I met Kelly a few years back, before she had any children. From outward appearances, she had it all. She was in her young twenties, had a sweet little body most girls would envy, matched up with a perfectly beautiful face. She was madly in love with her recently married husband who was strong in stature, and equally strong in who he was in the Lord. He was proud to be by her side. They came to our "Young Married's small group" talking about all kinds of things they were excited about, but the one thing that stuck out to me most was their urgency to have children. They had not even been married for a whole year at that point. I learned about how Kelly had struggled with her breathing all her life, how she didn't think she would live to be as "old" as she was. Kelly has battled cystic fibrosis all her life. (You can read about cystic fibrosis here) Her big dream in this particular season of her life was to overcome the odds and have a baby. She felt God had given her this desire to bring life into this world, and she was more than determined to see it through. She has spent all her life beating the odds, so why should this be any different?
Anytime Kelly feels a leading from God she is quick to take action, and determined to see it through.
I can't tell you all she had to go through to have a child, and she probably wouldn't want me to, but I can confidently tell you that she endured things that most moms will never have to endure in all their years of parenting, just in the pregnancy journey alone. She was told she would not be able to get pregnant. Doctors could never assure her that she would live through delivery if she did get pregnant. She was aware of these things from the beginning. None of these things stopped her from trying.
Kelly was willing to lay down her life for the calling she felt God had placed on her.
I haven't been well this weekend. I suppose it's probably just a really extreme cold or something. I'll probably see a doctor tomorrow when the office is open. The doctor will probably give me medicine that will open up my airways and allow me to breathe better again, or something like that. It's been an interesting weekend. I'm tired and it's hard to get things done around the house. I pretty much just decided to let my kids run loose since I can't yell at them and don't have the energy to stop them. I am operating out of a mindset of, "Welp, guess I will just get through this weekend until I am feeling better, and then I will get off my butt and clean up this mess". For me, any time I am ill, it is only for a short time and then I am back on my feet within a week or so...back to carrying on with life as usual, complaining about my 3 year old's latest shenanigans.
Kelly does not complain! Did I mention that? She is a believer. She believes in the power of prayer. When she talks about her hardships, it is not an attempt for everyone to feel sorry for her. She speaks on her hardships so others can lift her up in prayer, because she has faith that God hears those prayers. She falls down, and she gets back up again...and again...and again. She does not rely on her own strength alone. The truth is, her physical strength, on her own, is that of a great grandmother, even though she is just celebrated her 33rd birthday.
Whatever physical strength Kelly lacks she makes up for with spiritual strength and mental strength. She uses a walker now days. She and her husband, Scott have twins...a boy and girl. The twins are 3 years old now. I watched the other day as each one grabbed onto one side of Kelly's walker to get across the street. I had the opportunity to observe them running around at the park. They are healthy, vibrant, and adorable. They know they are loved without a shadow of a doubt.
These past few years of getting to know Kelly have taught me a few things, although I have yet to master any of them as eloquently as she has. Here they are: LIVE THIS DAY! Make this day matter. Seek God. Do what you can, leaning on God's strength today. Make a difference in the lives of the people around you, right now, while you still have a chance.
Kelly Asbell is going to be crossing the finish line of a 5K this weekend, with her walker. It's just another one of her crazy ideas that she is determined to accomplish. She has all kinds of people supporting her too. Several of us are walking, or running, in the 5K, with her. If you are in the area, and are wanting to cheer her on at the finish line I am providing the information below. I'm sure she would love to have you there!
Date: Saturday, 2 April 2011, 9am Central/Chicago time
Location: Valparaiso Family YMCA, 1201 Cumberland Crossing, Valparaiso, Ind.
You can also go here to donate money to her cause. Read more about that here.