By Brother George
Read this article in Activated Magazine
My father had profound mental health issues which caused him, my mother, and us seven siblings much grief. I had a very unhappy childhood.
When I was two years old, I was seriously scalded by a pot of boiling water. To this day I still bear the scars over several parts of my body.
At 17, I developed glomerulonephritis, a chronic kidney disease which rarely occurs in people so young.
At 20, I contracted salmonella, which kept me hospitalized for six weeks, from which I barely survived and which further damaged my already diseased kidneys.
At 37, I had total kidney failure. I had to be kept alive artificially via a dialysis machine that cleaned the toxins from my blood three times per week for four hours at a time at a local clinic. Without this treatment, I would be dead within a week.
Two and a half years later, I received a kidney from my sister, which freed me from the dialysis machine, but which required me to take life-preserving immunosuppressive drugs every twelve hours and make regular hospital visits to monitor the new organ.
Five months after that life-saving transplant my beautiful wife passed away suddenly at 34 years old, leaving me with our five young children and my health issues. It was a devastating loss, but I persevered with life and remarried several years later. My lovely wife and I have two beautiful young children together.
Unfortunately, my transplanted kidney failed two years ago, and again I must be kept alive artificially by a dialysis machine. I’m 57 and waiting for a second kidney transplant.
My medical journey has included prolonged periods of poor health and being bedridden, life-threatening emergency episodes, hundreds of hospital visits, about a thousand needles, mountains of drugs, countless blood tests and other procedures, several surgeries, many complications, and many admissions to hospitals. And this is ongoing.
I’m aware that there are a lot of people who have had much tougher lives than me. But to me, my life has been more difficult than just about anyone I know. Yet, in spite of it all, my life has been great. In the midst of all this, I have been happily married to two wonderful women, had seven beautiful children, have served God as a missionary and volunteer worker for 38 years, and have lived in or visited 18 countries with many adventures along the way. So how have I managed to keep positive and keep getting up off the canvas after it seemed that adversity had landed me a killer blow? The answer lies in having faith in God and the afterlife.
If you don’t have faith in God or the afterlife, then you have to conclude that you only have one life. And if you were to have experienced troubles like mine, or worse, you might wonder a huge ‘Why me? Why have I been so seemingly cursed, while everyone else seems to have life so easy?’
But faith in God and the afterlife dramatically alters your outlook. Here’s how.
If you are a nonbeliever, get connected to God now through receiving His Son, Jesus, into your heart and start your journey of faith today. If you are new to the Christian faith, work on growing in and strengthening your faith by studying the Bible and other faith-building Christian materials. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you handle adversity. It will be well worth the time and effort you put into growing a strong faith in God.