The Power Of Prayer When Things Are Beyond Your Control

The Power Of Prayer When Things Are Beyond Your Control

When things are beyond your control, let go and let God handle it.
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Recently, my faith has been tested while watching both of my amazing grandparents struggle with very scary and serious health issues that just seemed to be getting worse as time dragged on. While my family was dealing with assisted living situations at home, I was five-and-a-half hours away from everything in my college dorm just trying to process it all. In my 19 years of life, I had never known more Christian people and I didn't understand why they had to live in these terrible conditions. Being so far away from everything didn't help either, I had a very hard time focusing on my schoolwork and I had an even worse time going to sleep at night. Some nights, I wouldn't be able to sleep until nearly 6 in the morning because I just couldn't stop wondering why they were being put through this. There was a very real possibility that my grandfather wouldn't make it until I could come home for break. Every night, I prayed, begging God to just let me see him one more time.

When I arrived home for Christmas break, I was able to go and visit both of my grandparents. Seeing the struggle in real life just pushed me even farther into sadness. It was one thing to imagine it from a far away distance, but completely another to be there in real life. My heart ached for my family who had been home dealing with it while I was away at school. My grandfather was in the worst shape, stuck in the Surgical Trauma ICU with a grim outlook and completely relying on the ventilator to breathe.

One afternoon, my mom received a call from the hospital saying that he had taken a turn for the worst and to start preparing ourselves. So, we piled into the car with blankets and decided to stay at the ICU as long as possible. When I got there, I was very distraught. My grandfather who once stood so tall and strong was weak and swollen, and connected to so many machines. I knew that it was a very real possibility that this was the last time I would ever see him. I knew that he could hear, but he couldn't talk because of the ventilator. My mom asked me if there was anything I wanted to tell him. In my head, I came up with a few things I could say, like "I love you" or "I have missed you so much" or "Thank you for being the best grandfather in the world". After a few seconds of struggling to find my words, I told my grandpa that I finished my English class with an A. I felt pathetic, but I just couldn't find the words to tell him what I wanted him to. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I prayed that God would tell my grandpa what I had really wanted to tell him, or give me the strength to tell him myself.

My younger sister had school the next day, so we left the hospital around midnight. I walked back into his room in the ICU where my mom and my aunt were sleeping in chairs, and walked up to the side of his bed and told him that I loved him and that I knew he would pull through. I walked out of the room, however, believing that the time was drawing near. I prayed that God would give my family clarity in all of this horrible sadness. Christmas, our most favorite time of the year, was just a few days away, and all of us were preparing to say goodbye to my grandfather. This was not the time. I begged God to just get him through Christmas.

The next day, my mom was visiting the hospital, and my grandpa had made it through the night. The male nurse who was attending to his care was someone we had never met before, and we knew most of the nurses on the staff. She asked his nurse if there was any chance that he would come out of this and be able to get out of the hospital. The nurse replied "Well, miracles happen, I guess." My mom prayed for my grandpa to be able to see my grandma again and to be able to talk. I was convinced that the nurse was an angel, and that something good would happen soon.

One day later, my mom, sister, and I were on our way to the mall to try to clear our heads for a few minutes. When the phone rang from the hospital, we all got very nervous about what we were about to hear. The nurse, Chantelle, told my mom that my grandpa was off of the ventilator and was able to breathe completely on his own. We were amazed, and rushed to the hospital. He was awake, with his eyes opened and we were able to wave at him and just see his sweet face. It was seriously one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

I prayed that night, that we would be able to have a conversation again. The next day, I was at the dentist and my mom got a call from her good friend who had spent the morning with my grandpa and told her that he was talking. I rushed right over there after my dentist appointment. His words were very quiet and shaky, but he was able to say hello and I could talk and he could listen.

Christmas eve came, and he was beginning to look unfortunately worse. Nurses were beginning to ask my mom if her mind had changed in regards to resuscitating my grandpa if he were to go downhill. We prepared for a very sad Christmas and I braced myself for him to go back on the ventilator. During communion at our Christmas Eve church service, I asked God to give our family something to smile about on Christmas day, even if it was small.

The next day, our family got together at a Chinese restaurant, since the meal was always held at my grandparent's house and we just couldn't handle being there without them both. On our way to the restaurant, my mom got a call from my grandpa's nurse, he was alert, talking, and asked if he could watch a Christmas movie. He was also breathing completely on his own, and was receiving less oxygen than ever before. It was a Christmas miracle. We all arrived at the hospital and he was able to talk quite a bit.

Since Christmas, he has begun to get even better. He also has come out of the Intensive Care Unit and has been moved to a regular room. What happened to him was unfortunate, but he is making a slow and steady comeback and we are praying that he will be out of the hospital as soon as possible. On New Years Day, I walked into his new room for the very first time and he looked more like himself than he has since he has been in the hospital. I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face.

This roller coaster experience with my grandparents has taught me a lot. I have learned to never underestimate God, and that prayer truly does work. Five or six days before Christmas, no one thought that my grandpa would even make it to see the holiday he once loved so much. Instead, he woke up on Christmas morning breathing on his own, completely aware of the day, excited to see his family. He made it out of the ICU just a few days later, something we never thought would happen. My faith in God has been one of the few things that has gotten me through this.

Your faith will be tested at some points, but you have to put your worries in God's hands and trust that He will keep everything under control. I truly believe that His plan is mysterious, and that faith is the only thing that can help people through situations like these. Regardless of what happened to put my grandpa in the hospital, I now completely believe that he will be out soon and make a recovery. There is truly nothing more amazing than the power of prayer.


Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The Truth About Politics In Religion And How It Affects Our Relationship With God

They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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It's evident that religion can and has been used in politics from the values of voters and leaders. However, to use your religion or your relationship with God for making political decisions doesn't share the same meaning.

I've always loved finding all the best facts and research for argumentative work but I couldn't pursue that approach for this topic. Why? Because I've experienced the pattern in my relationship with God of how God defies logic.

God can't be contained to a definition or explanation. I liked the way I've heard one leader express that, "If you hear someone trying to explain to God as if he knows then he's a fool before he starts talking". That's a paradox within itself.

I've learned more recently to identify that the two sides of the paradox that you might wrestle with in understanding God are both true. That, yes, His hands are big and He knows exactly what to do to make you surrender but you'll also find no greater love than with Him because He has the biggest heart and knows what you need better than you do.

I think that accepting this paradox will differentiate between those that view politics religiously versus those that view it from 'what is God trying to do here'? The one that focuses on seeking 'what is God trying to do here?' would represent those with a relationship with God. This doesn't mean that referencing the laws of God exempts you from having a relationship but the love of God is the strength that sustains the relationship over the law. This is also a bit of a paradox because they're both important in Christianity.

There's the difference from seeing God as one-sided which is very prideful, limiting and incorrect compared to recognizing that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I believe that what we believe and how we see God will bring limitations or provision on how we can be used in God's plan for His kingdom on earth when it comes to the way the world is run.

God, our relationship with God and the law of God all have to be considered in the things we do as Christians.

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