"When She Calls on Me, I Will Answer"
Two years ago, *Laura started to show up at Nail Day. An older TL woman, she walked with a slight stoop and liked to play pool. her friend *Mollie had told her about BJM and The Well. Here, she was living right above a women’s center and never knew! When we mentioned a bible study, she said she’d think about it.
Laura came to bible study and, well….never left!
Brave Communication group? Laura was there. We learned she was in recovery, working hard to apply 12 Step principles to her life, and loved to laugh.
A Beth Moore video group? Yep, Laura came. More bible study. She’d show up for our Art for the heart group when she could. Laura. seemed to want to soak in all she could.
As months passed, we got to know her better. One part of her life we all came to know well was her journey with last-stage kidney disease. She had tried to get on a transplant list over more than 3 years. First one health problem made her ineligible. Then another. She had circulatory problems and very low blood pressure. Her kidneys didn’t function at all and she’d been on dialysis for 8 years. She shared that once, a few years ago, she became comatose and was literally “unplugged” and expected to die. We learned that her blood type was very rare – so IF she became eligible for a transplant, few kidneys of that blood type were available. She might die waiting.
But, she didn’t die. She lived and kept trying.
At BJM, Laura re-connected with the Jesus she’d known as a child. Last fall, she asked to be baptized….some of you have read her own account of this glorious November afternoon, in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge!
In spring of 2014, the BJM staff attended a week-long healing conference in Northern California. We decided that every time anyone shared a testimony about healing of kidneys, organ transplants, dialysis (or actually anytime we felt the slightest urge!) one of us would stand in the prayer line and ask for prayer on her behalf.
We returned from the conference expectant. And, we learned Laura had been in the hospital all week with an infection. NO! …..but not NO…while she was hospitalized, her blood pressure changed from dangerously low to normal. And, she began to urinate – after not urinating normally for nearly 8 years. WHOA!
Our level of expectation skyrocketed.
Then, months passed….she’d get an infection or the dialysis port would become unusable. She would be asked to take yet another test to be certain that IF she were placed on the transplant list, her body could sustain a new organ. We waited and prayed.
Laura was often afraid. She began to know Jesus more intimately. To trust Him more. She slowly came to a place where she knew He would care for her even if she never made it to the transplant list or if she died before a kidney was available.
Last week, our beautiful Well flooded. An upstairs neighbor’s tub overflowed and gallons and gallons of water cascaded down and through the walls and ceiling. All the upholstered furniture was ruined. Our lovely wood floors irreparably damaged. Walls bubbled and wet to the touch. Our hearts sank.
By Friday, the Well looked like a construction site. Plaster dust and ladders. The roar of big drying machines. The staff came to worship before workers arried.
Suddenly, we heard a voice, “There they are!” It was Laura and her dear friend Mollie.
We invited them in. “No,” Laura said. “My cab is coming. I got the call this morning. They have a kidney for me.”
We exploded with joy. Hugs and laughter and women’s voices saying, “Thank you. Thank you Father!….Thank you, Jesus!”
We prayed her out the door and into the cab.
Suddenly, the whole picture changed. In an instant. Gabby began to weep and praise God. We all began to cry out to Him with gratitude.
The physical damage to The Well suddenly was unimportant. The work and effort it would take to return the Well to useful condition seemed like nothing. The spiritual warfare directed against us with repeated incidents of water damage appeared in reality – as the annoying but powerless efforts of the enemy to interfere with the plans of our Father – whose plans WILL happen!
Laura has received a new kidney. She is in recovery and looking better every day. Mollie sees her every single day – a faithful friend and sister in Christ. BJM women plan short visits and are talking about helping her with food and care when she comes home.
We wish we could shout this from the roof. Rent a billboard on Market Street to say, “Our God is faithful. Laura is alive!”
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the women in our community.