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Monday, February 22, 2016

life breathing generosity

Did you know you can give half of your liver to someone in order to save their life?  I sure didn't...until my dad collapsed the day after my husband's April 2015 birthday in LA and a doctor in the UCLA ER started detailing degenerative liver failure.  Now 10 months later I am witnessing a 1 in a million medical miracle orchestrated by God and it is rocking me to my core. 

LET ME EXPLAIN...Once my dad got really bad (went on sick leave from work), was in crippling pain forcing him to visit the hospital a minimum of once a week I knew it was bad.  My strong dad who could once out-shovel any construction field laborer had lost over 120 pounds and was hardly recognizable.  I gripped my hands and prepared for the worst.  I have watched more than a dozen friends lose their fathers in the last decade. Most dads were doing life-changing God work, mentoring orphans, helping the poor, revitalizing Denver, and yet instantly their lives were taken. I expected the same, it just feels rational to prepare for the worst. Meanwhile I was WORKING MY BUTT off to pull together a miracle - emailing friends for prayers, organizing flights and appointments to cities that had the shortest donor lists for my mom and dad to get on, and helping them move into a home they could recover better in.

My prayers were of the entitled desperate kind:  "Dear God, He's got so much more He can do for you, please just let this trial be a testimony building thing?"  or "Dear God, I beg for your miraculous mercy that all can see your glory."  None of these prayers have any sort of deserving grace in them but that is exactly how God works.  In my head I kept thinking of this place - SYNERGY.   A low income housing community designed to create jobs and solutions for homeless families in Denver.  They were just about to have city approval and break ground when my dad got sick - this was my parents life long dream, how could God not want this to get done?  WHAT'S THE DAMN PLAN HERE GOD?  was my real thought behind every angry prayer.

Then, my mom and dad facetimed us through tears - someone anonymous has had a dream that God told them to give your dad a liver.  A vivid dream from a really godly person who isn't crazy just insanely obedient and generous.  Prove it God.  That's all I felt, yeah right.  After watching my brother go through the preliminary match process of liver donation only to be emotionally wrecked when he was denied the 1 in a million chance to donate I had my doubts.  Plus, I thought this Atlanta liver donor list had a chance. A few weeks later - GOD PROVED IT.  Yup, this insane dreamer was real.  A blood test, cat scan, surgeon interview, liver scan, and a million other tests and the donor was approved for surgery.  TEARS.  We've found out a few other things - this donor has children.  OMG now I'm bawling. Like a loving family and...CHILDREN!  Obviously the risk is too insane, who would do this?? Who's family would agree to this? And yet, this person still scheduled the surgery.  Even now as I type I have a pit in my stomach grip I feel it hard to breath.  God's grace is so lavish it is INSANE.  Did I mention this person is not related to us? I don't even know who this person is people!  INSANE.
My mom told me that this donor text that she feels giddy days before surgery - perhaps like the woman did before she poured perfume on Jesus's feet - like a bride preparing - ready for worship.
The crowns on this one's head...I tellya.

I've had 3 sermons that have changed my life drastically.
(1) Timothy Keller - The Struggle for Love.  I won't even try to sum it up.
(2) Lori Salierno - (the original sermon isn't available regarding Calcutta, India) but this is darn close "The Little Boy who Gave up His Lunch."
AND FINALLY THIS SERMON LISTEN TO NOW (especially before my mom makes me delete it!):
(3) Adele Funk (my mom) - REVELATION 12
...suffering summed up. (disregard the squirrel part at the beginning, we actually are crazy in my family)

We are no where near done learning what God wanted to teach myself, my dad, our family, whatever.  But now my dad can honestly look you in the eye and say - SUFFERING IS A BLESSING.  Never have I ever sensed the closeness of God as I have seen in his suffering.  My dad has countless stories of this closeness - a literal sense of God beside him. My mom's testimony has never been stronger. They have lived to tell the tale. My parents, much like Job, never cursed God.  And I have never been prouder. I guess I should add a disclaimer, that while we didn't lose my dad type of suffering as many of you know the pain of - he has felt intense pain and has had his faith tested.  It feels strange to talk of suffering knowing just how hard/bad the world is for some if not most. I guess I'm just trying to say we believe Matthew 5 more than ever - BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT. amen forever

WEDNESDAY - FEBRUARY 24, 2016 this amazing donor and my dad will enter surgery together and come home with half of each other's liver.  My mom said to rest assured both livers are Broncos fans (according to the donor) so we're ok. :)  I ask for your prayers for this insane person and her family - for quick healing, for painless recovery, for grace, and for a blessing from God that far outweighs our thanks. For my family that we won't miss out on what God is trying to tell us in that surgery room. For my dad that he will not reject this liver, that it will bring his death to life.

Thank you prayer warriors - we could have never endured it without your meals, love, support, prayers, and videos. :)

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1 comment:

  1. I am praying and will continue "no matter what" for God to be all over this! I can't wait to hear about whatever miracle He chooses to perform!