Hebrews 11:1 states, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." I am certainly not a biblical scholar, but this is pretty powerful scripture to me. How can we be certain of what we do not see? Faith has become more than just a hobby or a religion, it's a life-line. I'm not a preacher, but I'll try to describe some of my journey as truthfully as I can. Christianity, at least to me, can often be sugar-coated. I know the accusation of being a "luke-warm Christian" is something I can be guilty for, as well. I've always been surrounded by God. I was brought up in the Catholic Church. Blessings were said before meals, and prayers before bed-time, but as I started to grow up, I started just going through the motions. Now, this was the time when I would shift uneasily in the pews and count down the minutes until mass was over... I still loved God, I was just younger and didn't realize how much I needed Him. I followed His commandments and I prayed daily, I just never listened to Him. I never payed much attention beyond my immediate needs. I was like every young child, I just believed what I was told.
When I began my Confirmation classes, I started really researching the Church. Confirmation is when I could make the independent choice to stay in the faith. I started asking questions. This was the time before going into 8th grade, and I began to think for myself. I wanted to serve our Lord more, and I wanted to be a true follower. I can thank my wonderful God-mother, Sue, for helping me on this journey. In my eyes, she is the ultimate Catholic! My Mom was equally as helpful to me! Her love for God is contagious. She never gives up on me. She is so supportive! My mom has been with me every step of the way. Both of these strong women inspired me to really take my faith seriously. My Confirmation couldn't have come at a better time. After I had been Confirmed, I was renewed with this fire for Christ! And at the end of that school year, I had my first surgery.
With my surgeries, I really experienced this removal of "static". My recovery time served as time for prayer and meditation. I had complete faith in my surgeons. Although we didn't know why, we knew they could fix me. After I started getting back on my feet, my religion meant more. God became so much more real.
Now, I'm knocked down again. Sometimes, that's completely literal. At first, I was so hurt. My thoughts were, "what did I do to deserve this?". I blocked Him out. I was furious and confused. My emotions drowned out any prayers... As a Christian, we feel this unrealistic pressure to be so perfect with unwavering faith, but I completely closed up. How could I believe in His "plans" for me if the very first obstacle became this inevitable suffering? Even as I pushed God away, He pulled me in closer. Even if my hands were steady and my eyes were dry, this would be so difficult to try to describe and explain right now. God has never failed to show himself to me. I chose to be bitter and close my heart to Him, and He continues to send me this army of angels. Life liberating, sanity saving, sunshine-pushing angels. Angels who keep me realistic and strong. Sometimes I feel soo lost. I feel devastated. In my worst moments of depression and desperation, someone has reached out to me. Saying I have the BEST friends in the world doesn't give them any justice. My head is swirling with their unending acts of selfless kindness. One million "thank-you"s couldn't even begin to express my gratitude. A blog post could never describe the importance of you angels. I've received endless cards and flowers and support, and I will forever be thankful. God tells us to love one another as He loves us, and I am constantly seeing His love through those He sends to me. I find it humorous that doctors are worried there is something wrong with me because I'm NOT depressed. They think with a chronic and debilitating illness, I should be long lost in an endless black hole... Well, I have God and His angels to credit for this phenomenon.
Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to express my gratitude. Thank you. Thank you for everything. This has been the lowest point of my short life so far, but I have never felt so loved and real. I wasn't even sure about this blog, but the feedback I have gotten has been incredible! Even as I've been sitting here trying to wrap my head around some explanatory descriptions as to what I'm feeling, I've had to just stop and be overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with thanksgiving, truly crying tears of joy. I'm so inspired. How could I ever accept defeat with such an awesome army behind me? Honestly, my relationship with God is still changing. It's rough. But it's there. It's real and true and powerful. I am hopeful for my future, and I am certain I won't ever be alone. My guardian angels keep watch over my mindset and heart. My angels are the silver linings in my crappy cloud of a situation. Even on my difficult and bad days, my angel never fails to show me the brightside.