April 25, 2015
The first time I gave any thought to donating a kidney occurred prior to, August 1, 2014. Over the course of the next eight months, what was only a thought shifted shapes and became more like a whisper. At first it washed over me and was gone. By the end of that eight month period, it was still a whisper but it rarely left me. It was a continuous insistent voice.
It began in the summer of 2014, when my cousin stepped up and asked to be tested as a possible donor. This was the first time I thought of donating my kidney to my uncle. At this point, I still had never heard the term “living donor.” In August my cousin had a terrible auto accident and could no longer be considered a viable donor. In August what was originally just a thought, became a whisper. It was not an audible voice. It was as if someone was sitting with me and leaned over to whisper to me, “You could do this.” It came and it went, the same words, every few weeks. Sometime during late fall of 2014, the whisper grew more insistent. Christmas came and went. I saw my uncle that Christmas holiday and still I did nothing. I said nothing. I was desperately trying to ignore what I thought surely was a misunderstanding.
By early 2015, there was another donor for my uncle. I told the whisperer, “See here’s a perfect candidate! He’s young, healthy and I’m sure a much better candidate than I am. I am fifty-six years old for crying out loud. I’m over weight and my back is a mess. I have three precious grandchildren. What if they need my kidney? Maybe one of my daughters might need a kidney, heaven forbid.” No response!
By February, the Whisperer changed one word in the same sentence I had heard for months. It left no room for denial. I had no doubt that God was prompting me. By this time, we learned the potential donor had been rejected. He went through all the testing and everyone was positive it would be a go. My aunt and uncle prepared for the transplant. Then came heart breaking news. The transplant committee voted no. In fact, they said no three times. I can’t imagine how crushing this must have been for someone on dialysis for over three years.
By this time, I was following the progress closely from another state. The day I heard this donor had been rejected for the third time, God spoke still in a whisper, “You Can do this.” Mentally and then emotionally, I agreed. I believe that the heart follows the mind. Love and hate, obedience and sin, originate in the mind first. Our hearts follow what our mind decided before hand. Simply agreeing that I could do it, I could donate a kidney brought a profound sense of peace to my spirit, my mind, and my heart. It is almost impossible to describe, because it was not human. It was not emotion, although it triggered emotions. It was bigger than self. A process had started that did not originate from me. I no longer had contradictory feelings. There was a “rightness” to whatever chain of events was being triggered by my obedience. Not a random chain of events but a plan, a blueprint was being drawn. Take one step and suddenly the next step appears! For those who don’t know me, I’m a tad obsessive-compulsive:) I have a plan or try to have a plan for every event. I like order and I don’t function well if there is clutter or chaos around me. I do think I have made a few improvements with time. I Know that God is in control and He has reminded me that, He doesn’t need my help. So, I gave up my backup plan for every plan, a few years ago:) Taking that first step is always the hardest! You step out on faith! What is incredible to me is that God meets us where we are and knows what we need. I needed order to feel safe and He gave it to me. He gave me a plan!
Within the first few days of February, I told my husband that I was thinking about donating a kidney and asked him to pray about it. This is a big decision and like all decisions and choices we make, it is not made in a vacuum. Every decision and choice we make in life has consequences. Sometimes eternal consequences. Sometimes consequences that affect generations. It was and is very important that we be in agreement regarding a decision of this magnitude. We agreed that I would ask my neurosurgeon and see where it went from there. As it happened (or was it:)), I had an upcoming appointment with him on February 6, 2015. The next step! Kathy
PS. There is a wonderful book written by Arthur Burk. It is titled, Relentless Generational Blessings. It helped clarify for me the concept of consequences. Every choice and every decision we make has them. Good or bad, each often having unintended consequences that can last for generations. We must live life with intention and purpose! I will always be grateful to my cousin and his beautiful wife for this treasure!