I am here and alive and kicking. Kicking my way about through appointments with doctors, labs, nurses, insurance reps, x-ray technicians, and bla bla bla. Next week I fly 1,800 miles to Chicago again just to say “hello” to the transplant team who performed a pancreas on me four months ago.
I owe iBeGat.com writers and readers an apology and a plea for mercy, grace, patience, and prayer. Some of you know, most of you don’t, that I survived an unhoped for heart transplant six years ago, then cancer that is in remission, and recently the pancreas transplant. All the while the doctor’s informing my husband, my son, and me that, “You’re not going to live through the year.” But it’s almost 2012 and I plan on living way longer than they expect.
And one of the miracles out of the countless ones I’ve experienced is that there have only been seven other people in the United States and possibly the entire world that have gone through a heart transplant and lived long enough to endure a rare pancreas transplant. Most only lived a year and there are only four of us alive here in the US. So I am in an elite club. (Man. but where are the presents, gifts, cars, and hoopla?) 8^)
It’s said you trade one set of problems for another after any transplant, but at least you’re alive. I’ve learned to live with much or little as Paul said to the church at Phillippi:
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:10-12 NIV1984)
A few months after I accepted the privilege of editor for iBeGat.com, my health slowly descended into the life-threatening need for a pancreas transplant. No one I saw would perform this dangerous surgery, considering the outcome was grim. But God provided a miracle and I received my pancreas on May 12, 2011 in Chicago. The most difficult part for me–my donor was a 13 year old girl from the Dallas, Texas area. A teenager. A young girl with family and her life ahead to dream and reach for the stars. I’m going to write her family, and have to do so anonymously due to privacy law, but I hope to one day be in touch with them as I am with my heart donor’s family.
If you want to read about the crazy times during this pancreas transplant process, click on the link to my blog: http://cindyscinto.blogspot.com/2011/04/cindy-in-chicago-day-one.html This starts you on a list of entries from the “Cindy City.”
I’m finally recovered most of the way, and when I sent out schedules for publication my intentions were sincere. But, alas, things have fallen behind a bit. I can say that this week was a turning point for me and I am much more full of the kick I usually have. 8^)
So, dear iBeGat.com writers and readers, pray for my time to be free, health to be great, and mind to be clear, so I can get back on track and keep plugging forward with this amazing sight for teens by teens!
Thank you, really.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)
I check my microphone one last time, listening through the double doors for my queue lines. I clench the bag in my hands that will be used during the scene, making sure I’ve got everything, sending up a silent prayer to God for help. Suddenly I hear it—my queue!
Instantly I throw open the door and come running through the audience, hearing my laughter echo loudly across the speakers. I’m almost through the auditorium and at the last row of seats before the stage when… I fall. One of those brilliant ‘face-eats-carpet’ moments.
My bag of props goes sprawling before me. I don’t even have time to feel embarrassed by how far my skirt probably flew up! Grabbing everything I possibly could, I arrive on stage late, improvising a new entrance before getting into place for the dance number and song.
Half way through the music I notice…I can’t move my hand. Worse than that, with every movement I’m forced to make, excruciating pain shoots through my fingers and wrist.
I later found out that I’d snapped the tendon in my hand when I fell. True, God didn’t spare me the pain. Instead, He gave me the strength and comfort I needed to make it through till curtain call.
God doesn’t promise us lives without pain, but He will be there every step of the way, strengthening and encouraging us till that moment when the final curtain falls and we go to be with Him in paradise.
Christine grew up in the windowless basement of her grandparent’s house and has thus been fondly nicknamed “The vampire in a box” by her friends. She has a strong affinity for sarcasm, shiny purple things, and random, useless information that “normal people probably wouldn’t care about.” She likes to sing, act, draw, write, read, and make fun of Prince Charming in her spare time. Some of her epic skills include: surviving a piano being dropped on her, carrying on a five hour conversation with a wall, and making a grilled cheese sandwich spontaneously explode. (read more…)
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On one of the bulletin boards I have hanging above my desk, there is a small blue card that reads “The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Most of you know that verse by heart; you’ve heard it so many times. It’s everywhere – Bible book stores, sermons, bumper stickers, t-shirts. For such a ubiquitous verse, it’s easy to not pay attention to it. And if we do happen to actually notice it, we don’t really take it literally. “Oh, sure, I can do all things, blah, blah, blah. Great.”
Why do we get this reaction from reading this verse? Because, living in the society we do today, we don’t often see miracles performed. Nobody blind randomly starts walking, we don’t hear news reports of a bunch of pigs throwing themselves off cliffs, and we certainly don’t see anyone who was dead come back to life (Elvis aside).
But just because those huge, gigantic, jaw-dropping miracles don’t happen before our eyes any more doesn’t mean that there are no more miracles. I have had many miracles happen in my life. My mom suffered a heart attack not long after we moved to Georgia a few years ago – and during the heart attack, she died. My mom’s heart stopped beating, and she was dead. But do you know what? With everyone praying for her, God allowed her to live again. Defibrillators were used, and she came back to life.
I’d call that a miracle. My mom was raised from the dead.
Not long ago, my Dada also had a heart attack – and underwent bypass surgery. But in spite of these events, both of my parents are now whole and healthy. God came through for them in an amazing way.
But what does this have to do with us? We KNOW God can perform miracles. But we can’t.
And what I have to say to that is –
No, we can’t.
So what does that verse have to do with us personally? The fact that God can perform miracles through us. In and of ourselves, we are powerless. We have nothing. But if we allow God to use us, he can work miracles in the lives of others that you would never dream. Allow yourself to be used by God, and you can do the impossible – through Christ who strengthens you.
I am many things, but I’ll just share a few of them with you right now.
I am, first and foremost, a Christian, and have been since I was six years old. I love the Lord and am trying to please Him to the best of my ability. I am an avid reader, and lean toward fiction although several of my favorite books (the Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Blue Like Jazz, Primal, The Barbarian Way, the Soul of C. S. Lewis, etc.) are non-fiction.
I love animals, and I love music (soundtracks, Christian, Korean and K-pop, some secular music, Immediate Music, X-ray Dog, Taylor Swift, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Owl City, Hayley Westenra… the list goes on and on). My favorite movies are the Last of the Mohicans, G. I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Inkheart, the Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Robin Hood(s), Star Trek, IRIS (Korean drama – use caution when watching), the Fantastic Four(s), the Spider-mans, Batman Begins, Iron Man, (I love Hero movies) and many, many more. (read more…)
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