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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

Preparing the way for extraordinary destiny…

Yes, it has been a long time, and yes, I am still blogging! As you know life has a way of getting so busy and out of control. I am hoping I still have your ear and that you are still willing to partner with us as we live out this extraordinary life…I love that phrase. It comes from C.S. Lewis.

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny” C.S. Lewis

Let’s see, since the last glimpse into our lives we have moved and have been working non-stop to bring our new home into “safe” and “functional” status. We have celebrated Matthew’s 13th and Sarah Anne’s 5th birthdays. We have participated in 2 county fairs (with one more to go). We just finished an illness outbreak in our home with Isaac lingering the longest (with a short hospital stay). We have just sent our two oldest on a 10 day missions trip to Guyana, Central America. And, we have an abundance of appointments/procedures lined up for Isaac and Matthew and a re-surgery of the stomach surgery Isaac had last a year ago in May that did not stay intact and needs to be redone.

Our "sanity wall" dividing each half of the main floor. This wall, complete with numeric keypad helps keep Matthew out if mischief. I was able to match the existing pillars and the back side has cabinets that double as our pantry.

Our “sanity wall” dividing each half of the main floor. This wall, complete with numeric keypad helps keep Matthew out if mischief. I was able to match the existing pillars and the back side has cabinets that double as our pantry.

Many of you have been asking and are curious about our move. Here are the details! We are still in Ottawa County, about as Southwest as one can get in the city of Hudsonville, MI. There are far too many things to list and talk about in a short post…but, Theresa uses one word to describe the feeling of our new home…Peace. The safety and function factors we have added to an already great layout are: biometric fingerprint scanners on all exterior doors, keycode locks on many interior doors, double-hung windows that all open at the top, a new “sanity wall” as we call it that separates the main floor in two halves which slows down Matthew’s access to the kitchen, dining room, Isaac’s room and the laundry room. An addition of french doors also keeps Matthew from accessing the foyer which has stairways to the upper and the lower levels. Completing the main floor is a “sleeping room” (a smaller room just for sleeping) for Matthew that is next to a master suite for mom and dad. The master suite allows a little more privacy than before as we go about our day with in-home nursing, caregivers, therapists and more. The upper and lower floors have additional bedrooms for Hannah, Megan, Sarah Anne (still working on that one), a play/therapy room, a craft/sewing room and a cozy hang-out family room. This whole process of looking for a new home, securing it and the actual move has been somewhat of a dream come true. For several years, as Matthew grew older, wiser and more talented at locks, gates and other means of keeping him safe it was apparent that we needed to make some significant changes…either to the existing house or to start looking at different options. Then, along came Isaac! Another “hardship”, although an adorable, sweet one, launched us into another realm of changes needed!

French doors separating the foyer with the two stairs ways that lead to the upper and lower levels. Another piece-of-mind addition that helps keep Matthew out of mischief. I am looking forward to making a stained glass insert for the transom space above the doors...a custom solution to an over-sized opening.

French doors separating the foyer with the two stairs ways that lead to the upper and lower levels. Another piece-of-mind addition that helps keep Matthew out of mischief. I am looking forward to making a stained glass insert for the transom space above the doors…a custom solution to an over-sized opening.

Here is where the rubber meets the road (Caution: vulnerability here…exposing weakness, not for the faint of heart). We were in no financial position to consider a move. We were 3 years into our Dave Ramsey plan of becoming debt free and just being able to keep our head above water and not living paycheck to paycheck. Many of you know that I do carpentry work on the side, at least up until Isaac was born. All of that money went to pay down debt and get us closer to being able to make a move in the direction of a new home. As we were approaching light at the end of the tunnel, along came Isaac. With the combined needs of Matthew and Isaac we faced the reality of needing to make significant upgrades and repairs to current house which would have been nearly impossible to do with Isaac in the house due to his trach (air quality, dust, etc.). Moving out and then making the repairs would have been cost prohibitive…not to mention that we needed a bigger house than the one we had with a workable floor plan…one that would allow for safety and function.

This is where my prayer life was focused when not focused on surgeries, healing, milestones and just plain life in general. Another vulnerability alert here…My prayer was usually filled with doubt. I felt that we were being blessed beyond measure just to sustain us, keeping us strong and healthy and able to face each new challenge. People responded to needs we never expressed…something only God could arrange. How could I possibly ask for more? In my own reasoning I thought I would leave the miracles of healing and a little help here and there with the bills to God…but, the debt thing and the housing thing I was convinced I needed and had to work for and get us out of the financial mess on my own. After all…my mess, my problem. I didn’t feel worthy of an extraordinary destiny.

“The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, by unoffered prayer.”
F.B. Meyer

Isaac's sun-room and nurses station. Perfect location right next to the dinning room and kitchen. Isaac is still always right in the middle of the action.

Isaac’s sun-room/bedroom and nurses station. Perfect location right next to the dinning room and kitchen. Isaac is still always right in the middle of the action.

Thankfully there are people who pray on our behalf and a wife that was praying for a solution, with much more expectancy and frequency than I was. With the assistance of two different non-profits we were able to make this move quicker than we ever dreamed possible and easier without having to make needed repairs on our old house. We were also able to make the modifications we needed to bring our new home into a safe and functional state. I am at a loss for words on how God prompts people and people not only listen, but also respond in a way I could ever imagine. What would God have done if I had the faith to actually ask? It is a good thing I am at a loss for words…the two non-profits who assisted us have asked to remain anonymous. A selfless act of love prompted by only God alone because I was too weak and doubtful to ask.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

So much to grasp in this prayer from a letter from Paul to the Ephesians. We have personally experienced and are still grasping what how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…we have also been witness to what immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine looks like in real life.

What hardship can you prayerfully hand over? What is your extraordinary destiny? I am learning my destiny is not in the hard work I do and my lame attempts to earn God’s favor. My destiny has everything to do with grasping how wide and long and high and deep is His love for me.

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  • Carol Bolt

    Wow thank you so much for sharing your journey. I am always touched by your family’s daily challenges and these blogs. Thank you for the honesty; it is refreshing to read others have faith struggles too.

    Your family is an inspiration and proof that God can heal, restore and rebuild! I look forward to more blogs!

    Much love to your family!

    • KevinTroupe

      Carol, thank you for your kind words. Hope all is well with you and Mike and Hope.

  • Melissa Eefsting

    It’s good to see you writing again. I enjoy reading how God is at work in your lives. Thanks for sharing.

    • KevinTroupe

      Thank you Melissa, I hope to write with more frequency now!

  • sally gallagher

    This is so humbling to see how much Gods loves your Family that when you could not do it their were people standing in the gap for you!

    • KevinTroupe

      Sally, we appreciate all who pray and come along beside us. There is no way we could do this on our own.

  • Laurie Kirkendall

    I’m crying as I read yet another post in your blog, Kevin. Impressed at your faithfulness in who God is, amazed at God’s goodness and promises when we trust Him! I can think of no other family who deserves and needs God’s hands of mercy and grace like the awesome Troupes do! Love you guys!

    • KevinTroupe

      Thanks Laurie, God is good…even through the hardships. Many shake their fists at God at the first sign of struggle and shout blame…God still loves, still blesses and still provides.