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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Can Only Imagine

     So, I mentioned earlier about the song "I Can Only Imagine," by MERCY ME, and that I heard it on the way home from the hospital. This song is special to me in way more ways than one. The first time I heard this song, I was in college at ULM, it was the summer and my family (Mom, Dad, and brother John) came to pick me up from school and we headed to Eureka Springs in Arkansas for vacation and to see the Passion Play. In the car on the way, my little brother introduced me to this song, I instantly loved it. We listened to it several times while driving through amazing scenery. People always joke about Arkansas, but it really is a beautiful state. I enjoyed watching and listening to my little brother sing this song as loud as he could and with his eyes closed. My entire family was singing, we were worshiping together as a family to this touching song. I love the words to this song, I love imagining heaven. This song has brought me comfort so many times, but especially after my babies died. I thought of this song and how my babies were at the feet of Jesus, what were they doing, was Jesus holding them?
     I'm not done, because of this song, I started to love the band Mercy Me. I read all about them and realized that they were the "real deal." I worked at my church in Monroe, La and they came to perform a concert at our church. I can remember being so excited, I could barely contain myself. If you know me, I am not very big on celebrities, autographs, etc. I mean, actors and musicians are just people, I don't think we should worship them. But, Mercy Me was different, they had written a song that was literally changing lives all around me. I can remember singing this song at the top of my lungs in my friend's truck and feeling so connected to people spiritually. Anyways, my beautiful roommate Abby went to the concert and we had a blast, but the guitarist noticed her and he loved the way she worshipped, isn't that sweet? Next thing I know, Mercy Me is coming back to Monroe a few weeks later and Mike (the guitarist) had mentioned an interest in Abby to our college minister and you won't believe this...... Mercy Me ended up coming over to our house. I mean, they were at our house people. Abby and Mike had an instant connection based on Christ and today they are married and have three awesome kids. Abby had a son, adopted a girl from another country, and then they had another son. Abby was living the life we had talked about for her future. We had even painted our kitchen at our house with what we would look like someday and Abby had kids all around her of different races because she just has that kind of wonderful heart, full of love to give to children. Abby and Mike have been a constant support in my life. They helped sponsor me when I went to Africa on a mission trip, they sent me flowers when the twins died, they donated items to both the softball and volleyball tournaments, and I know they pray for me. They are an amazing family and I am so proud to call them my friends. It is nice to know that this band is full of Godly men. It makes the song even more special to me. The thing about this song is that it still evokes emotion out of me today, I never get sick of it.  I encourage you to check this band out and please listen to the song if you never have before, it is well worth your time.
     Hearing this song on the way home brought me to tears because I was so afraid for the past six and a half months that I was going to die that I had imagined what heaven would be like a million times. I knew all the questions I was going to ask God, like why can't we regenerate body parts like a lizard or starfish, I have a ton of questions about dinosaurs, and then a bunch of questions about my boys. I wondered if they have aged or if they are still babies, I wondered if they would know who I am, I wondered if I would hear Him say those words... I am proud of you my faithful servant. I always wondered if I would have regrets, I don't want to have a bunch of regrets, I want to live my life differently. I visualized hugging my grandmothers, meeting my mom's mother for the first time in heaven. I can't wait to hug their necks, and I want to meet all the disciples and talk to them, and I really want to talk to Mary. I want to hear what Jesus was like as a baby, did he throw tantrums?  I am still excited about meeting Jesus someday, but more excited about spending eternity with Him.

     I have a little update about my donor, it was in my coordinators words, " a very young male." That is it, that is all the details they gave me. My surgeon said that I basically received a brand new liver. My life expectancy is the same as if I have never had a health problem. Isn't that incredible? I am waiting until I am alone to write my letter to the donor family and I pray that they do want to meet me someday. I need to meet them, to thank them, to hug them, to know them, I want them to know I will honor the memory of this man all the days of my life. I was thinking about Thomas and how hard it would be to donate his organs if he died. When this guy's family said goodbye to him for the last time, his chest was still rising and falling because he was on a ventilator. I can't even imagine how hard that would be because it would feel like he was still alive. This is such a gift, a blessing, a miracle. I can't really wrap my head around the fact that a doctor removed my liver, a major organ, and they put a new one in and now, I am more alive than ever with tons of new found energy and I feel like there is so much joy and love in my heart that my heart is swelling inside my chest. I can hardly contain my joy when I am singing praises to my King. I also imagine meeting my donor in heaven someday. Oh, I hope this is part of my heaven experience. I will write a letter to the family, my coordinator will send it to Life Gift, and after six months, Life Gift will give my letter to the family and then the ball is in their court. It is totally up to them if they want to contact me, meet me, write me back, etc.. Please pray that they want to meet me. I really need to meet them, it is just who I am. I want to know a mother that is so selfless, she was able to give her son's organs to save many lives.

     I go back to the doctor tomorrow morning! I will try to blog more frequently, but I have been busy exercising twice a day and eating well-balanced diabetic, low-salt meals, taking medications on time, and just learning that I do have a few limits. Something God has really taught me throughout this entire experience is that it is okay to need people. I have been independent my entire life, almost to a point that I was proud. But, I love to help others, I receive so much joy from helping someone else, or just brightening someone's day. Now, people are doing that for me and I hope they all know how much it means to me. I love checking the mail because I have received a card everyday since I have been home!  The mealtrain has been a life-saver for us and makes our evenings go so smooth. I think God is showing me that He made a ton of us because we need each other, he did not create us to live alone, He wants us to fellowship, share, and love. Knowing someone loves you makes you feel so good inside, love really can conquer. Love is such a small word when you type it or write it, but it carries so much power. I am so glad that I have a family full of LOVE! I am missing my cousin Karen, she went to Florida for a girls trip, but she sends me picture texts of the beach and that makes me smile because I love the beach! My niece Karina has surprised me with her support, maturity, and love. I feel closer to her than I have in a long time and that alone makes my heart smile. My sister and I have a bond now where we don't have to talk, we can just look at each other and we know what the other is thinking. My mom got sick on Monday, so I haven't been able to be around her for the last 48 hours, so my cousin Lisa Wood stepped up and helped me out yesterday and we ended up having a really good time. My aunt Kay Wood has been helping us out with Thomas, allowing Paul and I to have some much needed alone time, mostly working-out together. Everywhere I turn, I have support. It is such a blessing to live each day with a feeling of my cup running over. Until next time, thanks again for everything! Tell someone you love them!

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