of Trip's crippling pain, God revealed His purpose and timing of this pregnancy.

Kristin, you will give birth to joy.
I, the Lord your God, 
knew what you & Trip would walk through between
this child's conception and birth...
and I choose to give you JOY.

So, while I try to lighten what we have been through with humor regarding my due date, at the end of it all, I know that the evidence of His faithfulness is only part of the plan. His timing for our son's arrival will be perfect. And God reminded me as I came to that conclusion, that Trip and I have already experienced the power of his timing in our lives. 

And do you want to know the date of that revelation? 
The day that God turned our anguish, 
our complete weakness, 
into JOY.
Three years to the day that this last trial began. 

He asked us then: 
"Do you trust me? Do you believe me?"

He is asking us those very questions again.
And without hesitation we can answer....
God ~
"You were faithful.
You ARE faithful.
You will {always} be faithful."

~Job 8.21~
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy.

~2 Corinthians 12.10~
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight
in weaknesses...
...in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow Kristin! I'm so sorry to read about Trip's pain and upcoming surgery. However, I'm so glad to read of your joy and encouragement in the Lord. It's encouraging to me in these days of difficulty for me. Thanks for your strong witness my friend. I will be praying for all of you. Please keep up posted.