Step by Step by Faith


The three oldest grandkids on Halloween Day - 2015

Our family would covet your prayers today for that sweet little blondie granddaughter in the middle of the picture. The last couple weeks have been difficult ones, as we puzzled over her diminishing motor skills, constant tripping and falling, difficulty chewing, poor grip, and other troubling symptoms for a 3-year old. Last week, an MRI told the story...she has an arteriovenous fistula, or a connection of an artery and a vein in her brain (resting on her brain stem) and the ballooning pressure of the vein is putting pressure on her brain and causing her neurological problems. We are praising God for clarity in the diagnosis so that leaving the problem alone was not an option, because it will rupture at some point...with fatal results.

Today, she is going in for an angiogram and (hopefully!) an embolization (disconnecting and tying off the connection of the artery and the vein) in her brain. 

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
  • Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
    How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
    Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
    Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

"Oh, for grace to trust Him more!" has been the constant refrain of my heart since the diagnosis came. The procedure is a delicate one and not without risks.  But the all too real, all too much to dwell on possibility is that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and absolute Sovereignty, will take her home to heaven. Could we then say, with Christian resignation and fortitude, as our Puritan forefathers, "It pleased the Lord to take her..."? Could we say that without bitterness or a grief that threatens to swallow our very souls? 

We are praising God for the faithful ministers who have preached the full counsel of God to us, so that the strength we draw from His Word has kept us from being overwhelmed. His Spirit has ministered to our hearts and minds, and for that trust and strength we are grateful and give Him all the glory!

 "God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy."
-Westminster Confession, Chpt. 5:I

We know that He directs all things for His glory. Things too incomprehensible for our puny minds to understand. And we rest in His omnipotence and His matter what the outcome. 

We are encouraged that her doctor is "the best in the nation" and possibly the world at this sort of surgery! We are encouraged that he is optimistic for a good outcome! We praise God that He moved us all the way across the country seven years ago, so that some day, this little girl would need this very doctor and she would live an hour from the hospital where he practices! Oh, praises be to God for His Providence in all things! And yet, we are reminded...

 My hope is built on nothing less 

than Jesus' blood and righteousness. 
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, 
but wholly lean on Jesus' name. 

On Christ the solid rock I stand, 
all other ground is sinking sand; 
all other ground is sinking sand. 

We would be blessed if you join us in praying for her today, and in saying with our family,

"This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
-Ps. 118:24

Sola deo gloria!


  1. Oh Kate, I can hardly see to write as tears are streaming down my face. You have my prayers today and I will pass this along to my family and they will pray also. Your faith is tremendous and a beautiful Christian witness. May God bless you with His mighty strength!!!

  2. Kate, I certainly will be praying for your dear little grandgirlie --and your entire family-- today!! Your trust in His goodness is inspiring! Indeed...oh for grace to trust Him more!

  3. Thoughts and prayers for all!

  4. Yes, I will pray for your family, and strength to go through this with God's grace.

  5. Bill and I will be praying. Praising God for advances in medicine that make all this possible

  6. UPDATE 11-19-2015, (in our daughter's words):

    The news is not good, loved ones.

    They were unable to do the embolization today. The artery and vein are connected through a HOLE in the artery, which means there is no good place to put anything to block the flow from the artery side because that artery goes to important places in the brain and there is too much risk of blocking off the blood flow there. They could try to block it from the vein side, but it's unlikely to "take" because of the speed of the blood flow, and it's also very risky.

    The doctor says he has has never seen anything like this before.....not what you want to hear from one of the best neurointerventionists in the world. He does not see any good solutions at this time.

    She is staying here tonight in the ICU and her doctor will have a doctor's consult tomorrow with several colleagues to discuss her case.

    Please keep us in earnest prayer. And the doctors' meeting too!

    "On Christ the solid rock I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand."

  7. I just saw your post this morning and said a prayer for your precious little granddaughter and your family.

    May God bless you all, keep you in His care, and grant His you peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

    Peace be with you,

  8. Yes, I will keep praying for your little one.


    Her doctor has been consulting with colleagues across the country all day. So far no good solutions have stood out, but he says it has gotten the gears turning with brainstorming. He’s clearing a slot to do a procedure on Monday even though there’s no solid plan yet – She will be staying at the hospital until that time.
    His tentative plan is to proceed with partially closing off the artery where the hole is, because she has another set of strong arteries that should be able to pick up the slack of that important artery.
    For now, she is moving out of the ICU to stay in a regular room until her tentative procedure Monday, after which she will return to the ICU again for at least a couple of days.
    It has been humbling and amazing to see so many prayer warriors gathered on her behalf (even internationally!) – a veritable prayer army in service to our King! I have great confidence in the Lord who created her, her brain, and the minds of these brilliant doctors, because He hears these many prayers and has great compassion on His children.
    We have told her doctor that we are praying, too. May God’s name be glorified in this hospital by her healing!

    1. I am following your updates and continuing to pray!!

  10. I wept as I read this--for the unfairness in this world. But then was reminded that everything that happens to us has already passed through God's hands and nothing is a surprise to him...nothing.

    I will remember your little granddaughter and her surrounding family in my prayers and check back frequently for updates.

    There is power in prayer!

  11. I'm praying. Heaven needs to be stormed with prayers! Andrea

  12. Praying for your sweet little granddaughter and your family .

  13. I am also praying for a complete solution to this and complete healing for this precious child. May our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified.

  14. Praying for you, your dear one, and family. May the God of all Comfort be with you today. May He guide the doctors' hands and give them supernatural insight. Peace, peace, peace in the midst. Romans 8:31-39

  15. UPDATE ON 11-24-2015 (in her mother's words):


    Her procedure went PERFECTLY!

    Her doctor was very pleased with how it went - he's usually so serious but I could see him hiding a smile the whole time he talked with us! He said the device fit beautifully, just as hoped, and completely blocked the hole. He didn't see any clotting (yet) and the arteries seemed to be rerouting the blood properly. He doesn't even think it'll be a full 2 weeks in the ICU as originally predicted!
    Obviously we are still taking it one day at a time. There's still concerns about clotting, and stroke, and increased swelling caused by them fiddling around in there (which could stop her breathing, so she's currently intubated and will remain that way for awhile, possibly overnight).
    Keep praying for her safety and total healing, and please praise God with us that He answered our prayers for a successful procedure!! We are sure that literally thousands were praying for our sweet daughter this morning - God hears and answers! He is good!!


    Thank you ALL for your prayers! This has been a scary, yet faith-growing time for our family. We are EVER so grateful to God for His mercy to us in extending our time with our granddaughter here on this earth. May His name be praised!

  16. That is wonderful news to hear this morning!! Yes, praise His holy name!!!

  17. So glad to hear these words. Praise God.

  18. Prayers continue for complete healing in the days to come.

  19. PRAISE the LORD!!!

    deb meyers


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