Twenty-eight years ago I had very strong impression. I knew Jennica would be in my life, but I didn’t know her name nor where I’d find her. I knew I had something for her, but I didn’t know what that could possibly be.
When I had this strong impression, I lived in California and was pregnant with my first child. Jennica wouldn’t be born for another two years to a woman living in New Mexico. I didn’t know where she was or where we’d meet, only that she was a girl who was coming to me. At first I thought she would be my daughter, but later I realized she had a different mother and she would find me when she was ready for what I had for her.
Janet raised Jennica in New Mexico. Jennica turned out a beautiful, strong, faith-filled, talented woman of light; a leader in her community in spite of her lifelong illness. Janet raised her, taught her, cared for her, stayed by her through the physical pain Jennica endured and through the emotional pain Janet endured.
Twenty-four years later Jennica and I found ourselves in Logan, Utah, a small suburb near the Idaho border. We worked in the same little store with just 5 or 6 part-time employees. I still didn’t know she was the girl I had been looking for; neither did she know what role I would play in her life. Before I even knew she had a need, I heard a little voice tell me, “You need to give her your kidney.” I was flabbergasted! Floored! I will tell you, that did not come from me. A year later we were in surgery, and two doctors delivered the item meant for Jennica that I carried my whole life for her, safe within me until she was ready, to Jennica, who was just around the corner, but I was not in a position to deliver it myself. (I do believe it was always Jennica’s.)
Jennica’s body was immediately happy to receive this new kidney, and Jennica got better very quickly. A year and a couple months later her body still had not tried to reject the kidney, so the doctors gave Jennica the go to get pregnant, if she wished, and she did! A couple months later, Jennica’s body recognized the kidney as an intruder and tried to reject it for it’s first time. Of course this is high risk for the pregnancy, and Jennica is closely monitored by her doctors, but the rejection of the transplanted kidney early in pregnancy is also normal. As a matter of fact, it was a miracle that it took so long for the first rejection, which usually happens several times in the first post-op year. The good news is that doctors have ways to control the situation and keep the baby safe.
At four months pregnant (and after a couple overnight stays at the hospital) Jennica and her husband received the great news of a new job they’d been hoping for. It would mean putting the house up for sale, packing, making new living arrangements in the new town six hours away, and letting people through to judge her house all in the next three weeks, when they had to be at their new location. All this while she is constantly visiting her doctor to be monitored and treated for her high-risk pregnancy and feeling sluggish because of low blood counts since treatments to hide the kidney from her body.IMG_0234.JPG
About a week before their departure, Jennica posts on Facebook one of those “Getting to Know Me” surveys. One of the questions was “What’s your favorite dessert?” Jennica answered, “Right now, Huckleberry Ice Cream from BJ Buckets.” I happen to work at BJ Buckets, and when I read her post I knew I had to get a Date Night Bucket (4 ½ cups) filled with Huckleberry Ice Cream for her freezer!
When I arrived at work that same day I realized that I had no time to get the huckleberry ice cream to her before it would melt in my car, even though she lived just around the corner. Nobody was around, so I said a prayer asking God to send someone who could deliver the ice cream to her for me. I laughed at myself for such a silly request, because we have very few common friends and I have never seen one of them during the hours I worked, but I figured if it were important then one would walk in, and they would definitely be on an errand for God!
Jennifer and Debbie were out running errands and decided they wanted some ice cream. They had talked about going to a certain local grocery store for their ice cream, but Jennifer had the idea to go to BJ Buckets to see me. (An answer to my “silly” prayer.) I was surprised and delighted when Jennifer and Debbie showed up. I knew right away why they were REALLY coming to see me, because they are two of those few friends that Jennica and I share. I was not so surprised, but still delighted, that they were happy to deliver the ice cream around the corner to Jennica for me.
The next morning I received a text from Jennica. “You are an answer to a prayer!!!!! Thank you so much for the ice cream. I was actually a bit down last night and asked for 2 things, the exact ice cream you sent and help. And today my mom walked through my door and my favorite ice cream. I love when the small prayers are answered. Thanks for listening.”
Jennica’s mom still lives in New Mexico. Her visit was a complete surprise to Jennica. I did not know I was going to be an answer to a prayer. I only knew I really wanted to get this ice cream to her. Later Jennica posted her experience on Facebook and said, regarding her prayerful request, “I know it’s silly but I really just wanted my favorite huckleberry ice cream from BJ buckets.”
Jennica’s message to the world, “God does answer prayers, he even hears the request for ice cream. Don’t be afraid to tell him the silly things, always ask for everything you think you need. If it is something he can give you he will. And ALWAYS THANK HIM FOR THE BLESSINGS HE SENDS.”
My message to the world: Trust your thoughts. Do something nice for someone. It can be little or silly. You may not always know when God sends you on an errand for him to let someone know that he heard their “silly” prayer and he loves them enough to orchestrate lives to send a love note to his child. What you do DOES matter! Love one another.
In life, Jennica’s mother Janet did the most work and had the most dedication. She took care of Jennica and labored with her and shared in her burden, as she did showing up to help Jennica get ready to move. In life, I had an item that Jennica needed, as I did at BJ Buckets that day. In the operation I was just in the other room, but I could not deliver the kidney to Jennica without the doctors taking it just around the corner, just as I could not deliver the ice cream to Jennica without Debbie and Jennifer taking it just around the corner. In life, God watched over Jennica, just as he did that day with the “silly” prayers. In life, I was in Jennica’s life for only a short time when the time was right, but Janet was and is with her from the beginning to forever.
God loves Jennica, just as he does all of his children. Jennica is willing to recognize love notes from God. The scriptures call them “tender mercies of the Lord”. May we always recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives. These love notes are all over the place and meant specifically for each one of us. May we, likewise, follow our thoughts to bless the lives of others, even if we think it seems “silly” and insignificant. More often than we think, we are delivering a message of love from God.