Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are you there, God? It's me, Joanna...

I am a firm believer in God. *all you non-believers can feel free to sneer at this point;doesn't bother me* While I am far from a fanatic or Bible thumper, I have always believed in God but my faith has most definitely been put to the test on several occasions.

By the time I was thirty three I had had two different types of cancer. At the ripe old age of twenty six I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and at thirty three, after over one whole year of excruciating back pain, debilitating panic attacks, and horrible third pregnancy and child birthing experience, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer that had spread to thirty or so lymph-nodes. See? Like I said, definitely tested my faith.

My biggest test came in the form of The Toots. I just could not wrap my brain around the question of "What kind of God would do this to a little baby?". Don't get me wrong, I still would throw up some prayers but without much belief that anyone was listening. Then one day something changed.

I was alone in my house with Tessie in my lap. I was hysterically crying. HYSTERICALLY. I know...not a good idea to do in front of a two year old but I was beyond being able to control it.

We had been run through the gauntlet at this point with every specialist we could find trying to figure out what was 'wrong' with Tessie. We had just returned from a three day developmental clinic at Childrens Hospital and were waiting on some very scary genetic/DNA tests that may give us a clue if not the whole answer. And I had, stupidly, researched on the internet what some of the diseases would mean for the Toodle Bug and us if she did in fact have them. You want to talk scary? Holy crap, I was beyond terrified. How would we all get through this if the tests came back positive? Would I be able to handle the kind of care she would need to have, all the while knowing that it would just lead to an early childhood death for her? (these were the kinds of test results we were waiting on) And what about having to tell her sisters? What would it do to them?

So I sat in the chair, crying, hugging The Toots, and I started to pray. But for the first time since realizing Tessie would have life long health and development issues, I did not pray for her to be fine. See, that was always my prayer before that. "Please make Tessie okay". For whatever reason this time, I simply prayed for strength and courage. That was it.

Here comes the part where you all can say I was 'crazy'... God answered. As I was hysterically crying and praying, all at once I got a warm, tingly feeling throughout my whole body and I actually HEARD "it will be alright". I instantly stopped crying and felt...,happy, safe, emotionally strong and loved. Like I said....crazy.

Now, I have had this conversation with many people with equally as many opinions. The ones who also believe in God totally agree that He was there for me in my time of real need. The ones who do not believe say it was my subconscious swooping in to save me from, basically, a nervous breakdown.

But only I know what happened that day and I know what I believe.

And here is where I have come full circle on the question of how a God could do this to an innocent child...just look at Tess. Take a second to be in her presence and look into her eyes and feel her spirit (she is one big bundle of unconditional love) and you tell me there isn't a God.


  1. Joanna, I totally believe that there is a God and that you heard him. You are amazing! :)

  2. Three cheers for God! God is always there but it is in our darkest hours when we most need him that we finally or maybe desperately seek him and find his presence, strength, and love. You have amazing experiences at all levels. Everyone is asking me how to get to this sight. You should put this in book form at some point.