Someone just sat on the edge of my bed. I know this because I can feel the depression of the mattress but I don’t know who it could be considering I am alone. I am paralyzed by fear and afraid to open my eyes because I just know it is a ghost—a friendly ghost, like Casper I hope. But I am also incapable of moving my limbs as if I am pinned down and I have a sense of helplessness. This is so vivid that it almost seems real, but it is a dream—a dream that I want desperately to wake up from.
Then, as if by magic I am awake and not afraid at all. I am with a friend, telling her of my harrowing experience with the supernatural being in my house. But this is different—somehow I innately know that I am actually still dreaming, although in this dream, the fear is gone and I feel serene.
Suddenly I am aware of a newfound power where I can control the course and temperament of my dream and I can have anything I want in this alternate reality. What a freeing feeling I have, for in this dream, I get to have do-overs—my son is mentally healthy, I am happily married, and I am young again. I can fly if I want, why not, this is my dream—in my new world anything is possible. I have no more money issues. I am enjoying the best day of my life and I can summon up friends and loved ones who have passed over. I am outside in a beautiful field taking pictures that automatically transform into gorgeous images right in front of me. I am having the best food and sex ever and know this is the way it will remain. I am joyous and free, oh yes, I am happy for once.
But then the theme of the dream dramatically changes, as if something ominous and vile is inserting itself into my perfect dream. The dream is gradually becoming dark again, and I am hearing thunder in the distance. My brain desperately wants me to continue dreaming but it is no use—the booming thunderclaps become louder and louder, making it impossible to maintain my sleep. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, I am thrust into total consciousness. I lay there, realizing that I am now awake, seeing the lit up room from the lightning bolts. It is morning and I reluctantly get out of bed with a heavy heart. The depression is palpable because this time I know for sure, I am back in the real world and my lovely dream is over. I desperately want to return to the utopia of my subconscious—maybe I can go back tonight, but I know it is gone and reality is back.
Recently, I started thinking that almost 2 years ago I had a life changing surgery. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was actually almost 3 years. I couldn’t believe that time had just slipped by so quickly. So, on March 1st 2016 it will be 3 years since I was released from a living hell of a crippling illness. Everyone knows HOPE is everything, but sometimes no matter how you look at it, HOPE seems to be nowhere. After having lower back surgery, I inexplicably began to have trouble walking. I had a severely dropped foot, constant nerve pain, and a partially paralyzed leg. HOPE began to slip away after exhausting all tests and follow up MRIs, even 2nd opinions, only to be told, “We just don’t understand what is wrong with you. We have never seen something like this before.” Each morning I would awake with hope that a miracle happened and somehow I was getting better. But as soon as the realization came that nothing had changed and I was even worse, an incredible despair and hopelessness would engulf me. There were so many days that I wanted to just give up but I kept saying, “Maybe things will be better tomorrow. If you are thinking of offing yourself, put it off until tomorrow and see.” By employing that tactic, I managed to stay in this world to see a miracle happen. I have no doubt that this miracle was from my persistence and constantly not taking NO for an answer, a doctor who actually sat down to think about my symptoms, and God. I don’t think I would have gotten better if all of these factors were not aligned. By God’s grace my doctor ordered another MRI and found the culprit, a benign spinal tumor compressing a portion of my thoracic spine. Faith is a beautiful thing and when life is going well, it is easy to have it. The true test of faith is when life is life—when you feel that all hope is gone and you cannot see your way out. So many people are waiting for a white light and burning bush to prove the existence of God, when He is there all along. I believe my horrendous experience was necessary to bring me to my knees and start believing. I do not think this was an accident and that there are no coincidences in God’s world. God was working in my life for a long time before I noticed it, even meeting Joyce and Bill, who introduced me to their church. If my son had not had the breakdown, I never would’ve met them. I think God was patiently waiting for me, only I needed the experiences I endured to discover Him. I still pray and pray for my boy, and sometimes, when I am in a bad space, I wonder if God is really listening. Then I remember I must have faith, which equals hope, which equals life. I do not know what the future holds, and I must remember that I am not in charge. It is when I turn things over to Him that I achieve that elusive gift of peace and serenity that I am constantly seeking.
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