by Rebecca Duvall
A couple of years ago, my husband, Robert, went into kidney failure. He was put on dialysis, which he would have to remain on until someday receiving a new kidney. At the beginning of this time, Robert asked me to be tested to see if I was a match to give him a kidney. I immediately said “No, no way, this is mine. I don’t share”. As time went on we talked about it. At first he was a little angry, but soon realized it was too much to ask of me. So as he continued his dialysis, we started seeking a kidney donor and had him put on the kidney transplant list.
During this time Robert was also having a lot of heart problems. I found myself completely relying on God to get me through all of it, from being referred to a heart specialist to making all of the arrangements for his heart surgery. While I was trusting in God to take care of everything, I was also convicted by Him. He said “Rebecca, you are in my way. You’re not doing what I asked you to do. I want you to be tested. You need to be tested and trust that I’ve got it and will take care of it. I will take care of you.” So after thinking about it for a day or two, I filled out the paperwork to be a kidney donor and turned it in. At first I didn’t tell anyone. Not even Robert. Once I was contacted to have my blood drawn, after Robert’s heart surgery, I decided to let the cat out of the bag and tell a few people, one of them being Robert.
After a few weeks the results were in and, yay me, I was a match. Everyone in the church was rejoicing. All of our friends were excited. It took me a while to get on board with all the excitement, but I eventually did. I knew it was what God wanted me to do, so I decided I was going to give Robert a kidney.
About a week before the surgery, I went to meet the surgeon for the pre-op appointment and go over all the ‘what ifs.’ Honestly, while I was sitting there listening to the doctor and initialing each of the boxes on the consent form, stating that I understood the consequences of my actions, in my mind I was thinking ‘La la la la la, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know what could possibly happen. I just want to get on the other side of this.’
Both of our surgeries went very well. The new kidney started working the moment it was connected. Robert started feeling better right away. This was a miracle!
A week later we were both recovering at home and it was my turn to go in for the post-op appointment, my one and only check up. After the doctor looked over the incision site he said everything looked good and asked how I was doing. I told him I was irritated because my entire left side, from the waist to knee, was numb. I was also experiencing sharp pains throughout the area. I told him I didn’t like it and wanted to know when it would go away. The doctor told me it was nerve damage and a completely normal thing to experience after the kind of surgery I had. It’s one of the possibilities I was told about.
As I’m thinking ‘whatever’, I say, “When is this going to go away?” The doctor’s reply was “Nerve damage can take a while, so maybe a month or so.” I wasn’t happy to hear that, but thought; at least it will get better. Then the doctor continues, “It needs to heal and could take up to three months. Nerve damage takes time, so it could even take up to six months. In some cases the nerve damage lasts up to a year and sometimes it never goes away. It’s really hard to tell. You need to wait and see because we really don’t know.”
I decided to be positive about it and was hoping for the one to three month scenario. Well, nine months later, I was still experiencing numbness and occasional sharp pains, especially after lying down or sitting for a while. Each morning, when I woke up, it was the worst, because I usually slept on my side. To be honest, I was irritated, but not upset. I figured it was nothing compared to what Robert went through. It was completely worth it because he was no longer on kidney dialysis and much healthier now.
I was helping on the Alpha course at our church, which is a 10-week course where you can explore the Christian faith. One of the nights was on healing. After having a delicious dinner with our group, we watched a video on healing. Then during the discussion time we had the opportunity to pray over one another for healing. About half way through this time I realized I had never prayed and asked God to take away my numbness and pain. This was my opportunity, so I decided to ask for healing. When I explained to the group my discomfort they anointed me with oil. The group then sat around me. Some even put their hands on my side where the numbness was while they prayed for me. When they finished we moved on and prayed for a few more people in the group. At the end of the night I was excited and couldn’t wait to hear how everyone was healed, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
The next morning, as I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about everyone and all the prayers of healing. I again started to get excited and couldn’t wait to see everyone. Suddenly it dawned on me, I wasn’t experiencing the normal numbness and sharp pains as I usually did upon waking. I then started poking my side thinking ‘I feel normal’. I didn’t feel any tingling or numbness. It had gone away. But at the time I thought ‘it will come back, it’s always there, I’m just used to it’. As the day went on I continued to feel and poke my side. There was nothing. God had completely healed me. I still, to this day, have no numbness or pain in my side.
The funny thing is, I never thought to pray for healing. During the nine months of experiencing this numbness and pain, I never thought to ask God to remove it. I prayed for many other things, but never for healing. Then in that opportunity I was able to. I encourage each of you, if you ever need anything, emotionally, spiritually or physically, no matter how small it might seem, to cry out to God. Let God know how much it hurts and ask Him to remove it. If it’s Gods will He will take it from you, but you need to ask. I hope that you do.
Rebecca Duvall serves as the representative of the Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest on the Women’s Resource Council and is a Ruling Elder at Covenant Community Church in Vacaville, California. “I grew up outside of the church thinking you got out of life whatever you put into it. You were to work hard to gain status and stuff. The one with the most and the best in the end was the winner. Then, in the midst of a life filled with tasks, God surrounded me with a group of women who met weekly and prayed for me. I was on the Parent School Board and they prayed weekly over the school staff, students and volunteers. I surrendered my life to Jesus because a group of women came along side of me and shared their lives with me. My life that was centered around tasks is now centered around people and loving them as God loves me. God has taught me about the power of our testimony, and equipped me to share mine through a book, In His Way (available on Amazon),. It is about my life prior to meeting Jesus and how God has brought me many challenges including coping with infidelity in my marriage, my husband’s serious health issues, and raising three children all while drawing me closer to Him. I also have a blog, http://www.inhisway.net, where I share how God graciously and lovingly gets me through each day. My desire is to help women across the globe know how much God loves them and that they are not alone. Send me a message; I would love to chat about how God is working in, through, and around you.”