In life, we are dealt situations that may be either pleasant or unpleasant. I have learned over the past three years: It is not what you go through, but how you go through that makes the difference.
I remember the day very well...
It was Black Friday in November 2014. I decided to get follow-up lab work completed. The following week, I received a call from my doctor to come in to review the test results (hardly ever a good thing, right?). When my doctor informed me that my creatinine level had jumped several numbers and that my kidneys were functioning at about 25%, I became alarmed—but I also knew that God would not put more on me than I could bear.
For those who may not fully understand the seriousness of my situation, let me explain. Most women with normal kidney function have between 0.5 to 1.1 milligrams of creatinine. MINE WAS AROUND NINE! Levels of creatinine in the blood reflect both the amount of muscle a person has and their amount of kidney function. So, you can easily sense my unease from the doctor's report...
The doctor told me something had to be done immediately. Because I was active at home and in the church AND worked full-time, it was decided that home dialysis would work best for me. I had the fear of the unknown, but I trusted my doctor. We moved forward with home dialysis treatment. Over the course of the past three years, the only complaints I had about being on home dialysis were not being able to travel far from home and the numerous appointments, consisting of one every other week. Time consuming, right? Well, when it depends on your life and health, nothing should be more important!
In March 2017, my sister stepped up to the plate and wanted to get tested to see if she would be a potential living donor. The testing lasted for seven months. In October 2017, we found out that she was, indeed, a match: O-Positive! Glory to God! We were moving forward with the transplant. The testing was extensive, to include my testing that was done monthly at the dialysis clinic. I was super-excited about the transplant—and VERY prayerful because the enemy always tries to throw a monkey wrench in on things. Who here knows that our God is bigger than any devil and that what God has for you is for YOU? As for my sister, she had to go through one more major test before we could schedule the surgery.
Throughout the entire journey, I stood on Isaiah 53:4-5:
"Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed." (NKJV)
Surgery was scheduled for October 26, 2017 and was a success. PRAISE GOD! Today, both my sister and I had a speedy recovery and are doing well.
That leads me up to 'Journee'. I named my new kidney 'Journee' because, well, this has truly been a JOURNEY! God kept me and never let me go. For that, I am forever grateful. I'm even more grateful for my sister. Because of her obedience, I was given a second chance at life. Since the living donor transplantation, I have more energy and feel the best I have in three years. I will return to the workplace in due time and am tremendously grateful to God for never taking His hands off of me. Grace and mercy carried my sister and I through every step of the way. God and 'Journee' have given me a second chance at life. I'm going to live it to the fullest!
So, I encourage you today: No matter what you face in life, don't give up! I also ask that you consider being tested to be a living donor. Someone's very life may be waiting on YOU.
"Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; to him who knocked, it shall be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8, KJV).
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