As a child, I was the healthiest. My sisters had sudden infant death syndrome and sleep apnea, and my brother had terrible asthma. Naturally, I believed I would go very far. But when my kidneys failed at the age of 14, and swelling took over my body…I began to question that. When I spent my 15th birthday in the 7th floor of Building C at Albany Medical Center doing chemotherapy treatment to prolong kidney failure, I began to believe it.
Over the next several years, the road was long and steep. There were some good moments on the road – I began to feel the healthiest I had been in years…But then on my 18th birthday I was told that my kidney function had decreased to the point where I needed dialysis – I had two surgeries on my 18th birthday weekend followed by over four months of dialysis at the hospital and at home.
At times I felt like…what’s the point? At times I believed the doctor’s words that this chronic disease would be the death of me…At times I wanted to give up…But John 8:44 says the devil is a liar! And Isaiah 53:5 says with his stripes we are healed! And I thank God for my praying mother. For my mother that knows the Lord. For my mother who made me know of Jesus at a young age. For my mother who encouraged me to start going to Riverview and a youth group in Coxsackie where I learned more about my Jesus.
And in the midst of my storms, in the middle of my trials, in the troughs of the valleys, in the many rooms of the several wings of the hospital, my mother was with me, every step of the way – Loving me, caring for me, supporting and encouraging me. My mother never stopped praying for me in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. I believe in the power of prayer – I have seen it first hand. My mother believes in the power of prayer – I am her standing testimony. And on this mother’s day weekend – If I had to choose a scripture verse that exemplifies my mother and all she endured during my health crisis, it would be 1 Samuel 1:22 which reads: “For this child I prayed; and the Lord has given me my petition, which I asked of Him.”
So Mom - or maybe I should call you Hannah, thank you and I love you do no justice at this moment. Just know that because of your love, because of your dedication, because of your prayers – I have come this far… There is no turning back! I’m not as good as I’m going to get, but I’m better than I used to be! I will go far in the name of the Lord…And like Samuel, your son will be a man of prayer, and distinctive among the people!