Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, St. Maximilian Kolbe

 "It's all right - questions, pain, stabbing anger can be poured out to the Infinite One....our wounded ragings will be lost in Him and we will be found. For we beat on His chest from within the circle of His arms."

I received this quote in a facebook message today.  I couldn't help but share it--how true every word is.  Nothing--no emotion, no experience, no heartache, NOTHING--is too big for God to want to comfort us. I am living this first hand.

Today is Tuesday, and although all of you in the outside world realize this, it makes me feel like a real person to state the day and date.  I feel like I am breathing normal again after Sunday night. It is truly amazing what time does for the soul.  Today we have made the decision to go forward with the transplant process.  Labs have been started to collect data of Vivian's blood cells and other biopsy's of her heart to find the perfect match.  We will hopefully begin the interview process with the social workers as well as the transplant team before the end of the week.  This is protocol for all transplant patients, to ensure that the family is willing to take on the responsibility of an organ transplant child.  Basically, they are making sure organs aren't being wasted. A great peace, which we know is God, is upon Rod and I with this decision.  We know God is taking us on this adventure for a reason--it is the most wild ride of our life and it is only beginning.  We have all the confidence that God is here with us, and most importantly with Vivi as each step taken.

My dad insisted on bringing up a gift for us last night--a prayer blanket from a wonderful group of parishioners from St. Maximillion Kolbe.  For my dad, this was very significant for him because of a story a patient came in to share with him during the day.  When the patient's daughter was born, the doctors weren't too optimistic about her survival.  Her dad went home and begged God to either take the baby back to heaven or heal her.  He felt the Lord tell him to take the cloth he had with him to the hospital and place it on his daughter.  He did, and as the baby was being wheeled into surgery, she began to show signs of healing.   I will not lie, Sunday night and early Monday morning, I begged Christ in the Tabernacle the same thing.  If you aren't going to heal Vivian, please Lord, take her back with you, end her suffering.  I whispered in Vivi's ears to follow Jesus if He came...and I feel awful admitting that as if I am God knowing what is best.  My parents, I found out, prayed the same.  That is why this story was so significant to my dad, especially upon receiving this blanket to give to us. 

Just before I received the blanket, I had received a devotional email I receive daily.  It always comes the night before, so I know in advance if it is a feast day, or a certain saint's day.  In the subject read the date as well as St. Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr.  As my dad was giving this gift to me, I felt it very noncoincidental that this was the eve of this saint's feast day.

For those of you who don't know the story of St. Maximilian\n Kolbe, he was a priest who was taken to a concentration camp in Germany.  He lived his time in the camp everyday wanting to bring some joy to the other prisoners, and always put others in front of himself, giving them his food, using what little energy he had to share the love of Christ with them, and eventually taking the place of a man so he would be spared and have a chance to live longer with his family.  Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about his story is Auschwitz, had the lowest number of deaths.  Many of the survivors attributed that to him--his love, his joy, kept people hoping for their freedom and most importantly, their life.

I find it remarkable that today on the feast of such a selfless martyr, we decide to move forward with finding Vivian a new heart.  Today, our prayer changes, and we ask you to join us in this.  Last night as we first began discussing this possibility, my heart became very heavy for the family who will be sharing their child with us.  It is the great circle of life, one must die, so another may live. My heart grieves for this family.  What grace and strength they will need to be surrounding them at this time.  This child, will be Vivian's St. Max, our family's St. Max.  I pray that with all the prayers we are storming heaven with, we can also direct them not just to this family who has filled our hearts with so much hope, but for all families who are allowing their loved ones to live on by giving new life to others through their organs.

I am overwhlemed by the ripple effect our story is having and how it is traveling so fast--thank God for virtual media :)  There is one thing I want to say--I so appreciate all the love and prayers we are receiving.  I am so appreciative of all the compassion from so many beautiful hearts.  I am beyond grateful for each person's offer to do ANYTHING (it is always in caps...so cute), which we are discussing how we can take each of you up on that!  But please, please, please, don't feel sorry.  Don't say sorry.  Just say you will pray.  Pray for us. Pray for Viv.  And as I said, pray ESPECAILLY for the family.  This is our journey...part of our path toward holiness.  This is crazy, but be happy,Christ is asking us to grow closer to Him through this.  Each of you is a bountiful blessing to our lives.  Thank you for being a part of our journey!

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will, which is Love and Mercy itself.


  1. Did you and Rob get to hold Vivan today?

  2. Teresa E. JostworthAugust 14, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Your prayer to our Lord is the absolute proof of your love and trust in Him. Your pure unselfish love for your daughter. That you are willing to sacrifice your heart to save her pain. Amazing...you truly are the hands and feet of Christ. Showing His mercy and grace and love right here on earth.
    I read a saying the other day and I thought of you. Its by Sheila Walsh.
    "Perhaps it seems to you that you are at the breaking point. I urge you in the name of the Lord to throw yourself on Him. To hide yourself under His wings. Dont give up. You have come too far! The road ahead may look bleak, but trust in God. It is the way Home. "
    I was also thinking about how you mentioned you got to a point of wanting to run away w your baby girl and live the life you had planned for all of you. When my little girl was in the hospital I received a story called "Welcome to Holland"...do you have that? If you do not let me know and I will email it to you. Holland is one of my favorite places as a big part of my heart is from there....
    You are a true inspiration of faith and a mothers love. We hold you, our family and beautiful Viv up in prayer. God Bless You all!
    In Him,
    Teresa E. Jostworth
    TJostworth@cinci.rr.com (if you want the Holland Story)

  3. Praying you see God's glory in each step of the process. Hope the docs kept their word and you were able to hold Vivi.

  4. Hello,
    LeAnn Brock, a friend and old classmate of mine told me about your little girl. I am very sorry, and I understand how you are feeling. I will pray for you! My son Benjamin has HLHS and cerebral palsy. He has had the Norwood and Hemi-Fontan surgeries so far. Below is my blog and email if you would like to talk.