Overcoming family challenges

by Sheri Quidley

Saturday, August 31, 2014, began like any other day in our home. I got up early to have coffee and Jesus time. About an hour later, Scott came downstairs ready to head to the church for his normal weekend workday. But, as we stood in our kitchen talking, I could tell he was short of breath. “Do you feel ok? Why are you taking such shallow breaths?” I asked. He simply said, “I don’t know.” He left and we weren’t together again until later that afternoon at his parents’ house for dinner. I remember looking at him thinking he hadn’t been eating very much lately but it looked as if he had gained weight. When we got home that night, Scott was sitting on the couch coughing uncontrollably and could not catch his breath. I said, “That’s it! We are going to the emergency room!” When we arrived, he was taken back fairly quickly. The nurse checked his oxygen level and blood pressure and said, “Oh! That’s bad!” Within a matter of minutes, Scott had been moved to a bigger room and it was filled with nurses and doctors asking us lots of questions while they worked on him. They concluded his kidneys had shut down. He was moved to ICU and immediately began dialysis. At this time the doctor told me if we had waited two hours longer to bring Scott into the hospital he would have died.

The next hours, days, weeks, and months were filled with much emotion, uncertainty of Scott’s health, and decisions that would affect our future as a family. But as I reflect back on the events, I see three things that were the most influential in helping our family through the biggest challenge we had ever faced.

The first is prayer. I am so thankful the Lord had already taught me the importance of a fervent prayer life. Because prayer was already a spiritual discipline in my life, I knew I could go to Him any time, any where, with any need and He would answer according to His perfect will for Scott and our family. This situation our family walked through also taught our children the importance and power of prayer. We spent much time together as a family praying for Scott and his healing. What a joy to see our children’s faith grow as they watched our awesome God answer their prayers!

The wonderful support system through family and friends was another thing that helped our family. So many people were there for us … cooking meals, taking care of our children, and going above and beyond to help in any way needed. I cannot say enough about our precious church family at McCauley Baptist during this difficult time. Scott was able to continue pastoring during all of this but his energy was limited. Our church family supported us with patience, encouragement, love, and much prayer! Our family also had many pastors, missionaries, and friends all over the world who sent us encouraging notes, money to help with medical bills, and offered up prayers on our behalf! The family of God is truly a wonderful blessing!

The last thing that helped us through this difficult time was also probably the hardest for me — trusting in the sovereignty of our Savior. That is hard to admit, but it is true. See, I like being in control. But during all of this, I was never in control, yet God was consistently faithful to show me I could trust Him with every detail. After several months of dialysis, Scott began the process of a kidney transplant. During that time, God sent a couple to our church. The husband got saved, and the wife, Delma, rededicated her life to the Lord. In March 2015, Delma graciously offered to donate her kidney to Scott and it turned out to be a perfect match! On June 17, 2015, Scott received the new kidney! And praise God … he is doing excellently!

I may never know to the full extent of why God allowed our family to face such a challenge. But this I can say, we are a stronger family because of it and the Lord never once failed us. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!