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Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Very Bad Day

Yesterday was categorically bad.  A very bad day.  The walls of my house of faith shook with my shouting and my body trembled with the thoughts of what might be.

Two things caused this volcanic eruption.

1) We were told by the Brazilian Consulate that it could be 'months' before we receive our visas.  World Cup 2014 seems to be causing a backlog.  This left me stunned.  Back to life in limbo.

2) I received results from genetic testing that indicate I am positive for the genetic mutation that causes something called Left Ventricular Non-compaction Cardiomyopathy.  It's the reason my niece had a stroke when she was 21 and it's the reason we lost her brother in October of 2012. The short explanation is that the muscle of the left ventricle doesn't compact in the womb causing there to be a 'spongey' texture and the wall of the heart, where blood clots can form and/or the heart becomes dilated because the muscle cannot function at full capacity.  So far I show no signs of this.

My walls shook not because of my own health, I can handle that-and so far I have no signs of actually manifesting the disease, I just carry the gene.  The part that rattles me to the core is that it is autosomal dominant, which means there's a 50% chance of my children having the gene as well. Their little hearts, formed in my womb, may have a problem.

That's where the shouting comes from.  That's when my body trembles.

'Not my kids God, please, not my kids', is my cry.

So, Monday I will take both of them to a hospital to have blood drawn which will then be sent off for genetic testing.  The results take 8-10 weeks to come in.  More waiting.

Did I mention I'm not a very patient person?

The night before this very bad day my kids and I were reading the bible before they went to bed.  My daughter read the first passage in Genesis and then Luke brought up the story of Job.  We talked about how he was a faithful servant of God, but that God allowed Satan to test him.  He was stripped of all his family,and then his own body was ravaged with boils.  Everyone turned away from him.

Job had many, many, very bad days.

In the end, God restores all that Job had lost and then some.  He ends up living 140 years, having seen his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Throughout the bible are stories of loss and redemption, death and resurrection.

I don't know what the rest of our story is going to look like.  I only know that we have to take this one day, one minute at a time.   I am holding my babies a little closer, a little longer, and praying that they will live long and healthy lives, that this 'mutation' ends with me and doesn't carry on any further in my family line, that none of my other family members will be affected.

As for the first problem, our visas, we will wait until Friday March 7, if we haven't had an approval come through by then, we will have to cancel our flights until we have the necessary documents in hand.

This may give us time for the kids to have some preliminary testing done.

Before we knew about my results Phil and I discussed the 'what ifs'.  We decided that regardless of the outcome of the tests we feel we are supposed to carry on with our calling in Brazil.  There are cardiologists (very good ones) there and if our kids carry the gene, the protocol is that they are to be monitored once yearly.

One day, one minute at a time, we breathe and we believe that God is in control.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11