Fear captivated me; it captivated me in such a way that I could feel its grip and the very walls around me caving in. My best option was to simply walk out, so I did. I walked down the hallway, looking for something, searching. I just needed to get away, and yet, I knew my problems would be there in the same desolate place where I left them.
My brother was in a coma and we were on day 15. Would he be able to come out of it? We weren’t sure. I wasn’t sure. I wanted more than anything for him to wake up and say it was all going to be okay; somehow, I knew it wouldn’t be. The doctor told us that he would have some brain damage, but no one knew the extent of it or if he would be able to survive. I was lost, both literally and figuratively.
I never went to church growing up and by no means did I live a Christian lifestyle. I knew I loved Jesus, but I didn’t know what that love meant. I didn’t really know who Jesus was. And to be quite honest, I had never opened the Bible. But I needed Him. I was searching for Him, praying for this to all be over and for Him to wake me up as though it was all just a bad dream.
It was actually in those empty halls that I discovered a small interfaith meditation room. The door, decorated in stained glass, invited me in. Inside, it was evident that the room was well used and it made me think of everyone else who had stumbled inside just looking for an answer. I sat down with all of these thoughts jumbled inside my head and began pleading for my brother’s life to be saved. Please God, I asked, just let him pull through. He answered two weeks later, and it was exactly what I had hoped for.
God was there for me and He listened. He walked me through the lions’ den and brought me out on the other side. Our journey wasn’t anywhere close to being finished, but I knew I wasn’t alone. I bought a cross pendant as a reminder of that, but there have been times when I’ve forgotten.
I would love to say that after God answered my most desperate prayer, I immediately began living a lifestyle that showcased my love for Him…but I didn’t. The path was rocky and as a teenager, I went through several other hardships that shook me to my core. It was easy for me to turn away from Him. We stumbled and fell, but we were also lifted up. I know that without my struggles, I wouldn’t have had my triumphs.
I’m still new in my faith as I’ve only really started to dive in within the last couple of years, but I will never forget being carried in some of the darkest periods of my life. I truly believe God had been calling for me, it just took me a little longer to listen.
I started going to church merely by chance as it was something just to try out with a friend. We decided, sure, why not? I felt a gnawing sensation to attend church, and we never stopped going. The community and acceptance as I first walked through those doors had been exactly what I needed.
I regularly volunteer, am part of a small group, and have made a point to not only commit my time within the church but at home as well by actually opening (and reading) the Bible. Christianity is not an easy path, but by far the most rewarding.