Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

Over the last four months my parents and others have posted to keep you informed of my progress. Tonight I have some personal thoughts that are a progress report of sorts, and a message for Thanksgiving.

The day I learned I had HPS and the tests were conclusive I felt a sadness that I couldn’t do anything about. All I could do was cry. I had so many plans and hopes and it seemed like I was on a highway headed full speed toward my destination and suddenly the road disappeared. I felt like I had lost all direction, and there would be no celebration at the end of the journey.

Since that time, I have seen my family pulling together like a team of powerful work horses. They never gave up seeking answers from the Lord and finding me help. My church and our friends helped my family keep going in the face of many obstacles. The blog gave us the encouragement we needed, and Jesus came to carry me through the toughest battle of my life. How could I have thought the road was the important part of my journey? It wasn’t. It was Who was on this journey with me. That’s what will determine where I end up. I don’t want to become a bitter old woman. I don’t want to close up my life like a bankrupt shopkeeper. I want to live. I want to live for Jesus and do His will until He takes me home.

Tonight I want to thank God for my parents. There are things about the past four months that they would not write, but I want to. When I was starving and could not eat, I would cry for food but I knew my body would reject it. I had to settle for the white liquid that flowed into my veins and know that even though I was so hungry, the TPN would keep me from starving. But during that time, my mom cooked in the garage so I wouldn’t have to smell the delicious odors and salivate for something I couldn’t have. Even at the hospital when my mom got her food tray she would spray the room with lavender then go into the tiny bathroom, sit on a stool and eat her dinner next to the commode. My dad sat in my hospital room while the work piled up on his office desk. I’ve seen Jesus in those things. I’ve felt His nearness through those who love me. I have been held by my Savior. I’ve seen the nail scars in His hands. I have never suffered physically like I have over the last four months, but I’ve also never seen Jesus at work in my life like I have these past four months. I thank God for HPS.

In thanksgiving to God, I choose life. In His grace alone, I can face the future. I thank Him tonight for the meal I ate today, including cranberries, and I thank Him for the manna of His word that sustains me everyday. In closing tonight I will leave you with a portion of a song by Twila Paris that has come to mind often and it expresses where I find myself today:

This is the faith
Patience to wait
When there is nothing clear
Nothing to see
Still we believe
Jesus is very near
I can’t imagine what will come
But I know that I have made my choice
And this is where I stand until He moves me on
And I will Listen to His voice.

Could it be that He is only waiting there to see
If I will learn to love the dreams that He has dreamed for me?
I can’t imagine what the future holds,
But I know that I have made my choice
And this is where I stand until He moves me on
And I will listen to His voice.

“I will Listen” by Twila Paris

Comments:
  1. Jennifer S. :-) Says:

    Ah Katy, it does my heart such good to read this, and from your own hand too!! You are such a blessing and encouragement, and now, through your eyes, I see what a blessing your parents are. Thank you for that glimpse.
    I’m so thankful and happy that you got to eat a full-blown meal today. I can’t imagine how incredibly wonderful that felt, and tasted. I hope that you have a blessed rest of the week!!
    Love and prayers,
    Jen :-)

  2. Jennifer Wellington Says:

    Dear Katy,
    Thank you for sharing with us a real life picture of what Jesus looks like through the acts of your parents. God is good, all the time, all the time, GOD IS GOOD.
    Jennifer Wellington
    (the other “Katie’s” mom)

  3. Annie Kibler Says:

    Katy,
    When I couldn’t eat I used to watch cooking shows and make lists of things I was going to eat when I was finally able to tolerate it. (I was on tpn and could not eat for about 2 months back in 1995 b/c of ulcerated colitis). I remember the doctors saying that young people usually keep their hunger even with tpn, while older people usually lose their appetite with it. Something with the young body and mind being full of life and wanting to thrive? I forget the reasons exactly. My mom and I thought that was interesting since I was still technically getting nutrition through the tpn, but in my mind and aching belly–I was starving! My mom also lost weight while I couldn’t eat. She felt guilt she said for eating b/c I couldn’t. She would go down to the hospital cafeteria and eat real fast and come back to my room. I loved when she came back b/c I could smell the foods lingering on her clothes. It’s amazing to think about it now. I thought it would always be so fresh in my memory b/c it was such a traumatic experience. I promised myself and God that I wouldn’t forget what God has done for me and never take the simple things (like food and freedom from a hosptial bed) for granted as long as I lived. At the time, I couldn’t imagine my suffering not being constant and vivid in my daytime thoughts and night time dreams/nightmares. With time my memories have faded, I guess for good and bad. For good–b/c it seems to be a blessing from God not to remember and relive some of the procedures and nightmare-ish sufferings that I endured; and for bad–b/c I sometimes find myself being complacent and forgetting how blessed I truly was and am now. Everyone, whether suffering or not, is being carried along by Jesus and needs to remember Him as their purpose in life–good times and bad. Your story and blog has helped me remember once again. Thank you. And when you have days, years from now when you need reminded, your blog will be an excellent resource. Life sure is interesting, huh?! I hope you have continued days of health and happiness. I’m glad to hear that you and your family had a happy Thanksgiving.

    Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

    Love Annie

  4. Patricia Hagsten Says:

    Thanks for the glimpse, Katy!
    Yes, your parents are special….but even more, so are you…a fine example and withness for Him.
    Ib & Patricia

  5. Laura Griffith Says:

    Good to hear from you Katy. I’m so excited you got to eat on Thanksgiving Day. I hope all went well. Ya’ll will continue to be in our prayers.

  6. Sarah Meador Says:

    Katy,

    You are an angel and a true testimony of God’s greatness and His beauty. My eyes filled with tears as I read the words you were able to type yourself. You are such an encouragement. You said that many times during these past 4 months you saw Jesus in your family. Katy, I see Jesus in you so powerfully. Even in your darkest and most difficult days, you were a beautiful shining light to us all.

    Yesterday during the Thanksgiving meal, I thanked God for you, especially when I ate the cranberries. :-)

    Thank you Katy, for listening to God so willingly, and for allowing me to share in this portion of the great journey with you. I love you, dear friend.

    Sarah

  7. Grandma & Granddad Says:

    Dear Katy,

    What a joy it was for Granddad and me to be there with you yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving. And especially what a joy it was to sit across the table from you and watch you eat that delicious banquet your Mom prepared for all of us. Your plate was as full as mine with all the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc. that makes for a Thanksgiving dinner. You looked so content eating that yummy cranberry salad and so very thankful to be sitting at the table with your family. God is so good and we thank Him every day for His many blessings.

    Your blog this morning and your testimony touched our hearts. You are truly a witness for our Saviour and we praise Him for that. We are looking forward to our next time to be together.

    Lots of love and continued prayers,
    Grandma & Granddad

  8. Karen Tillman Says:

    Dear Katy,

    I just recently posted a section on my website, dealing with how to deal with HPS. I hope you will give it a look see as I think you can see where you have come from and where you have progressed to, and where you may go again. Heather said that it really is a piece that completes my website. Instead of as if I am talking from outside myself like a reporter. It was a piece I had wanted to complete for you, but couldn’t bring myself to write. It took me 2 hours to compose it. I shed many tears as I thought about you, myself and others that have gotten the news of having HPS. Also, yuor pastor’s wife Jennifer inspired me to write that entry, as we had quite a long talk about you one night, as I was desperate to find out how you were.
    And now I am shedding tears of happiness for you, as we celebrate God’s goodness, and how he has worked in your life, and the life of others as they have gotten to know you.
    I am so glad that you had a great Thanksgiving, and like you Katy I have much to be thankful for. To God be the glory great things He hath done.
    Take care, and enjoy those cranberries!!!!
    Love Always
    Karen Tillman Regional Coordinator Mid Atlantic USA
    Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network Inc
    NC phone:336 954 3604
    NY office 1.800.789.9477
    my email: till3604@bellsouth.net
    my website: www.myspace.com/karenshpskorner

  9. Carson Kistner Says:

    Katy -

    My heart is full of thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness in your life and your choice to stand in His grace. Your remarks reminded me of what Edith Schaeffer said in her book, What Is a Family?, when she explains that we must learn to see the times by the sickbed as a PART of the journey, not a DISTRACTION from the journey. You obviously are learning that lesson from experience instead of from reading her book! I know that your parents have modelled that truth for you through the years as well in ministry to others.

    May God continue to show you signs of His goodness.

    Love,
    Carson

  10. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Katy, All heaven stood up and applauded when they heard your testimony and your choice. And I just cried.

    Aunt Lil

  11. Sara Says:

    Katy,
    I too, was crying as I read your blog. You are by far one of the bravest people I know. You are strong and beautiful and courageous. Thank you for sharing your heart with us through this site. We are so thankful that you had a great day and were able to eat the things you love. We will continue to pray for your health and strength. I read this verse in a Christmas card today and it reminded me of you: Show the wonder of Your great love,You who save by Your right hand those who take refuge in You. Psalm 17:7
    We have all been blessed to witness the awesome power of God Almighty working in your life!
    We all love you very much.
    Love,
    Sara

  12. Candice & Crystal Sipe Says:

    Dear Katy!

    Thank you for sharing this powerful message with all of us during this time of Thanksgiving. As I read your blog I was also touched by your words of inspiration. Your testimony shines bright for Christ. You and your mom are wonderful, we are so thankful that the Lord has brought your whole family into our lives. I know as we continue to battle sickness together, that God is using us to lift each other up. Meeting you all has been a highlight for us and we pray that we will share many more years of friendship together.

    May the Lord continue to bless you Katy!

    Love your sisters in Christ,
    Candice & Crystal

  13. Adam Thompson Says:

    Hey Katy,

    I just now read this, as my RSS reader hasn’t been running (and I didn’t notice). But anyways…

    Thank you for sharing! Your post reminds me of the song “Held” by Natalie Grant:

    “This is what it means to be held…
    This is what it is to be loved.
    And to know that the promise was
    When everything fell, we’d be held.”

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