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Part 2: Living Kidney donors, 2 ladies each rocking 1 kidney to save a life of another. (The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom,Episode #5)

Today I want to introduce you to Teresa.  This amazing women choose to give her kidney to a total stranger.  She is a wife and a mother of two (8 and 11 years old).  Teresa is also a high school principal and a former teacher which means, beside making a huge impact on the life of the person she gave her kidney for she is making a huge impact on the lives of the high school kids that attend her school.

It was at University High School (Spokane) in 2012/13 that Teresa heard Doni share her story. Teresa was at University High school because she had been hired as a one-year replacement, for a health teacher (prior to becoming a principal).  Little did she know God would have a very powerful calling on her life that she would learn about when Doni came to speak for the organization called “Donate for Life.”  Doni was encouraging the students to sign up to become an organ donor upon their death. Teresa shared with me that Doni spoke briefly and humbly about giving one of her two kidneys to a stranger and how she wanted to be alive to see the difference she could make. Because God is God, Teresa went from thinking that the idea of giving a kidney, although admirable, was something she could not do herself, to actually doing it.   “I could never do that”  would become a thing of the past just a couple of months later.   During the second semester Teresa had the same group, but a different speaker come to speak to her health class.  This time this living kidney donor named Keith jokingly said, “I kinda feel like God gave us two kidneys, one so we could give away”.  This is a perfect example of God wanting us to do something and getting his point across. Teresa went from “Not me to YES GOD”

photo[1]“Although he was joking I knew that message was for me.  It was a God moment, forever stuck in my mind. God was nudging me that He wanted me to do this.  Within minutes of him making this comment, I called Spokane Kidney transplant and asked about becoming an “alturistic donor” (giving to a stranger).  I never hesitated, never felt scared, fully believed this was something God not only wanted me to do but I felt excited to do it.  They sent me the paperwork that day and my journey began” said, Teresa. (Photo: Teresa and her beautiful family just before surgery)

Teresa wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, in this capacity, while she was living.  She is a person who gets life by giving life and the opportunity she was given to be a living donor was one she fully embraced.

She had a lot of support from friends and some criticism from one particular family member but the criticism she received never was a showstopper for her.  Knowledge is power and Theresa found out in doing research that people live just fine on one kidney.  If she could live just fine with one kidney, then why wouldn’t she be willing to give her other kidney so someone could live?

Teresa used a different program to give her kidney than Doni because Spokane did not have program in place when Doni was a donor.  Teresa went through Sacred Heart Kidney Transplant Center with the help Joanne McCleary.

As with Doni, my mind was blown once again with Teresa’s take on this whole thing.  I told her I could not wrap my mind around it and I did not think I had it in me.  She responded to me with a question. She asked me if I had to bungee jump in order to save someone’s life would I be able to?  I have told my husband more than once no way, not a chance would I ever bungee-jump but when she said that I could save I life I said “Yes” without hesitating…She said, “Well, I couldn’t.”  I sat there for a moment trying to let what she said sink in.  After a moment of silence she said to me God made each of us different, each of us has a specific purpose, a specific calling, we are not all called to do the same thing.  You could do that and I couldn’t.  I gave a kidney and you are not called to do that.  Wow!  Let me say it again, WOW!  That simple question made it seem so much easier to understand.

After helping me to understand, Teresa told me about her interview with Nadine Woodward when she used the same analogy. I did not want to get it wrong I asked her to write it down for me.

“I remember in the initial interview with Nadine Woodward her asking me what it felt like to be a hero.  I laughed and told her that I don’t think I’m a hero because we all do things that we believe we are called to do.  AND…when we do what we are called to do….. we are in our wheelhouse.  It isn’t laborious.  It is purposeful and meaningful.  What one person is called to do isn’t necessary what another is called to do.  For example, if I was asked to bungee jump to save someone’s life I don’t think I could do it. Yet, for someone else, they probably could and would.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t.  But for me…I would much rather go through major surgery to save a life.  AND..I did”. 

This “Real Housewife of God’s Kingdom” may not see herself as a hero but I sure do.  I think both her and Doni are heroes.  Her favorite scripture is Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) and I have to say it one of my favorite parts of this series.  I love to see how God’s word speaks to each lady.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s own handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.)

Talk about living out your favorite scripture! “That we may do those good works that God predestined for us, that we should walk in them” Nailed it!!

Teresa says she doesn’t have any regrets about doing this and she shared her thoughts with me in such a beautiful way I thought it would be best said in her words not mine.

“I would do it again if I had another kidney to give. This whole process has been extremely amazing and rewarding for me.  I feel like God gave me a beautiful gift.  I would never thought that by giving a kidney, I would be the one to be blessed but it is true.  I have a richer life through this “good work” that God prepared before the foundation of the world for me to do.  I do believe that I’m the lucky one.  So I thank God for the opportunity I was given to “get life – by giving life”. 

As I said before, Teresa is now a High School principal and I have to say I think those kids are lucky to photohave such a wonderful woman over seeing their school.  God is really using her for His Kingdom and that is why I wanted her to be a part of this series.  This woman of God has not only made an impact in the school, in the life of her children, her husband and her church; she made a huge impact in the life of a man named Albert when she gave her kidney to save his life on May 24, 2013.  Take a moment to really read what the card says that Albert gave to Teresa.  “From the person who you gave back their life”  Talk about being the “Hands, Feet and for this post the Kidney of Christ”

Recently Teresa was able to speak to a women’s auxiliary group and said It was sooo rewarding to see how a simple act of surgery could impact so many lives! Simple? I think choosing rather to eat the chocolate or not eat the chocolate is SIMPLE.  Choosing to give up a kidney would not be simple for me.  Again, I am humbled by her story.

Albert and Teresa stay in touch just like Doni and Teri do.  They will share a very special connection that most of us will never understand.  There lives are forever intwined by two of the most selfless acts of photo[2]kindness I have ever witnessed.  This photo shows how God uses all of us in his incredible plan.  Doni on the end in the pink was inspired after reading an article to give her kidney, she then speaks at a school where Teresa (in the green) hears her and something starts to happen in her heart.  God would then use Keith (with the glasses)  to speak the words, “I kinda feel like God gave us two kidneys so we can give one away” to move Teresa’s heart to say, “Yes”.  Albert (on the end) is now living a happy and blessed life with the help of Teresa’s kidney. Jeremiah 29:1, “For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for the future.”  seems like the perfect verse to wrap up this latest episode of the real housewives out God’s kingdom.

I hope you have been inspired to see how God wants to use you and please, if you have not signed up to be a donor on your driver’s license please do so.  You could be saving the life of someone else.  To see more of Teresa’s story you can watch her interview with Nadine Woodward at Kxly.com

Until next time on the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom when we meet two women in ministry, blessings and may  you be filled to overflowing with the love of God.

-The Midlife Domestic Goddess.

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We all need a hero

I don’t know a lady that didn’t play dress up at least once as a little girl. As little girls we all dream of our wedding day, we plan that day out in our mind right down to the last detail. We see ourselves marrying the perfect man. A Hero, a Knight in shining armor. As women, we all have our favorite movies and most likely in our top movies choices there is a woman who needs to be saved, romanced and made to feel beautiful.

Robin Hood and The Last of the Mohicans are at the top of my list in that department. The fact is that they are movies and not real life. I am happily married but my husband has never swung through a window on a rope to rescue me, there has never been a need for him to carry a bow and arrow or a sword. We have never ridden off into the sunset on a white horse with my beautiful long hair blowing in the wind, and my perfect body tucked tightly in his arms. (I know this because I don’t have long hair and I am not a super model)

The song by Bonnie Tyler goes:

I need a hero

I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night

He’s gotta be strong

And he’s gotta be fast

And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

Come on, ladies, admit it–you all know what I am talking about, we are romantic at heart. Why do you think we have chick flicks and romance novels?  One of the best romance novels I have ever read was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. My daughter and her friends have passed the book around also.  Face it, ladies; it is how we are built. Our feminine side cries out to be protected, loved and treated as if we are the only girl in the world.

Unfortunately, we live in a broken world and many of us never had fathers who protected us, many of us have had unhealthy marriages, and we feel we don’t deserve any better. It is sad, but many of us feel that. Women and girls have been fed a mixed up version of what womanhood is. We have been told to be strong, we don’t need a man, and we can take care of ourselves. We have had the world’s view of a beautiful woman ingrained into us and have been taught by the media, that sex is where it is. We often strive so hard to be perfect in the world’s eyes, independent and strong, that we have forgotten how to be feminine and how to let the men in our lives be masculine and be our heroes.

We dive into the romance novels and movies to fill that sense of loss. As I was reading the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge for my book group at church (it is about finding the beauty that Jesus sees in all of us as women and letting our men be our heroes) it became very clear to me that I was trying so hard to be strong that I was in a sense taking away my husband’s manhood. I wasn’t letting him romance me, protect me and lead me. I was doing everything that went against what I wanted as a little girl and was acting in the way the world saw acceptable for a woman. I had a meeting with God and I asked Him to change my heart, to show me how to be the woman that he had planned for me to be, not what I thought was best. My husband was out of town and I sent him a text. (He wasn’t able to take calls at that time.)  I told him, he was my strength, that I believed in him and that I needed to tell him that more. I ended with I Love you and I got a response back so fast. It blessed me to send that text and to have him respond so fast.  It was a reality check that if I didn’t change my heart and let my husband be my hero I was going to miss out on a even deeper love for him, and in return a love that would also be poured back on me.

It is time I close my mouth more, and when I do speak I need to find kinder and gentler words. Titus 3:2 Teaches us “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” I am guessing all of you ladies that are in a relationship must have also done this to your other half at some time. I am not saying I am a bad wife, I just think I could be better and if I am willing to change, I think my husband will become an even better husband than he is already by doing this. I tell others how lucky I am to have him but I don’t always tell him that.

Ladies, God made us different from men; he had a perfect plan for a man and woman–why do we make it so hard, and try to change his plan?  I have to be honest, I want my doors opened, I want a strong man, and I want my heart to be protected. I don’t need to be rushed away on a horse and live some fun and exciting life. I just need to know my husband loves me with all his heart. I have to stop being afraid to say I need you and I have to learn that my way is not always the right way!  I have had a reality check–I don’t want the idea of a hero from the movies, I want a hero that comes from a deeper way of loving and respecting the man that God has chosen for me. My husband has protected me in many situations where I could have been hurt; he has stood up for me and made me feel safe. I know he would love to be the protector of my heart as well if I would let him.   While proof reading this, my husband told me that if you allow a man to be the man that God intended him to be, he would swim through shark infested water to bring his wife a glass of lemonade. (I don’t mean to be picky but I wonder if he would bring me a bottle of wine also). He told me that, that is how men are wired.

One day while at our book group for Captivating, a beautiful young mom and wife came to our meeting after a night that had to have been one of the most painful nights. Her mom became sick, was rushed to the hospital and before the night was over she was faced with the responsibility of taking her mom off life support. She sat there, tired and grieving. We laid hands on her and prayed for her. She shared with us that her husband had very tenderly told her that she was not going to have to go through this alone. He loves her so much and he told her that they were one. He was willing to protect her and help her carry her burdens. He was being her hero. I used to think the line “you complete me” from Jerry McGuire was one of the most romantic things ever but “we are one” is hands down the most romantic things I have ever heard. The icing on the cake was that it was real life, not some line in a movie, and the man who said it wasn’t wielding a sword or returning from the battle all rough and full of testosterone. He was a man who was pushing into his faith and ready to take whatever was thrown his way to protect the heart of the woman he loved.

A couple of us told him that he was a hero the next day at church and you could see the love he felt for his wife well up in his eyes as we told him what we thought of his words. Ladies! this man is a hero because his wife lets him be one. She is tender and allows him to rescue her. Add that with his love for the Lord and she has got the whole package. She told us that as a girl that she began praying for her husband. Okay this just keeps getting better than any romantic movie could ever be! I hope it moves your heart to want more in your marriage.

Ladies, if we would start sharing our vulnerability with our husbands I think they would be more than willing to pour out their love and passion on us. We don’t need to have the body of movie star or the hair of Julia Roberts for our husbands to love us with passion and to be our heroes. Our husbands don’t need to be some muscle bound, tough guys to be our heroes either. We just have step back and let them be men. God had a perfect plan when he made us women so different than he made men. We need to stop trying to change his plan.

My husband is that hero that I need; I am going to work on changing my heart to not be so bossy and, to stop thinking my way is the only way. Most important I am going to faithfully pray for my husband. I am so fast to pray for everyone else, I even pray for my friend’s husbands when they ask but I don’t pray for my own husband on a regular basis. That is going to change today and I pray that you will do the same for your husband. If you are in a rocky marriage and feel there is not hope left, I pray that you will push into God and start to pray for your husband and for a new and stronger love. If you are a single woman or a young lady and you are reading this, I pray that you will start praying now for the man that God has chosen for you. I have a few women in my life who don’t have a significant other but it has blessed my heart to hear one of them say that for now it is Jesus who is her boyfriend and her hero. He is all she needs and I have to say I find that downright beautiful.

Ladies heroes are not just in books and movies. Heroes are in our lives. They are our husbands our, sons, our brothers, and our friends.  They are waiting to be heroes if we would just get out of the way and allow them to be the men God intended them to be. What a blessing it would be to each of us if the men in our lives could be as God had planned and we women would be a happy to let them.

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