Enjoy this Devotional by FlourishWriters Student Yvette Allen
“Go to the hospital immediately!” she urged. “This could become dangerous, fast.”
I stared at my doctor in disbelief, my eyes welling with tears. My spirit sank with the weight of her words. My daughter, my only child, was about to graduate high school and leave home for university. It was a Friday, and we had so much to do in the week ahead. The prospect of a hospital stay loomed ominously over me as my anticipation for the days to come quickly faded.
Later that night, I felt a lump in my throat as I left the hospital, heading toward the unknown. Strangely, it turned out to be a pleasant journey. Strange, because I reclined on a gurney, connected to a heart monitor and an IV line in the cabin of an air ambulance. Strange, because I would not have chosen to travel by helicopter—its small size makes it seem less stable. Yet there I was, rolling across the horizon, delighting in the expanse of blue skies and the patchwork of landscapes unfurling below. It was the calm I needed for the turmoil brewing within.
My swollen feet and bloated body had prompted my visit to the doctor that day. The hospital confirmed the doctor’s fears: my heart failure condition, diagnosed two months prior, had declined. They swiftly arranged for an airlift to another hospital that specialized in advanced heart failure.
The following day, the doctor at the new hospital shattered any hopes I had mustered throughout the night. I needed a heart transplant to save my life. A few days later, I went home with a PICC line threaded through my veins. This catheter allowed for a continuous drug infusion to keep my heart beating until I received a donor’s heart. However, the drug coursing through my veins had a short-term effectiveness of four to six months. The average wait time for a compatible donor heart ranged from days to years. My entire body clenched with dread as I considered the implications.
I had been praying for a healing miracle for my heart since my diagnosis. I had faith like the woman in the Bible whom Jesus healed when she touched the hem of His robe. Yet my situation remained unchanged. Believing that God had deserted me, I slowly drifted down the path of despair. Eventually, I stopped praying. I did not want to continue to ride the waves of hope just to be swallowed up in disappointment.
My family, church family, and other friends were all praying for me. Their phone calls, visits, and the meals and cards they sent warmed my heart. I had placed all the cards I received on my dining table, perhaps as a memorial—of what, however, I wasn’t sure.
One afternoon, I stopped by the table, selected a card, and read it. I continued reading more cards, as each seemed to soothe my wounded heart. Halfway through reading the cards, a sudden realization came over me. Collectively, the cards represented a community of love and encouragement. I could feel the love of Christ emanating from their words. Tears streamed down my face as I stared at the cards, unable to move and flushed with shame. It felt like I was face-to-face with God Himself.
“Don’t you see how much I love you?” He seemed to ask. “I would never abandon you!” In those sacred moments, I felt a new sense of clarity. Not only had God cared about my situation, but He had been there with me the whole time!
I may not have known it then, but my healing journey began that day. God had used that community of love to show me the transformative power of His love. He knew I needed emotional and spiritual strength rather than the physical miracle I craved. I received my new heart sooner than expected, and the inner strength God gave buoyed me throughout recovery and into my new life.
Living with a transplant demands a dependency on medicines to prevent the immune system from rejecting the new organ. However, rejection can occur for many reasons. More than I care to admit, this evokes simultaneous feelings of fear and hope. To survive each day, I must keep both emotions in balance. Surrendering to God every day allows me to achieve this. It allows me to live in the fullness of His love. Time spent with Him and interactions with the people He places in my life have a healing effect. The source of my strength is God’s love.
My friend, here’s what I want you to know.
God cares about your suffering.
When your life feels like it’s falling apart, I encourage you to trust that He loves you.
“You have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” —Psalms 31:7b NLT
God knows what you need, and He is working it out.
He may not resolve your problems as you expect, but trust in His sovereignty.
“God works for the good of those who love him.” —Romans 8:28a NIV
God will never abandon you.
Spend time with Him. Even when it seems like your prayers are in vain, trust in His promises. “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” —Deuteronomy 31:8a NIV
God will strengthen you.
Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or weary, trust in His power.
“He will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” —Ephesians 3:16b NLT
God’s love has the power to heal in unexpected ways. It provides strength, peace, comfort, and courage. It fuels His desire to work in our best interest while keeping His promises to us.
My prayer for you is that you’ll trust in His love and “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18b–19 NIV).
Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Yvette lives with her husband, Andrew, and their adult daughter, Alyssa, in southeast Georgia. Yvette is a heart transplant recipient. She believes that faith and community have been integral to her survival during her health challenges. This inspired her to serve in the Congregational Care Ministry at her church. She is passionate about encouraging others to trust in God’s unfailing love during life’s storms. A new FlourishWriter, Yvette is currently working on her memoir. She enjoys baking, cooking, reading, solving puzzles, and crocheting. You can follow her on Instagram: https://instagram.com/yvetallen.