2 Lungs, 2 Years and 2 Transplant Centers

This is the year of “2’s” for me.  Saturday, July 3 will be the 2nd anniversary of my double-lung transplant, and over the course of the last two years, I have been seen at two different Transplant Centers!  Never thought I’d be expressing the 2nd anniversary of God’s provision in this way but it has definitely been “2” good “2” be true!  (Sorry, couldn’t help myself)

This year has definitely been an interesting one with some new challenges, but overall I know the Lord is sovereign and still in complete control.  He is constantly directing my path and continues to amaze me with His grace!

There is some of this journey I’m still trying to figure out and definitely feel like I’m just along for the ride some of the time, well okay, most of the time, but I wouldn’t trade ANY of it for the world!  I can say, with absolute certainty, with the Psalmist, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119:71 (NKJ)

Saying that it has been good for me that I’ve had this illness may sound like insanity to some, but if you’ve ever walked through a life-threatening event you know that it is definitely a life-changing event.  There are SO many things the Lord has shown me and taught me along the way.  Scripture has come alive like never before.  The little things I used to take for granted mean so much.  Slowly, but surely, the Lord is shifting my priorities.  It’s a long process, after all I’m human, but I sense that the Holy Spirit is reshaping my thoughts and my desires.  That’s been my prayer and again, it’s a long process and I’m a slow learner, but there has definitely begun to be a shift along those lines in my life.

As I reflect back over the past two years lots of moments and memories flood my mind.  My wife and daughters continue to be such a vital support system to me.  The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful church family that has accepted us, prayed for us, and loves us.  I think back to the “the call” to come to the hospital for my surgery.  I think about the times in the hospital and the following weeks of rehab.  There are many times when I flash back to the waiting period and I get glimpses of so much that happened during that time.  I think about how sick I was prior to the transplant and the fact that there were days I thought I wouldn’t make it to my 48th birthday.

Sometimes these thoughts and reflections, and many, many others, make me weep but mostly they fill my heart and soul with unending gratitude to God for everything He has done.  I can’t escape the continuing expression of thanksgiving to the Lord that I have.

My prayer has been, and continues to be, that I’ll not waste one second of the new life He has given me!  Is it hard sometimes?  Absolutely.  Do I still have physical struggles?  You bet.  Are there days when I’m not very grateful?  Sure.  But my eyes are still fixed on the goal of continuing to serve my Savior and use the talent, gifts and abilities He has given me to their full for His glory alone!

Even though I’ve shared this before, I want to close with what I continue to call the “Psalm of my healing.”  I read this passage over and over again while I was waiting for my transplant and God burned into my heart as His promised directed to me.  My prayer and hope is that my life will continue to be one that reflects His glory and tells His story.  His story of healing, hope and help.  I pray that through whatever time I have left on this earth I’ll be able to lead others to Christ as this story is shared.

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing (or play), a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3 NLT (emphasis added)