My husband and I were both at the Littlelton summer fest. We were going through our goody bag when he handed me a flyer from The Love of Grace. I read the entire flyer out loud and God placed it on my heart to find out more.
What made you want to become involved with the organization?
My husband and I always inquire of the Lord as to what He wants us to do. Being led by Him to become involved, was the first step. This organization is in line with His word. Help others. The people this organization helps are people who are truly in need. For the Love of grace reaches out to touch the lives of families in stress. Being a family with some of those same needs with some of the same circumstances, I can relate to what’s going on in their lives.
Our daughter, Ruth, wasn’t supposed to be here. The doctors gave her and me only a 30% chance of making it through delivery. She was very tiny and not growing in utero. At 33 weeks gestation, the doctors made the decision to take her in an attempt to save her life. God works many miracles and gives us grace and mercy! Not only was she delivered naturally, she also needed no oxygen upon arrival. The fifth of my kids and seventh in a blended family to be born and have the highest APGAR scores, now that’s God at work.
Ruth spent 31 days in the NICU. She had apnea and mild Bradycardia. Upon her release, everything seemed fine. Test results came back normal.
A couple of months later, Ruth developed infections and was sick most of the time. She was hospitalized while they put her through more tests. This roller coaster ride would last for 2 years. She was referred to specialist in different areas. Doctor visits and hospital visits became our weekly routine. She was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis last September. She is still seeing specialist, while they try to figure out what else is going on in her tiny body. Her growth is poor and there seems to be little answers for many of her symptoms.
We cling to God during this time and prayer is essential. Support from those around you is an important part of life when going through difficulties.
Tell us about what it is like to have a hospitalized child
It is miserable. You wait, you watch, you hope. You want to be able to help your child or find the fix for them and yet your hands are tied. At this point you must do nothing else but rely on God and trust that no matter what the outcome, He is still in control.
Your day to day routines are not the standard routine. Instead of heading out the door to the park or to the zoo, you head to the hospital with prayer on your lips and hope that today is the day there will be answers.
What were some particular hardships your family experienced?
My family was a great support system. Before Ruth was born, my second oldest son and future daughter-in-law took over my daycare for me. I had been placed in the hospital where I stayed for 2 weeks until delivery day. My children all helped out. My husband would work from 6am- 2pm then head home to take over at the daycare. He would come to the hospital when the last child had been picked up. After Ruth came home and we had to go to the doctors and hospitals, the daycare started to crumble. The parents had to have care for their children, I understood that. So it dwindled. The longer we didn’t have answers, the smaller the daycare got. My income was our main income. We began to have struggles making ends meet. We relied on extra shifts for my husband and food boxes to get us through. We had no money for food, gas, or bills. Our time was very limited too. We had very few moments of peace or time for the other children. Without God, we would have been in turmoil. After seeking Him, we sold one of our cars to a family friend. They were in need of transportation and we were in need of money.
The emotional toll these situations has on families is by far the worst hardship of all. That’s why For the Love of Grace is so important; to give hope and support for those in the midst of the storm.
What impact do you think an organization like For the Love of Grace would have had for your family during that time?
For the Love of Grace, would have been wonderful to know about at that time. Help with bills and food would have been such a blessing in our lives. Food banks only give non-perishable items, so making up the other food items became a burden. Prayer and love and just knowing that someone else out there gets what we are going through is phenomenal to the hurting families we help. I had not had to go through anything like this before and doubt comes into your mind that people on the outside care or even really know what hardships and hurts are involved. With For the Love of Grace, we get to connect people with others who do have that knowledge and do understand and do truly care. From simple conversations to providing the need to praying with and for the families, lives are being touched. needs are being meet and doors are being opened that would otherwise be shut. God tells us in His word that we are to help those in need and that’s what my hearts desire is, to help those in need. Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
While my family is still working through Ruth’s health issues, it is uplifting to know that we can make a difference in others lives.