Mayo Clinic Trip: Prayer Request Edition

After six months of thinking about it, praying about it, and planning for it, it seems kind of surreal the Mayo trip is upon us. We leave Tuesday. As in less than two days from now. 38 hours. We are down to hours, people.

A few of you have asked me how I feel about the trip. Truth be told, I am not thinking about it much. I am focusing on the task directly in front of me. At the moment, that means this blog post. For the past week, I've kept a manageable to-do list each day. There is grace to complete what must be completed, wisdom to know what is unnecessary. My days have been full, rewarding, and exhausting--mostly because the kids and I have cooked something up in the kitchen every day this week. Jesus has walked with me step by step, strengthening my soul, making me brave, and multiplying my efforts. (Can you believe I have prepared and frozen enough meals to sustain my family the entire time I am gone? I didn't think it could be done!) The moment my mind wanders from the task at hand to the upcoming trip--so full of danger and unknowns--I abandon the realm of grace.

Venturing outside of grace is like tiptoeing to the edge of a bottomless chasm. I look down into the darkness, feeling all my smallness and fragility. I attempt to imagine what's hidden in the shadows. It could be good. It could be bad. I don't really know. My stomach somersaults uncomfortably. My legs lose their bones. And that is all I can take before I run back to where grace is applied. When it's time to go spelunking, there will be grace for that. Everything I will need--physically, emotionally, and spiritually--is already supplied. But it's not yet ap-plied so I don't look there often. Or for long. And my stomach and legs thank me for it.

SO--I'm taking everything as it comes. I'm neither excited nor anxious about the trip. I am looking forward to walking with Jesus through it all, and experiencing His faithfulness in new ways. I'm curious about His purposes. Will He give me a glimpse of a few? Only the next two weeks will tell.

In the meantime, this is what you can ask of the Lord on my behalf:

1) God's glory. Whatever happens--whether good or seemingly bad--I want Jesus to be honored. His glory is more important to me than answers, my safety, or anything. When you pray for me, ask for God to be glorified first.

2) Mercy/safety. I want this trip to go as safely and smoothly as possible. Transportation is a significant concern. I am so thankful for Wings of Hope. Who could have imagined such a provision? But the plane will be small. I anticipate a fair amount of anxiety on my part. But who knows? Maybe I will like it! Either way, God does not abandon us after providing for us. He will help me out of His goodness and through your prayers. Also, taxi and shuttle services are potentially dangerous even with my mask.

3) Dr. Miguel Parks. I am asking the Lord to give Dr. Parks wisdom and compassion concerning me. I want him to want to help me. I want him to know what he should look for. I don't want a ton of unnecessary tests. Ask God to grant him discernment.

4) Mom. My mother will be my travel companion. This is no easy job. It will be up to her to perform rescue work if I have a severe reaction. She has to help me decide which tests to undergo and which ones to refuse. She is my advocate, and the only person I can really trust on this trip. Please pray for sufficient grace, wisdom, strength, joy, and peace for her.

5) My Superman. I have never been so glad to be married to a superhero, but even superheroes need prayer! Ask the Lord to give my man peace, strength, and patience as he becomes a working single parent for 10 days. His mind will often be in Minnesota. Pray the peace of God will stand guard over his thoughts. Ask that he would keep his eyes on the cross. 

6) Micah and Sara. My main concern is they would feel secure while I am gone. They are sensitive kids, and are used to having their momma readily available. Ask the Lord to manifest Himself to them in ways they understand. The childcare schedule is pictured below. You can pray for their caretakers each day if you wish. Dad is Arden, Nona is Sue, and Honey is Sue.

7) Divine appointments. I see this trip as a mission trip before I see it as a medical one. Ask the Lord to give Mom and me seeing eyes and open hearts. Ask Him to work powerfully in and through us to accomplish whatever He has prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:10).

8) Helpful answers. I would love to leave Minnesota with a little more clarity and a firm plan in place.

9) Finally, I will ask you to pray for my cousin Morgan. She is more than my cousin--she has been my friend for 15 years. I love her like a sister. She is undergoing a high-risk, exploratory brain surgery on Tuesday, the day we leave for Minnesota. Morgan's neurosurgeon has admitted she is nervous about the surgery. "Nervous" is not a word you want to hear from your surgeon, especially your brain surgeon!

Mom and her mom (Suzonne) are sisters. Our family is close. We find it extremely difficult to leave at such a time, and we just can't understand why God would ordain both events to happen at once. However, we know God is GOD to both of us. We know He is God whether we are together or apart. He is God in Louisiana and Minnesota. We know He is equally present and active in both situations. We have nothing to fear.

Rather than explain the particulars of Morgan's situation in my own words, I have copied her Facebook status below:

"I have now been completely down since the beginning of March and lying flat almost a month. But I have been declining far longer than that. On Friday after getting much worse my doctor called me before leaving town for the weekend and scheduled brain surgery for Tuesday. She will be replacing my shunt for sure but doesn't know yet if she will have to replace the catheter that leads into my brain. Please pray for her as she makes this big decision. This will be the risky part of the surgery for me because my ventricles are slit (small) which puts me at high risk for a brain bleed or for not being able to get the catheter back in or back in a good place which would lead to more surgeries. If at all possible we would like to not have to have this part replaced. Also pray for peace for me and my family. And a speedy recovery. I am by no means looking forward to this. It is my 5th brain surgery on top of 4 other shunt related surgeries in 10 years. I am no stranger to the hospital yet I still have my fears. But my God has brought me through many trials and many hard roads. I know he isn't through with me yet. I maybe very tired a weary of these battles I face but Gods word says that He isn't tired of giving me power and strength. "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength" (Isaiah 40:28, 29) SO I WILL "hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more." (Psalms 71:14)."

Note: Morgan is wife to Nathan and mother to Shelby, age 4. Shelby and Micah are best friends.

One final thought--If something goes wrong, know that it hasn't.

I wrote these words in my journal the other day. I spoke them to Brandon today on our date.

 Let's decide now we will abide in this mindset. My trip and Morgan's surgery were planned before the beginning of time--small events woven into a fabric of glorious, grand proportions. God is weaving our threads into beautiful purposes. He sees the big picture. He knows what He is doing. His heart is kind, and His purposes are good. We can trust Him. I speak this over me, my family, over Morgan, and over you, Dear Reader--"If something goes wrong, know that it hasn't." Not really and not forever.

Mom and I will post updates to Facebook. For those of you who are not on Facebook, we will also send out texts. We only need your cell number. You can email your number to If you are on Facebook, but would also like to receive texts, please let me know.

Thank you for taking an interest in my life and my family. Thank you for reading my thoughts and praying for me for the past two years. Thank you for praying now. God bless you.

A perfect way to wake up on Sunday morning. I'm gonna miss these monkeys while I'm gone. 
All three of them.