Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What is left when the storms of life batter your sails?

sky, sea, umbrella, beach.... beautiful

The call came in the middle of the night as emergency alerts often do.  The news was horrific, 26- year-old single mother of two, precious only daughter to an adoring mother was dead in a car collision.  No opportunity for lifesaving heroic measures, no possible mix up of identities, only a pronouncement of DOA...dead on arrival.   The only opportunity for redemption in those dark hours was the question of organ donation.  Would a shocked and grieving mother and grandmother decide to offer others a chance at life by allowing her daughters' only blood pumping organs to be taken?   In those moments of grief would she see beyond her hysteria and choose life for others who were dying?  As God's hand guided her, she agreed to have any possible organs harvested to offer others a chance to live.

Multiple organs were taken and she gave little thought to the lives that might have been affected as she tried to stay afloat in the weeks ahead when the grief swept over her like tidal waves.  She choked back tears hourly in the initial months and relied on friends and family as she selflessly took on the job of raising her grandchildren.  Her daughter had balanced an intricate schedule of activities and responsibilities as a single working mom of two young children.  Grandma was a weak substitute initially for all that her daughter had been, but with time and prayer, she rose to the challenge and took joy in the blessing her grandchildren were to her.  They offered her a link to her daughter, an extension cord powered by the love passed from one generation to the next.

Some days crawled by, but the years flew past and the pain of loss eroded her parenting insecurities. Slowly she began to view the loss of her daughter through different lenses.  She had a second chance to love her grandchildren with a vision of what God could offer them rather than the worry that she was the singular influence on their destiny.  Her journey was one of faith and dependence on God and she knew that He was writing her families' story.

It was 15 years later on a sunny Saturday morning when God revealed himself in an unexpected way. 
Friends were a constant blessing throughout her journey and since moving to a small village 30 miles outside of her former bustling hometown, she was thrilled to have a circle of girlfriends that she met each week for coffee.  She was smiling and enjoying the warmth of the sun on her cheek as it passed through the picture window of the main street coffee shop.  As the ladies exchanged details of their grandchildren and their accomplishments she felt the familiar pride well up inside as she spilled out details of her beloved grandchildren and their deceased mother.  She mentioned her daughter's long ago accident briefly and answered a few questions her new friends asked surrounding her daughter's organ donation, a subject she hadn't considered for many years.

As conversations often do, health care rose to the top the discussion list and a fellow grandmother mentioned that she would be travelling to an area hospital for cancer treatments later that month.   The coffee barista was wiping off a nearby table and overheard the mention of a hospital she was familiar with.  She mentioned to the ladies at the table that she, too, had been to that hospital 15 years earlier for an organ transplant and traveled back and forth annually for rejection testing.  She went on to give specifics of her story after much prompting and concern was expressed among the ladies at the table.  The barista explained that she had been in her early teens when her pancreas was failing and she was facing multiple health complications.  Her life was in jeopardy and her family was praying for a miracle.

Her miracle came in the middle of the night in the form of a 26-year-old single mother of two who was killed in a car accident.  It was no coincidence.  God orchestrated a coffee shop meeting that morning to give an obedient grandmother of two,  a mother of a forever twenty-something daughter, a glimpse of heaven. 

She went home that afternoon and dug through her old file boxes to find her daughters death records.  She found the papers and called the organ transplant organization who handled her daughters death.  After a few phone calls, the pieces fit perfectly.  God had orchestrated a miracle, not only by saving a young woman's life 15 years prior, but by reaching out to a tired grandma and cradling her in His embrace of reassurance that all of her effort in raising her grandchildren, all of the tears she shed over the loss of her only daughter were worth something to the Maker of the Universe

Dear friends, this is an incredibly true story.  Never doubt for a second that God misses any small choice you make.  He adores you and is just waiting for a chance to reveal Himself to you.



  1. oh wow, emily. what an incredible story of redemption and love. thank you for sharing!

    1. thank you for taking the time to read it! Blessings to you!

  2. It's not often we get to see, on this side, how it is that God works things together for good, but when we do it's Holy Ground. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. thank you for reading! Blessings to you!