I specifically procrastinated this week so that I could hi-five myself with words on this post. Is that bad? Don’t answer that.
Today is my one-year anniversary of sharing an organ with another person. A year ago today, I donated my kidney to my friend, Jen. And I couldn’t be prouder of the both of us, our families and our community.
I think Moses and I are kindred spirits. I mean really, with God’s help, Moses part the sea and all that. But I donated a kidney. Fine, I didn’t really do all that much aside from lay there and let someone whom I forgot to ask to see his official credentials, go in there and get my superstar kidney.
Every step of the way of the entire process, from the moment I picked up the phone to put my name in the hat to see if I was a potential donor, all the way through to my kids having to watch me recover, wincing in pain – it was faith in the greater good of the situation. I simply felt called and convicted to do it. As a lay person (probably the layiestly person in our entire congregation) it’s such an amazing feeling to feel called to do something, and know exactly where it’s coming from. It’s invigorating and really cool. My faith and confidence in everyone around me not only never waivered, but kinda made me feel like pushing the doubters out of my way as I walked through them, “Get outta my way, I’ve totally got this.”
Which is all funny that as I read about Moses trusting God when he said, “Look, just go down there and part the sea, walk through it, escape the Egyptians, and then close it back up real quick.” I was yet again impressed with his faith and apparently thought something like, “Ok, sure.”
Exodus 14:26-27: Then the Lord said Moses, “Stretch out your and over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth.
A little more than a year ago, I would have read this passage as I’ve always done, with amazement in someone else’s faith. I would have learned the lesson of faith. But here we are, and it just feels like I’m a participant in this story of faith. I get it. And I bet most of you do as well.
As Christian Piatt on Darkwood Brew suggested on the Moses gig, “We’ve got to be ready and willing to do that.”
So, how DO we get ready and willing? I can tell you how I did it – I was just open to the idea. I haven’t been preparing my body to one day give a kidney out. I had a friend who needed one, and it just so happened, I thought I might be healthy enough to help her out. I was her match over her sister, y’all. That’s fate, and faith.
It wasn’t just Moses who walked through the sea as he parted it. He had a community of supporters. They were probably a bit in awe, but still, they walked with him through the sea with the off chance that what if they were in the middle of the sea, and God unparted it, or Moses messed up and then the sea closed on them. Don’t tell me at least one of the Israelites didn’t think it.
One of the biggest questions in the interviews was, “How will you feel if the transplant doesn’t work?” Sometimes the recipient’s body rejects the donated organ. In my mind, it was simply worth it to try. Which is probably where Moses and all his people were at when faced with, “Do we try this sea-parting gig Moses speaks of, or do we get massacred by the Egyptian army?” It’s worth a try, right?
The bigger part of my inflated Moses-and-I-are-kindred-spirits stories is the community. This morning I woke up and celebrated with my family, “Today is the day we donated my kidney to Jen!”
There’s an entire wing of hospital with staff, volunteers, surgeons, nurses, previous donors and recipients, potential donors, family and friends who all followed us into the sea.
Jen is doing well now. She’s doing so well in fact, that she’s busy being a mom and a wife and a business partner today that we’ll have to rain check our anniversary celebration. Which is a really nice problem to have.
I’m sure the Israelites felt the same, when they couldn’t get together for brunch on the anniversary of the sea parting because they were too busy with their freedom and all.
I get that kidney donation isn’t for everybody. But it was my pleasure to be a part of that story of Moses parting the sea. I was ready and willing to do it. I hope and pray when your sea-parting opportunity comes, you’ll be ready and willing. I’m looking forward to my next Moses moment! Chances are, you’re probably more evolved than me. You’ve already had a Moses moment. What was your sea-parting moment? Were you ready? Willing?
Leslie is a blogger for Darkwood Brew. She’s had her own blog for 9 years – www.momontherocks.com, chronicling the crazy moments of mommyhood. She also has a column in HerLiving, a local Omaha Magazine. When she’s not writing, she’s laughing and/or eating with her very tall family: husband, Chris, and twins, Max and Lucy. ***Disclaimer: Leslie is no theologian, minister, or avid Bible reader, but rather blogs on how Darkwood Brew episodes apply to a regular gal and what she’s learning along the way as a mom, a wife and a extreme lay person.