Kim is a friend of mine from my singles group at church, someone that I don't necessarily know very well, but she is quickly becoming one of my favorite people.
First of all, she reads my blogs over at PV Singles...and she seems to actually get something out of them! (That idea...the idea that my ramblings would be worth anybody else's time...is just beyond me. Seriously. I don't get it.) So the fact that she takes the time (or that anyone takes the time, for that matter!) means the world to me.
But more importantly, Kim is now what she called my "blood buddy." Although I prefer blood sister. Because she is my sister, you know...through Christ.
Today my church hosted a blood drive for Brent, the young man I wrote about in the previous post. He is still in critical condition. He needed blood for his surgery on Tuesday, and will likely need more in the future. So I felt both the need and desire to donate in Brent's name today.
But I've never done it before. The idea of a big needle being strapped to my arm really does freak me out...even as I type this, after the fact, it creeps me out a little to think of it...it's almost a phobia. But I went into the room this morning and watched some people donate during our normal Sunday morning class time. Kim, who volunteers as a blood drive coordinator for the Red Cross, was one of the first to come ask how I was doing and if I was planning to donate. I confessed that I had never done it before and was thinking about it, but I told her I was a little nervous about it (that was the understatement of the year!) She was so supportive; she was like, "I know you can do this, Lacey, you'll be so great at it! I'll sit with you the whole time, if you want me to." A while later, I went upstairs to go to late worship, and as I was leaving she asked if I was coming back. I told her I was; so at that point, that meant I definitely had to come back. I couldn't lie in church.
During worship Sunday morning, we sang, "I Am Mine No More." I couldn't help but think that if I've been bought with blood, surely I could stand to give just a little of mine. I took a little bit of comfort in that thought. After going home to change clothes and eat a healthy lunch of a cheeseburger, a brownie, and some juice, I was ready to donate.
But I was still scared. The guy that was talking to me during the pre-screening asked if it was my first time. I told him it was, and that I was afraid. He said, "There's nothin to be scared of. We haven't lost one yet today!" But even as I was answering questions, giving him my name and SSN, he was like "What's with all the heavy breathing?" I was really nervous. I told him so, and said, "I just don't do needles." He said, "Oh you don't have to, we'll do that part for you. In fact...we insist that you don't."
After I finished the screening it was time to wait. I know I looked nervous, cause everyone asked me about it, and had words of comfort. I'm sure at some point, there were tears in my eyes...just my being afraid...that's how seriously freaked out I was. I wasn't crying, but my eyes were definitely getting a little misty.
Then it was time. Kim was there almost the whole time. She talked to me to keep my mind off of the needle...especially when, about half-way through, I stopped bleeding, and they had to insert it further...and then, when I stopped bleeding again and they had to move it or insert it even further again...or something like that. I'm not sure what they did to make me bleed more...I tried not to look...I just know that when I started bleeding again, this time, I could feel the needle in all its sharpness. She talked to me about my blogs on prayer and fasting. She told me about a retreat-type place that she thought would be a good place for a girls' retreat. She asked me about Christmas, the buying of gifts and where I was going. At one point, she was literally holding my hand, as they were re-inserting the needle, trying to make me bleed again.
When it was all over with, she pinned me w/a first-time donor pin and told me I was now her "blood buddy." I still prefer blood sister, though. Because she helped me to overcome one of my fears. She helped me to give the gift of life to a brother who is in a hospital bed in critical condition.
Most importantly, she helped me to be a little bit more like my Savior.
I love you, Kim!