I remember the first time I felt new life stir within me when expecting our first child over thirty-five years ago. I likened it to the fluttering feeling of holding a guppy in my hand as a child. The womb once empty now stirred with new life. It’s hard to explain, and something only those who have experienced it can know.
|My daughter and me|
I remember as well the moment I sat up in my I.C.U. bed two days after my liver transplant. The heavy meds had worn off, all the tubes and lines removed. New life now pulsed within me as doctors removed my dying liver, giving me a new one, a soft one. I couldn’t believe how “alive” I felt…how “together” I felt…how “whole” I felt. It is hard to explain, and something only those who have experienced it can know. (Click here to read My Transplant Story)
(Left: This picture is one taken after one of my rejections. I did not have any pics taken after transplant, but looked very similar to this one...YELLOW! )
I remember the morning when the earth stood still, the mountains bowed down, and the trees clapped their hands--at least in the realm of my heart. The morning I sat at my kitchen table with the Bible I had owned for years, but never ventured to read. The moment the words of Christ leaped from the page of my Bible and into my heart. (Matt. 16:15)
New life formed within me as God removed my heart of stone and gave me a new heart of flesh. (Ezek. 11:19) I couldn’t believe how “alive” I felt...how “together” I felt…how “whole” I felt. It is hard to explain, and something only those who have experienced it can know.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV)
If I were to put these events into chronological order, my salvation experience preceded my transplant by ten years. Some have assumed my faith was born out of my illness, but truly, it was because of His gracious and timely gift to me of new life in Him that I was able to endure such a difficult and lengthy experience with strength and grace far greater than my own. He prepared a table of blessing and mercy before me in the presence of grave illness, and anointed my head with healing oil. (Ps. 23:5)
Glory to God!
I tell people I feel as though I have three birthdays: the day I was physically born, the day I was born again to new life in Christ, and the day God gave me new physical life through organ transplant on August 8, 2001.
“The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
Every year on the 8th of August, we celebrate my liver birthday! I am forever mindful, however, of my donor and his family and though I have yet to meet the family, I continue to lift them in prayer for continued comfort in the loss of their loved one. We also are forever mindful of those who lifted us in prayer and support, as God used them, perhaps even you, to bring help to us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:16) We love you! God bless you abundantly!
God knew me before He formed me in my mother’s womb, and knew the thoughts and plans He had for me. He knew of my illness before I did, and of how He would work all things together for my good and His glory. Truly, He could have healed me instantaneously, with no need for transplant. I indeed prayed for that, as did many others. However, I learned far more in affliction than I ever could in healing. For that, I am truly grateful.
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Your statutes.” (Ps. 119:71)
Life consists of many blessings as well as sufferings, and there is an appointed time for everything. But God wastes nothing, and when we fix our eyes on Christ, who is our hope, no matter what life brings, He enables us to rise again to new life, life abundant…exceeding abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think. (Eph. 3:20) We truly can be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”. (Rom. 12:12)
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
Sovereign Lord, You reign over all the heavens and earth. You spun our world into existence and formed us in our mother’s wombs. All praise and glory and honor to You, God. Thank you Father, for blessing us with gifts we did not deserve, for abundant life we did not create on our own, and new life, eternal life through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life—our Life, our Hope, and our Healer. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen and amen.
"The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name." Luke 1:49