#4 Belief is ephemeral. Faith is not.

“You know my heart is heavy, and the hurt is deep. Lord, lift me up.”

This is an experience I’ve always to loved to share, first, because it taught me how life can dangle by a thin line which God may cut anytime he suits it is time, and secondly and lastly, it molded me into the person I am today, and it continues to. About seven or so years ago, I started a journey with Christ and myself, of which I thought I would become my own downfall.

So, now I’d love to tell recount this to you all. It’s a huge expression of where faith was tested, and as well as growth in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I was still very young, barely recognizing what responsibilities I would be tending to as I grew. I was a mere thirteen, ready to take a gander into what life had for me, optimism poured from my soul, until one day it decided it was enough, and that’s when it all came down. Sirens and lights overwhelmed my senses, cries of despair and tears of inconsolable sorrow made their way down my younger sibling’s cheeks. A meager five years old, it made things just that much harder for me. I was a dreary mess, the time being a quarter past midnight, it felt like a movie with suspense that wouldn’t end. It was all so surreal, and it didn’t comfort me to know that my mother was dying. She’s all we had, and our father, always working, also felt the heaviness of the situation settle.

The doctor’s felt we’d come too late, and nothing could be done. All I could do was stare at the blinding lights of the hospital’s ceiling, seated in between a worried couple and my grandmother. My sister had balled up beside her, both with their hands buried in their faces. I was silent, neither crying nor thinking. I was a resolute figure sitting, glancing at the clock settled above the differentiating hallway’s. That’s the only sounds that pierced my ears, for it symbolized the time I’d wait for results of her passing. Everything else became mute around me, as if a spotlight had shown on me, and it was torturing me slowly, reminding me with bittersweet sentiment, that she’d be released of her grasp with life, and enter eternal slumber. My conscience was a mess of things, not knowing how to comfort me.

Hours came and went, streaks of the sunrise filtering through the blinds of the hospital’s depressing waiting room. Sullen faces and downcast eyes full of moisture sent a ripple across my spine, and I realized that the night had drained and no news came of her health. I was worried they’d taken her lifeless figure across the hallways and I’d not noticed it yet, and I was her, wondering about her well-being. Just when the last of my hope fell, my father appeared in the doorway, his hair disheveled and his eyes bloodshot. I pondered in the millionth of a second what the possibilities of what his words would be when he spoke.

Frankly, I don’t recall what he said, but his words were enough to lift my downed spirits. Deep in slumber, their heads hung and hair also disheveled, they lifted their heads with a quick snap, smiles gracing their pale faces. We all ran to him, and I pressed my face into his chest. The past events of last night seemed to fade, only to reappear weeks later with a vicious intent. We left the hospital a few weeks later, only to find that my mother’s feet were ravaged with a terrible bacteria, leaving them lacking the necessary oxygen, her fingers also became the same and I suffered, with me still being small, my mind still reacted as if I were seven.

Now, this is when the the reality of the situation sunk in, and I was left hollow with despondency. It was two months later, and it was the middle of June. I was in an unkempt state, images of what could be flashing behind my eyelids, funerals prematurely ending and life going on without so much as a farewell. I started to rebel, taking my mother’s imminent passing as a note to change for the worse. While I was integrated deeply with my own worries, I never really thought about what my mother was going through, it was all about me at the moment, when she was the one lain upon a bed, her breath threatening to fail her, her beating heart close to faltering for eternity. Instead, I was far from it, for that was the most self-involved thought that almost consumed me, until I started to listen to the preacher in a small chapel located east of the entrance to the building. My family went in there when the light seemed to dim upon her health.

It was when I realized I was never alone – aside from friends and family – I speak for what I felt I was battling. Satan felt that by taking advantage of my dying mother, he could try my faith and throw me in with the mass of people who chose to believe the Lord was nothing but a folk’s tale. I refused, in the end, because I knew, no matter how much happened, someone had my back, that he was watching me diligently and embracing me with every twist and turn that I felt was drowning me.

I finally met up with a psychologist, and as much as I respect the work they do, I didn’t want to consult with one. She was to prepare me and my sister, in case anything happened and we were met with the consequences of sorrow that follows losing a loved one. Since my mother’s had been, to which what seemed to be permanent intern in that hospital, was bound to a white clad bed, many tubes filling her body in ways I had deemed cruel in my naive thoughts. I had never seen the way she looked, for I never dared go through the tall white doors, the only thing letting me know that there was life behind those doors was two small window panes, and as the doors swung open repetitively. The frail-looking psychologist, two blue folders, papers spilling out, sat down with us, a light smile decorating her pitiful gaze. I knew this was no visit full of pleasantries, instead, a preparation for a greater tragedy that would soon dull our insides for a long time. She proceeded to show us the few machines that were connected to her body, and examples of how people looked, and they seem full of misery and pain, their faces contorted. I could only imagine at the time what she looked like, and at that moment, I prayed to God, that my mother was not the same. It felt like someone had taken it upon themselves to stab me in the gut, and torture me with cruel pricks that would only worsen the pain.

It was the day I lost it. I let go of cloak of false strength fall to my feet, for was finally bare. It hurt all so much, feeling as the sudden pang of vulnerability struck me, and the tears were pouring. I ran from the room the second the thin built woman inquired if I wanted to pass by and see her. I found myself,  not from my mother, but the from the truth. I had finally broken through my own self-indulged ego, I’d finally let the Lord see for who I was, not that he’d always known, but I was freely letting him through. I desperately needed his help, I needed him to reassure me. Because even the young at heart can break so easily, and it’s a wonderful experience to know that he’s with you through it all.

I knew that at that moment, I wasn’t alone. The tears were both a mixture of joy and sorrow, but at the moment, mostly sorrow. I’d finally come to terms that my mother was truly leaving me, and for the first time, I let someone’s arms comfort me, and I felt as I were finally coming together. I looked around and I saw everything beautiful for what it was. As bad as things got, I felt God was in control, and I had to do was stand back and let him take care of things. My rebellious streak ended, and I finally let them all in. I no longer walked with reckless strides, but with cautious steps, careful never to fall again.

My mother miraculously pulled through, the Lord allowing her to be lifted from death’s suffocating hold. It’s been seven years ever since, having gone through rehab and many treatments, as well as three amputations, of which were both legs, as well as three fingers left hand. “A small price to pay for our lives”, she always says, grateful to be alive. She is the one I look to on this earth, she’s taught me what it means to fight, and smile against what seems the inevitable.

God’s provided many with miracles, but personally speaking here, I wonder if she’s the greatest of them all. I feel as if he lifted her from the dead. I know he did for me, for I felt like a newborn child.

• A/N I apologize for the long post, but I’ve wanted to share this, it just has so much meaning to me. It was an experience that will never be forgotten, even for generations to come.


4 thoughts on “#4 Belief is ephemeral. Faith is not.”

  1. The terror of that time must have weighed heavily on you…so glad your mother is still with you. What a gift.

    I’m not religious either, and yet strangely, I do feel one needs to have faith…

    1. It was a perilous period for me and my sibling, but thankfully, she’s here with us. 🙂 Yes, whether we are atheist or religious, we all need something to believe in.

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