Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. This kind of passion is not about intense emotions or infatuation.
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)
THE WHY —
the purpose, cause, or belief behind WHAT they are doing.
Our why statement is a sentence that clearly expresses your unique contribution and impact. The impact reflects the difference you want to make in the world, and the contribution is the primary action that you take towards making your impact.
Hard is good.
Without resistance there is no personal growth in you or in who you are serving.
It is the journey of becoming the best version of yourself.
It is about perspective; is the situation or challenge an obstacle or an opportunity?
You get to choose the lens you see things and respond.
Hard is good.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
-Pastor David Samargo
Fast forward to 3 months post op, and our daughter is doing incredible. I had done more research on the condition than the FBI, and realized there were a lot of "symptoms" my son had. By 6 months post op, I had recovered enough emotionally to face asking the neurosurgeon about my son. He said it would be so rare (as in 1:600,000) that it was Chiari Malformation that he wouldn't worry about it. He was only 5, and his symptoms could be as simple as having car sickness. Here comes God's faithfulness #4. The feeling wouldn't leave me that my son could possibly have the same condition, so I asked the pediatrician for an MRI. He said he never argues with a mom's intuition, and ordered it. 2 days later, we got the results. Our son did in fact have Chiari Malformation, and he too had a build up of spinal fluid. The only difference is that his spinal fluid back up had only just begun. It wasn't as severe as our daughters. He had already sent over the referral to the Neurosurgeon, so we just needed to wait for that appointment. We saw the neurosurgeon fairly quickly after the MRI results, and he had a different approach for my son than our daughter. Now remember, I had done TONS of research on the condition at this point. I knew there were 2 different types of surgeries. One that was more invasive, like my daughter had, where they open the dura lining of the brain, and patch it and one that was less invasive, where they just scrape it, but allowed for a 60% chance of having to have another surgery later in life. The neurosurgeon my daughter used suggested the less invasive surgery. This time, I wanted a second opinion. We went down to Stanford, to the top Specialist on the west coast for Chiari Malformation. This Dr couldn't have had a more opposite approach. He didn't want my son to have surgery at all. He felt a "wait and see approach" was best, and if we did go ahead and have surgery, that the more invasive approach was best. We came back home even more confused than before, and decided to take time to pray before doing anything.
We saw my daughters neurosurgeon for a follow up, and explained to him we had seen another dr and he suggested a wait and see approach, but that didn't sit well with us, because the more we thought about it, the more we realized my daughter had symptoms of losing motor function way before we knew she had anything going on. We also explained that we did think the more invasive approach was better, because it meant "one and done". God's Faithfulness #5. The neurosurgeon so kindly explained to us that our daughter's surgery was down-played. He knew that we hadn't had time to process the news, and he knew he was throwing a lot at us when she had to have surgery, but he wanted us to fully understand now the severity of it. He said that the surgery she had posed significant risks, and she came through flawlessly, but that isn't always the case. Having my son go through it, when he didn't think it was necessary, would be reckless on his part. We had caught the chiari malformation so early, his flow wasn't significantly impacted as hers was. Cutting of the dural liner is a very very invasive procedure with high risk. He said that he created a patch from her own bone shavings from the surgery, and he is the only neurosurgeon who does that to try to prevent rejection of the patch, but he isn't God, and that what God created, no man could match. Scraping the dura lining for our son was a better alternative because he thinks it will create enough flow to correct his spinal cord, and it will leave God's creation intact. I couldn't argue with that. We went with him, and his advice, and the rest is history. Our kids shouldn't be able to do what they do, but they can because of God's faithfulness, and His ability to lead us to places we needed to go, and receive answers we needed to hear. Now, 6 and 7 years later, our son rides a dirt bike with the best of them (fully encased in plastic gear of course), our daughter rides cutting horses, and both of them live a relatively normal life, with minimal lingering effects from surgery. They have their tough days, but they know it's just a day, and they know God IS Faithful, and we are forever grateful for it.
If you want one more example of God's faithfulness, a few years later, I met with the Neurosurgeon in the Bay area for a fundraiser I was holding. He remembered my son from years prior, and told me he wanted to apologize. Since that appointment, he has researched more, and knows that every symptom my son had was in fact related to Chiari Malformation, and he was sorry he gave me the wrong advice. He recalls my son's case frequently, and no longer dismisses a patient or mom's concern. Both of my kids now see him as their primary Neurosurgeon. God's faithfulness also calls on us to act on his promptings as well, and when we feel it in our heart to offer Grace, we should act on it. The other neurosurgeon is the exact person we needed for surgery. This one is the exact person we need for followup care, and we are thankful God put them both in our lives right when we needed them to.
I have so many more ways God is faithful in our lives, but this story is long enough. Thank you for allowing me to share here, even if it is too long to share on Sunday. This was a really good moment for me this afternoon, to remind myself of His faithfulness in our journey. The world has been so heavy, and this allowed me the opportunity to remember to look for the good in every situation; it's there, and more importantly, so is God; He is there, walking right beside you, seeing the bigger picture you can't yet see.
My son and daughter were both diagnosed with a condition called Chiari Malformation several years ago. Our daughter was originally diagnosed with Scoliosis at 5 1/2, and we went in for a routine check up at just before her 7th birthday. At this check up, they told us her curve had increased significantly, with no growth in height, which made them concerned as to why her curve increased. They said we would need an MRI to rule out a "very rare" condition (Less than 3% chance) but at the very least, she was at risk for spinal fusion surgery for her scoliosis, and needed to be fitted for a brace. The thought of having my 7 year old daughter have spinal fusion surgery was terrifying, knowing it would just be one of many surgeries because of her young age. My husband and I prayed for a miracle that her scoliosis would somehow stabilize, and we could spare her a life of surgeries. We went ahead with the MRI to rule out a rare condition, all the while concerned about the future held.
A week or so after the MRI, we had her follow up appointment with her orthopedic surgeon who was following her Scoliosis. He confirmed she had the "rare" condition he was concerned about, Chiari Malformation. He had already called over a referral to a Neurosurgeon and we needed to meet with him as soon as they had an opening. My husband and I had no idea what Chiari Malformation was. We couldn't even pronounce the term. The following days were rough, waiting and waiting and waiting some more on a pediatric neurosurgeon to call back. Then, Gods Faithfulness #1 happened. A good friend whom I hadn't seen in years reached out to me out of the blue. He had been fighting a very rare form of brain cancer the year prior, and only 1 neurosurgeon would perform his surgery. This neurosurgeon saved his life. It hit me! Ask him who his neurosurgeon was, and THATS who my girl would see! He has to be the best! Who cares if he isn't a pediatric neurosurgeon. That must be why this friend I hadn't heard from in years called, right? So, I ask him for the information, and got right on the phone. I tried and tried to get in touch with this amazing surgeon, but his office wouldn't talk to me without a referral from her Dr. I couldn't get her Dr. to call me back. I tried and tried, to no avail. Then, Gods Faithfulness #2. While trying to locate her MRI images to try to send it to this Dr myself, it starts to rain on me. I'm standing outside my car, in the pouring rain, and I scream "REALLY GOD?! REALLY! I'm trying to help my kid, and now it's raining on me. I GIVE UP!! REALLY! I SURRENDER! YOU TAKE CARE OF IT!". I'm not kidding you, not even a minute later, the phone rings. Not only is it the Neurosurgeons office, but it is the Neurosurgeon my friend used that I had been trying to get a hold of! HE is the pediatric neurosurgeon the original orthopedic surgeon referred to! They said they reviewed the images from the referring doctor, and they wanted to see her ASAP.
When we got to the appt with the neurosurgeon, he had our newly 7 year old daughter do a bunch of motor skills tests. He talked to us about her condition, and the fact that her chiari malformation had essentially cut off a good portion of spinal fluid flow to her brain. He was surprised she hadn't lost all motor function, because her spinal cord was at max capacity, and she shouldn't be able to walk. He suggested we schedule the surgery right away, and he had an opening in 2 weeks. We didn't have time to think, or research, or anything. All we knew was she was at risk for losing motor function. On the way home, I sat in silence. My husband asked me what I was thinking, and I burst into tears saying ; "What does this mean? Neurosurgeon? She needs brain surgery? I thought she had scoliosis. She's at risk of losing all motor function if we don't get this done ASAP?!" (God's faithfulness sometimes comes in the form of our spouses.) My husband so sweetly reminded me we prayed for a miracle; For our daughter to not have to have spinal fusions her whole life. This may not be the answer we wanted, but it's the answer God gave us for an extremely difficult situation. He is allowing us to have this brain surgery, potentially increasing her spinal fluid flow to her brain, shrinking her spinal cord down to the "normal" size, and correcting her scoliosis. It's fixable. As scary as this situation was that we were facing, we knew God was with us on this journey. She stayed in the ICU for 4 days, and we were able to take her home on day 5. On day 6 post op, the first morning of being home, she woke me up screaming, and sounding terrified. I ran to her room to find her crying because she could feel her legs, and that just wasn't normal! I said to her "what do you mean you can feel your legs". "Well Mama", she says, "every morning, I have to wake up my legs because they sleep when I sleep. So every morning I wake them, but this morning they were already awake! Why mom! Why didn't they sleep?" I had to explain to her that sleeping legs are not normal. Legs not falling asleep, that's normal. My husband was right. (Don't tell him I said that). My daughter showing scoliosis symptoms allowed us to see a bigger picture. God's faithfulness allowed us to walk a very scary path to surgery to fix what we didn't even know was wrong with her...but He did.
When I relocated to this area from Los Angeles, finding Cold Springs Church was a blessing...in more ways than one. Finding a church home took some time but I found CSC to be welcoming and a fit for me. Then I met Hank and we were married here and enjoyed 15 years of marriage together. The Lord was faithful and blessed us and guided us.
The Lord has been faithful and guided the leadership of this fellowship with prayer and calling on the Lord in many, many areas of need. Women's Bible study, Women's Missionary Group, Keenagers, Sunday school studies, Life Group, are some of the areas that have shown me how faithful God has been to me in my walk with Jesus and helped me grow closer to Him.
CSC and the leadership was right there when Hank was ill and during his passing. Support has been there and I thank this fellowship for their faithfulness and dependence on Jesus.
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