When Tragedy Strikes Close To Home

Those close to me have probably sat and patiently listened as I did my best to enlist you in my band of prayer warriors for my niece.  For those who haven’t been tortured by me yet, your time is at hand.  You need to hear her story.

Ainsley Kate is the six month old bundle of sweetness that belongs to Julie and Philip Ryle, my baby sister and her husband.  Julie and Philip have been blessed with three precious children.  Caroline is a quirky, creative, super-intelligent five year old.  Luisa is our imported niece – we got her from Columbia.  She has cerebral palsy.  She is non-ambulatory and non-verbal, but she is the 300 watt light bulb that lights up whatever room she is in!  We all celebrated when the Ryles returned from Columbia with Luisa.  They came home with our new niece and the proverbial “bun in the oven”.  Maybe you’ve heard the age-old question, “Where do babies come from?”  Well, in the Ryle family they evidently come from Columbia!  So, last May little Ainsley Kate was born, rounding out the Ryle trio.  If the Ryle family sounds vaguely familiar to my readers, I mentioned them in a blog post last January on the beauty of adoption.

A few weeks ago, Ainsley had a medical episode.  She ultimately was diagnosed with infantile spasms, a diagnosis that is medically classified as “catastrophic.”  Most children who evidence infantile spasms will struggle developmentally and many end up with profound mental retardation and on-going seizure disorders.  You can imagine the fear, anxiety, and heart-ache that came with this diagnosis.  I would strongly urge you to pause from reading my words, and click over to what my sister eloquently penned in light of Ainsley’s diagnosis.

Praying for Ainsley Kate

Thankfully, my brother-in-law and sister have a strong faith.  Their commitment to Jesus is inspiring to me and others that are watching them travel this journey.  They understand that God will give them grace to make this journey.  They are biblically sound enough to avoid the lies of culture and pseudo-religion.  They choose instead to stand on the promises of God.  In fact, you should pause and read the profound words Julie wrote about  The “God Doesn’t Give You More Than You Can Handle” Lie.  She rightly lands on rock-solid promises of God rather than misquoting 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says God doesn’t give us any temptation beyond what we can escape by His grace.  There is a difference in God graciously allowing an exit in times of temptation and God crushing us for His Glory.  If you don’t believe me, just ask the Apostle Paul.  Or Julie and Philip.

We already see signs of returning health and healing in Ainsley (read about it here).  Today she goes for a very important follow-up EEG.  My prayer is that God will heal her completely, that there will be no developmental delays, mental retardation, or on-going seizure disorder.  I pray that prayer with a heart as full of faith as I can muster.  I believe in a God who heals at His pleasure and for His own mysterious reasons.  I also believe in a God who sometimes does things backwards than Iask for – a God who rightfully does things for His own glory.  If God chooses to heal, that would bring Him glory!  If God chooses to sustain and give grace through profound medical issues in the days ahead, that will bring Him glory as well.  Regardless of how he chooses to work, I rest easy knowing that the issue isn’t if He will work in this situation.  I’m just not privy to know how He may work.  All I’m left with are my faith and my prayers.

And that’s why I’m writing today.  I’d like to ask you to stop and spend a moment praying for Ainsley Kate.  Would you please join me in praying for her complete healing, for her developmental health, and for no on-going seizure disorders?  Will you kindly join me in praying for her parents and grandparents as they sift through the avalanche of emotions that bury them in these difficult times?  Will you join me in praying for her sisters as they do their best to process what I’m sure is a confusing time for them?  In advance and on behalf of my family, I thank you for your prayers.  God bless!


About robsumrall

I'm a pastor at the most wonderful church, Crossroads Baptist Church of Elizabethtown, KY. I am married to my best friend and am raising three great kids!
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5 Responses to When Tragedy Strikes Close To Home

  1. Randy says:

    I am praying now!

  2. Susan Prejean says:

    Praying for this precious baby and family. Thankful that God knows the beginning from the end and is faithful to sustain them even though they can’t see the outcome.

  3. C. Jackson says:

    Our family prayers are with Julie & Philip and all three of their precious children. May GOD bless and keep them in his healing hands!

  4. David Causey says:

    It is my privilege to pray for Ainsley Kate. May the Lord lift you up and enfold you all in his loving arms, giving complete healing to this precious little girl and confidence and strength to all who love her.

    Thanks for the post.

    Sincerely, Dorothy Causey

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