Happy Monday, friends! I’m starting a new blog series! Each week I’ll be sharing a different testimony from one of my sweet followers. I thought this would be a fun way for you all to hear different stories and just get a new, positive perspective from other people! Today is Laura Jean Anderson’s story! I hope you’re encouraged by her story and vulnerability. She’s so sweet!
Hi everyone! Oh my gosh I’m so excited to be sharing this story with ya’ll! My name is Laura Jean – from the midwest metropolis of Minneapolis, MN.
Throughout my life, God and Jesus were very much on the back burner. I don’t have a ‘home church’ and my parents never brought me. It just wasn’t something that was made a priority or even talked about much around the dinner table. I didn’t start pursuing a relationship with Jesus until I was around 23 years old. (I’m 25 now). I’m still very fresh in my faith but I had an incredible faith-affirming year in 2018! It was the most amazing/scary/sad/exciting year of my life thus far and God really taught me about what truly matters.
I met Matt when I was working as an HR Coordinator for a local media company. He worked in a different department than I did, but he was the first person other than my boss to introduce themselves to me! (I sat in the lunch room alone Cady Heron style for almost a week before anyone said hi to me and I’m just so painfully shy at work that it was hard to muster up the courage to just randomly say ‘hi’ to someone in the lunch room). He made such a nice first impression at the time but we didn’t talk much after that since we didn’t work in the same department.
I learned that about 6 months later Matt went into cardiac arrest while on a trip to Sacramento, CA and that he would need to go on a medical leave of absence while he awaits a heart transplant. Matt was only 32 at the time. Turns out he has a congenital heart condition and has always known he’d need a transplant, but just so happened that NOW was the time…
I immediately was shocked. Being that I was working in HR, I was one of the main resources helping him plan and coordinate his FMLA & Short Term Disability. It was hard for me to imagine why God would let this happen to someone who seemed like such a nice guy.
Matt recovered from his arrest (enough) and was cleared to work for the 2 months before he was to be officially admitted as an inpatient to the University of Minnesota Medical Center. I am SO grateful for this short time that he was able to return to work. I know that this was God’s plan because it gave us a chance to get to know each other in person and in a more meaningful way than we otherwise would have been able to. I continued to help with his leave administration and one day he asked me on a date and I was very excited to accept!
*Side bar* I literally just met this man and KNEW he was going into the hospital and going to be ‘under the weather’ for a while. A LOT of my friends and family were wondering why the heck I would get involved with someone who was going to be going through such an intense and crazy time. I couldn’t even explain or understand it at the time but the only explanation or reasoning I have now is that God wrote that on my heart to be open to a relationship with Matt – and it was the best thing I’ve ever done! *Side bar done*
We dated and got a lot closer in the next few weeks and he was admitted to the hospital on February 23rd, 2018. While he was in the hospital, he had a big suite on the sixth floor of the building and was pretty much able to do as he pleased. He couldn’t leave the hospital, but he could go outside in the courtyard and even hit his 10,000 steps almost every day! I visited around 4 times a week and slept over every Saturday and most Fridays. Some days we had so much fun just wandering around being goofy together (usually we’d walk around and be crazy and I’d end up embarrassing him in some way). Some days we would cry and cry together. I started to really lean in to God during this time. Matt and I continued to talk openly about God and we grew in our relationship with Him together by praying and doing a few couples devotionals.
We waited patiently through spring, summer, and fall of 2018. He received a call from the head of transplant with the news of a donor heart on November 15th, 2018 and the surgery team completed the transplant on November 16th, 2018! (Shout out Dr. Griselli who performed the overnight surgery that concluded at 4:00 am). He woke up from surgery (with breathing tube and all) and smiled at me and reached out for a hug. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life.
Matt was discharged from the hospital 8 days later on November 24th, 2018. The first place he wanted to go to on the way home was a sporting goods store… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Fast forward to now (April 2019) and we’re ENGAGED!!!! We are getting married in February 2020 and all appointments and post-surgery test results have been great and his new ticker is strong and healthy.
I never would have imagined I’d be involved in something as intense as this. I am so thankful that God whispered in my ear to take a chance and be open to a relationship with Matt because now I get to marry the man of my dreams!!!! I wanted to share this story because this was truly a miracle – an act of GOD! If Matt wasn’t born with his congenital heart defect, we may never have met or connected like we did last year. This experience was entirely scary, new, exciting, and joyful. God and His plan gave me an entirely different outlook on life! God’s plan may not always be the easiest or the most logical, but it is always the best one for YOU.