“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou
I have asked myself many times how I would survive end stage kidney disease. There were a few times when I actually believed I would not survive. In 2014, the picture for me was dismal, and on several occasions, which I have no memory of, my husband thought he had lost me.
Now, a year later, I am thriving. I am living life with a passion I never thought possible. I feel like I am a small miracle, and I am facing life with big hope.
I know the reason for all this. Without any doubt, I believe that my health is a product of prayer. When I got sick, I was serving on staff at New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. That congregation, and my pastor, Wendell Griffen, literally prayed me to renewed health and new life. There are no words that can describe the many ways they cared for me. But they did something even greater for me. They modeled the power of prayer, something I believed in, but had little experience with.
I am convinced that my current relationship with God, one that I nurture every morning, is a direct result of New Millennium’s faith and action. They taught me a lot about approaching God and abiding with God. When I moved away, and was without them, I did face a personal crisis of faith. In that time I learned a timeless truth, “When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”
I often remember the text of the hymn, “Abide with Me.”
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Please listen to this hymn on YouTube at this link: