Have you lost someone close to you before? Perhaps to illness? Or to a change in circumstances in life? How do you get over that hurt? Our editor, Daniela, shares with us how God healed her pain from losing someone close to her heart and how she found her way back to Him.
As I have mentioned in my previous video post, I don’t come from a Christian family. Family-wise, the only exposure I have had of Christianity was mainly my maternal grandmother. When she passed away in 2003, it felt like my world fell apart literally.
Don’t get me wrong, I had support from Christian brothers and sisters. But I was not yet attending any church regularly to experience the community that was so necessary for me to persevere in life.
While I was still in high school, she went from hospital to senior home to transferring to several other senior homes. It was difficult. My grandmother had a stroke and she was bounded to a wheel chair, leaving her feeling incapable and restricted. On the other end, it was hard for the family as we felt incapable to do anything to help alleviate her pain and suffering.
Eventually around the time of the city-wide blackout in 2003, my grandmother was due for a surgery to have her leg amputated. It had become infected and was life-threatening because she had diabetes The surgery was delayed because of the blackout, however, on the Friday morning without any notice, the doctors decided to proceed with the surgery. It was that same morning, I had woken up very suddenly screaming to only later find out that the surgery was completed.
I remember having a conversation over the phone with her the next day, encouraging her to rest and how she needs to it in order to recover.
A few days later, she fell into a coma and the doctors told us she wouldn’t make it. I didn’t want to believe it, I chose not to believe it. At that time my faith, my relationship with God was just not strong enough, I didn’t translate these thoughts/emotions into prayer. I simply didn’t know what to do. And healing was just something I didn’t understand at all. I depended on the doctors to provide the healing and that it’ll come if it was in God’s will. A chaplain pastor came in to pray for her but even then, I felt like I didn’t know what was happening. I only felt a huge fear of losing her, a very familiar fear I clung onto throughout high school.
She had always been the one that I felt the most comfortable with to confide in of the struggles I went through with family. She was always the one that I would want to share the excitement of doing well in school/piano competitions. She was always the one that I wanted to be around because she showed a genuine care and unconditional love for a person like me, someone that never felt a sense of belonging. There was something different about her, she wasn’t like other people that often verbally abused me for being fat/ugly/looking like a boy. She accepted me for who I was and showered me with her love.
Little did I know back then, but it was Christ living in her that spoke such an unfailing love. But I was not able to recognize it, when she passed away I turned away from God and instead to alcohol whenever I had the opportunity to. I would put a front when I was with family, I’d smile and they would think that I was actually happy. I wanted to forget this pain, I wanted to run away, I wanted this reality to be an illusion, a lie. But the reality was it wasn’t an illusion, it was real, she was gone. Don’t get me wrong, I knew my limits and not to get drunk. Perhaps, this was the reason why the pain felt even so much harder to bear with. I questioned privately and perhaps felt angry and resented the fact that God took my grandmother, my best friend away. I resented that He didn’t heal her. And instead I felt like He dug a big portion of my heart out and took it away.
A year had passed and I broke down one particular night at a friend’s party. I really questioned who I was and how I was living the life that my grandmother had exemplified to me. Meanwhile, these friends were drinking and experimenting with drugs. I remembered I had even gone up to my friends lecturing them about how they shouldn’t experiment with the drugs and yet I was living such a hypocritical life, engaging in drinking. And what made me feel even more of a fool was the fact that I was going to go to church the next day with a friend. What was I doing? Who was I choosing to be through the choices I was making? What a hypocrite!
I was convicted by the Holy Spirit and as I broke down I called my God brother, he was at his own birthday party with some friends. I knew I had interrupted but he still took the time to listen and he took the time to pray for me, to encourage me and to support me. I knew I needed healing myself at this point but I wasn’t sure how.
Near the end of 2004, I witnessed a younger cousin getting baptized. It encouraged and convinced me that Christ was the ultimate answer. I didn’t know why I felt and thought that way but I decided to re-open my heart to Him, to receive Him and to pursue after Him. Somehow I felt secure about that, knowing that I can and will be healed somehow through Him.
Image Credit: Jason D’ Great/Flickr