Ray and I have been walking the road of health issues for about 18 years now. Currently Ray is in the ICU at St. Joseph’s they are trying to determine if he needs a new shunt placed (which means neurosurgery). I wish I could fully express to you how hard and exhausting this experience is for us both, especially this time of year. People are always taken aback when they hear the extent of Ray's health issues and all that he has survived. Doctors are continually surprised that Ray is still with us. And frankly we often wonder why God has allowed this to continue, the suffering has been so great.
Transplant is currently on hold, it is more of a long term goal as there are so many setbacks. Currently we are praying for stability and health so that he might be able to activated on the transplant list again. With very few exceptions no one (except me) sees Ray at his worst. He never wants to be the sick guy. He wants to enjoy you and your company. And just being with you helps him to feel better.
What not a lot of people realize is that I suffer with illness as well. I carry a massive load, being care giver to Ray, working full time and taking care of our home and Maya too. However, I have fibromyalgia and I am often pushing through extreme pain issues and fatigue. I also have debilitating cluster migraines that can last for weeks or months. Further, I have clinical depression and anxiety, there are days where leaving the house is more than I can handle. And with the load I carry the stress is taking its toll on me physically and all my rolls are suffering because of the continued need to put everything aside to care for Ray. And therefore between Ray’s health and my own sometimes I just can not work.
God has taught us much through our suffering. And even if we could we wouldn’t go back and change anything. We value everyday we have together, because we know life is short. And that none of us have been promised tomorrow. Currently God is again trying to teach us about humility, because asking for help is so hard. It means admitting we can’t do it on our own, and humbling ourselves to ask you for your help.
Right now, we are feeling more tired, broken and raw than we have in a very long time. Right now all our energy is going in to survival. Imagine week after week in the hospital, with no real answers. Imagine running back and forth to the hospital day after day, with not much sleep. Now imagine you have both been doing this for the past 18 years. Ray is struggling to just make it through each day. His heart cries out for God to take him home, so the suffering will stop. And my heart just calls out continually for healing because I can not imagine living without him.
If you are getting this email it is because we are friends or family. Maybe you were part of community group we led, maybe we taught your kids in Youth Ministry. Or maybe you are one of the many people who have ministered to us over the years, coming along side us to love and care for us. Whatever our relationship is, we come to you humbled by your love, generosity and care for us. Because you continually ask how you can help us. And frankly most of the time we have no idea except to ask for your prayers, because we know our God is more than able to care for his children and provide for all our needs. Because He loves us greatly.
We both feel like we just have no right to ask anyone for anything. We are here today only because of other people's generosity. And we don't take it for granted, we appreciate you so much, even if we don’t always get that Thank you note sent. So here is the part where we humbly come before you and ask for your help. Right now we are in survival mode fighting to keep our heads above water. I can’t do two things at once, so when I am at the hospital I can not work. So would please prayerfully consider how you can help. We need pray support as well as financial and emotional support. When I have been at the hospital all day the last thing I want to do is come home and cook. Would you make me a meal or bring me frozen dinners, salad or send me take out? Would you help with some daily tasks. Dialysis comes with some heavy supplies (currently I need someone to help get some expired stuff to the trash). Send us a card with some encouragement, or scriptures that have encouraged you. Or a bag of MM’s. (chocolate makes everything better) Anything that might brighten our day. We covet your friendships. And most importantly we covet your prayers. Will you please continually take us to the feet of Christ? Ask for healing, health, stability. Ask for him to continue to meet our needs. Our God never fails and we know He will continue to provide.
Love in Christ,
Raymond and Heather
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