Five years ago, I was sitting in my sophomore year dorm room when I saw an invitation to join a group on Facebook. “Prayers for Andrea Bierema,” it says. I had no idea who this person was. And while I tend to categorically reject such random Facebook invitations, this one intrigued me. I clicked on the link, and read on. It told of a Michigan freshman who suffered a heart attack in her dorm room, and then later, two strokes, waiting for a heart transplant. So that was what the commotion was about, I thought to myself, remembering the blaring sounds of siren from earlier in the week. It was a gripping story, and I remembered taking time to pray for this freshman girl I didn’t even know. I prayed that God would provide a donor for her, for renewed life, for healing.
But eventually, I lost contact. Two years passed by. I had no idea if she was alive, or what at all happened to her. I didn’t really keep in touch or read any updates. So imagine my surprise when I saw her name on my friend’s LIFE group directory. She’s not only alive, but she has also now joined our church!
The following year, we somehow ended up in the same LIFE group for two months, and I shared with her how my first “encounter” with her was three years ago, just as a random intercessor who had no real personal connection with her.
Today, we celebrated Andrea’s 5 years of post-heart transplant life. The house was filled with much celebration and joy. People who were a part of her life before, during, and after her health struggles were there. There was these two wonderful ladies who, five years ago, sang at the hospital during Andrea’s heart transplant procedure. Today they were there again, joyously singing praises to the King and Healer. There were so, so many others, all coming together to celebrate Andrea’s tremendous recovery over the past 5 years.
Best way to celebrate life is by smashing a piñata! :)
If these things didn’t happen, I would have never gotten to know this lady that I am so honored to call my friend. In fact, most of these people wouldn’t be here. Through this painful situation, God has brought together these people and expanded Andrea’s “family,” in some ways. Truly, what man has intended for evil, God intended it for good. (Genesis 50:20, paraphrased)
Some lessons along the way:
- God’s ways are truly far higher, far deeper, far greater than any of man’s ways. He is more than able to bring beauty out of ashes.
- It is truly an honor to be an intercessor. The time spent in prayer is never ever wasted, and God really does answer prayers, even when we don’t realize it. To be invited to pray is an invitation to be a part of someone’s life or ministry. It’s such a privilege.
- There is beauty in getting to celebrate life. Regardless of how hard it may be, life is worth celebrating.
- Consider being an organ donor, and help be a part of someone’s miracle!
PS: More (objective) information about Andrea here!