For the occasion I made this video of Ashlea - to give everyone a little glimpse into her life and show them how far she has come.
If for some reason you are unable to view the video here is the youtube link:
Even though I love to talk I don't love public speaking so I was very nervous! After asking us a bit about Ashlea's background and list of current issues, Alistair (the minister) asked us what we had learnt as Christians through having Ashlea in our lives, and also what could they pray for us. I'm going to include both answers here - in case you are interested in what I have learnt or want to pray for us. All prayers gratefully accepted!!
What have I learnt as a Christian?
The first big lesson I learnt was when the girls were still in the NICU. It was a shock to learn that God is in fact the one in control of this world - not me. As Christians we say that God is the one in control, but we act like we are in control and we make our plans and do our things and expect God to come to the party and make everything happen the way we want. It was a shock to be confronted by the reality that we mere mortals have very little control in this world. When the girls were in the nursery there was nothing I could do (other than pray) that would have any effect on whether or not they survived. It was a big shock to be reminded that God is the one in control. He is the one that determines how many days each of us gets and how we spend those days - and it is His right as the creator to determine these things.
The most important thing I have learnt is what is most important in life. It isn't getting a good education, a great job and lots of money. Ashlea is not going to achieve any of those things. And you know what? It doesn't matter. The most important thing is knowing God. The most important thing is whether or not you will be with Him in heaven one day. It doesn't matter that Ashlea won't achieve any of those 'worldly' successes because she is known and loved by God. She will be with Him one day.
I have also learnt what it means to look forward to that day. Before Ashlea I didn't think about heaven much, now I think about it all the time. As Christians we know that Ashlea will be healed and whole when she gets to heaven.
At that point I stopped talking as I was starting to get a little teary - talking about heaven always does that to me - so I didn't say the next bit, but I'm going to say it now, because it's less embarrassing to cry over your keyboard than to cry in front of the entire church.
Just imagine what it will be like for Ashlea when she gets to heaven. She doesn't even realise how good it is going to be.
Imagine her in heaven.
Imagine her in a transformed body.
Imagine the moment that she realises she is healed.
What can people pray for us?
- that I pass the medical and can give Ashlea a kidney
- that Ashlea's kidneys hold out until the transplant so that we don't need to do dialysis
- that everything will proceed smoothly with no complications
- for Murray who will have to juggle the logistics of looking after Ashlea while she is in hospital, me after surgery and Emma and Audrey at home
- that we would be able to continue to trust God through this