“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:22)
A week ago, we received the news that my mother would not be a match for my fiancé’s kidney transplant. She, along with so many others, have not been a match. On May the 25th, we marked one year of his kidney failing…again. We have prayed and pleaded with God this past year, many nights of overwhelming frustration, many tears and moments of hopelessness, many a battle with discouragement and depression. He’s had more difficulty sleeping, eating, and just simply participating in the day-to-day. I’ve watched his faith as it’s been tested. It has been a road of ups-and-downs, of waiting, hoping, trusting. We have talked over our plans for the future, what life will be like after the transplant, how wonderful it will be to have the “real” Jeremy back, to not have to hook up to a machine for ten hours each night, to not have a tube inside his stomach 24/7, to have more energy, more opportunity. Things will be better, easier, more normal once a new kidney enters into our lives.
But with each rejection, this transplant seems to be moving farther and farther out of reach.
My mother called me with the news a week ago and I was not with Jeremy. I talked to her as she seems to be taken this rejection the hardest out of everyone. I started to process through what I was thinking and feeling out loud with her and it made me realize something. Something probably so crucial to this entire process.
Maybe a transplant isn’t coming.
That sounds morbid and hopeless. I understand that. But we as humans tend to have a timeline in our heads, a story plot, a way that everything can make sense and work out. God most often has a different clock running. See, to us, it would’ve been a marvelous tale. God brings us together, we become best friends and quickly fall deeply in love, all in the midst of the failing of his kidney. After months of searching with no success, my mother steps up to save the day and it’s a beautiful miracle, and everyone sobs at our wedding as my mother makes her speech about how “now we are more than just family by law” and it’s all great. In my head, it made sense that God would do something like that. It’s a wonderful idea, brings so much glory to His name, becomes a great miraculous testimony we can tell for years to come. But for the first time, a thought entered my mind, that maybe this is not what is going to happen. Maybe the picture we have in our head of the “perfect, normal life” is going to look a lot different than everyone else’s, a lot different than what we envisioned it to be.
I started meditating on this thought, and my eyes have been opened to an area in which we, as a couple, failed. We have been placing our hope in this transplant. We have put our life on pause with thoughts that everything will magically be fixed once he has a new kidney, that he can REALLY be the person God wanted him to be after he gets the healing he so desperately wants. But I’m starting to think we are missing the point of all this. I’m afraid we are so fixated on the mess that we are missing the miracles right in front of us.
Because no matter the circumstance, no matter the situation, God is with us. Have you heard this message before? Most likely.
The miracles happen every day. The prayer in the morning is, “Lord, I thank you for my life. It is good. Bless me with the strength and the energy to make it through this day to bring glory to your Holy name. Amen.” Each day Jeremy gets up, each day Jeremy WILL get up, is a walking miracle. The fact that he can smile and find joy through the suffering is the testimony that he will tell with every day of his life.
“’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
And that will be the story of this life together. We will boast of our weaknesses for the sake of Christ’s strength to shine through us. We do not want to let this disease prevent us from living the life God intended us to live. For THAT would be the real tragedy. Jeremy was gifted beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I am ready to see Christ use that despite his sickness. I am ready to watch as God uses this physical weakness of Jeremy’s to strengthen him in ways that no other could comprehend. I am ready to stand by his side as Christ is exemplified throughout his every day actions, and words.
I no longer want to put my hope, our hope, in a worldly solution. I no longer want to find our security, our purpose, our comfort in health. For just as everything else in this world, it will fail us. Three kidneys have failed him thus far, so why would we trust that a fourth will be the answer to all our ailments? Our hope must be placed in the ultimate Healer, Comforter, Refuge. He will never fail us. He will never fail Jeremy. He may bring about a new kidney, he may not. I know God will heal Jeremy, whether that is during his time on earth or when he is embraced by our sweet Lord I do not know, but we will continue to live our lives to glorify God, we will continue to place our trust in Him who is unfailing, we will continue to find joy amidst the hardship, and we will move forward with a renewed sense of purpose as we take up our cross daily. I trust God knows better than I. I trust God loves better than I. I trust God to take care of Jeremy better than I. And today, I am choosing to live in light of that.
Transplant or not, God, you reign.
Transplant or not, God, you are in control.
Transplant or not, God you love us.
Transplant or not, God, our hope is in you.
Amen and Amen.
There is not a man out there I would rather spend the rest of my life with. I am beyond stoked to see where God leads us, teaches us, grows us. Jeremy has already shown me the love of Christ so tangibly, I am thrilled to see in what areas God will teach me more about His character through my amazing soon-to-be hubs. Prayers are always appreciated, and we definitely could not do it alone. As great as this message sounds in theory, it will be tough to live out day to day. We need YOU. Yes, you reading this. So, stick around as we set off on this new adventure of MARRIAGE (coming at you January 2019).