Episode #34 God’s Grace for Impossible Places. Ginger Millermon

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From Today's Episode

Ginger Millermon shares multiple stories of God’s miraculous intervention that left doctors amazed. You’ll hear of God’s faithfulness as they fought for her sons’ lives and then more recently how the Lord intervened to save her own life. Ginger explains: “Trusting God became more than a chiche’–it became the only way for us to survive.” She is an award-winning recording artist, speaker and author who has appeared on multiple television/ radio shows.


Today's Verses
  • Romans 8:28
  • Romans 4:18-20
Additional Resources

God’s Grace for Impossible Places. Ginger Millermon

Kelly: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Unshakable Hope Podcast, where real life intersects redeeming love. I’m Kelly Hall, and this is where we wrestle through faith questions, such as how do I trust God’s heart when His ways and delays are breaking mine? We’ll hear from people just like you and me, who have experienced God’s faithfulness when life didn’t unfold as they expected.

My prayer is that God would renew our hope in His Word and His love through these conversations.

Welcome friends. I am really glad you’re here. You’re going to meet a friend of mine today who has experienced God’s faithfulness in truly miraculous ways. Multiple times in this podcast, you’re going to hear of doctors basically saying, there’s no way. That can’t happen. That’s not going to work… we’re not going to do that. Both in Ginger’s son’s life years ago when he was a newborn [00:01:00] preemie and in Ginger’s life just a few years ago. You’re not going to want to miss this. So stick around to the end because we’re going to celebrate all of these jaw dropping moments that will build our faith, hand us courage, and increase our conviction that the God who flung the stars in the sky Is the same one who calls us by name and is with us and for us in all of this same power and love at all times.

Ginger Millerman is a gifted songwriter, recording artist, author, women’s speaker, biblical counselor, and worship leader. I love her voice and in preparation for our time today, I was listening to her on Spotify. She sings beautiful hymns, contemplative, worshipful music.

She has multiple top 10 singles and has released seven albums. Ginger’s testimony has been captured in her book, Grace Thus Far, and she’s been featured on multiple television and radio shows, including Focus on [00:02:00] the Family. She’s also released a second book called Everything We Need, His Strength for Our Journey.

So Ginger, I am so thankful you’re here today. Welcome to the show.

Ginger: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for having me.

Kelly: It’s fun to connect again after several years, . I’d love for you to tell us a little bit about your family. Give us the overview of everybody and what’s going on.

Ginger: Okay. Big picture view before we jump into our story and testimony. So we have four kids and we live in the middle of Kansas we absolutely love it. I’m kind of a farm girl and love being in the country and just in God’s creation. Our daughter Mackenzie is our oldest. She lives in Nashville.

She is. turning 29 in a few days. And then we have twin boys who are 27. Look at me. I’m having to like do the numbers as I’m saying this. They’re 27. And then we have our, our youngest daughter Shazmita [00:03:00] is 19, almost 20. So that’s our family. My husband, Joel we used to tour full time and he did all my booking and managing and sound and all of those things.

And he works for a a small home health company now, and then we do ministry part time now instead of full time. So that’s kind of the big, big picture overview of our family.

Kelly: Okay. You sent a picture recently of a huge snowfall. You guys were absolutely snowed in. We were.

You couldn’t go anywhere. So I’m just curious what you do to breathe joy and warmth into your soul when it’s frigid outside.

Ginger: Well, I listen to music and I dance. And it is not pretty. Okay. I’ve got no skills and no moves, but I do. I just crank up the music and use it for exercise or just some. You know, dancing while I’m cooking in the kitchen.

So that makes me joyful. And when the sun is out, I am outside. I [00:04:00] don’t care how cold it is. I am wrapped in a blanket and I’m somewhere outside in the sun. So yeah, those cloudy days that go on and on, which we’ve had a lot this year, it just can kind of wear on you. So I have to be really intentional about doing things that bring joy, being in the word, reading a good book.

Hanging with my dogs and my kids.

Kelly: And I love the fireplace right now. You are in this beautiful room in your house with this gorgeous fire

Ginger: this is my cozy room. I spend a lot of time here.

Kelly: I love it. Well, as we were praying, we were getting started and one of the things I prayed prior is that, Lord, we’re just so grateful you don’t waste our pain. And Ginger, you have a story that is birthed out of quite a bit of heartache but you said something happened last night. Would you talk about that?

Ginger: Yes. It’s so cool. So, our good friend Jason Gray was in concert about an hour from here.

And so we drove to hear him last night and he gave this wonderful concert, just very intimate little setting. And he was singing his song and talking about his song. Nothing is wasted. [00:05:00] And it says nothing is wasted. Nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer. Nothing is wasted. And as I was listening to that song last night and singing it along with him. I was thinking about our podcast this morning, just talking about the pain that our family has gone through and the suffering and how God has used it for his glory. And he’s used it for our good to sanctify us and to draw us closer to him and to make us more like Christ, which is our goal in our life.

Right? Right. So I was thinking about that this morning. So I love that you prayed that this morning.

Kelly: Yeah, that’s so cool. I Want you to take us into your story. You have a really big story, but we want to highlight some things that happened early on as your family was being born and then we’ll move on from there to some other parts of your story.

Let’s go back to when you were a young youth pastor’s wife, you were really surprised to discover your second pregnancy was twins. So talk us through that.

Ginger: Yeah, that was one of the bigger [00:06:00] shocks I’ve had in my life. So I was a very mature 19 year old pastor’s wife. When we got married, I was fresh out of my first year of Bible college and my husband had just graduated.

And we moved to Paonia, Colorado, his hometown, beautiful little town up in the mountains. And we’re serving in youth ministry. They’re absolutely loved it. And so. After several years, when I was 24, we had our daughter, Kenzie, and it had taken us a couple of years to get pregnant with her, and so we were very excited to welcome her, and on her first birthday, we found out we were expecting again.

So this was like, really quick, I did not know it could happen like that. And so, here we were, we were pregnant again, and I was like, this is awesome, you know, the kids are going to be close together, I hope it’s a boy. And so, end of the summer came and the baby was due in October. And we took a group of teenagers up into the mountains on a little spiritual retreat.

And while we were there, I was about 28, 29 weeks into the pregnancy. I started to have some [00:07:00] contractions and I’d had Braxton Hicks with Kenzie. So I wasn’t too concerned about it. I just rested, drank a lot of water. Went to see my doctor as soon as I got home. And that’s when I got the shock of my life.

So I went in to see my physician in the meantime, Joel was counseling at a camp. He was not with me. I had promised him that I would not find out what we were expecting if he wasn’t with me. And so I’m, I’m in seeing my doctor. He’s telling me the baby’s footling breach. I’m already dilating early.

I’m going to be on bed rest. And he sent me to the hospital for my first sonogram. And the technician was very quiet as she was doing my sonogram. And I remember just being so excited and talking her ear off. Can you tell what I’m having? Don’t tell me, but can you tell? And pretty soon she was like, is this your first sonogram?

I said, yeah, it’s my first one. Well, then she broke the news to me very gently that, well, not really that gently to be honest, but she kind of just said to me there’s, there’s more than one in there. Now, I, you know, I had been joking with her and say, man, I feel so big. And there’s just one, right.

And she just was like, [00:08:00] honey, I’m not supposed to tell you this. There’s more than one in there. Okay. So my great sense of humor was out the window. I’m completely overwhelmed. And we find out we’re having twin boys and they were born four days later. So. It was not a lot of time to prepare. They were born at two pounds, 14 ounces a piece.

So they were very tiny, not quite a micro preemie, but they were very tiny. And Brennan was born first and Jarrett was two minutes behind him. Jarrett’s lungs and airways had not developed like Brennan. They looked exactly the same. In fact, I was so concerned. I was going to get them confused. You know, like name them and then mix them up, but Jarrett was not healthy like Brennan.

Brennan was very typical preemie. He was in and out of the hospital. He didn’t come home until he was a couple months old, but he was pretty healthy for being so tiny. Jarrett’s lungs and airways had not developed. He was sent over the mountains, over the continental divide to children’s hospital in Denver.

And that’s where we were going to spend many, many months of our life. [00:09:00] And so that was just the beginning of a really, really long, hard journey for our family.

Kelly: Well, I can relate to the shock of finding out you’re having twins. We had the twin girls and it was kind of the same thing. They’re doing an ultrasound.

I was actually taking a nap because I had two kids at home and thinking this is awesome. Yes. And then I heard them whispering in the background saying, go get so and so look. Two, two, there’s two. I was, I, my eyes just flew open and I’m like, two what to what? Yeah, exactly. Are we talking about your grocery list?

What’s happening here?

Ginger: Yes. Yeah. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling of her telling me that. And I remember sitting up on the table when she said there were two and grabbing her. Like, I know she remembers me. I grabbed her. And shook her by the arm, the technician, poor lady. And I was like, you are, you’re messing with me.

Right. You’re joking. And she turned the screen so I can see. And now there’s two, [00:10:00] I just, yeah, it was very overwhelming, especially when you’re that far along and already have some little ones at home. So, yes,

Kelly: right, right. Okay. Well, I know that the time that Jarrett spent in the ICU was, was extremely difficult on your family because he was in Denver.

Your other family was at home in Paonia. And I, and I think this went on for about a year where Jarrett was in ICU, right? So one of the things you write in your book is trusting God suddenly became more than a cliche. It was the only way you guys could survive. So I’d like you just to walk us through that.

Tell us about what the doctors were saying and then how God


Ginger: So yeah, it’s so true. And just, I look back and think about the fact that we were in our mid twenties, we were just so young and yeah, and just to experience all of this all of a sudden. So we had one baby on one side of the mountains in the hospital in Grand Junction.

Jarrett was in a children’s hospital and it was like, we didn’t even know where to be. You know, we wanted to be with both our [00:11:00] boys. By the end of October. Brennan had been released and so he was with us in Denver in and out of the ICU. There Jarrett was not doing well. He was declining pretty much every day.

And our doctors just kind of started to hint to us that he would probably not survive. By the time we reached Thanksgiving that year, he had undergone major stomach reconstruction. He was refluxing all the time. So every time he would eat, he would reflux and get pneumonia. And his lungs were so fragile, so they gave him a G tube, they did the special surgery he was trached he was on life support on a ventilator, and I just remember right around that time when our doctors were just saying, there’s really probably a very small chance of Jarrett surviving, that I really began to wrestle with my faith. And I really began to feel like, God, this is not fair. And I went through a little season. I’m thankful it was a short season, but I did go through a season of just [00:12:00] feeling really angry at God. I was a youth pastor’s wife. I had come to Christ as a little girl. I had jumped through all the hoops and done all the things.

You know, and I just was like, this isn’t fair, God, where are you going to take our son and questioning and feeling guilty? Did I do something wrong? And feeling like God must be angry at us and all of these things. And God was just so kind to me and patient with me through that process. I had to process through that.

And I had to decide if I believe that God’s word is true. And if God’s word is true, then verses like Romans 8:28 are true. And that was one of the verses specifically that God used for me at that time that we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are the called according to his purpose.

And I kind of had to stop in my anger and my pity party and all the things I was feeling and say, okay, I do believe that God’s word is true. And if [00:13:00] God’s word is true, this verse is true and God will work this for good in my life. And I don’t know what that’s going to look like. And I don’t know if it means he’s taking our son home and we won’t see him until eternity, but I am choosing to trust.

And, like you said, the quote that I had said earlier, that it was more than a cliche now in my life, I would have said always, Oh, I trust the Lord in all things, and when the rubber met the road and things were getting really, really hard and tragic and devastating, did I really trust God?

And so kind of went through that season of, of wrestling and hardship and coming out and saying, okay, God, we want, and there was a very specific time of prayer for Joel and I, we were sitting in our van, we were trying to go on a little date. My mom had come to watch the other kids, you know, Kenzie was just 18 months old when the boys were born. So she couldn’t just be in the NICU with us.

So my mom had come from Kansas. She was sitting in the hotel room with a very fussy Brennan who screamed…20 hours a day. I am not [00:14:00] exaggerating. Wow. He was a very fussy preemie. So we weren’t getting sleep. My mom was watching the kids and Joel and I decided to just go on a date and we didn’t even get out of the car.

We made it to some parking lot somewhere and we sat there and just sobbed and just said, I don’t think he’s going to live. And we both agreed, like, I think we’re going to lose our son. And so now what are we going to do with that? Right? It wasn’t a matter of having enough faith. I literally had someone say to me, if you had more faith, your son would not be dying.

Kelly: No.

Ginger: Yeah.

Kelly: Oh, I’m so sorry.

Ginger: Yeah. That was not helpful. Or, and it’s not biblical. No, it’s not. We had faith. We knew that we served a big God who does miracles, who can do anything. But we also knew that God’s plans and his ways are higher than ours. That’s what Isaiah says, right? His ways are higher than ours.

His plans are higher than ours. And we had to personally come to that point of surrender to say, God with open [00:15:00] hands, we want what you want more than what we want. That’s a hard place to get to. I think especially with our kids, right? Right. At any stage of life, whether they’re babies or adults. But we want what you want more than what we want.

And so we are going to trust you and we’re going to believe you no matter what happens. And there was such a peace that came at that time. I mean, we literally in our car hugging, crying, praying, came before the Lord and just totally surrendered all of this to him. And within 48 hours, I think we walked into the NICU early, like we did every morning, washed up to go see Jared and all of his alarms were going off and he looked horrible and our nurse said to us, he’s very, very sick and he is not going to survive this.

And it was just like that moment of surrender that we finally let go and then here we go, you know, and it just looked like God was going to take him home and it’s hard to explain unless maybe you’ve been there [00:16:00] and, and I think that you have been, but when you come to that place of surrender, it really is, there’s a peace of knowing that God is still faithful and that we must wait on him.

Right. Psalm 27 14 says, wait on the Lord. Be strong. Be courageous. Wait on the Lord to two times. Wait on the Lord. We’re bookended. And that’s really what we had to do. And so we came to this point where Jarrett was very, very sick. They put him into a drug induced coma. They temporarily paralyzed him so they wouldn’t fight against the ventilator.

And they really told us they were doing every life saving measure that they could do to try to save his life. So he was in a coma for about three days. We didn’t leave his side. We just sat next to him and prayed over him. And our doctors called a care conference for us with all of the specialists after this little time of him being in a coma.

And I remember walking into the room and everyone was in tears in this [00:17:00] conference room where we were meeting all of his doctors, all of his nurses, and we knew that their attempts for saving his life had not worked. And so we sat down and our neonatologist, the head doctor of the preemie said to us.

Guys, we have done everything possible, and it’s not working. There’s nothing left for us to do. We need to wean him out of this coma, and when we do that, his carbon dioxide will get very high, and he will slip into a coma and die. His carbon dioxide level had reached 125, which a normal level was between 35 and 45.

So, you know, we’re familiar with carbon monoxide poisoning. This was carbon dioxide and it was poisoning him and his lungs weren’t exchanging that and it was killing him. And she said, when we wean him out of these medications, it’s going to get very high again. And he will, he will slip into a coma and pass away.

We asked that day about a heart lung transplant. His lungs were so diseased. They told us on x ray they looked like an 80 year old with emphysema who’d smoked [00:18:00] their whole life. They were black with disease. He was just a few months old. And because he was struggling to breathe, his heart was being damaged. And we were told That he had irreparable heart damage.

And so we knew all of these things. And we said, what about a heart lung transplant? Is there anything? And our pulmonologist said, he’s just too frail and he would never survive that. And besides all of that, if some miracle happened and he did survive and it would take a miracle, he will have no quality of life.

Those were his exact words to us. He will have no quality of life. He will never walk. He will never talk. He’ll be on life support in a wheelchair. In an institution, his whole life, if he, by some miracle survives.

Kelly: Wow. And yeah, not good news. Everything was… I love that the Lord brought y’all to a place of deep surrender where his peace can guard in a way that is supernatural. That’s what the Bible says. Yes,[00:19:00] and so he prepared y’all to hear that news. And, as you heard it, I know you guys were still believing God for the impossible. You were still believing him for Jarrett’s life. So take us to the conclusion of this miraculous story where he, where all the doctors were stunned.

Ginger: Well, at that meeting, they told us we had one more option as we’re taking all of this in, he’s going to have severe cerebral palsy, all these things we hadn’t even heard before.

And our lead doctor said, you do have one more option. And I remember feeling a little bit of hope, like, okay, we can try one more thing. And she said, you can take him off of life support and just let him go now. And she said, you’re, you know, everything will be over. You can go home to your other kids. He’s not going to survive.

He would pass very quickly. And this is not something you ever think you’re going to face as a parent, having a physician, ask you to take your child off of life support. And Joel and I looked at each other for just a second. We had already discussed this. I’m so thankful [00:20:00] for the way, like you said, that God had prepared us for this moment.

And we looked at each other, we shook our heads and we said, you know, you said it would take a miracle. We know who does that. So we are going to continue to pray for him and we’re going to wait and we’re going to see what God does. So we’re leaving them on life support. And if God takes him home, we are at peace with that, but we’re not taking him off.

And so we left that meeting. We called our family together and my family drove back in from Kansas and Joel’s family. Emily from the other side of the mountains. And we just, they put us into a quiet room with Jared and we just prayed over him, my dad and Joel and Joel’s dad were elders and they’re different churches and they anointed him and prayed over him asking God to heal his lungs.

And after about 72 hours, they, they were weaning the medications out of his body. They were expecting him to pass away very quickly. And as he started to wake up and started to kind of look around the room, they took a blood gas and they sent it to the lab. And when it came back, it was, instead [00:21:00] of being well over a hundred, like they expected, it was almost normal.

It was 55. It was the lowest it had been in his entire life. So his lungs were working. They were exchanging gases. And he started to wake up and look around and. Our doctors kept saying, don’t get your hopes up. It’s just the body does weird things. And we were like it’s too late. Our hopes are up. So we really believe God is working in this.

And one of our nurses had been gone. And when she left over the holidays, as this happened right after Christmas, when she left, Jared was in a coma and he was dying. And when she came back, his eyes were open. He was looking around. It wasn’t long before he was smiling and she just said he was at the gate and somebody said, go back.

And she said, I don’t know what you people are praising or praying or whatever it is you’re doing, but you better keep it up because the journey is not over yet. And she was right. It was very long and hard. Jarrett was in the hospital for over a year before he came home. We almost lost him several more times after [00:22:00] that, even after he came home, he was on life support for about four years.

So we had 24 hour nursing care in our home. This was a long, long, hard journey, but that little boy that they said would never walk, never talk, do anything with his life is an exceptional young man today. He is 27. He is a marathon runner.

Kelly: No way.

Ginger: Yes. He just ran his first marathon. And and the reason that’s so significant, I should have shared this, but when we were sitting around that table at one point, one of our pulmonologists was telling us how diseased his lungs were, how he just would never be able to do anything, do sports or, and he said he’ll never run a marathon.

That’s for sure.

Kelly: Oh, my goodness.

Ginger: And Jarrett has heard that story his whole life. And there’s just something in here that in him, that’s like, Oh, really, you really, he loves to run. And so, yeah, he just ran his first marathon at an [00:23:00] exceptional time just a few months ago.

Kelly: So I can just see him going, you just watch me.

Ginger: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. He is determined. And you know what? So far beyond. More beyond that, more important than that is he loves the Lord with all of his heart and he’s just an encouragement to us. So that’s yeah, that’s, that’s Jarrett’s story.

Kelly: I love that story and I just am cheering him on. We’re celebrating Jared. Oh man. That’s right. The marathoner. Yes. I would like for you to just highlight some of the ways he struggled along the way with school, with other things, because you know, there’s a lot of us moms out there who have special needs kids and I, I think that would help us.

Ginger: Yes. Yes, Jarrett definitely has a lot of special needs. I would say physically there are a few kind of leftovers, very, very mild CP that maybe makes things a little harder for him in some ways physically. But more than that, the just the developmental delay when you spend the [00:24:00] first four years of your life just trying to survive and breathe.

He didn’t learn to talk or eat by mouth until he was kindergarten age, so that was all very delayed. He had really severe brain bleeds. And there was a time after the miracle, after all that happened when he was still in the hospital, that his trach plugged and he was dead for over five minutes.

Wow. He was, he was gone. He had no heartbeat. And so there was very severe trauma to his brain during that time, a lot of seizures and tremors. And he doesn’t have seizures and tremors anymore, but he is left with the after effects of, you know, having the oxygen deprivation to his brain. And so school has been extremely hard.

He was held back many times. He didn’t graduate until he was I think 20 or 21. And So things are very difficult for him. His eyes are really bad. He can’t drive. He’ll never be able to drive. He has severe strabismus. So his eye, his eyes won’t hold still, which makes reading very difficult for [00:25:00] him. But he’s still determined to do it.

So he’s, you know, he’s very, very special. He does have a lot of challenges and he works at the local Christian school that he graduated from. It is his happy, safe place. He loves it so much. He assists in the kitchen. He helps within our church family and then he works out here on our farm. And so he’s just a huge, huge blessing to us.

Kelly: He’s a light, a light of joy.

Ginger: Yes. Yeah. Very joyful and very, and understands his limitations. And you know, there’s even been times where he’d say, mom, do I not understand that because of what happened to my brain? He’s just very upfront about it. And I’m like, yeah, it’s just harder for you, buddy. And that’s okay.

Kelly: The thing I love about him is not only how courageous he is, but he has not let this mark his soul with shame. He continues to just be confident in who he is as a child of God and walk in his giftedness and serve in that place.

Ginger: Yes. [00:26:00] I get, I really get a kick out of him. He just kind of has come into his own of like knowing his boundaries and his limitations and just being okay with it.

Kelly: Yeah, there’s another story I want to get to. There was one moment when a doctor saw him years later, right? And looked at his films, looked at his history, and then he saw him in person. Can you talk about that moment?

Ginger: Yes, I love this story. So this was at Johns Hopkins University.

This is like, When Jarrett just had gotten his trach out. So he was around five years old. He still had a feeding tube. He didn’t eat by mouth at all. So he had a lot of oral aversion and had gone through lots of therapy and we weren’t getting anywhere. And because he wasn’t eating by mouth, he wasn’t speaking either.

And that’s very typical if you don’t use those muscles. So we got him into a program. It took us a year to get into this program at Johns Hopkins. It was a special program for feeding and all of this. And so we were in this program and they had done brain, Scans to just make sure there wasn’t a reason [00:27:00] that Jarrott couldn’t eat physically because of his brain.

And I was standing at Johns Hopkins with this neurologist who had never met Jarrott before. He only could see his brain. And so his scan is up on the wall. Jared is standing next to me and the doctor is pointing at different things in Jarret’s brain saying This is why your son can’t walk.

This is, you know, telling me all these different things about Jarret’s brain and and then Jarrett just started hopping up and down right next to me. And the doctor looked at him and said, this isn’t your son, right? This is someone else’s child that’s with you. And I just laughed. I said, no, sir. I said this, this right here, this is Jarrett.

And he just, his jaw just dropped. And he said, that cannot be Jarrett because this kid. Can’t walk this child, cannot walk. This is the part of his brain that says it can’t, he can’t walk. And I’m like, Nope, this is Jarrett and he can walk and he can run. And he just, he was just astounded. And it was so funny because a social worker was nearby and she said, this is such a great Testament to how great a parents you guys are.[00:28:00]

And I just laughed. I said, no ma’am, this is God, nothing to do with us. This is God. And the neurologist said, this is definitely God. There is no other explanation. And he said, can I take his scans and show my colleagues? I’m like, you bet. Tell it, tell the story.

Kelly: That’s amazing. I love that. Oh gosh. So encouraging.


Ginger: We never, we never know what God can do, what he’s going to do. Right. Yeah. We serve a big God and our stories don’t all end like that. There’s lots and lots of stories, even within my own life that haven’t ended with that amazing, you know, grand finale firecracker ending. It’s been hard and it’s been not the answer that I wanted.

And I know we all go through that, but we do need to hear. Stories of hope because God is big and we need to pray big prayers and trust him to do the best thing for our life, even when it’s not the answer that we want to [00:29:00] know that he is able, he’s able to do what he promised.


So, you know the story of Abraham, I was just reading a little bit of it this morning in Romans four.

that he hoped against hope, right? I mean, he’s an old, old guy and God’s still promising him a child that says, you know, hit Sarah’s womb was dead. Abraham’s body was as good as dead. I love how blunt the scripture is. So like these there in their nineties, they’re not going to have a child, but Abraham continued to hope against hope because he knew it says in that passage that God was Able to do what he promised and that’s where we need to be in our walk with the Lord and in our faith is knowing that God is able to do anything and he’s able to do what he promised.


Kelly: I spent years in that scripture because the tendency when you keep looking at the hard things that continue to happen, it can just whittle away at your hope and it can diminish your view of God and diminish [00:30:00] your view of what God’s going to do what he wants to do. to do. And so to sit in that story and just remember God is God of the impossible.

He loves to delight us with doing impossible things in our lives. It really opened my mind to the bigness and goodness of God and took me from a place where I had settled. I was kind of in a place where I was settling for the least God could do rather than the best he could do. Mm hmm.

Ginger: I think that can be our tendency at times, for sure.

Kelly: Yeah. Well, I want you to take us into another part of your journey. So, years ago, we were on the phone. I had always had so much fun connecting with you. And I remember you said to me, Kelly, the only reason you want to talk to me is because all the things that happened in my life, make you feel better about your life.

That was not true. That was not!

Ginger: totally sounds like me.

Kelly: So, but the reason I always have loved connecting with you is that you have walked through suffering and you have connected with God’s heart [00:31:00] in that place. And so it’s always encouraging. The two of us would laugh about all the crazy hard in our lives and we would praise God together.

I was talking to you about the new book you were writing. And you were telling me about this crazy medical issue you went through that I, it almost took your life. I’d like you to talk about that. Yes,

Ginger: that was really a weird season and a really, really hard season in a different way. I had, we toured full time and this was our, you know, our full time thing with Joel and I, both in our family.

And I started in probably like 2014 or so to just not feel very good. And I just remember thinking, I just must be getting old. You know, it’s must be what it feels like to get old. I’m tired. I would have to rest a lot between events. And we were doing like a Friday, Saturday women’s conference and then Sunday morning concerts and then Sunday evening concerts, and I would just barely make it through.

My body was exhausted and I was finding a lot of [00:32:00] cognitive deficit and things like that. Everything was so hard. And so we kind of quit doing things full time. I just told Joel, I said, I don’t know what’s going on, but I just, I just can’t do it anymore. And so we kind of shifted gears and I started having a lot of pain in my left side and I would go in and I talked to my doctor and I’m like, this weird flank pain, it comes and goes, it’s not always there, but please like do a sonogram, look at it.

They did sonograms. They did an MRI. There’s just nothing there. There’s nothing there. And it finally got to the point I, I changed doctors. And I said, something is wrong and I don’t know what it is, but , my kidney area hurts. They did another MRI with contrast this time. And he called me. I remember I was Christmas shopping with my mom.

Okay. You’re going to see the humor in this Christmas shopping with my mom. It was right before the Christmas season. And my doctor called and said, I know what’s wrong with you. And I said, okay, what, what is it? He called me on my cell phone in the middle of Target. What is wrong with me? He says, you have nutcracker syndrome.

[00:33:00] I was like, what? Like, are you making stuff up right now?

Kelly: Just because it’s Christmas…..

Ginger: Yeah, exactly. And our doctor’s kind of a friend and I was just like, he’s messing with me. And he laughed and he said, no, that’s really what it’s called. Your left kidney vein. is being compressed like a nutcracker between your aorta, abdominal aorta and your superior mesenteric artery.

And so there’s a little, just a little junction there that should have had a wider spot for my vein to be, and it was narrow. And it was crushing my kidney vein and causing a lot of issues and a lot of pain. My doctor didn’t know very much about it.

The radiologist just caught it. And so, I was sent on to another surgery surgeon, they were going to do a stent. And then we found out that was a terrible option. The stents migrate and tear your kidney up. And so I, I’m trying to make my story fast because there’s so many details, but. I reached a point in February of that year.

I was diagnosed right before [00:34:00] Christmas. We were trying to figure out what to do. I was getting worse. And I reached a point where I passed out while I was driving. And when I came to in the ER, my words were slurred like I’d had a stroke. I had all of the signs and symptoms of a stroke. I had severe cognitive deficit and they thought for sure that I had had a stroke and I had not, but that became kind of my daily.

I started to stutter. I would sound like I was impaired like I’d been drinking or something. A lot of the time I would slur. I couldn’t drive anymore. And I became basically homebound and it was a really, really dark time for me. Because I, I was, I had all these women’s conferences planned, I had to cancel everything, I, I could not walk from my couch to the bathroom, I would have to crawl because my blood pressure would plummet and I would pass out.

So, I mean, I just, life was just, came to a screeching halt. I ended up having to go to Mayo. They [00:35:00] reconfirmed my diagnosis and told me that because my blood was trying to go the wrong way because the blood flow was cut off, that was causing what’s called dysautonomia or autonomic dysfunction of my nervous system.

And they did not know if it would ever get better. In fact, they told me it probably would not. So I asked at that time if they could remove my kidney and that was not an option. But my surgical options were not good. They almost always failed.

And then they said, if these options fail, then we will remove your kidney. And I said, why wouldn’t we just remove it first, because you can live just fine with one kidney and they just wouldn’t do it. And so, you know, I did the next logical thing. I came home and Joel and I prayed about it and I started applying to transplant centers to donate my kidney.

Kelly: Wow. You’re gonna show them, right

Ginger: know I wanted it out and the kidney was totally healthy, but the vein part of the vein was not. That’s all that was wrong. And so it’s a long story, but, and I was told it would not cure me that I would still be, [00:36:00] but I knew that it was going to progressively get worse. And so in August of 2016, I was able to donate my kidney to a kindergarten teacher in Oklahoma who had really been given a death sentence and had been told because of her special circumstances that she would not get a donor for probably five years and wouldn’t live that long.

So she was in a very desperate situation. She was begging God for a kidney and the Lord prepared my little nutcracker kidney just for her. So I. As I donated though when they cut into my kidney vein I almost bled out because of the pressure in my kidney. And so that’s, that was a very, a very scary time and scary for my husband who got that news that I had had so much bleeding in surgery.

And it was a very, very long, hard recovery, but within probably two weeks of starting after surgery, when I was kind of starting to. However, I started to notice that some of my neurological symptoms were getting better. And so it’s been, it’s not [00:37:00] perfect. I still have days. It’s very hard for me to drive.

And there’s certain things that trigger my nervous system to kind of malfunction. And I just have learned I have to rest. If I’m having one of those days, I, I put myself to bed and it’s okay. And I don’t feel sad about it. And I just get through it and the next day I’ll be better. So I’m learning to, to deal with that and be patient with, with myself through that, even though it’s hard, I’m kind of a type a, as you can tell.

And I like to get things done and not be slowed down. And the Lord, the Lord slows me down.

Kelly: Wow. That is such a crazy story. I mean, see, this is why you guys, this is why I like to talk to ginger because I just, I can’t believe the things that happened in her life, but I, when we used to send our Christmas letters out to people, we would get people that said, we always read your Christmas letters first, because we can’t believe all the things that can happen to one family in one year.


Ginger: our, yeah, ours were the same. Yeah, I know. And people just, our friends just started [00:38:00] calling it a Millerman. You’re just having a Millerman, you know, we just, we had to say they have a saying for us. So yeah. And it’s a real you know, it was just a very weird diagnosis. And I think it’s like 0. 013 percent of the population has it.

It’s. Just very rare.

Kelly: Wow. Yeah. And you, could have lived with that and never been diagnosed. Thank you, God. Yes. He showed you a way through. Yes. And I love that whole redemption story too, where your kidney gave life to somebody else. It’s beautiful.

Ginger: It was probably one of the best moments of my life for real walking into at five days after surgery.

Being allowed to go into the room of the lady who had my kidney. She wanted to meet me. And her mom was sitting next to her bed, reading her Bible. And her mom stood up and said, thank you for saving my baby’s life.

Kelly: Oh,

Ginger: like this mama had been praying that God would save her daughter’s life. And God prepared me to be able to do that. So I, I just feel really blessed. I think it’s so amazing how God [00:39:00] works and answers prayer.

Kelly: Wow. That is amazing.

I’m thinking about people who have the big pile of ongoing difficulties, and it’s almost too much for people. They don’t quite know what to do with you with your story. I’d love for you just to speak about the things that people said that helped, . And maybe just a moment of the things that weren’t.

Ginger: Well, for sure. The things that weren’t were like that we didn’t have enough faith. Like I mentioned earlier.

One of the things that I will never forget.

I just remember when we got a really bad diagnosis for Jarrett at some point in there, my mom saying to me, we will do it together., That’s one of the things that was really helpful for me

there were several people that would come alongside whether it was friends or family that was like, you’re not in this by yourself. You’re not in this alone. We’re going to do this together and that gave me the courage in some ways to just keep taking the next step and doing the next thing. And that’s helpful because I think that we can be [00:40:00] reminded to do that for other people.

Right. That when we see someone going through those overwhelming, really hard things, we can come alongside and say, look, I’m here with you in this. And so let’s do it together. We’ll do this together. And so I, that really meant a lot to me. I knew my mama would always be with me and help me in that. But for her to just verbalize that, like, Hey, we’re doing this together.

You’re not alone. And I think that’s something that we can do for other people.

Kelly: I agree. I think that’s really, really helpful when someone says I’m in this with you no matter what. Yes. Not going to walk away. And that’s a characteristic of God that strengthens us so much. He will never leave us, never forsake us.

So when we hear that from friends that say, Hey, I’m going to be that person that never walks away, no matter what I’m here for you and we’re going through it together. That’s a huge help. Yeah. I’d love for you to leave us with just a nugget of hope, something that has held you and Joel and your family over the years.

Ginger: I think that meditating for me, [00:41:00] meditating on the faithfulness of God and remembering his faithfulness in the past when I’m going through something that’s really hard right now and and I encourage, I, I know you mentioned earlier, but I’m a biblical counselor. And one of the things that I deal with a lot with women is anxiety and, and fear and things like that.

One of the things I encourage them to do is go to the word, read Psalm 77. Psalm 77 is this passage where Asaph is struggling, they’re going through something really difficult and he’s like crying out to the Lord in despair, like in despair of his life. And then partway through the passage, he just kind of stops in his tracks and he says, I will.

Remember he and he says it several times. I’d love to read it for you but he just says I will remember and he starts to go through the things that God had already done and he you could just see him kind of like putting a stake in the ground and Determining that he’s going to remember what God has already [00:42:00] done and he’s going to rest in that Instead of being worried about this instead of being in despair.

Wait, he stops in his tracks. He pivots Which is what we have to do with our anxious thoughts that are just taking us everywhere. We don’t need to go. We have to stop. We have to pivot and focus on the faithfulness of God and what he’s already done. And so that’s really been an encouragement to me when things start to get overwhelming or I start to feel like maybe God is not going to do what I want him to do in this circumstance or in this trial.

Wait a minute. I’m going to sit here and I’m going to pivot and I’m going to remember what God has already done in the past because I know that he’s able and I know that he’s faithful. I know his mercies are new every morning. And so we go back to the promises of God and that’s where we dwell and meditate and rest.

Kelly: So, good, thank you ginger. So people can connect with you at ginger millerman dot com. They can connect through your website to your Facebook pages

Ginger: yes.

Gingermillerman. com. My email is info at [00:43:00] gingermillerman. com. A lot of my music is on YouTube and Spotify and those sorts of things. And

your books.

Yes. My books. Everything we need, his strength for our journey and grace thus far, those are available on my website as well.

Kelly: Wonderful. Well, I think you need to send me that second one.

Ginger: Oh, you don’t have that.


I think you definitely need it. Yes. I will do that.

Kelly: Wonderful. Thank you. Well, thanks so much for being here today. What a blessing. Yes.

Ginger: Yes. It’s been really fun and it’s so nice to see you again.

Kelly: You too.

If you were encouraged in your faith today, it’d be great if you’d help get the word out by subscribing, sharing with a friend, or leaving a review. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out through my website, kellyhall. org, and pick up some free resources while you’re there. Thanks for listening to the Unshakable Hope Podcast.

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