October 30, 2010

Grace through a Kidney Transplant

Emily at Chatting At The Sky in her October 28 post wrote:

"If there is only one thing you take away from this series, let it be this: 
grace is getting something I don’t deserve. That’s it.
Because Someone came and lived a perfect life so I don’t have to. 
Someone came so I could walk around free even though I’m guilty. 
and then The Bishop gives me the candlesticks, too. 
Someone took a risk on me, and he didn’t wait until I appreciated or understood it. 
His name is Jesus. His name is Grace."

Through the perfect grace of Jesus, we too can offer grace.
A friend of mine, Nancy, offered a wonderful gift of grace to me a few years ago.

My kidneys reached the point of End Stage Renal Disease the beginning of 2006.  My brother had been tested and was willing to give me one of his kidneys, but his blood pressure remained higher than the level Vanderbilt would accept as a donor of a kidney.  He tried dieting, exercising, and even natural herbs to bring his blood pressure down to their acceptable range with no luck.

Nancy had told me in passing earlier in the year that she would be tested if my brother did not work out.  One night after church she came to me and asked if Jon was going to be able to donate his kidney.  I told her "no".  We had just found out he wasn't.  She said she was ready to be tested.

She immediately scheduled an appointment at Vanderbilt, was tested, was a match, and was approved.  On Tuesday, August 1, 2006, the doctors at Vanderbilt transplanted one of her good kidneys into my body.  By the time I woke up from surgery, my kidney levels were back in the normal range for the first time in 24 years.

Me and Nancy in June before the transplant.

Nancy and I had only known each other for a little over a year.  She and her husband had moved to Florence about a year after my husband and I had moved here.  We had them over for supper one night and she learned I had a kidney disease.  She asked if there was anything she could do to help me.  I jokingly told her she could give me a kidney.  Surprisingly, she replied, "I can do that!".  What a wonderful person.  About a year after the transplant, Nancy and her husband moved back to where she was raised.  She so quickly came into our life and then went back out of our life.  (Providence?  That's a topic for another discussion!)

Nancy showed us such a lesson in grace.  Even though she did not have any ties to me or my family, even though she was far from her family, even though she knew she would experience pain and uncomfortable procedures, she graciously offered me a part of her body to make me feel whole again without expecting anything in return.

I do not know if even yet, I fully appreciate the sacrifice she gave to me.  Each day, I feel I gain a little more knowledge of her grace and it teaches me such a needed lesson!  Because of her sacrifice, I live today a normal life.  I enjoy my life as a wife and a mother.  I am able to exercise, work full-time, teach classes at church, travel, and to accomplish anything I want to strive for.   I am able to give Grace to others...to pass it on!

Can you think of some gift of Grace you can give to other people?  I'm sure Grace has been given to you in many ways.  Don't keep it bottled up inside you.  Pass it on!
Judy :)

Linking up to:

June 18, 2011
Imparting Grace

October 30, 2010
chatting at the sky


  1. Good article!! Of course, I am very endebted to Nancy also. I still have a daughter because of her. Gifts like what Nancy gave to you are rare indeed.
    Love you!! And Nancy!

  2. Such a heartwarming story!
    We too have a friend who gave a kidney to his wife to save her life, it really is a miracle, you are a miracle! Friends are special, I'm so glad you shared this!

  3. Judy. I loved reading this story so much. So beautiful. What an amazing lady to give you such a gift. I love reading stories like this before bed because I can really let it sink in. What a gracious lady you are to know and recognize what a gift you have been given. I wish I could just hug you and Nancy! Love to YOU. Praying for your friend, too!

  4. Oh, Judy, what a great story! I knew you'd received a kidney transplant. How good and RIGHT of you to see that it as a gift of grace--grace from God and grace from Nancy. I love the fact that, in extending grace to others, I can be like God! After all, becoming more and more like Jesus is my life's goal. It's reassuring to know that there are little ways that I can extend grace to others all the time. And who knows? Someday perhaps there will be a way for all of us to extend grace in such a wonderful way as Nancy did for you!

  5. And everyone who knows you and has you in their life also is indebted to Nancy for the gift she gave US. God bless you both!


We always enjoy your visits to our blog and love reading your comments. Thanks for visiting and check back with us soon!

Judy :)