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TEN: Atkinson


Terra and her husband, Ben, started attending CrossTown Church in January 2007, the first week the church met at Bolingbrook High School.

“Back then,” Terra said, “we had all the answers.” The couple had two girls, Kealey and Karissa, and a third daughter, Kaylen, was on the way. But they had no idea how much life would change in the next few years. Before Kaylen was a year old, Terra found out she was pregnant again.

She described it as “a quiet pregnancy” and was caught by surprise when Baby Kendall was born with trouble breathing and severe reflux. Kendall spent her first two weeks in the neo-natal unit, but her medical issues didn’t improve once she got home.

The last three years have been a journey that has included countless trips to the doctor, numerous hospital stays and learning to care for Kendall’s medical needs at home. Doctors have diagnosed Kendall with “mitochondrial disease,” which is a genetic condition.

Terra said the church has supported them by providing meals, helping with the other girls when Terra has to stay in the hospital with Kendall and just checking on them to see how they are doing. But even more than that, the prayers of the church body have kept their family going during the most difficult times.

“I can usually tell instantly when people have hit their knees,” Terra said. “And I tell people when they say, ‘Sorry, all we can do is pray,’ that is one of the biggest things you can do.”

Terra said her family has learned to be thankful for the little things in life they might have taken for granted otherwise.  “God’s answers aren’t always the happy endings,” she said. “But they are the best answers you can hope for.”


Click here to watch her full story.

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