God is Faithful
By: Lois Ryan
As the sun rose on June 26th 1994, the still quiet of my house was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone. Little did I know at the time that on the other line was a voice that would make this ordinary Sunday morning into one very different from any of those that had preceded it. The voice I heard as I picked up the receiver was that of my doctor, informing me that they had a liver that was a match. I would need to drive up to Boston as soon as possible as today would be the day that I would have surgery. Today would be the day that I would have a liver transplant.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with polycystic liver & kidney disease. The hereditary disease damages both the liver and kidney’s due to many cysts forming in and on both of the organs. Without a cure in sight, a transplant is the only means for those with the disease in advanced stages to survive. Even with a transplant, I had been told that life would be difficult going forward and that I would be on anti-rejection medication (weakening my immune system to prevent my own body from attacking the new liver as a foreign invader) along with a myriad of other drugs for the rest of my life. In the days before the commercial popularity of mobile phones, I was given a beeper and told that if a suitable liver was found, doctors would contact me and ask me to come in. What followed this was 15 months in a queue, waiting patiently for a beeper to go off or a call to come in.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
God was indeed a refuge for me and each day I learned to trust in His Word. I would read scriptures about healing and wanted to be healed of this disease and not endure any more days being sick. When I kept my eyes and my heart on God, seeking him, I would feel uplifted. When I looked at my circumstances (usually at night) I would feel drained. I didn’t want to go through this transplant. I wanted to be healed and delivered from this trial. But as the sickness progressed, the only solace I would feel was when I was in His Word.
“Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases. Who redeems your life from destruction. Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies. Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
~ Psalm 103:2-5.
On Saturday, June 25th, I had no idea that tomorrow would be the day that I would receive a call. I remember being in prayer, casting my cares before the Lord. I was nervous about my life being in the hands of mortal men. My life would be in the hands of my doctors. It was there, while in prayer that the Lord spoke to me telling me that my life was in HIS hands. Praise be to God!
When the call came the next morning, while I could see the nervous feelings on the faces of my three children (18, 17 and 10 years old), I, felt an overwhelming peace come upon me. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, he came upon me, and I felt the fruit of the spirit as we read in Galatians 5:22. I felt at peace. He comforted me as we drove up to Boston. For 15 months, I had wrestled with the emotional rollercoaster of feeling comforted and nervous, and now, during the final hour, God took away all of the cares, all of the worry, all of the pains, and gave me a strength that was not of myself and a peace that did indeed “surpass all understanding." (Philippians 4:7)
My surgery lasted approximately six hours and I remained in the intensive care unit for twenty-four hours following. After two weeks in the hospital, I was sent home, only to go back two days later with an infection. What would have seemed like a terrible setback to some, was only a further solidification that God was sovereign and kept me protected as one week later I was sent home and recovered fully. In the time following, my husband and I both were so thankful to the Lord for his faithfulness and for this way of escape that he provided us. We also were thankful for the selfless act of the liver donor and his family, praying for a peace for them as they coped with their loss.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
The Lord carried me through my liver transplant and the recovery. However, six years later my kidney’s failed and I was again in need of a transplant. After taking me to a dialysis appointment and seeing how I grew weaker and weaker after each appointment, a close friend and neighbor approached my husband with a confidence from the Lord that he and his wife would be tested to see if they were a match to donate a kidney and save my life. He was a perfect match.
God’s sovereignty in everything continued and in November of 2000 I received a kidney transplant.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”
As of the day of this testimony being posted, it has been 25 years since my liver transplant. This November it will have been 19 years since my kidney transplant. God has restored my health.
I am so grateful that I have been able to see my three children get married and now have children of their own, my precious grandchildren. I thank Jesus for my husband who trusted God through it all. He encouraged me daily and believed God for total health for me. God is faithful. He has shown me that we can trust all of His promises for us.
God is indeed Faithful.