Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kidneys are good

Some of you may not know, but last week I got to witness a miracle firsthand! How's that, you ask? Well, let me tell you!

I wrote a few weeks ago about my brother and my husband. In that post, I explained that diabetes had taken its toll on my brother's kidneys, and he was in need of a transplant. Well, lo and behold, my husband just happened to be a match for him! (note the sarcasm. I do NOT believe in coincidence or luck).

A week ago today, doctors removed the left kidney from Jeff and placed it into my brother. Immediately, that thing pinked up and began working. Seriously, the nurses were emptying his catheter bag around the clock starting immediately. (Side note: I've never been so excited about pee before!) The next morning, Chris's creatinine level was cut in half (That's a lab value that indicates kidney function, and prior to surgery Chris's was not good at all. In fact, it was consistent with the need for dialysis).

24 hours later, and that Creatinine level was just 0.1 away from the normal range. 48 hours after surgery, and it was 1.1- IN THE NORMAL RANGE. Chris said it was the first time he'd had a normal Creatinine level since he was about 35 years old (11 years ago!).

Yesterday, that Creatinine had dropped to 0.9, almost the same as Jeff's level was prior to surgery! Chris thinks that it was last that low when he was 20-25 years old.


Some people will read this and write it off as nothing more than the wonders of modern medicine. Believe me when I say that I'm grateful for modern medical advances. It blows my mind that they can take an organ out of one person and use it in another.


But I believe that the reason for that is miraculous, God-given. He created our bodies and He imparts knowledge to some to be able to perform such life-saving measures.

A working kidney in my brother isn't the only miracle I've observed though. The willingness of my husband to give that kidney is no less a miracle. This week, I sat by his bedside and watched him in excrutiating pain, all willingly. I even asked him one time when the pain was horrible, "Do you regret it?" He quickly said, "No. Not for one second".

I've watched my husband with new eyes this week. He's always had a servant heart. That's one of the things I fell in love with about him. He's always been willing to give to anyone in need whatever he could. But this... this is real sacrifice folks. This time, it wasn't money or food or clothing or clean water. This time it was literally his body, his comfort!

I've watched as he tears up every time it is mentioned that Chris's kidney is functioning perfectly. I've watched as he hurt but never one time complained. I'm humbled by that.

In the recovery room, Jeff's first questions were "How is Chris? Did it work?". When Chris came out about an hour later, a nurse walked to Jeff's curtained area and said "He wants to know how Jeff is doing". These two men represent the heart of Christianity. In a world where people sometimes look at Christians with disdain and suspicion- sometimes rightfully!), I hope they also see this. Because this... this is what following after Jesus is supposed to look like.

Sunday afternoon, Jeff came home. What a wonderful time that was! But today is likely the first time that he truly rejoices, because today Chris goes home too.

Today is very literally the start of a new life for Chris. But y'all, it's also the start of a new life for Jeff. Because you can't live sacrificially and not be altered. It's just not possible. You can't live fully sold-out to Jesus and not be changed completely inside and out. In fact, I'd bet that if you asked anyone in our immediate family, they'd all tell you that they are changed because of the events of this past week. And change is good, y'all. Change is very good.

In the body, kidneys work to get rid of the waste in our bodies. In our life, Christ works the same. Without Him, we can't be fully effective. We can't filter the junk in this world and come out untainted without Christ. We weren't made to be without him. Without a kidney, our body can't filter the junk. We can't live.

The bible says, "The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that you may have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10). Jesus is the life-giver, the abundant life-giver, the peanut-butter-oozing-out-the-side-of-the-sandwich- life giver. If you don't know him, I'd love to share about this life-giver. Because y'all, Kidneys are good, but Jesus is even better!

Thanks be to God.


Emily Fields said...

This seriously made me cry! First off, I am so thankful that your brother is doing well! I can't imagine how amazing that makes you feel. Praise God.

As for Jeff...what an amazing heart he has. I have ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS looked up to him and respected him but after what he did for your brother, my respect and admiration for him has increased by miles and miles. You are so blessed with an incredible man of God. What a servant heart. Jeff will always be so special to me...kind of like a second dad. You both hold a very special place in my heart. Rejoicing with you today! Love you all! :)

Lisa said...

I loved this post, Holly. So cool how God lets us get a front row seat to His amazing work.

MrTonylosson said...

I have no words to express how I feel reading this. I love you guys!