His Mercy

Dear Friends,
I write tonight between the walls of a little hospital room in Greenville, SC. I write only at the urging of my wife and prayerfully the prompting of God’s spirit.
We arrived in Greenville 24 hours ago. The plan was to stay with some friends before Kitty’s biopsy starting at 6:30am this morn, which we did. Shortly after arriving at Greenville Memorial this morn, we found out that Kitty would not be under full anesthesia during the procedure. In fact other than a topical numbing cream and a few sedatives, she would be awake for every portion of the mallet and chisel procedure. This did not bode well for a girl who is self described: “allergic to pain”. We would not know how true that statement was until later…
The procedure went relatively smooth, and Kitty did amazing! Many of you might have even received a text from me reflecting that very thing. Over the next few hours doctors wanted to observe her and make sure they had not broken the bone in her arm. Everytime Kitty would sit up she would begin to feel woozy and her heart rate would drop. The combination of pain and medications were likely to blame.
After a few doses of morphine the pain was not subsiding. Finally the operating doctor returned and utter a few key words containing two drugs that we all could pick out of a line up. I thought something odd about his words, but couldn’t put my finger on it… It wasn’t anything in the way he said them or even the drugs themselves, but something in my heart hung up in that moment.
Around 30 mins later, we were packing to leave with Kitty still feeling woozy. The nurse finally came back with the dosage the doctor had ordered. The next 15 mins will forever be the longest of my life.
As the fluids flowed into the IV I could quickly tell Kitty was uncomfortable. 15 seconds later, she was asking the nurse about a burning sensation in her throat. As I glanced at the monitor (I had been watching so closely all morning as my wifes heartbeat had been so slow she at times nearly passed out) it went from around 50 beats per minute to over 150 in less than 10 seconds! The next thing I knew I was in the hall screaming for a doctor, my heart rate nearly matching Kitty’s. (I’ve purposely omitted many things that happened in effort to ease your minds.) Only a minute had transpired from the first drip of the IV, but in those precious seconds my mind went from taking my bride to get some lunch to this could very well be the last moments I have with her. Nurses feverishly working over her, I hit my knees crying out to God to spare my wife. I cried the words of the psalmist for her “For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve [her] life; in your righteousness, bring [her] out of trouble.” Psalm 143:11. Overtop my prayers the chilling words uttered out of my wife that no husband wants to hear. We both knew her life, now just a few minutes into this reaction, hung in the balance.
A very godly nurse was on duty managing our section… Just earlier that morning she had held our hands and prayed for Kitty’s biopsy with us. God choose to use her to demonstrate his mercy to us. During what seemed like days of my wife struggling for her next breathe, this godly nurse administered a combination of epinephrine, Zantac, benedryl, and an inhaler which saved Kitty’s life.

Kitty’s body had an extreme allergic reaction to the pain medicines given to her. She easily could have died, yet her life was spared. I hope you know that I’m not one for dramatics. These words don’t come lightly across my mind. Kitty and I have said at various times in the last few years “God, we want to know you better, reveal your character to us.” Surely God, in his infinite unfailing love wanted to demonstrate his mercy today. Dear friends, we are convinced of this: “that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) I pray that we spend the rest of our lives (however brief or extended they may be) trying to know better the character of this God who did not even spare his own son but for our sake nailed him to a cross, that we may know our creator for eternity.
Pray for us, as early next week we find out the results of today’s biopsy. Pray for my wife that she may fully recover from the intense trauma. We have felt loved and lifted up to our God over this demanding time, thank you!

23 thoughts on “His Mercy”

  1. Joel,
    PLEASE be assured of our prayers for both you and Kitty. We just got home from a day trip and I found an e-mail from a mutual friend that something had happened today to Kitty. As I sit here writing this note tears are pouring onto the keyboard. I am so grateful for God’s mercy for the two of you today. Wes and I are so grateful God had this wonderful nurse there to provide wisdom and comfort. Words fail me tonight but please know of our continued prayers and love. Kitty was and continues to be a young woman I adore and will always love. My time as her coach is filled with precious memories. Get some rest and continue to take care of that amazing woman God has given you!
    All our love,
    Pastor Wes and Julie Rickard

  2. I am crying right now praising the lord for sparing her life…thank u Jesus! Joel thank u for sharing…I can definately tell this was god directed. Love u brother…give kitty kisses and hugs…I wish I could be there for y’all in person (as i write from somewhere in MO) but know covering u in prayer is what u need too! I can’t wait to give y’all hugs soon

  3. I dont know you but we have a mutual friend. I just want to tell you that I am praying for you. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to experience that. I will pray for the results of the biopsy. God bless you and your family.

  4. Ansley’s mom is one of my dearest friends. I was in Charleston last weekend and Ansley shared your story with me. Just got this update and want you both to know that I am one of many lifting you up and praying for the best next week…

  5. We are praying and that truly was a testimony to your close walk with christ you two truly are a testimony to so many tell kitty we love her

  6. my heart is breaking for you at this very moment. my thoughts and prayers go out to you. i pray that God will lay his healing hands on Kitty. i wish you comfort, peace and wisdom and you face the days and weeks ahead.

  7. So grateful to the Lord for all the details He worked out to save precious Kitty! Prayers are stil with yall! Love you both!

  8. Joel and Kitty,
    Ever since I first heard about Kitty’s difficulties on Marian Jordan’s facebook, you two have been in the front of my mind and prayers. I went to USC and was involved in CRU…and I have always had such admiration for God’s presence in each of your lives and in your marriage. I recently got married myself, and I strive every day to imitate the Godly marriages I have seen examples of in my life–including yours. I pray for you and Kitty constantly, for her healing and for God to provide you both with the peace only He can give.
    And so, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” –John 14:27

  9. Joel and Kitty – praising and praying! Hang in there and know you are surrounded by prayers and love. Love to you both.

  10. What a testimony to the fact that “He will never leave us or forsake us.” My prayers are continually with you.

  11. I’m so thankful to Jesus that “He will never leave us or forsake us” and that y’all have been experiencing this reality amidst such a difficult time! Thanks for sharing and keeping us updated. Praying for y’all!

  12. Joel, we are on our way to Co. If you need to stay at our house, you are welcome! We live in Spartanburg. 30 min from Gville. Call John if you want to stay there. It is being cleaned tomorrow-new sheets, clean bathroom, etc…. 864=590-9763. Ya’ll are on my mind day and night. We are praying. Alyssa

  13. (This is my third attempt at posting a comment…apologies if they all end up coming through- ha!).

    We are praying for you and thanks for specific things to pray about.

    We read your post and cried. For you and for the memory it brough back. I know all too well about falling to one’s knees begging the Lord to spare the life of a loved one (my daughter, Sierra’s). We struggled with our behavior on that day- because we literally fell to the floor and cried, no we wailed, and begged the Lord for mercy. What kind of testimony did we display? Did we not demonstrate faith? I was ultimately comforted by the fact that even “Jesus wept” and he knew the outcome of Lazarus’ ordeal. And you’re right- what an amazing revelation of our Lord and Savior’s character. He IS a loving and merciful God. And, we KNOW that if the outcome had been different we still serve a MIGHTY God and we could still lift our hands in Praise! In the end, we were grateful for our ordeal and how much closer it brought us to our Savior!
    The Lord gives us grace when we need it–tomorrow’s worries can seem overwhelming if we dwell on those. So, I leave you with the words of Mary Greene- Grace for today!

    Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
    Lamentations 3:22-23

  14. Thank you so much for keeping us updated and sharing your lives. The Lord is indeed being glorified, and we are thankful for His mercy. You are both faithful warriors! We have been praying for you guys regularly. Much love from Atlanta!

  15. Sincerely thankful for the quick work of the doctors and nurses. And we’ll continue to pray as you wait for the test results. Thanks for sharing Joel.

  16. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!! So thankful God chose to spare His wonderful child Kitty. She is an amazing young lady and I am confident God has SO much in store for the both of you! Please keep us posted! With many prayers being lifted, Mary Ann

  17. Isaiah 30:15-21 (ESV)
    15For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,”In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
    But you were unwilling, 16and you said,”No! We will flee upon horses”;
    therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
    17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
    at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.
    18Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
    For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

    19For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

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