Sometimes I have to look down at the scars as a reminder that it happened. In many ways the whole experience feels surreal. It's hard to believe I actually went through with it, as I navigated forward from that first prompting, waded through my own resistance, and ultimately wheeled into the operating room. It was hard to comprehend God asking this of me. The girl, who upon coming to faith in her 20's said she'd do anything the Father asked of her to bring Him glory. And yet when He asked, I had to face the reality of what I was actually feeling...was anything, but this.
I think that's one of the reasons I needed to pull back from the celebration when the news started becoming public. We have a way of wanting to promote people to hero status when we hear stories of sacrifice. Yet, it was never lost on me who the real hero of this story actually was. God loves Alan, and He asked me to help show that love in the form of a kidney. It has always been His plan to show His love in sacrificial ways.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Shortly after coming to faith in Christ in my 20's, I felt prompted to leave my corporate career and join a local urban youth ministry. At that point, I barely knew the God of the Bible, but He sure seemed to know me. As I naively went about making the decision, which would have significant social, financial, and future implications, I remember having one thought that ultimately drove me. "If the Creator of the universe, God Almighty, asks you to do something, even if it doesn't make sense, you do it, right?" I can't pretend that I've always discerned the voice of God correctly - I'm sure I've gotten it wrong a time or two. But at the end of my life, I can imagine sitting face-to-face with Jesus, finally able to talk with Him, as I would a friend, reflecting back over my life on earth from a different vantage point. And I don't want to have ever knowingly told Him no. I can imagine sitting with Him and Him asking me why I didn't leave that corporate career or why I didn't donate the kidney...when I knew that's what God was inviting me to. And what would I say? I imagine stumbling over my words about my fears of financial security and health until they slowly fade into silence. I imagine the look of His all-knowing, loving eyes. As the scene plays in my imagination, I know I would be met by grace, but all the same...that's simply not the conversation I want to have. I want to have said yes. I want to have trusted His goodness and His plan.
I want to have trusted all of my fears, expectations, and outcomes into His hands. What if I can't financially support myself? What if I regret leaving my corporate career? What if the kidney doesn't take? What if there are negative implications to my health? Most of the what-ifs that paralyze us never come to fruition. And even those that do, God intimately meets us there.
One year later, as Alan and I texted back and forth on the anniversary of our surgery, he shared that it had been 156 dialysis treatments that he hadn't had to endure. That's a gift from a Heavenly Father who loves him.
Let's keep saying yes.
This started as a private blog to help document my kidney donation journey and the theological, biblical, and ethical considerations for organ donation. It is shared with you here in hopes it might help with your own journeys of discernment and surrender.