Be Strong and Courageous

Billy Graham is quoted to say, “Courage is contagious.”

Today I just want to say thank you to someone who is inspiring so many with her courage and selfless love…

My cousin, Kristin, is currently in a hospital in Philadelphia, waiting to donate one of her kidneys to a friend’s 2-year-old son who was born with a rare kidney disease.  Both of Stephen’s kidneys were removed at 6 days old, and for a long time he was in desperate need of an 0 blood type donor.  I can’t tell this amazing little guy’s story any better than it’s already being told on his family’s blog: Stephen’s Journey.

I also can’t possibly describe in words how I feel about what Kristin is doing.  But I know I’m humbled and grateful to be a witness.  It begs the question for all of us to ask ourselves: How are we, too, blessed to be a blessing??  This one choice she has made is a major, life-altering decision both for herself and for a child who is not her own… I hope to one day possess that kind of sacrificial love and selflessness.

There is a quote by Lovelyn Palm that I absolutely love:

“I’ve discovered that this act of mothering is my worship to Him right now: dying to self and delighting in them.  Oh yes, it is messy and sloppy sometimes.  There is failure… yet forgiveness and grace and growing.”

With Mother’s Day approaching, I have to commend all the mothers out there, who are making small — and huge — sacrifices every day.  Two in particular being Stephen’s mom and Kristin, whose present realities are both scary… and exceedingly full of worship.

When Mary responded to the angel Gabriel, “I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” I can’t imagine that it was without fear and trepidation.  But God was with her, and she trusted Him.

God is with us, too (no matter what we face), and I love the verse that Kristin has chosen to focus on this year:


God’s presence.  It’s the one thing He consistently promises and provides when He gives a command or leads us into the unknown.  I pray for everyone involved that it feels mightier and weightier than ever before — yet also close and comforting — throughout this time and after.  That it fills them and carries them, drawing them closer to the One who holds the whole world in His hands…

Thank you for praying for Kristin and Stephen.  The transplant is set for tomorrow, Thursday, May 9th.  Join us in praying for the work of the surgeon’s hands, for a successful transplant, for healing and recovery, for Stephen’s family, for Kristin’s family (including her 3 girls back home), and for an abundance of peace that can only come from God’s presence.

I truly believe that God is going to do great things through this… in many different ways!  Increasing all of our faith is not low on that list.  If hope floats, faith catches fire, and the acts of faith in our lives burn like offerings to God, bringing Him glory, delivering our trust unto the greatness of His faithfulness…

And it’s not “just” courageous.

It’s contagious.

{Kristin, if for some reason you might be reading this, we are praying for you, you are SO loved, and we’re all behind you.  Hang in there.  Your selflessness is a blessing to a family and a child, but your faith is a blessing to all of us… God is with you, and He is for you!!!}



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