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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

Using a pivot point…

How good are you at handling change? Do you form plan B situations? Plan C? One thing the Troupe’s have become good at is reacting to things that come our way. Our lives have become quite scripted since Isaac joined us almost 3 years ago. We have to set a nursing care schedule a month and a half ahead. We plan for work schedules, activities, events and even for socializing. Yes, it is rigid but very necessary for us to get sleep and to be able to still be a family and do regular family things. Even the best formulated plans will develop roadblocks and bumps along the way. The challenge is how we deal with a sudden change.

It seems as though God is always at work allowing certain bumps and roadblocks in our paths. These are not there to intentionally frustrate us…I believe they are there to help steer us in a direction that will be better for us, even if we do not see the benefit at the time.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. In Their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:3,9 (NIV)

Over the years we have had many chances to change the course of what we were doing. Many different trips to the Emergency room. Surgeries or procedures that didn’t go as expected and resulted in a lengthy hospital stay. In hindsight we have always been able to see the good in all of these course changes. Some may have been for reasons only God knows. From our view of things there have been many times we were able to share our journey with others and offer encouragement. We have been able to bless the lives of others by letting them use their gifts of hospitality, service, discipleship, empathy or wealth. Many people prayed, and still do as they have joined out team of support.

Some days you just have to smile...even with grumpiness all around

Some days you just have to smile…even with grumpiness all around

As we approach the month of May we are reminded of a big game changer in our lives as Isaac entered the world. Our plans were still being set. We had the team of doctors, all specialists in their field, ready for the June date. We had toured the facilities of the University of Michigan Mott’s Children’s Hospital and been briefed on how things would go the day of the delivery and the next steps of surgery in the first few days. We were working on plans for home of who, when and where for the rest of the family. As we stressed over the fine details God was working on our next steps. Saturday, May 5 Theresa had gone with the older girls to an event surrounding Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan. While there she had some difficulty, she thought it was with her bladder. During the night she was still having issues so it was decided to have her drive herself to the Emergency Room in Grand Rapids to get a look at what was going on. I stayed home to take care of the rest of the brood. I received a call about 5:30 a.m. from Theresa that her water had broke, most likely the day before and was slowly leaking amniotic fluid. We were going to have a baby that day! A full six weeks prior to OUR plan.

Popular author and blogger Jeff Goins describes a great way to deal with sudden changes that may, or I should say will come your way:

In basketball, you are allowed to take only two steps after you stop dribbling the ball. When you take that last step, the foot you land on becomes a “pivot foot.” That foot must remain fixed, but the other can freely move about, allowing you to spin around and find a teammate to whom you can pass the ball.

Although you are confined to where you are and how many steps you can take, at no point are you locked into any direction. That’s the beauty of the move. Even when all other opportunities are exhausted, you can always pivot. The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do

That is where we were on a Sunday morning three years ago. We could have been frozen in fear. We could have been completely paralyzed by not having a plan B on the table. No, instead we used the pivot move. We passed the ball into Gods court. We passed the ball to the thousands that prayed for us at our church where they literally prayed Isaac into this world during each morning service. We passed the ball to the other 7,000 plus people who clicked the link of those who shared our story on social media. We pivoted and turned our eyes to the next step God had put along our path.

His plan was perfect from the start. Theresa’s primary OB doctor was the one on call. When the NICU doctor came into the operating room it was a familiar face. 10 years prior to this morning when Matthew spent a month in the NICU it was this very same doctor. He greeted us as if we were old friends and proceeded to go over the checklist of what we knew about Isaac so far and what he may expect. God also knew that we would be spending the better part of three months in the hospital and that, despite what we thought would be best, He knew we needed to be close to our support group. He knew that room 338 would become our family hub and we needed to be closer to friends, family and our home. There were also people here who needed us to be there to come along beside. There were others who needed to encourage us.

The pivot move has become our signature move when our plans are interrupted. Could it be beneficial for you as well? Passing the ball doesn’t mean giving up control. It means you are willing to be a team player.

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  1. Laurie Kirkendall

    I just love reading your God-inspired words, Kevin! Your family is such a blessing to many and I’m so thankful God allowed our paths to cross!

    1. KevinTroupe

      You have all been a blessing to us as well.

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