Updated: Jan 15, 2020
I was raised in a Christian home and my parents dedicated me and my other two sisters to Christ when we were babies. I've had Jesus in my life all my life and cannot imagine anyone not knowing Him or wanting to know Him. While I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me as a child, I never truly surrendered all of myself and my life to him until the year my mamma passed away February 26, 2017. A date that will remain etched in my memory.
My mom was saved at an early age too. I used to think she was naive but have come to learn, it was the Holy Spirit within her that always saw the best in people where my father was the opposite. He too was saved but was a bit more suspicious of people and considering his past, that is understandable. Both my parents gave to people without a second thought. They would sacrifice their own wants for the needs of others. Both parents struggled with clinical depression and mamma had anxiety too. She suffered from panic attacks and not only were they scary for her but for me too.
I'm a survivor of bullying both as a child and into my adult years. This left Jesus and mamma as my two best friends. One year in particular, around my age of fourteen, mamma's panic attacks got worse and I missed school intentionally to be home with her. She didn't seem to mind as there was one time I was home during school hours that I had to run and get the neighbor (who was a nurse) and then another time, I had to call for an ambulance.
Through all of this mamma's faith in God never wavered. She never had the desire to take her own life. I wish I could say the same for me. I too suffer from clinical depression but battled the suicidal thoughts for years until Jesus healed me from that aspect of depression. That's a story for another time, however.
Mamma came to rely on me more than my other two sisters and maybe that's because there was something inside of me that drove me to want to be there for my mamma. I genuinely didn't mind being there as a child but through the years, when her dementia started to take its toll on her, there were times I wished I didn't have the burden of watching her decline into a state where she didn't even know me. Dementia or Alzheimer's disease is worse for the family than the victim. In fact, mamma got to a state where she no longer cried or seemed afraid and this part of the dementia is what I was thankful to God for. Mamma entered into her own little world where she really seemed content. She never lost her sweet personality like some do and again, this I believe was Jesus loving others through her even with this ugly disease destroying her mind and body.
The last 3 days I spent with mamma was mainly just her, her sister and Jesus. Others came and went but it was Jesus with my aunt and me the most. I still miss being in that small dark room with mom as His presence. love and comfort were very strong. Those 3 days is what made me realize just how real Jesus is.
God took years of an awful experience with mamma and in the end, He turned all of those years beautiful. Mamma's life started to come together and though I can't articulate to anyone the details, I have them firmly etched within me and that's what matters. It's memories of what God can truly do.
I guess what I'd like to convey to those reading this. No matter how dark, ugly or discouraging your life may be...do not give up. If you don't know Christ, turn to Christ. He'll give you the strength and ability to keep going even when you don't want to. If you know Christ, don't feel guilty when your faith weakens. Remember, 'faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains'. A small amount of faith is better than no faith at all and I can say, through the years, I at least held on to the small mustard seed of faith and God rewarded that faith with a peace and understanding like I've never known before.