From the harrowing moment my husband was diagnosed with cancer, my inner voice rang out incessantly with the following permeating words, “My hope is in the Lord: a miracle will come.” Despite his prognosis, for nine months, this became my ceaseless prayer, my preemptive chant and my solace. Three days before he passed away that unyielding voice, unwillingly changed to, “It is finished.” This precautionary statement invaded my being, thrashed at my heart; yet, also enlightened me. It definitely wasn’t the miracle that I trusted God to bestow on our family. I screamed and begged Him to save my husband. However, over time, I have come to understand the premise that a miracle did occur. Do you believe in miracles?
As I pass a wooden sign in my kitchen each day, I pause and breathe in my proactive mantra, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
My earliest recollection of hearing about a miracle was when I was three years old and performed in my first Sunday School Christmas program. As the play unfolded, the birth of Jesus became so real and vivid. At such a young age my comprehension was limited; even though, my body quivered with wonder. Later on, I stood in amazement as my precious cousin was miraculously healed from childhood Leukemia. Then, I marveled with gratitude, as both of my parents became cancer survivors.
In the meantime, doctors told my now deceased husband and I, that our youngest daughter (who has severe, low-functioning autism, along with numerous disabilities and chronic health issues), would never be normal and to stop trying to advocate and nurture her. Discarding those horrifying words, we persevered. Even though she will always require 24-hour care, the progress, blessings and significance of her life profoundly bursts forward and, for me, illuminates the magnificence of miracles.
I believe that life is a miracle laden journey that continues to encircle us with hope, empowerment and promises. I admire Walt Whitman’s quote, “To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakable perfect miracle.”
Miniscule miracles many times go unnoticed, hidden from view, or discovered after the fact. I appreciate how Henry David Thoreau’s advice, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see,” encapsulates the art of paying attention to details and inadvertently looking for God’s hidden miracles.
Throughout my childhood, my parents constantly proclaimed what a miracle I was. They narrated my challenging birth, describing my weeks in the hospital with pneumonia and unable to eat, how I fit into a child’s shoe box; but, all along praising God’s transforming and steadfast power. As the years followed, I experienced a life- threatening car accident that hurled me through my car’s sunroof. I landed outside, and my car flipped over on top of me. Awhile later, I contacted a deadly, infectious form of E-coli. After days in intensive care, the physicians proclaimed, “It’s a miracle…all signs are gone.”
In hindsight, seeing with eyes of faith and in a state of grace, I have begun to realize that I am a miracle. JUST AS YOU ARE! As Karen Salmansohn so eloquently stated, “There is no rational reason to remain a pessimist in a world full of so many miracles. If you don’t believe in miracles, perhaps you’ve forgotten YOU ARE ONE!”
Consequently, back to my husband and my inner voice, my body aches for him, my soul yearns for him; nevertheless, he endured pain beyond control. His body and mind became ravaged by cancer. I rejoice that he has been restored to wholeness. I find comfort in knowing that he has a new life in heaven engulfed in our Father’s love. To me, that is an acclaimed miracle!
No matter where you are in your grief process, please snatch and seize the life-sustaining, divine miracles that immerse and lavish your life. Most importantly, embrace with open arms, the magnitude of the miracle of you.
Peace to You,
Lisa Dempsey Bargewell
My blog topic for next Wednesday: Be Gentle With Yourself