As I look at my journal laid out before me, the journey feels much longer than the dated entries I've gone back to record. Perhaps that's the way of the journeys that really matter, they start long before we are ever aware.
As best as I can recollect the timeline, it started for me when I read the following Facebook post on November 25th, 2020 by Karen Ward, Alan's mother:
There has to be someone out there that reads this post that is inspired to be a life saver for you, Alan. I pray for a donor to step forward. Six years is an eternity to be connected to those machines. And thank God for them keeping you alive. Please world, my son needs a kidney. There has got to be a live donor match for you soon.
I remember reading the post and immediately being moved by the plea. I was vaguely familiar with Alan's situation. Alan's mom is a good friend of my mother-in-law and they both live in Kansas, about 6 hours away. But through the friendship, I've naturally heard bits and pieces of Alan's story and the plight of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), but I hadn't given it much thought. Alan lives in Texas and I had only met him once before when we were all in Kansas for the holidays, visiting our respective families. While the visit was nice, it was also ordinary.
But when I read the post that day, something in my spirit shifted and I had a strange thought..."I wonder if I should consider being the donor?" But it was a thought that was as easily dismissed...as it had arrived. After all, I knew virtually nothing about PKD, living donation, or most importantly...Alan.
And so...that's where I can trace the beginning of this journey. And yet, I sense I've dropped into one of those journeys that really matter, a journey that started long ago.
As I went back to that November post today, to confirm the date and content, a comment beneath the post caught my attention. An encouragement to Alan from Carol, my mother-in-law:
Alan, I pray daily for that perfect kidney and ask how long do we have to wait for it. Then I am reminded that God’s timing is perfect so we continue to pray and ask as He promises, “Ask and ye shall receive.”