Handy Prayer

I was watching a video recently where the pastor was encouraging people to pray for breakthrough (as well as to fast from meats, sweets and breads for a period of 21 days). What struck me was the way the pastor was encouraging the people to pray. Here is a handy way to remember how to pray.

prayinghandsdrawing-82

Hold your hands in front of you as if to pray – palms together with your thumbs toward your body.

Think of the first hand with the thumb closest to your heart….pray for those closest to your heart.

The pointer finger on the same hand…pray for those who are leaders and teachers.

The middle finger…pray for those who influence others to know Jesus and to influence people toward God’s heart.

The ring finger is the weakest finger….pray for those who are weak, poor, disabled, elderly, etc

The pinkie finger….last of all pray for yourself using your other hand…

The thumb near your heart….ask God to create a clean and steadfast heart in you

The pointer finger…pray that you have correct priorities and motives, that God would lead and teach you in the way you should go.

The middle finger…pray that you would be a greater influence for the Kingdom of God.

The ring finger…pray that God will strengthen you where you are weak and for God to be made strong in your weaknesses.

The pinkie finger….last of all pray for blessing for yourself as well as others…which leads back to the first hand.

I would encourage anyone who is reading this to pray about a period of fasting and praying. Fast from something that distracts you from praying and spending time with God or fast from a type of food or several types of food. Ask God to clearly guide you in the length of time as well as what you should fast. (Example: fasting from sweets for 21 days and praying using your hands 3 times a day as well as when you have a craving for sweets.) It is a great time to be praying “breakthrough” or change for each person. Let me know how it goes!

Addendum: I got the opportunity to teach this form of prayer at a healing service. As I was explaining the prayer, I realized that true breakthrough would come in a much deeper way if I were to pray the things from my second hand for the people represented by the first hand. What do you think??? Let me know.

This is the end….

 

Ok, so you are probably wondering why I put a funny cheese commercial at the beginning of this blog post.  Well, it’s kind of long story. So, my short-term disability ran out on October 21, 2016. I thought I was going to be getting a fantastic job, but not quite sure if I was ready to be working full-time with lots of travel. Turns out, they did not feel I had enough experience in an area and not enough knowledge in another area. So I didn’t get the job.

I should note that prior to my short-term disability running out, I applied for Social Security Disability, which takes about 3 months to be approved or denied.

Back to not getting the job. I’m not sure who I spoke to, but was told to file for unemployment because I did not get the job but no longer on short-term disability. I was accepted for unemployment benefits right away, but I had to go through a screening call to make sure I qualify. Well, I got the call, which was not an easy one! The woman wanted to know if I was disabled or employable. I tried to explain that I am employable with limitations. She would not accept my answer. “You are either disabled or employable, Ms Wilson, you can’t be both!” She wanted a note from my doctor saying I was employable without limitations. I felt I was between a rock and a hard place. I won’t tell you that I didn’t cry. I did!

Almost immediately, the Message version of Isaiah 43:1-4 came to my mind.

When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place

43 1-4 But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
    the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead-end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
    all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.

Also, a song started in my heart:

When you’re up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams
And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan’s manifested schemes
And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears
Don’t let the faith you’re standing in, seem to disappear

Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord, for our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord, for the chains that seems to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you
When you praise Him

I felt comforted by God. I know He loves me, He has a plan and He is in control. Later in the day I ended up at a Job Center for a class. Ironically my badge had expired even though I was doing things to keep it active, so I had to meet with a counselor for a new badge. I met with a lady who is a Sister-in-Christ and she told me that she could not tell me what to do but to trust God to show me what was the best thing to do. She explained that with me being “employable with limitations” that I would qualify for job training (which I was not eligible of getting before because I didn’t qualify and because they didn’t have funding) and possibly help from Department of Rehabilitation (which I also had applied for).

I had pretty much decided that I would not worry about losing unemployment thinking I might get Social Security Disability. However, I called UCSF to talk to them about what they thought I should do. No one contacted me back in time to do anything about unemployment, so when the letter of denial for unemployment came, I was not surprised at all.

This morning, I was looking at my bookshelf and opened a devotional book I have not read yet. There was a challenge on the page I turned to, so I read it since I like challenges. It read:

“Challenge: Today make the LORD your dwelling place. Let Him be the one that delivers you from your enemies. As you talk and pray to God, ask Him to show you the best way to handle a current crisis. Like He did with David, He will deliver you. May God bless you.”

I decided to verbally acknowledge the LORD as my dwelling place to at least take part of the challenge. I started to pray, “God, I don’t have a current crisis that I know of….” Immediately I thought “you won’t receive Social Security Disability.” I knew that it was the LORD and not the enemy. And as crazy as it may seem, I heard the mailman drop the mail in the box right then. Sure enough to His word, I received a letter from Social Security that I do not qualify for Social Security Disability because according to my doctor at UCSF I am “employable with limitations”.

I could not believe it! Well I could, but I couldn’t. The same thing that disqualified me from receiving unemployment was also disqualifying me from receiving Social Security Disability! Wow! That is just unbelievable!

No Bible verses came to mind. No songs of hope sprang up in my heart. Just the enemy telling me that I thought I was at the end before but now I was at the end. “There’s no hope for Michelle…she will not be able to get the training she thought she would be able to get since she won’t have any form of income from State or Government!”

Then a song arose but not one from God. “This is the end, beautiful friend, This is the end, my only friend, the end. Of our elaborate plans, the end.”

I was sure that I have seen a video of a mouse in a trap with this same music playing. You think, “poor mouse!” It truly looks like the end for the poor critter. And that is what it feels like for me right now. But the mouse ate strong cheese and as a result was able to “bench press” the bar that had snapped to take life from its body to the tune of Eye of the Tiger! Hee hee! My God is much stronger than the strongest cheese! He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.  He is my dwelling place and He will deliver me from my enemies.

I love when I can laugh at Satan. He may think that I am at the end, “But my God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). I laugh at Satan, not because I know God’s plan or how provision will come in, but because I know God is faithful!

Tonight when I talked to my housemate about my day, she told me, “I want you to know, you will not be kicked out of my house if you can not come up with rent! Just know that, ok?” I am already praising God for the blessing of the beautiful home I am living in as well as the generosity my housemate has already shown me. Now I praise God all the more for an assurance of housing in a time of uncertainty with my finances. God is already showing Himself faithful!  Praise God not only is He my dwelling place, but He has provided a dwelling place!

The enemy’s Hand has been overturned!

I don’t usually read prophecies but for a few weeks have been getting daily email from Spirit Fuel. Today I just read the title and it spoke to me, “The Enemy’s Hand Has Been Overturned!” I read what Edie Bayer had to say and it was different from what is in my head. She talked about soil being turned-over or tilled with seeds already planted and coming to fruition.

For me, the title spoke to me much differently. You see, before I donated part of my liver to Lupe, I felt like I was in a card game with the enemy. I needed to ante-up but had nothing else to put in so that I could win except for God. I was going to have to find housing in what seemed an impossible way. (You can read that blog here!)

The prophecy talked about it being in past tense – it has been done. The enemy’s hand has been overturned and he did not win! I realized that I have not written about what God has done. I was in temporary housing with my Step-Mom – it was not meant to be lived in, but we made it through. Then God blessed me through people in/through my church who paid for a temporary apartment for me ($3000 a month for a month) then another 15 days there through another church and family member of Lupe. I did go back to the temporary housing for 21 days.

I had given everything I had and more to be able to donate….it seemed like the enemy would prevail in the “card game” in regards to my housing. But his hand was overturned by God’s winning hand!

You see, God moved me right when it seemed like all was lost, when it seemed like I had made a huge mistake and would look like a fool…God moved!

I don’t live in my own place, but I have a nice sized room with a gorgeous view and beautiful curtains. I have a garden to play in and all of my plants have a place. My cat Bebe is here with me. I am spoiled twice a month with housekeepers coming in to clean the floors, bathrooms and kitchen. I have a housemate who encourages me and prays for me. I am in a safe neighborhood close to the police department and walking distance to restaurants and stores. I am able to have guests over for Bible study, games, meals, etc. All in my price range.

I am still not sure what going forward will look like. I am in between funding ending for short-term disability and Social Security Disability accepting me. I have applied for unemployment because I am able to work – with limitations. It seems like another impossible situation. But you know what??? I already have the victory! The card game has been won and God is the winner. I look forward to writing about what the journey will reveal! I hope you will join me!

The God of 10 cars (and more)

In early 2015, my Mom offered $6000 towards a new to me vehicle, not to fix current vehicle or to have the cash but for her to wire the money to a dealer.

My car at the time was a 1999 Volkswagen Passat. I had bought it with 4 miles on it in June of 1998. It had been a good car to me for just shy of 17 years and I was having a hard time letting it go. But it needed a new catalytic converter and emissions work if it were to pass smog. It also started having other issues too, it seemed things were just falling apart on it. And someone crashed into my front bumper leaving it dented. Ugh! Ok, I know I needed a newer vehicle. Something more reliable.

I had a friend refer me to her friend who worked in a car dealership. He was looking for a specific car for me but when it didn’t come in and nothing in my price-range came up, he searched the internet for me which led me to a car in Fremont which sold right as I was arriving to the dealership. They found a 2004 Toyota Corolla CE with 118,620 miles on it on the back of the lot. The engine looked real clean, new hoses & belts. I am not sure why I bought the car other than the fact that my registration on my Passat was due but not able to smog so felt rushed. I bought the 04 Toyota Corolla.

Less than 23 hours after picking up the car, I went on a “God date” (out for dinner by myself where I can journal or just spend time praying or in God’s word). Almost immediately as I picked up the menu, I felt God speak in my spirit, “I love you, I have a plan and I am in control!

Less than an hour later, the engine light came on. I called dealership and was told they could do nothing because I did not buy a warranty. I took it to my mechanic. After $1449.98 and four trips to my mechanic, I found out the engine needed to be overhauled or replaced. After contacting Better Business Bureau, the dealership finally contacted me to say they would check out the car. At one point they offered to replace the engine with a used engine with similar miles but I no longer trusted them and finally after two of my friends went with me to talk to a manager, my money was returned to me. (Many say this is a miracle in itself). I was still out $1449.98 for the work my mechanic did on the car! )0:

But God had told me, “I love you, I have a plan and I am in control!” And boy has it been a plan that I would never have been able to dream up or even fathom (this is one of my favorite words, “fathom”!)

My friend Becky from church took me to drop off the car originally for the dealership to check out. I had to leave the car for several days, so she allowed me to use her car “whitey (1)”.

Becky needed her car back but her husband would willingly ride his bike to work and allow me to use his car “Greenie (2)” After a few weeks, Becky let me know they needed their car back.

By this time, I had my money back, but was having a hard time finding a decent car in the price range I had money for ($6000-$1449.98). I asked on Facebook if any of my friends had a car I could use for a week or so while I shopped for a vehicle. One of our church Elder’s and his wife were going out-of-town for a week so I used her van(3).

Still no luck finding a car to buy at that point. My friend Lisa was working for Shuddle while it was still in business and was using a brand new car of theirs so she was able to loan me her car (4) for about a week and a half.

Then, my friend Scott was going to Nicaragua for three months. I asked him to pray about me using his car and God said “yes,” so he allowed me to use his car (5). When I got his car, I pretty much stopped looking for a car to buy because I knew I would possibly be donating part of my liver soon and was expected to not be able to drive for 6 weeks to two months. I thought that I could look for a car after surgery. It turns out that I had Scott’s car for two month and three weeks and he came back one week after my surgery.

Then life was a bit crazy! I was not strong enough to drive for much longer than expected and with high pain levels and medication, my doctor would not approve for me to drive for over five months. After seeing a pain specialist, I was given some medicated cream that gave me the relief needed to be able to drive. Within two weeks of getting the cream I was feeling up to driving when Scott went out of the country for fourteen days and left his car (5 – 2nd time) with me. I picked him up at the airport on a Saturday night and the following Monday, my friend Maggie was going out-of-town for two weeks and allowed me to use her vehicle (6) while she was away.

However, while she was away, I got a skin rash that I could not get under control that turned out being from the pain cream, so by the time Maggie got back into town, the pain levels had increased so much that I was again no longer approved to drive, but I didn’t have a car available to me, so it didn’t matter.

By the time my new meds started working two weeks later, the next car came available to me. This car came from my housemate’s friends from church who I still have yet to meet. They went to Europe for about a month and left their keys here for me to use their Subaru (7) while they were gone (definitely Acts 2:44-45 in today’s context!). I shared about this on Facebook and got a call from a lady who had been my private client while I was caregiving – a sister in Christ who had become a friend (in person and on Facebook). She saw the post and God convicted her that she had a vehicle that needed to be used but was sitting in her garage.

After my month was up with car number seven, I picked up my friend’s Cadillac (8). Now the interesting thing is that it needed some work done on it. I knew I would be having a procedure done and would not be able to drive for a couple of days, however, I ended up being prescribed a new medication that made me very dizzy and unable to drive. Well, the car was in the shop the full length of time that I would be on the new medication (about a week and a half) then my doctor put me back on my original medication because my body was not tolerating the new medication.

It wasn’t long after I got the Cadillac (8) back, when Scott was going to be going out of the country again for several months and asked me to use his car while he was away. Scott’s car (5 – 3rd time). He was not sure when he would return, so I was not surprised to get a day’s notice that he would be back. I was not sure whose car I would use next. However, my housemate’s “daughter” went out of the country for three weeks and left her car (9) at the house.

When she returned, I really had no idea whose car I would use. I really thought I was going to finally have to buy a car. I started looking on-line, but I have not found any decent cars (meaning newer than my Passat with fewer miles and fewer mechanical issues). I considered buying a new one and taking out a loan, but my Mom said she did not want me buying a car with a loan while I am still on disability.

I asked another friend for a ride to church for Bible study. When she was taking me back home, she asked if I wanted to use her second car. I thought she had already sold it. Yep, God provided car number 10 for me to borrow for a few weeks.

I am one week away from the one year mark of donating 60% of my liver and my short-term disability will end next Friday. The day I got the tenth car, I was having quite a bit of anxiety about not knowing where money to live would come from since I did not have any job interviews and Social Security had not approved for long-term disability. I was sharing about my anxiety with my housemate. She asked me, “You mean you are afraid that the God of 10 cars won’t provide?”

Well, if you put it that way, no! I know that the God of 10 cars will provide. After all, He told me, “I love you, I have a plan and I am in control!

Not only did God provide 10 different cars for me to use during this time, but He also fashioned it so that I would not have a car when I was not able to drive. He knows me all too well! I would have been tempted to drive if I would have bought a car but instead He provided cars only when I was able to drive.

I look forward to seeing what He will do next!

Just a little update…car number 10 ended up being stolen Christmas day then wrecked. But interestingly, my housemate was out of town for Christmas, so her car became car number 11. I used Scott’s car (5) again several times and then I used a fancy blue Chevy Volt (car number 12) until a few days before the car GOD brought me came about. Check out the video I made. Waiting on GOD is worth it. He had a plan I would have never fathomed.

Lessons from a sacrifice

Well, donating 60% of my liver was much, much different from what I thought it would be. I had done A LOT of research, I had gone through several rounds of explanation of what was to be expected from all levels of my medical team and even read a lot of stories from people who had already donated through a live organ donor blog on Facebook. I thought I knew what to expect, but it was nothing like what I planned or thought. It really was a sacrifice, but it was worth it. Let me explain.

Lupe and I met with our surgeons on October 2, 2015 and were given the go ahead to have the surgeries as long as I found a place to move before the date of surgery (see my blogs in the “Steps of Faith” phase of blogging).  Temporary housing was found for me, but it wasn’t going to be in a home, it was going to be in a room in a back yard where there was no insulation and no bathroom. But there was plenty of room for myself, my step-Mom (who was coming as my caregiver), my furniture, etc so two days before surgery we moved into the room – arrangements were made for a camp toilet in the back and showers/laundry could be done in the house in the mornings.

On October 21, both Lupe and I were admitted to UCSF for surgery.img_20151021_153854 We were both placed in shared rooms at first. I was placed with a lady who thought she had a cold, so when my nurse said I could stay in my clothes and visit Lupe, I went quickly. Within about 10 minutes, a nurse from donor services named Lisa came to get me and said that as much as possible they like to place donors in a private room, so she showed me a private room with a bit of a view. I gladly took it.

I thought it was very interesting and sort of a sign, but my Personal Care Assistant for the night was named “Easter”. img_20151021_231834She put little bunny ears by her name as she wrote it on the board in my room. I told her that it was very interesting to me that the whole process for me to donate part of my liver started on Easter weekend. (See Waiting for an answer – steps of faith to a sacrifice.)

My friend Lisa stayed the first night with me and was able to go down to pre-op very early the next morning with me. As my gurney was pushed to the elevator, Lupe’s gurney came behind. He asked if I still wanted to “do this”. By then, it was no turning back for me. I thought I was ready.

In pre-op, there was a flurry of activity. We met part of my team and part of Lupe’s team since he was in the next “stall” from me. We discussed the surgery once more and then medicines were started. I was awake long enough to watch the operating doors open for my arrival. I met a few more people on my team, realized that it was extremely cold and then I was out.

I do not recall going to recovery at all so the next thing I remember is being on a gurney and being pushed into my hospital room. My step-Mom, friend Lisa and Lupe’s wife Hilda were all in my room. The nurse asked me what my pain level was from 1 to 10. I don’t recall my answer, but all three of the ladies told me I said “45” and mind you that was with the morphine!

Another memory that is super special to me is that at one point (possibly in the recovery room but maybe in my room), Dr. Roberts who was surgeon on me until the 60% of my liver was removed and then Lupe’s surgeon to put it into him came to visit me. He gently rubbed my arm until I was aware of him being there. He then held my hand and put his face near mine and told me, “Michelle, your liver started working in Lupe almost as soon as we put it in!” It was as if it were his first time ever doing the surgery – sort of an excitement in his words even though he is a the Chief of Transplant Services at UCSF.

I ended up staying in the hospital 10 days instead of 3, I moved 7 times after my surgery, and I am still on disability due to continued pain in my side and incision. All the pain, the frustration of moving, the loss of a years wages. I would never have imagined any of this.

Psalm 69:6 The Message (MSG)

Don’t let those who look to you in hope
Be discouraged by what happens to me (through the suffering),
Dear Lord! God of the armies!

Don’t let those out looking for you
Come to a dead end by following me—
Please, dear God of Israel!”

I think that sometimes people think that sacrifices should be easy, even for Christians. Or, we think of Jesus’ sacrifice only of what He did on Easter weekend. And that was not an easy sacrifice. The weight of the world’s sin were upon Him. Jesus gave up a lot more than just the sacrifice at Easter. He gave up His seat in heaven to be born not in a place of luxury, in a home with heat and water that was clean, not even in an Inn where there was some luxuries of “home”, but in a dirty, messy, stinky stable.

Today during worship I thought about how after surgery, my belly with the 11 1/2 inch incision felt like a pain level of “45”. I knew between a morphine drip and deep breathing, I could get the pain down.

Before the crucification, Jesus was flogged 40 times, which would have ripped his flesh front and back nearly disemboweling Him – He had no morphine. Then on the cross, His arms stretched and nailed, as well as His feet nailed together would make it near impossible to take a deep breath. And on top of that, if that wasn’t bad enough, the weight of the world’s sin (past, present and future) were placed upon Him.

The sacrifice I made for 1 man was no small thing, but I do not feel it was a waste. Lupe has been saved from an early death. He is 100% Hepatitis-C and cancer free + his body has accepted my liver.

The sacrifice Jesus made for all people was beyond human understanding, and He would do it again even if it was for one person. We celebrate the hope of Easter because He overcame death by God’s resurrection power. Those who believe and receive Him as LORD and Savior are saved from an eternal death, where we will be freed from disease and pain and will live for eternity with God.

Counting the cost – more steps of faith to a sacrifice

Have you ever been asked to weigh the costs of a decision? Maybe you have tried to weigh or count the cost of getting married, or having a child, or buying a home, or becoming a follower of Christ?

I haven’t posted since April 9, 2015 because I have been in wait mode as far as donating part of my liver to Lupe. Then in July, I was finally contacted by University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF). After a week of playing phone tag, I was scheduled on August 18 and 19 to test.

Wait mode was over and it was time for action! On August 5, I received information that I would need tests from my Primary Care Physician (PCP) and I understood these were due before I could test at UCSF. I contacted my PCP immediately and to my amazement, I was scheduled within 2 days to get a pap/physical, plus orders were placed for me to get a mammogram and a PPD (blood TB test) to be done with results to be expedited. By Aug 11, I was finished testing with my PCP. On Aug 14, I found out that I would need another mammogram and possibly an ultrasound on my right breast because a possible 6mm “something” was showing. Ugh!

UCSF was not phased by my mammogram results and asked me to continue to move forward in the process. Aug 18, my friend Lisa picked me up early so that we could get to San Francisco by 7:30am. I had to sign a waiver saying I understood that I was taking a risk. Before signing, Ana Maria, a Nurse Practitioner, informed me of many things that could possibly happen as well as tell me the odds of them happening, praise God I had read the seven pages of information prior to going. She then described the surgery, the recovery at the hospital and expectations post surgery.

After signing, I had 16 vials of blood drawn as well as a urinalysis followed by a CT and then 1 more vial of blood taken. Meet with Sandy, a Social Worker; get a chest x-ray; blow in a tube, it’s called a pulmonary function test; Electrocardiogram, my favorite of all; and an MRI. The next day was a much lighter day, an abdominal ultrasound and a treadmill stress test with electrocardiogram then breakfast before meeting with Ana Maria again for a physical and medical history. The next Tuesday I would be meeting with Dr. Lau, a Psychologist. And Wednesday I had another mammogram to find that there was nothing there.

Weighing the cost to donate:
I was asked the following questions by Ana Maria, Sandy and Dr. Lau: What if you die from this surgery? What if Lupe dies? What if something goes wrong and I need to be placed on a liver donor list for my own transplant? What if Lupe’s graft doesn’t take? What if Lupe’s graft does take but he abuses his new liver? What if my future husband or child needs a liver transplant – I would not be able to donate to them because liver donation is a one time thing? What if I have bad reaction to pain medications or anesthesia? What if my back injury flares up? What if I go into depression again or have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? What if my work will not take me back or help to file with assistance? What if those who said they would donate decide not to and what if no one else helps, how will I pay my bills?

I understand they were doing their job. They weren’t trying to scare me, they were trying to make sure that I understood it wasn’t an easy decision and there is more of a cost to me than just giving part of my liver and taking a couple of months off to recover. I had to have an answer for every question. And I realized that the biggest thing that needed to happen is that I would need to give my liver as Christ gave His life – no strings attached and trusting God.

The same week, I started getting similar questions from friends and family: What if I have inconvenienced people (especially my roommates and church friends)? Who will care for my cats? Who will care for me? Where will I stay post surgery? Who will bring meals/food? What if no one is available to help? What if I am isolated?

I have to admit, I don’t know all the answers. I pray that I am not inconveniencing anyone and that I do not have wrong expectations of anyone or the wrong motives. I have been told by many people that they would like to help, but that doesn’t mean that they will or that I expect them to just because they have said so.

Can I pay the price that I will ultimately pay? Not in my own strength I can’t. It reminds me much of Luke 14:28. We are to count the cost to following Christ. But in the end, we will find that it is He who paid the price so that we might follow Him.

This past Sunday, my Pastor, Joel King preached about “Our Faith and Making a Difference”. We are in a series called, “Extra, Extra” and the sermons are based on headlines from each week. This week, 4 men saved the day on a train in France when a man with a gun came out of the bathroom. The men were credited as being heroes and received the Legion of Honour award – Frances highest honor.

One of the men counted the cost for getting up. He could “either stay where he was and probably die or he could get up and do something and probably die”.

The men didn’t think they were heroes, they were just doing what seemed like the right and good thing to do. They risked their lives to disarm and detain a gunman before he was able to shoot people on the train.

Pastor Joel asked, “Is the cry of your heart, ‘I want my life to matter'”? If so, it takes courage and faith. And faith is action.

I do not consider myself a hero, but while I was getting tested on August 18 and 19, I was told by many that I am. I know to Lupe, Hilda, and their family and friends, I am. I’m not doing it to be a hero. I stepped up because there was a need that no one else seemed to be able to fill. Or maybe that no one else was willing to fill. I am stepping in faith and courage, one step at a time to see what God will do. I have offered to Him that I am willing to donate part of my liver but surrendering the cost to Him.

UPDATE:

September 1, I got a call from Ana Maria at UCSF. I have officially qualified to donate part of my liver to Lupe. I am extremely excited that God is allowing me this opportunity, this privilege. We have to meet our surgical teams and then a date for surgery will be set!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

***** 2 Samuel 24:24, Is 55:1, Luke 14:28, Hebrews 11-12:3, Matthew 5:16
****I was asked to make sure that I am not doing this with wrong motives but to make sure that God is in it.
****Lord, we can never fully grasp the cost of stepping in faith. I can not, in my own strength, pay the cost, but I believe You have gone before me and it is paid in full. I pray the benefits will far outweigh the sacrifice for all involved.

Waiting for an answer – steps of faith to a sacrifice.

For awhile now I’ve been getting email updates from my friend Hilda asking me to pray for her husband Lupe’s health. He’s had some liver issues so has had to get regular testing. Now he has liver cancer and had hoped to get on a list for a liver to be donated. Unfortunately, there are far more people who need livers than there are people who are dying who have signed up to donate their organ, so Lupe’s chances for getting a healthy liver donated by a dead donor are slim.

Hilda’s last email update described a growing sense of urgency but with a new request. You see, Hilda and Lupe have a beautiful little girl who is kindergarten age. If Lupe doesn’t get a new liver, he may not get to see his little girl grow up. So Hilda’s request was not just for prayer for Lupe to be healed, but also for God to provide a living donor.

I am a single woman who lives in an area where the economy is insanely crazy. It’s near impossible to make it financially for a lot of people. I am a senior caregiver working part-time, so in order to make it financially, I rent a room from a friend, who praise God is charging me below market value. The thought of being a live liver donor for Lupe crossed my mind but my thoughts were, “there is no way I could ever be able to do that financially!”

After praying a little, I asked one friend from church to pray and then did some research. The answers started coming. I could receive short-term SDI and another friend suggest we set up a go-fund-me account to help cover some of my lost wages plus Lupe’s insurance would cover all medical.

I asked more friends to pray I would have clarity on what to do. The more I prayed, the more peace, joy and excitement I was having. I also started believing that if God wanted me to be a liver donor for Lupe, then everything I need would be provided….everything.

Easter Sunday, I let Hilda and Lupe know I wanted to know what the next step was to get the process started. Because I had already researched I knew I would need my primary care physicians (PCP) approval and then I would have to do a medical questionnaire on-line. Let me tell you, Easter takes on a whole new meaning to a person who is considering to sacrifice part of their liver.

I read about the scar – either called a Mercedes or Lexus scar. The first goes from above sternum and goes out to the sides, like a Mercedes symbol. The second starts at sternum and goes to mid-belly then goes to the right side, like a reverse “L”. I immediately thought about being single. What would my future husband or my possible children say? Later, while reading John 20 in the Bible, I read Jesus saying, “Look at my hands and my side.” He was talking to me, “Michelle, look at MY Scars!” It was all I needed to stop worrying about what people might think. I also better understood Jesus’ sacrifice.

So, I sent my PCP an email believing I wouldn’t hear back until Monday or Tuesday. I was very surprised to find an email just a few hours later from her acknowledging that I have prayed and encouraging me to move forward in the process.

I then thought I would have to wait until Wednesday to fill out the questionnaire but my client’s daughter cancelled me for the day giving me time to contact Kaiser for my first interview. Adele informed me of the process but also listened to my story of faith, answer to prayer for clarity and doctor’s approval. She said I was “lucky” and that her “fingers were crossed” that I would pass the questionnaire and move forward to become Lupe’s liver donor.

Since I still had time before my PM shift, I was able to fill out the questionnaire without it “kicking me out” which means I would be able to move forward! Wow! Excitement completely filled me.

Before I went to bed Tuesday night, I had already had an email from UCSF Living Liver Donor Program. I’ve been accepted so far but have to wait for Lupe’s medical insurance to approve me for blood tests, physical and other tests. It’s been six days since I started praying for direction in regards to donating part of my liver to Lupe and now I am waiting to approved by his insurance to move forward. I feel like a little girl waiting for Christmas morning.