Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Sad

The first time I heard the saying, “happy sad” was from the Amy Grant song So Glad.  This was back in 1983 and I was going through a very dark year in my life.  And this song and those words spoke volumes to me.  Because that is exactly how I felt – happy sad.

Yesterday I felt that way again.  I took my daughter, Narissa, age 33, to the doctor.  This doctor is a specialist of immunology.  Narissa has been diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency.  Basically meaning her entire immune system is bad.  The little guys that are suppose to be guarding her body from the big bad everyday germs are sleeping on the job.  They may not even be sleeping, they may have vacated the premises.  They suspect this is why Narissa has had non stop 24/7 head pain and many other issues for 10 years now. 

Knowing Narissa’s childhood physical problems I asked if this is some diagnosis that kids can be born with and if so what are they symptoms.  As the extremely kind and knowledgeable nurse started giving the deluge of symptoms, in my mind I was seeing my son, Byron, as a young child.  As most of you who have read my blog for anytime know, Byron passed away last year, 10 days after receiving a heart transplant.  He was 34 at the time.  Both Byron and Narissa had many of the symptoms Nurse Monica shared with us.  Then she summed it up by saying many of the children that have this immune deficiency diagnosis have cardiomyopathy when they get older.  Which all has to do with a heart valve problem.  Byron was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in his early 20’s and had this heart valve problem. 

I shared with Monica a little bit about Byron’s physical history and shared that his cousin was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at age 14.  She then said that this immune deficiency has been genetically traced back to people from German descent and asked if our family came from German descent.  Well pretty close, my dad’s family came from Austria

One of the major symptoms of immune deficiency is the body’s inability to fight infection.  To this day, even after an extremely thorough autopsy, the doctors do not know why Byron died.  Their best guess is that the infection they thought they had fought off with multitudes of antibiotics right after his heart transplant came back with a vengeance and took his life in a matter of minutes.

I am so happy that after 30 years of stomach problems with no cause and after 10 years of non stop head pain with no cause, Narissa has a diagnosis that makes sense.  And a diagnosis that can be treated, even if she receives treatment for the rest of her life.  But my heart is broken once again to think if we had had this knowledge when Byron was alive, he may still be alive today and leading a productive life. 

But in it all, I still confess “God is Good” and “His ways are not my ways”, Isaiah 55:8.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Philippians 3:16
“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”

If you are a Believer then you have already attained eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord.  God is calling us to live as if we truly know we have eternal life.  A life of no tears, no sorrow, where all needs, wants and desires have been fulfilled.  A life with no sin, no temptation, no heart ache, no pain.  Living now as if we already have what is to come. 

Last week I went into a convenience store and the clerk said to me as I entered, “Where’s that smile?  It can’t be all that bad.”  I said to her “Thank you for reminding me.  Unfortunately sometimes I have to be reminded to smile.”  And I was having a good day.  I had plenty to smile about. 

Some people call this “posturing”.  In sales it can be called it “assuming the deal” or “assumptive selling”.  Some people call it “hypocritical” because we are acting different than what really is.  We are acting like we have it together when we don’t.  We are acting like we have already made the sale, when we haven’t. 

I would challenge us to go a little deeper thinking this through.  Is it “hypocritical”?  I don’t think so.  The reality is we do have eternal life if we are believers so why not act like it.  Does it mean we have to be all happy and carefree all the time?  Absolutely not.  But we do need to hold onto the joy and the hope that God has infused into us with His Spirit.  Galations 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Christ lives in us so let Christ be seen in us. 

We have won the war so let us act like winners during the battles!