I’ve never been the type of person who wore my religious beliefs on my sleeve. I’m Christian and I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my savior. However, I don’t really talk about it much with people who don’t share my similar beliefs. As a Christian, I’m supposed to reach out and spread the Gospel to others who either have never heard of Jesus Christ or to those that have heard of him but choose not to follow him. I’m not so comfortable with talking about my beliefs but I thought I would share my recent experiences on this blog as a way to become more comfortable talking about them.
I was “saved” when I was six years old. For me, this means that I have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior and I put all of my trust in him. It also means that I will receive eternal life. Being a Christian brought along many trials and tribulations in my life but I never lost my faith and never doubted my Savior; until last year.
My mother passed away last year due to complications of diabetes. I didn’t think her death would challenge my faith but it did. She suffered from diabetes and kidney failure for almost 12 years. However, she maintained her faith in God through it all. We always prayed together and our main prayer was for her to be healed. We believed that if anyone could heal her, it was God. After she was diagnosed with these diseases, I went on with my life and so did she. Her life was very mundane compared to mine though. The last 12 years of her life was dedicated to kidney dialysis treatments and a lot of time spent in the doctor’s office. However, she rarely complained. She still went to church, prayed for others, paid her tithes and kept the faith.
I was always surprised that her faith never wavered in God. She said that she knew God would heal her one day. If not in this earthly life, then in eternal life. “God is good, all the time,” she said. I remember her telling me to never let her struggles or her eventual death negatively affect my own faith in God. That I should continue to pray, go to church and fight the good fight. Back then, I couldn’t fathom my beliefs being negatively affected because I was still believing she would be healed in this life.
But last July, I called home for our weekly chat, and she didn’t answer the phone. I thought maybe one of her friends had taken her out or that she was at the doctor’s office. I felt a little worried because ever since I moved abroad, I had more anxiety about her passing before I could see her again. I told myself she was fine and that I was just worrying too much as usual. However, the next day, she still didn’t answer the phone and then I received an email from my sister saying Mom was in the hospital. I called my Father and he said that a recent leg amputation wasn’t healing. The doctor had to cut more of her leg. He said I should come home.
I wanted to panic but I kept thinking, this must be apart of God’s plan. He will heal her and she will get a prosthetic and she will have an amazing testimony to tell. The second amputation never healed and the doctor said he would have to cut more but my Mother refused the last surgery. Since the doctor couldn’t guarantee that her blood circulation would properly heal the wound, we understood her decision to refuse the surgery.
During this time, my once very talkative and outspoken Mother was very quiet and still. “What are you thinking?”, I asked. She said she was so tired and just wanted to go home. She wasn’t looking for an earthly healing anymore. She wanted to cross over into eternal life. One week before August, she decided to end her dialysis treatments. She moved into a hospice and I watched her slowly slip from this world into the next. On the morning of August 1, 2011, she was healed.
This wasn’t the healing I was expecting. We prayed countless hours for an earthly healing but it never happened. I didn’t know what to do with all of these feelings. So, I chose to step away from the church for awhile. I still sporadically visited a church but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t want to listen to messages of putting your trust and faith in God. I didn’t want to hear people’s testimonies of how God performed a miracle in their lives. I wanted him to bring my Mother back and heal her in this earthly life.
I know that all of us will die someday and that most people will have to endure the loss of a parent but I felt our time was cut short. She will never see me get married, have children or do so many other things in my life. After she passed, my faith in God and his abilities took a nosedive and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get it back. Little did I know, he was already planning a way for me to get it back.
Right before my Mother passed, I found out I was pregnant and luckily, I was able to tell her the news. She was so excited to be a grandmother and she told me that she had been praying that God would “grow her family.” Although we knew she wouldn’t be able to be here when he was born, we knew she would be with us in the spirit. When I returned to Seoul, I began my prenatal care and did all of the necessary blood tests to insure everything was ok. However, one test came back abnormal and the doctor said that I would have to get an amniocentesis to see if my child was in danger of a certain disease. I didn’t want to have an amnio done but I also didn’t want a disabled child. At this time in my life, I really didn’t feel prepared to handle any more diseases attacking my loved ones.
I honestly didn’t know what to do. In my family, whenever problems arose, we always turned to God. I didn’t feel like I was on speaking terms with him but I decided to pray. I cried and cried and cried. I asked him how could he expect me to have faith now after the disappointment with my Mother. I didn’t get an answer from God but I continued to lay all of my feelings out on the line. I was only 5 months pregnant at the time, so I had to wait awhile and see if my child was going to be sick or not. The remaining 4 months of my pregnancy peacefully passed with no anxiety from me. I was surprised that I wasn’t agonizing over my baby’s health day in and day out but I think God’s grace stepped in and calmed me.
On March 19, 2012, I had a healthy baby boy with no complications. He really has brought joy back into my life and I can already see a little bit of my Mom’s spirit in him. Just like her, he loves people and he loves to smile. My faith is slowly getting back to where it used to be and I think it will grow stronger with every challenge I face in life. And for now, every time I look at my son, I’m reminded that “God is good, all the time.”