* I'm so honored today to have my friend Julie write a guest blog for me. Julie and I have been friends since 2003 when we started leading online Bible studies together. Julie lives in California and is a homeschooling mom for the last 9 years to her 2 great kids. She has walked through an incredibly difficult journey with her husband's kidney failure but she and her family walked through that valley with their eyes fixed on Jesus. She is sharing her story here with us today. Please be sure to visit her blog Just Jules! You will enjoy getting to know Julie, her family and see first hand the miracles of God.
In 2007, my husband was diagnosed with End Stage Renal failure. He was 31 years old and had suffered as a Type 1 diabetic for over 20 years. He hadn’t wanted to turn 30 and I didn’t understand why? His father had received the same diagnosis at the same age, that was why.
We immediately got on our knees and prayed for God to lead us. For many years, I had actually laid in bed praying over Marty’s kidneys before diagnosis. I know God heard my prayers but his will for us was different than my will for us. Instead of growing angry with God or turning from him, we clung to him. We prayed for his will to be done in this situation. A dear friend called me and told me that God would be glorified in this situation. Another friend told us to give God the glory in every office and appointment we went to.
We prayed Philippians 4:7- 9 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
God carried us through and led the way. He directed our paths and footsteps. In November of 2008 my husband was listed at Stanford for a Kidney/Pancreas transplant and our wait began.
Waiting on the Lord was hard. We were praying that my husband would never have to go on dialysis but that was not to be. I will never forget having what I now call “A Grand hissy fit before God” on the day we found out. I didn’t understand why that had to happen. I wanted to be in control and God said, “no”. It was hard to swallow at the time. Still, I clung to God and his promise to work all things for good, even seeing my husband suffer.
Throughout that time, we grew closer as husband and wife. Our children grew closer to us as parents. We learned to say ”no” to more social activities and “yes” to more time at home as a family. We learned to cherish each day and really not worry about tomorrow.
During this time we had people pray for our donor family. It would be their sacrifice to give my husband life. We prayed for them to be Christians and for the donor to know Jesus. We prayed they would have special times together and that God would strengthen them.
We were told my husband would wait one year. One year turned into two years and two years turned into three years. Everyday we waited over the promised one year was sheer struggle. I learned what it meant to be carried by God and to lean on him.
In November of 2010, I got a phone call from a friend who said that she felt God was telling her we would get a phone call in 72 hours. At the end of 72 hours, another friend called bawling saying she heard God say everything was in place and time was soon. On December 17th Our ten year old daughter came running, scared and pale in the face to tell us God said it would be in a month.
January 11th, 2011 As we were cooking dinner, the call came. The wait was over and our life was about to change. On January 12th, at six in the morning the doctor came in to talk about the surgery that day. She told us, the donor was a teenager and immediately, I understood. Everyday of that three year waited didn’t matter anymore. God was giving someone else, more time to live.
1 Corinthians 2:9
However, as it is written:
We never fathomed the miracle that God was going to perform. We never understood what this side of transplant would look like. We couldn’t see what God was doing. Sometimes, we need to look past ourselves and realize that God is in control and sovereign over our lives.
We may not understand what he is doing and why we must face trials and tribulations. I know what Paul means when he says “ Count it great joy” when you face trials.
Our trials made us better people, drew us closer to the Lord and allowed us to be used to glorify himself and his kingdom. Count it great joy, you may not understand and God may just be using you to glorify himself.