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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

A blessing, not a curse?

Okay, enough emails and messages have come my way…”WE WANT AND UPDATE!” Thank you for your interest and your prayer for the Troupe’s. December is such a busy month for our family as I am sure it is for yours as well. Taking a break is good. So is getting back to work and writing!

All of our Happy Elves at Christmas time

All of our Happy Elves at Christmas time

Today was a banner day in the Troupe household. Tears were shed today (tears of joy) as Hannah and Megan proclaimed their public profession of faith along with being baptized in front of nearly 2,000 congregation members, family and friends. I cannot think of any other event, short of their births that has brought as many tears and joy as listening to your children tell of their love for Jesus and their strong desire to follow in his footsteps. Awesome. No award, ribbon, trophy, diploma, certificate or plaque will ever match up…ever.

I think the words they both spoke of their journey to this point were full of knowing what pain, sacrifice and hard work feels like and what it means to die to self. I think this especially rings true having two siblings who have special needs. They both talked of missions trips they had been a part of where they were stretched in their faith. There is great rewards when we abandon things that give us comfort…it leads us to being broken. Sadly, most people are afraid of brokeness and avoid moving away from comfort at all costs.

When we abandon the things that give us comfort, God brings us to brokeness, which allows us to unpack the baggage others have saddled on us. We begin to discover our true self. Brokeness finishes abandonment’s job; it strips away the false self. It allows God to transform us into a new creation. Many people are offended by brokeness. “God wants to bless, not curse us,” they say. “He wants us to be joyful, not despairing. If you’re doing the Christian life right, then you should be happy and faith filled. If you are hurt and full of doubt, then you are doing something wrong.” unfortunately, this is not how God works, but it’s often how we think.  Seth Barnes: Kingdom Journeys: Rediscovering the Lost Spiritual Discipline

That portion of Seth’s book really hit home with our family. We have many well-intentioned people say to us that we must be really special to have God trust us with not only one, but two special needs kids. I can assure you, we are not all that special. We argue, we fight, we get mad when Matthew decides to “paint” our bedroom door with something not even close to paint (while I am writing this post), we question why, we shed tears when we see a “normal” baby doing normal things at half Isaac’s age. When we abandon our own lives brokeness moves in and then we have the opportunity to allow God to transform us into a new creation.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 10:39 (New Living Translation)

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:7 (New Living Translation)

Each of us have been at the point of brokeness many times as we have grown as a family. The difference for us…what makes us special and can make you special too is that we allow the brokeness to transform us into a new creation…each time. Each time we are faced with another ER visit, another hospital stay, another therapy or appointment, another broken down car, a parking ticket (sorry Hannah)…it is an opportunity to be responded to as a blessing or a curse. I have to admit, it doesn’t always happen in an instant. Sometimes it takes time to realize the blessing.

Hannah and Megan, mom and dad are very humbled and proud that you have chosen to give up your own lives and become a new creation in Christ. And, Sarah Anne was not happy that she could not wear the red polka dot swimsuit she picked out to swim with you in the Calvary Church “pool” today.

ISAAC UPDATE: November and December were good months! A few trips to ER and an emergency surgery to remove his central line that was beginning to show signs of infection…but all-in-all not too bad. He is growing and developing quite a personality. The near future will be full of appointments both here in Grand Rapids and at Mott’s Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. Three out of the four weeks in January we travel to Ann Arbor and it is looking like February is shaping up to be the same. We may be looking at a surgery at Mott’s in the near future as well. All of this is to address Isaac’s hiatal hernia and his severe reflux due to his tricky TEF repair. Most of his pulmonary issues (increased oxygen needs) and frequent scarring of the repaired part of his esophagus may be fixed by working in his abdomen. Only when we can settle the stomach and esophagus issue can we look at starting the process to repair his cleft lip and palate.

If you happen to be in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area I will be speaking at Calvary Church on Wednesday night, January 16, 2013. I will be sharing about our family and the joys and sorrows of raising one, now two children with special needs…here is a link for further information:

Kevin speaking at Calvary Church

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  • Mike and Carol

    Kevin and family, Wow what a wondeful time! Its so exciting and I am so happy for your beautiful girls!

    Mike and I are constantly thinking of you and lifting the family up in prayer. We have learned a lot through you journey and we appreicate your posts.

    We would love to attend your speaking but guess what? Hope will be coming home this week and we are suprised and excited (and of course scared too).

    We will be thinking of you all during your journey in January. I have been trying to focus on the below verse. I hope you feel GOd’s presence like never before in January!
    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light

    • KevinTroupe

      Mike and Carol. I read about your expected “Go Home” date in your last update! How cool is that? I know it will be scary and hard at first but you will be pro’s after a week or so. So excited for the three of you!

  • It’s such a blessing to catch up on this wonderful family. I have been writing like crazy, so taking time to be grateful and give thanks is a reminder I desperately need. Thank you for sharing the faith and growth through. My prayers are with you right now.

    • KevinTroupe

      Annette, thank you for your prayer! We appreciateit! Where can I read some of your writing?