Learning to Trust God Again and What I had to Learn the Hard Way.
I always thought of my relationship with God as solid. It’s not. I had to learn that in one of the most heartbreaking circumstances- losing a loved one. It wasn’t one but two within a year. The second death is what shook me most.
I believed with all my might that God was going to heal. With my whole being, I knew God would come through and completely heal my uncle from cancer. But it didn’t happen that way.
His name was Luis
No one deserves to get cancer. And if it worked that way this man would have been the least likely to.
He was a son, brother, uncle, husband, father, and godfather. He was funny and caring. A jokester. He would entertain the family with his ridiculous dances. He was goofy. We all loved that most about him. He came from Mexico leaving his children behind so he could provide better for them. He was hard-working.
I watched as my uncle’s body deteriorated towards the end of his life due to chemotherapy. Cancer would grow from two different parts of his body. It was not easy to witness. I know my family felt powerless as all we could do was pray and help out where we could.
We would watch in awe and admiration at the strength of his wife. Who became his nurse and caretaker full-time. She is a strong woman. And I prayed for her just as much.
They were loved by many in and outside of the church.
One night, I had a vision. I saw a bottle floating in space. Different colors swirl inside shimmering. It’s about three-quarters full. I see now that I may have jumped to conclusions.
You see, I’m not a dream/vision interpreter. But this is what I believed the vision meant: each color represented a specific prayer. The bottle was almost full so I believed we were close to a breakthrough. My thought was once the bottle was full of prayers it would be poured over my uncle and that is when he would be healed.
Whenever I shared this “vision,” I would add “we have to keep praying. It’s almost full.”
I should have talked to God about this “vision.” I saw it and ran with it. Now I wonder, was it a vision or imagination? But at the time I believed God gave me this and I had high hopes.
Where My Mind Was At
This is often said many times, “God never fails” or “God never disappoints.” But I have to be honest here I feel like He did. I expected a miracle. I know what God is capable of and He didn’t do it. I was hurt.
A vast amount of my time was spent in prayer, fasting, and worship. On more than one occasion I would stay up all night reading scripture and pleading with God. I would ask every believer I knew, and sometimes strangers, to pray for my uncle Luis. And I know family members were doing the same thing- asking others for prayer.
I won’t forget that Friday morning when my mom comes up the stairs and knocks on my door. She gave me the news of his passing. We hugged and I told her I was sorry. Holding back tears I waited for her to leave. And when she did that’s when I broke down. Moments before, I had finished praying for him.
It felt like something heavy came off of me. I felt numb and my spirit exhausted. It was over. But not the results we were hoping for.
At one point I thought, “What was the point of praying all this time?” Was it all for nothing? The prayers? The fasting? I hated what my mind was going through. This went on for a while. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to anyone about it. I felt too ashamed.
It’s not about me
At first, I would often look back and wonder what I did wrong. The day uncle Luis passed I blamed myself for not praying enough or fasting enough. Ridiculous, I know.
Weeks went by without me talking to God, worshipping, or even reading the Bible. Often I would talk to God in my head, “I’m not mad at you, I’m just hurt.” And then proceed to give Him the silent treatment. Which is exactly what I do when I’m mad at someone.
Feeling the way I was feeling, I put aside blogging and social media. I didn’t want to post anything biblical. I felt like a fraud and I would have felt like a hypocrite.
The longer I was away from God the more I noticed a change in me. And not for the better. There were times when I'd think, "how did I let myself get to this point?" I had enough of it and I needed to get back to God.
Later, I came to the realization: it’s not about me. It's never been about me nor will it ever be. It's about the will of my Father. And I should never take it personally. God did what He knows best even though it left wounded hearts. God’s plan is always bigger.
What I learned
As of now, there’s a gap between God and me- that I put myself. I have repented, I’m rebuilding my relationship, and learning to trust God again. This experience helped me realize something. My faith wasn’t built on a solid foundation. It was bound to collapse.
It’s time to rebuild but this time on solid ground. I don’t want to get to where I was before. I want better, stronger, and unshakable faith.
I always say God is faithful. And He is. We may not always see it that way. Sometimes we’re too concerned with our feelings that we forget what matters. Try not to focus on what didn’t happen, like a miracle of healing in this case. But look at things in a positive light.
For example, I know my uncle is…
Not suffering anymore
In a good place
He had such a good heart. And we will cry because we miss him. He’s not gone forever but just far away. I am confident I'll see him again. Until then, Tio Chino, te quiero y te veo pronto.
If you’re hurt, confused, or brokenhearted do your best not to part from God. I did that. And I watched myself become someone else. I don’t like who I am without Christ. Always keep in mind: God knows what He is doing. It won’t make sense to us because He doesn’t give us clarity He gives us faith.