I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia and I moved to the United States when I was 21 years old with my husband. His name is Mike. Our parents did not believe in God, so we did not have the Bible, we didn’t go to church growing up, none of that really. We came to faith later, once we moved here, to the United States.
Probably about 10-11 years ago, his kidney functions started to go down and so he developed kidney disease which is now pretty much in its final stage. So my husband needs a kidney, he has a kidney disease, and I’m donating a kidney as part of a kidney exchange program that will allow him down the road to get a kidney.
On April 11, 2018, Irina donated her kidney.
Throughout this whole process, I have just really felt that I was doing what God wanted me to do. It just gave me so much joy just being able to do that, which is really kind of just unexplainable, if you think about it from a rational standpoint. Here I’m about to have a surgery and all the pain that comes with it, but yet, I felt so strongly that's what I'm supposed to be doing and I was so happy that I’m able to do that. Up until the last minute, really, just having the joy and smiles, it was incredible and I knew it was going to be ok.
So God has really just provided just so much more than I could have asked or imagined. I think, big time, the first time when I really felt that was when he brought Robyn into my life. He just brought this live person, real person who has been just walking through what I’m about to walk at the same hospital. We have the same donor advocate. It was so amazing seeing someone in real time recovering from the surgery and being ok, really.
Even the cards that people would pick out just were so filled with love. I just could feel that it’s not just coming from them, but that God is using them to really touch our hearts and love on our family. They see us trusting God every day and just trying to live our lives, every day, a day at a time. Make good memories, spend time in family, just really for our family to continue to be able to function and live our daily lives. God has provided so much.
Well, people say that usually your faith grows during the difficult times, right, and nobody likes to be in the difficult times, but I’ve just experienced that first hand this year that God felt and continues to feel so much closer now than ever before in my life.
Just seeing His provision so real in our lives and knowing that’s nothing we’ve done, that He has orchestrated all the details and has taken care of us. It just really grew my faith in God for whatever else might come in our lives.
I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world, as hard as it’s been, I’m so glad that I’ve had this year and had the challenges that I had because God was right there with me, every step of the way.
This story, and all of our stories, are from people who call Door Creek Church their home. As you contemplate this story, may your faith be encouraged and your hope renewed. If you’d like to learn more about sharing your story, start here.