It’s All About The Day My Life Was Saved

It’s All About The Day My Life Was Saved

It’s All About The Day My Life Was Saved

At five-years-old, I had a near-death experience. It was the day Jesus saved my life. That may sound extreme or weird to some, but I remember it as vividly as if it happened yesterday.

I drowned in a swimming pool, and I remember the feeling of struggling until I wasn’t anymore. Then there was only the sense of complete love and peace. I never wanted to leave.

In my book Daring to Believe, I share with my readers my personal experience of meeting Jesus face-to-face and how He told me it wasn’t my time. He has always been with me and continues to show up just when I need a miracle.

Excerpt from Daring to Believe—Chapter Thirty-Two

The words caught in the back of my mind, as I remembered the day Jesus saved my life

I was five years old, and my mother had taken my brother and me to visit a friend of hers. An unusually hot day had prompted Mom’s friend to invite us to swim at her neighborhood pool. My eyes went wide staring at the pool. Jamie, my brother, ran off with his buddy, leaving me to play alone.

Not knowing how to swim, I stood on the first step leading into the water, white-knuckling the railing beside me. I bit my lower lip as my eyes darted toward my mother, making sure she was still nearby.

At the opposite end of the pool, the older kids played a game of keep-away. Oh, how I wished I was braveenough to join them, but I stayed on the stairs watching from a distance.

Brittany, the daughter of my mother’s friend, must have suspected what I was thinking because she drifted towards me with her hands on the bottom of the pool and her face just barely above the water. She looked beautiful and confident.

“Want to go over there?” she asked, nodding in the direction of the deep end. “I can take you if you want.”

I spun around and yelled, “Mom, can I go with Brittany into the deep end? She said she would take me. Please, Mom! Please, can I go?”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea, Amy. Just stay on the stairs.” “But Mom!” I pleaded again.

“It’s okay, Mrs. Gray. I know how to swim, and I won’t take her far—just to the rope and back,” Brittany responded.

Mom said, “Well, I guess it’s okay but just to the rope and back. And Brittany, Amy doesn’t know how to swim. So, be careful, please?”

Electricity shot off in all directions like fireworks within my tiny body. Mom said yes!

“I understand. I got her,” Brittany replied and then swooped me up in her arms. As we moved closer to the rope which separated the babies from the grown kids, my heart raced like a running away train.

“Do you want to go under the rope? I can show you how to hold your breath for a few seconds.”

My mind froze as I stared straight at her. Go under? Hold my breath?

“Come on,” she giggled. “It’s easy. Pinch your nose like this and take in a deep breath at the same time. You can also keep your eyes closed if you like.”

I did as she said and pinched my nose with my thumb and index finger and then together, we took in a deepbreath. I closed my eyes and fixed my legs tight around her small waist. Instantly, we were underwater.

A few seconds later we resurfaced, and Jennifer exclaimed. “Wasn’t it fun?”

I nodded with a shaky smile, wiping the water from my eyes with the back of my hands.

“We did it!” I shouted, when suddenly water drenched my

face again. A big blue ball landed with a loud thud right in front of us.

“Hey, throw it back,” an older boy shouted. Brittany handed me the ball, and I chucked it in his direction. Excitement spilled out of me as if I’d gotten a large present on Christmas morning—I was part of the group.

We watched the older kids play awhile; then, Brittany’s mom called her name and she dropped me.

I sank like a missile, and water rushed into my lungs. I tried grasping for Brittany—for anything which could help me. But my struggling went unnoticed. She was gone.

Wild with fear, I flailed my arms and legs frantically. My screams vibrated in my ears as darkness overtook me. I couldn’t think of the word, but I knew I was drowning.

I stopped struggling. A golden white light resembling a giant hand—created a bubble around me. I could breathe. A voice whispered, “You’re okay, Amy. I’ve got you.”

As an adult looking back, I haven’t the words to describe the unconditional love I felt in the bubble. Even the most exquisite words fall short. I know I was in the presence of the Divine Source.

I wanted to stay in the moment forever. Jesus understood and responded, “No, Amy, it’s not your time. You have more to do but remember I AM always with you. I will never leave you. Now raise up your arm.”

I didn’t want to, but I raised my arm, and within moments someone pulled me out of the water.

Years later, I asked my mother how she found me. “I saw your arm sticking out of the water.”

I could not have stood there by myself in the water with my arm raised because I couldn’t touch the bottom. And I didn’t know how to swim, much less tread water. Jesus saved me!

Did this experience transform me into the perfect angel? No, that wasn’t how life would play out. It took me yearsto remember my moment with Jesus and what He told me. But He never left me—no matter how hard I fought to forget Him or God.

Arousing me from my thoughts came Chuck’s voice as if an echo, “Are you ready to go home?”

Spots formed in front of my eyes as I blinked to open them. Above me, hawks circled lazily in the sky, an affirmation from the spirit world. Feeling the satisfying gleam of joy, I replied, “Yes. I’m ready.”


Please download a copy of entire Chapter 32 from Daring to Believe below. The book is also available for purchase on Amazon.




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What Is It Like Living With One Kidney?

What Is It Like Living With One Kidney?

What is it like living with one kidney?

I’ve been asked many times what it’s like living with one kidney? And, have I experienced any side-effects from donating a kidney? My answers—amazing and no!

On July 7, 2011, I donated a kidney to complete stranger—David Ensley after hearing God’s Voice tell me I was his perfect match. Crazy, I know but David and I were 1-in-20 million perfect match.

Living with one kidney hasn’t been any different than living with two. Physically, I can’t tell the difference except I now limit anti-inflammatories. Offering complete disclosure though it has caused some minor aggravations nothing I haven’t been able to handle.

Although life has continued as usual at the same time it hasn’t. On a physical level, I am healthy. I work, eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of rest.

But, it’s my spiritual life that’s been anything but ordinary!

As I mentioned, I decided to donate because I heard a Voice tell me I would be the one to give to David. At that time in my life, I felt lost and needed direction. So, I started meditating and journaling. I asked God to use me as a blessing. However, I had no idea the impact that request would have on my life.

Why did I decide to donate?

I believe living kidney donation is a calling—whether it’s donating to a family member, child, or a complete stranger. It’s an inner nudging that won’t go away no matter how hard you will it.

When I first heard David’s story I had no idea living organ donation was possible. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about him until I acted on the words I heard that night in the kitchen— “Amy that person will be you!”

My family and friends thought I was crazy and honestly, many times I felt the same way. But, my soul was convicted, and I couldn’t turn back.

Caution—saving the life of another human being is a miracle that not only alters their life but yours as well.

So, how has my life been affected?

First, my connection to God, the Source of all beings, has grown. I more clearly hear things I’m called to do like writing a book detailing my donation experience—Daring to Believe (available on Amazon). When I was researching the idea of kidney donation, I couldn’t find many books on the subject, and those I did see were boring and clinical.

Then a few years after the surgery, I wrote a memoir. In it, I detail the authentic experiences I had with hearing God’s Voice to donate; my feelings about completing the donor application; telling my family about my decision to donate and their reactions; and the actual surgery itself including a few “inconveniences” I encountered afterward.

Daring to Believe is a resource for those who are considering kidney donation and what to expect living with one kidney. It’s also for ordinary people who want to feel inspired to be extraordinary.

After the kidney donation, I felt compelled to become active in my community. About 5-years ago joined the NC Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation. We raise money to help educate communities about kidney disease and offer screenings to provide early detection for those at risk.

I also co-chair the Annual Kidney Gala and have just recently joined the NKF Big Ask/Big Give Program—teaching people in need of kidney transplants how to ask for a life-saving kidney and for people who want to give, how to say yes.

Eventually, I started speaking to groups about my experience as a living kidney donor. I found I enjoy inspiring others to hear God’s whispers in their life whether it’s to be a kidney donor, a doctor, a lawyer or a parent who then encourages their children to be great things.

Mostly, I love watching David live his life with his wife, children, and his grandson—that gives me the most joy. Knowing that I helped to make a difference and, in many ways, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

In conclusion

Physically living with one kidney has not affected my quality of life in any way. If I had more kidneys to give I would do it a hundred times over—no question. I’ve heard other donors reflect the same sentiment.

Spiritually, I found my soul’s purpose and continue to thank God for the many blessings I’ve received as a result of answering yes to my calling.

I pray that as I share my story of living kidney donation and how God changed my life with six little words, that people’s lives are saved. And, as we to listen to the quiet voice within, may we be blessed.

What might you be called to do if only you dared to believe?




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Impossible, Right? Not with God.

Impossible, Right? Not with God.

Impossible, Right?

Not with God!

I read an inspiring story today about a lady who heard the voice of God instructing her to feed the homeless. Over the years, many people have probably listened to this same calling, but her story is incredible because at the time she was homeless, as well.

When you hear God speak directly to you, it can be unsettling, to say the least, but especially if it doesn’t make logical sense. At that time in her life, how could she of all people feed the homeless? She needed food herself.

Impossible, right? Not with God.

Although she found herself in the same position as the man she desired to help, this lady dared to believe what she heard. She marched into the local Catholic church and told the priest she was going to start a program to feed the homeless and he was going to help! And, that’s what they did.

This lady now works at the church and no longer lives on the streets. And, the program God started through her—its still going strong! Impossible, right? Not with God

I can relate to her story. I too heard God’s voice telling me I would do the impossible—donate a kidney to a man I didn’t know; and, oh yeah, I would be his perfect match.

Let me tell you once this happens; you hear God speak to you, it’s not something you can forget or try to ignore.

God is persistent.

I attempted to rationalize what I’d heard because let’s be honest I wasn’t the healthiest person in the world and the thought of giving away a body part, well, that was just certifiable. Granted, I had asked God to use me for a miracle but couldn’t I just give money to someone instead? (be careful what you say—He takes you literally!)

God kept nudging me. Eventually, I surrendered and called the transplant clinic.

Seven years later, I’m still not the healthiest person in the world but David—well, he’s alive and there’s a little guy who calls him Grandpa.

David and his wife, Suzanne, recently celebrated their anniversary at the Grand Canyon. Impossible, right? Not with God.

In my book, Daring to Believe, I offer you a funny and inspiring story about hearing God’s voice and daring to believe in the impossible. I write about my journey as a living kidney donor—not only regarding the processes and tests required; but, also the emotional and spiritual healing my family and I experienced as a result. 

I want to leave you with a poem written by Teresa of Avila, titled—You are Christ’s Hands.

You are Christ’s Hands

God has no body now on earth but yours,

No hands but yours,

No feet but yours,

Yours are the eyes through which he is to look out

God’s compassion to the world;

Yours are the feet with which he is to go about

Doing good:

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

What might you be called to do if only you dared to believe! Impossible, right? Not with God.


Daring to Believe Book Signing

2018 Charlotte Kidney Walk

Amy Gray-Cunningham will be available to sign your copy of Daring to Believe at the 2018 Charlotte Kidney Walk

When: Saturday, June 2,  2018

Where: Gateway Village Promenade, Charlotte, NC

Join us today! Register for the walk at


Order Daring to Believe today on Amazon! Or, purchase directly at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC.

Don't miss any of Amy's blogs. Sign up today if you’d like to receive emails with her latest blog, Click Here. You can also find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Whatcha Thinkin’ About?

Whatcha Thinkin’ About?

Whatcha Thinkin’?

Inquiring minds want to know your thoughts.

Have you ever stopped to listen to your thoughts? What do you tell yourself? Are they loving or fearful? Beautiful or ugly? Encouraging or defeating? True or false?

Our mind never sleeps. It’s powerful and always creating. Most of the time, however, we are oblivious to it.

God gave us a wonderful gift of free-will, and our thoughts are the result of that precious gift. Therefore, we control our thoughts—God doesn’t and can’t because of His endless love for us.

Now our soul—our beautiful soul—that’s entirely God. The center of our being or rather our spirit is the source of everything good, pure, and light. It’s always right and perfect because it’s always holy.

On the other hand, the ego resides in our mind and exists as a result of separation from Spirit. The ego’s primary purpose is to protect us from what it perceives as reality, and that stinker loves to be right—so much so, that it will lie and manipulate to convince us of what it’s telling us it right. (Hence the term—the devil inside!)

I’m sure this all sounds crazy but hang with me, and hopefully, it’ll all make sense.

A Mustard Seed

Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthews 17:20

A mustard seed is the smallest seed in the world, and yet when it’s planted and fertilized it grows into a magnificent tree.

Jesus tells us in the Book of Matthews that if you have faith as tiny as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.

But, how?

A Course in Miracles teaches that when our thoughts and beliefs combine, a powerful surge occurs, and mountains move.

God’s mighty gift of free-will affords us the privilege to choose love or fear. We can either follow the Spirit or the ego. The choice is ours.

But, if we hold the power to our thoughts, how exactly do we choose love over fear?

Well, I’m glad you asked. God would like you to know.

We control our thoughts by releasing fear, or the negative thoughts that the ego is bombarding us with, to the Holy Spirit allowing our truth to shine through.

Speaking our truth allows the love of the Spirit to flows from our heart through our throat and finally filling our minds and thoughts. The throat chakra is the bridge that allows eternal love to conquer our misguided fear. (Don’t know what a chakra is? Check out this video. Intro to In-body Chakras)

Since darkness is the absence of light, then fear is the absence of love. Love cannot exist where fear resides.

By releasing fear, we give the Holy Spirit control of our thoughts. As a result, miracles are created, and mountains move.

My Truth

Growing up I felt different and separate from the rest of the world. It appeared that everyone else got “it” but me. Although, I didn’t know what “it” was so I told myself that God must’ve created me by mistake and He didn’t love me, or I would’ve understood “it.”

I still don’t know what “it” is, but what I do believe now, is that God truly loves me but most importantly, has always loved me from the beginning of creation. I’m beautifully and wonderfully made!

Today this is my truth, and as a result, I’ve witnessed miracles created, and mountains moved. I have, and continue, to release fears that hold me back—keeping me from heaven on earth and my purpose. It’s a daily and most times moment-by-moment release, but it’s working, and I’m thankful.

What are you thinking…right now…this very minute? What do you want to finally release?


Try this breathing technique to calm your thoughts and let go of fears. Sit quietly with your feet on the floor and close your eyes. Watch and feel your breath as it enters through your nose, and flows through your body. Hold for a few moments. When you’re ready, exhale through your mouth. Visualize any fears and negative thoughts falling back into the earth.

Breathe in: I am light.

Breathe out: I release all darkness within me.

Breathe in: I am worthy.

Breathe out: I am willing to see the truth.

Breathe in: I am fearless.

Breathe out: I let go of attack.

Breathe in: I am love.

Breathe out: I allow the Spirit within me to lead me to my truth.

Daring to Believe Book Signing

2018 Charlotte Kidney Walk

Amy Gray-Cunningham will be available to sign your copy of Daring to Believe at the 2018 Charlotte Kidney Walk

When: Saturday, June 2,  2018

Where: Gateway Village Promenade, Charlotte, NC

Join us today! Register for the walk at


Order Daring to Believe today on Amazon! Or, purchase directly at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC.

Don't miss any of Amy's blogs. Sign up today if you’d like to receive emails with her latest blog, Click Here. You can also find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Excerpt from Daring to Believe by Amy Gray-Cunningham

Excerpt from Daring to Believe by Amy Gray-Cunningham

Daring to Believe


“I have been all things unholy; if God can work through me, he can work through anyone.” —St. Francis of Assisi

THE GROOM AND THE BEST MAN took their places at the front of the hall, and the DJ queued the music. All eyes darted to the back of the room. Dressed in an off-white lace gown with flowers in her hair, Mallory appeared with her father by her side. He wore a smile which lit up his face—a moment forever etched in my mind.

The room had been decorated just as in Mallory’s childhood dreams. The lights were dimmed, and a sweet fragrance of roses

perfumed the air. A spray of white flowers adorned the wedding arch where the couple would speak their vows and cement their life-long commitment with a kiss. But most important of all, the room overflowed with family and friends who came to witness the intimate joining of two precious souls.

Mallory glided by me on the arm of her father looking like a graceful swan streaming through the water. Tears flooded my eyes as I drank in the moment. Mallory’s father—tall, healthy, and full of life—beamed with love and admiration for the little girl who had captured his heart many years ago.

Proudly, David Ensley presented his beloved daughter’s hand in marriage to the second man she’d ever loved. For both David and Mallory, however, this day proved much more special than simply a happy dad offering his daughter’s hand in marriage. For all of us, in fact, it was about savoring a joyful story that could’ve had a different ending, but thankfully didn’t, because of those who dared to believe.

When our new bride, Mallory, was a teenager, her father, David, had been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, which eventually put him in renal failure. Her wedding day most likely wouldn’t have included her father, except that her Aunt Jennifer, desperate for a miracle, had courageously turned to social media.

Jennifer Ensley Scoggins had created a Facebook page, Looking for a Kidney for My Brother David, in hopes of finding a living donor. Neither Jennifer nor their older brother, Randy, were eligible donors, and other family members were not a match. But Jennifer never gave up hope. She believed God would provide a miracle—an angel to help her brother.

Our connection began when Chuck, my husband, casually read Jennifer’s Facebook page aloud to me one evening. Something deep within me stirred and with all my heart, I replied, “I hope someone steps up to help him.”

My life then took a dramatic 180-degree turn when I heard— from out of nowhere—“Amy, that person will be you!”

I had been asking God to use me for His purpose. However, I never thought He’d ask me to do something so outrageous.

On July 6, 2011, I donated a life-saving kidney to David Ensley. It is this fantastic journey that I share with you now.

As an organ donor, I became a perfect match—a 1-in-20 million to be exact—to this man I didn’t even know. Our body types were such a close match that we could have been siblings. As a result, David now requires only a small amount of anti-rejection medication to keep his body from rejecting the new kidney I donated.

I initially decided to write this book to educate people about kidney donation and the process I went through. At the time of my surgery, there weren’t many books written about the procedure, and I just love books! The ones I found were clinical and boring. I wanted to write about my personal journey with the intent of possibly inspiring others to consider becoming living donors, as well.

The book, however, has evolved into something much more than a story about a kidney donation. It has become a testimonial to daring to believe in the impossible and watching for the synchronicities in life leading you to your divine purpose.

Daring to Believe is an inspiring love story. But most importantly, it’s about my ever-growing love affair with God— or “Papa,” as I call Him—and discovering that what I’ve been searching for my entire life was within me all along.

God, Allah, Tao, Source, Adoni, Papa—it doesn’t matter how you refer to the Supreme Being of the Universe. God is not a thing, or a place, or a concept. It’s the breath within each of us that connects us to the All and to one another.

God is accessible in everyone at any time. You’ll find Him in the vagrant on the street or the CEO in the corner office. You’ll recognize Him in the act of holding the door for the person behind you or the hug you give a friend. You may or may not find Him in a church or a synagogue or a mosque or a bar, but you will notice Him in the people who frequent those places.

I grew up as a Christian, and you’ll find many references to the Christian way of life throughout this book. But I beg you, whether you are Christian or a non-Christian—no matter what your thoughts are about that aspect of your life, please continue reading!

My prayer is that this book touches people across all divides and religions. God is all-encompassing no matter the name He’s called!

May you be inspired and Dare to Believe.

(To download the entire excerpt in a pdf, please complete the form below.)

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