Tuesday, August 19, 2008

God's in Control

I've recently been asked how God's comfort, care, and compassion during the time leading up to transplant and through the recovery process affected me and my experience through the whole journey. I have a transplant/CF "testimony/story" written out that I frequently share and some part of it are used at CF speaking engagements. It is titled "My Transplant Journey and Walk with God." First and foremost, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and his almighty power and grace.

I grew up in a Christian home, so I've always "been" a Christian and gave my life to Christ early in life. Because of my CF, and as I grew older, that relationship began to grew but was never where it needed to be. I wasn't being the best Christian I could be and definitely wasn't devoting enough time to studying God's word.

I was never a big complainer in life and dealt with my CF very well and knew God had a plan and that this disease would be a blessing later on in life. At the time, I couldn't see that, and all my energy and effort was spent trying to live as normal as of a life as possible, going in and out of the hospital, and attending a public school.

When my CF had practically taken over my entire body, a lung transplant was my only option to extend life. I knew at the time, that I wasn't ready to leave this Earth, and truly believed God wasn't ready to take me home. However, I wasn't completely sold on the fact of having a transplant either. At first, I was mad at God, questioned him, asked why me?, why now? It was not at the best time in life, and I used to say to him why couldn't it have waited just 2 months (time for me to graduate from High School). But after LOTS of praying and LOTS of emotional talks with my mother, it became evident that God wanted me to have this transplant. And once I realized that, I gained a sense of peace and had very little nervousness. I never really worried per se about the transplant. I was more anxious than anything, because I wanted my life back.

During the year leading up to transplant, it was spent on O2 24/7, constant abx, inhaled abx, pain meds, sleep meds, etc. But it was also a time that I grew a LOT closer to God. I bought books, encouraging devotions, bible studies, etc. Most were geared towards suffering and what to do in times like this. It was a scary time, but a time to also grow in my relationship with Christ.

As I'm sure a lot of you have read, the month prior to my transplant was extremely bad and scary and I was pretty much in "another world" (kind of zoned out). But I knew that if I didn't have a transplant soon, I would die. I would pray every night for the transplant. But it just didn't come. And that's why it came down to a living donor transplant or death. Because I was so "drugged up" the few weeks prior, I don't have much knowledge of being able to study God's word or being able to continue my relationship growth. I know my parents and I prayed every night. And I do remember having a positive attitude and knew that everything was going to be ok. Some how, I just knew. I had a sense of peace about it. That was a miracle from God, because he didn't let me worry...which could have made things a lot worse.

If you don't believe in miracles, then I don't think you could explain why I am here today. I wasn't supposed to live. I wasn't supposed to come out of the transplant with minimal complications. But God was with us EVERY step of the way. Both at USC and at home. So many little miracles were performed. At the time, for me, because of such a hard recovery, they were hard to see. My parents, on the other hand, could see them every day. And when I look back on the journey now, they are VERY evident.

My relationship in Christ is not where it needs to be and is by no means perfect. But it has GROWN so much over the last 5 years. I know now why God "let" me have a second chance at life. I truly believe that I know what one of my purposes here on Earth is. I don't go anywhere and share my story WITHOUT GIVING GOD ALL THE GLORY! He is the reason I am alive today.

I've had a rough time since transplant. And sometimes, when things begin to turn for the good, then end up turning back. But I take these complications and know God is in control and will take care of everything. I know I have a lot more work to do here on Earth. And I know God will never leave me nor forsake me. God has a reason for putting me through these post-transplant complications...each and every one. While I may get frustrated, I can't complain, considering where my health was prior to transplant.

I don't know how anyone could have gone through what I went through without having Jesus in your heart and as your comforter.