Saturday, April 28, 2007

God answers prayers specifically

I was driving home after work one night in my five-speed Toyota in 1989 after the big Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. Since the Bay Bridge was damaged, traffic on the two bridges that span the East Bay from the Peninsula was packed. I was sitting on the Dumbarton bridge kvetching to myself because I had to keep shifting.

As I was sitting in traffic, I suddenly had what I thought was a bright idea. I asked God to total my car so that I could get an automatic with the insurance proceeds (this from a claims person!). "I don't want anybody to get hurt, Lord," I said, as usual placing conditions on things. "Just let someone hit it when it's parked or something, okay?"

I went home and took a nap, then about 7:30 headed out for the Friday night NA meeting at Laney College near my apartment in Oakland. After the meeting, as we always did, a gang of us headed out to meet at Biff's, a downtown 24-hour coffee shop, a fixture for those in recovery. I had actually worked there in my teens, but that's a whole other story in itself.

As I was making a left turn to go onto Grand Avenue and into Biff's parking lot, a drunk kid made a left and smacked my car. The total damage to my car was $1,500, but it dislocated my shoulder and it never healed quite right. God had answered my prayers, alright, but I think He sent a bigger message.

Another example of God's answers is when I received my liver. Before the transplant center puts you on the transplant list, you have to interview with a team, and I mean team, of psychiatrists. There were about six of them in the room, all I really recall is a sea of white coats. They asked me how I felt about having someone's else's organ in me.

Despite how sick I was, I hadn't totally lost my sense of humor, but I felt I'd better let the wording of that question pass. I did say that I didn't have a problem with it, but I had one request. I told them that I'd always been slightly pissed off, I wasn't sure why. I said that I believed the liver controlled emotions and that I hoped that I would get a happy liver.

They were trying not to laugh when they answered me, but I could tell they were pretty amused and thinking "This one's a coo-coo bird." The head of the team told me that they were going to get me a liver because I'd led a "phenomenal life," but they couldn't guarantee that they could find me a happy liver.

"Well, I guess then any liver will do," I told them.

At a year post-transplant, I wrote a letter to the donor family. The letter they sent back said they'd sent me a picture of their five-year old daughter who gave me her liver so I could she that she "was such a happy child."

How's that for God's answer to my prayer?

Today when things get tough, I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That light is God's love guiding me toward Him. "It's better over here," I think He coaxes sometimes when I'm doubtful.

They say fear and faith cannot exist in the same space; that fear is lack of faith. I know that I can be scared to death but still have faith in God. I know that ultimately all will be well, but the steps I have to take in the meantime sometimes frighten me.

After all these years clean, I can finally say my faith is strong. Until tomorrow, I feel your love and thank you for your friendship.

P.S. Be careful what you pray for!


msb said...

Thank You for the wonderful blog on note giving up before the miracle. and thank you for your love and friendship.

lushgurl said...

Awww, I love you too TD... Today I am grateful that you, and your "happy" liver are a part of my recovery!
love and HUGS

Meg Moran said...

I sense that you thought about this post while you were driving that big old truck across miles of desert highway, reflecting back on your life. The gratitude that comes to us in quiet moments speaks so clearly of our Higher Power's love. Thanks for sharing with us.

Syd said...

I'm glad that you got a happy liver from a happy little girl. I'm also glad that you posted a wonderful statement about how the HP does answer our prayers in time. It may take a while but things workout the way they do for a reason. Thanks for such an inspiring post.

Woof said...

Things do work out for a reason...they work out the way they do because we are either in God's will or we are not. Not everything that happens to us is His think that would be to believe that we walk a perfect walk which we cannot. We can walk in the light or we can walk in the dark. They are very different spaces and powers. Good things do not come from the dark side. If we get into trouble in our lives it's only His love for us that is able to turn around a bad situation for His and our good.

Anonymous said...

Your "phenomenal life" certainly touches mine.
Lovely post.

Mary Christine said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. It made me laugh and cry!

therapydoc said...

I see nothing unusual in any of this :)

There is some thinking, for sure, that you get some of the person's personality (the one who donated the kidney). These are such great stories. GREAT post.