I grew up never really going to church, unless I went with my cousins or friends. I recall going to a Catholic church when I stayed the weekend at my cousins. I attended a summer youth group with a neighbor friend. I was introduced to a community church in high school. However, I never felt I belonged to any of those places. I knew I believed in a higher power, and I started to think like my dad. I could be anywhere, on the side of a mountain top or swinging in the backyard, and feel close to God. It wasn’t until more recently – since the birth of my daughter – that I started attending church on a more regular basis. It finally started to feel right.
When I was diagnosed two years ago, my church family and many friends from other churches placed me on their prayer chain. Knowing others were praying for me felt odd. I knew I would be okay. I knew I would walk through the process with ease. I knew there are others that needed the prayers more than me. However, I do feel that because others were praying, my journey breezed right by.
The power of prayer is amazing. I have experienced it just not by others praying for me, but from one of my own prayers. Two months after my mastectomy surgery, our pastor at the time asked us to write down a prayer of peace on a white dove cutout. I have kept mine to this day, cherishing it each time I see it, because it was proof of the answer of prayer. My prayer talked about bringing peace to those that are struggling in their minds and hearts, to show them calmness and bring them a sense of peace in their hearts. At the time, I felt it was the most important thing to ask for, especially since I was still in the middle of my breast cancer story.
I walked out of church that day to the news of my grandfather passing away. This, of course, was a shock to me. However, I felt the calmest I have ever felt because of that prayer. I didn’t shed a tear, even though it would have been my typical response. I felt a sense of calmness come through me. My prayer was indeed answered. My prayer was mainly intended for others, but it was answered for me.
I’m thankful for the faith that I have. I know it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am in my faith and I have a lot more to learn, but my faith has started to shine. As I continue to walk my journey, I rely on my faith more and more. I’m thankful for the opportunity to talk to God. I’m thankful for prayers answered, like the many I have said for my sister. I’m thankful that no matter where I am, I can sit down, take a deep breath, and know that I can feel closer to the Lord.
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