God Is Good

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Truth be told, I’m not overly religious. I believe in God. I don’t debate with non-believers. I accept people whatever they choose to believe. But in times of need even those of us that aren’t very religious (I mean I go to church…some Sundays, but mornings are not easy with RA) even turn to God and pray.

I did that this week. For the past year my friend has been dying. Her kidneys were failing and her only option to live was a transplant. Many, many people were tested for to be a live donor, but my friend is a very rare match.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with her on Facebook. In the middle of our conversation she got the call that there was a kidney match and that she was second in line. If the first in line could not take the kidney for whatever reason, she would need to be prepared for surgery. I spent so much time praying, not just for my friend, but thinking of the poor family that was likely approached by a nurse of a doctor after the loss of a loved one regrind organ donation. I prayed for them, that somehow the organ donation, at some point, would give them some sort of peace that a part of their child lived on in someone else.

It wasn’t my friend’s miracle that night. The first person in line accepted the kidney. That was how it was meant to be.

Fast forward to Thursday night when I got a message from a mutual friend that she was on the way to the hospital. A kidney match was on its way. This was it. Somehow as much as I had prayed for it, it just happened so fast and it sounds so stupid but I wasn’t ready. Lord knows, it didn’t matter if I was ready for anything, but I was in a complete panic not knowing if I’d hear from her before the surgery; if I’d get to tell her I knew she was going to be fine and that I love her.

There were five of us on a group chat of Facebook and we were all in the same boat. Hoping. Praying. I didn’t sleep much but when I did wake up Friday morning she was in the hospital waiting on the kidney. I believe the first update was that it would be there at noon.

I did get to chat with her, which meant the world to me. I just needed to hear she was doing ok, though I’m sure she wasn’t. She’s so strong and I admire her strength so much. She handled all of this with grace and humor, but I know she was terrified, just as we were for her.

Later we got another update that the kidney would be there around 5pm. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Maybe I watched too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, but I assumed there would be a chopper flying the kidney in. (We’re talking across a state not across a country.) To ease our own stress, the five of us friends in waiting joked that perhaps a kid on a bike was bringing it in, or maybe it was coming by carrier pigeon. You’d be surprised what makes you laugh when you’re stressed out.

We received word that along with the kidney, another organ was coming for a different patient and that took priority so that surgery would go first and my friend’s would be immediately following. With no timeline, we were just told “later.”

I’m not sure what time it was that I randomly checked in but at that moment she said she was going in right then and needed to call her kids. What that phone call was like I can only imagine, but it was at this point that I broke down. I had been praying the whole time, but I had a serious talk with God.

My friend is a mom of two wonderful kids. They need her. She does so much for other people and she has so much living left to do. I prayed that God would not take her so soon. It was not her time.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. I needed two Xanax to calm down and sleep. It wasn’t pretty and I knew I’d be up all night. She said the surgery would be about 4-5 hours. So I slept.

The first thing I saw when I checked my phone was a picture of her stomach. She said the surgery was a success and the kidney was chugging along and working great. Relief! Happiness! I can’t even find the right words. There was my friend with her miracle.

It sounds silly after just saying I had a mini breakdown and needed Xanax, but deep down I knew she’d be okay. She was in great hands. I think it was the sheer magnitude of what was going on more so than the fear that she wouldn’t survive. I mean, of course there is always that fear as well, but I just wasn’t thinking that.

I spent so long praying that she’d get this miracle and when it finally happened and she was going in, I think every emotion hit me at once. So this blog isn’t about me today. It’s about my friend and it’s about God.

I may not be an every Sunday church-goer but I do pray. I talk to God, good or bad about how things are. I don’t think you need to go into a church to have a relationship with God, but I do believe he listens. He heard my prayers, and the prayers of many others last night and my friend has a second chance at life.

She is not out of the woods. She still needs prayers that her body doesn’t reject the new kidney and that she heals well, etc. But I have faith that she will be fine. It’s funny, someone can move many states away and you can just chat online all the time, but they can still mean so much to you. I hope she knows how much her friendship means to me.

 

 

 

 

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