Reflecting into the past

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Miracle or Coincidence?

This morning, I just wanted to share an article I published in Guideposts a few years ago. I hope you enjoy.

I've been thinking a lot about my dad lately. It's been seven years ago this month that I lost him to alcoholism. One thing I learned that morning was that the pain of death is a pain like no other. At this point in my life, I was already at rock bottom as I was hopelessly addicted to pain pills, having broken my neck only a year prior and wanted to just die. Well apparently you can go lower than rock bottom. I somehow managed to. I learned one more thing that week in February 2003.  God ALWAYS meets us where we are and if you're lower than rock bottom, He'll meet you there too!

So, here's my story....

I was living in Dallas at the time and was miserable as miserable could be. I was so mad at God already. He had taken enough from me and now He was going to take my dad too? I don't even know how I existed for those few months that my dad was in and out of the hospital dying from the very thing that was killing me inside--addiction. I had completely lost my faith in God and eventually, I told God that if He took my dad, I was going to "go" too and that was exactly my plan. I bought a plane ticket to Phoenix for something like 2 weeks later. But then a couple days later, I got a phone call from the hospital saying that my dad was in a coma and was not expected to live much longer. I packed my stuff immediately and hit the road. I was going to go through with my plan but I was going to go see my dad first so I got on the road about 10 pm on a Friday night. Driving through darkness, literally and spiritually, I cried out to God. I told Him I was sorry for having lost my faith in Him and begged Him to keep my dad here long enough for me to see him first.

About 3 a.m. in the middle of nowhere, Texas, I was on the phone with a friend who was trying to keep me awake when all of the sudden, I hit something HUGE in the road. I screamed in fear! I got off the phone, pulled over, got out and realized I had hit a coyote. My front end was steaming pretty good. I was terrified! I had NO idea where I was. I began crying and begging God to help me. I decided that He was pretty much all I had to hang onto at this point. (Maybe that was His plan?) I finally got it together enough to call 911 who directed me to the police dept in the area where I was located. I had a hard time telling them where I was b/c all I knew was I was on a dark highway in the middle of nowhere. God knew where I was though and eventually two policemen showed up behind me. Those blue lights had never been so reassuring in my life!

I was so scared! I had NO money. I was all alone. How would my car get fixed? Where would I stay? WHO would take care of me???? Would I ever see my dad again???

The policeman asked me where I was going and tried to calm me down enough for me to explain my situation. He told me not to worry and that he would see to it that I was safe. That made me feel a little better, but what about my dad?? Would I see him again??? I thought I was having a nervous breakdown at this point. The one policeman sat with me and tried to calm me as the other policeman was on the phone with a tow company. He came back a few minutes later and said someone was on the way to tow my car and that the police dept would put me up in a hotel while my car got fixed. The guy from the tow truck company got there soonafter and after finding out my situation, that my dad was dying and I was trying to get there before he died, he said he'd fix my car himself the next morning (even though his shop wasn't open on weekends) and he would have me back on the road asap. The next morning, he called me at my hotel room and said he would have to go to Abilene, which was 3 hours away, to get the part needed for my car and that he was on his way. I couldnt' believe this guy was doing all of this for me. He said he was only going to charge me for the parts themselves which actually wasn't much compared to what it would have been with labor costs.

About 10 hours later, my car was fixed. He called me and said he was on his way to the hotel to pick me up. I was back on the road by 9 pm Saturday night. I was in Phoenix by 6 a.m. or so Sunday morning. I rushed to the hospital and saw my dad in the coma. I cried to him, talked to him, told him all about the mishaps of my trip, and told him I wasn't ready for him to go but that I was glad he waited for me at least. At this point, I had had just a few hours of sleep since Friday but I needed to stay by his side all day on Sunday. Finally that night it hit me though. I needed sleep. About 10:00 that night, my little brother (15 at the time) stood on one side of him holding his hand, and I stood on the other side, and we prayed to God that He would give us one more chance to communicate with our daddy. That night before I went to sleep, I cried out to God like I hadn't done in a very long time. It wasn't until that moment, too, that I realized God had sent those two policemen to me as well as the towtruck/mechanic guy. Coincidence? I hardly think so! I asked His forgiveness for losing faith in Him and thanked Him for coming through for me even though I had pretty much abandoned Him. Not two seconds thereafter, I then fell asleep.

Around 6 a.m. the next morning, I got a call from the hospital saying that my dad was awake, moving, and talking! The doctor got on the phone with me and said medically my dad should not be awake and they couldn't explain it but that I'd better get up there and see him. So I jumped out of bed, went and took my little brother out of school and rushed to the hospital. Yes, my dad was communicating. He was talking with what little strength he had left, and he was sitting up. It was really amazing. I looked up and I said "Thanks, God." Westley (my little brother) and I looked at each other and knew God had heard and answered our prayer from the night before. As the day went on, we reminisced about good times, laughed together and cried together. But as time passed, his strength became less and less. I'll never forget the kiss that he struggled so hard to blow my way as I left the room for a minute. I couldn't stand to leave his side that night, but my own strength was fading as well (mind you, I was still heavily addicted to narcotics and ate absolutely nothing, weighing only 98 lbs at the time) so I had to get some sleep. Around 7 the next morning, the hospital called again and said my dad had taken a turn for the worse in the middle of the night. Again I rushed to the hospital with Westley and my dad was back in a coma. He took his last breath at 8:20 that morning.

I would never have spoken with my dad again had it not been for God sending just the right ppl into my life that night. At best, had I gone with any other mechanic, I would have gotten to Phoenix on Tuesday night or Wednesday and my dad died Tuesday morning.

Miracle or Coincidence?

I'd say it was a MIRACLE that saved my life because it kept me from going through with my plan to end my life with all those pills. Yes, God always meets us where we are. He met me in the middle of the night at 3 in the morning in the middle of nowhere, Texas on a dark and scary highway. It led me to reach out to God for help and that's exactly what I did. And, as such, I have conquered countless demons in my life that undoubtedly had me defeated prior. Currently, I'm up against probably the fiercest battle I've ever fought, but one thing I do know: God is much bigger than any battle or war any of us could imagine fighting and the cool thing is, He's on MY side! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not Today

Everyday I wake up and I ask myself, "is this the day when I will finally give up? And the answer has been the same ever since I started asking myself the question. Not today" Not today.

Ever? Will I ever give up? Apparently it's not in me to just quit. Nah, I've been through too much to quit now. But what next? I can't live with this god-forsaken addiction anymore. Something has to give. I sit up at night and watch the clock from 2 a.m. til I pass out sometimes around 7 or 8 a.m. It's miserable and it's lonely. I have laid in bed for several days at a time until my back could no longer take being plastered to a mattress. So I'd get up and walk around the house, trying to make myself useful for a day or so until my back recovered and then I'd lay in bed for another few days. It's no way to live, really. I just exist from day to day with no real purpose. I lie alone with my thoughts everyday and what goes on inside my head on a day to day basis is enough to drive anyone insane. I'm surprised I'm not there, yet. Even simple daily living skills are huge chores to me anymore.

So, what's it going to take? Have I not hit rock bottom yet? I once beat an addiction to crack, but that was only a 6 to 8 month ordeal. Now talk about rock bottom. That was it, definitely. Homeless, living on the streets, doing everything that goes against my moral values just to get my drug each day. I'll revisit that year in another blog post. I've beaten an eating disorder addiction. That was about a 5 year battle but I did it. I overcame. But when narcotic pain killers got a hold of my life, they took all control away from me. I have no control over my life. I've lost it, completely. These pills are the devil yet they are my best friend. What is it about them that I can't seem to let go? Part of it is the pain I experience from day to day, but most of it is not. Most of it is a psychological addiction that I just can't seem to conquer. I simply don't know how to live life without these pills. They don't even give me the pleasure of making me high anymore. So it's not that. What the hell is the problem then? I can't seem to pinpoint it. YET. I am determined though. I will find the trigger and I will kill it with every everlasting bit of rage I have in me. It will NOT survive once I find it. So tomorrow.... I will ask myself again....

"Is today the day for me to give up? Um..... I might think for a minute.... but the answer will still be the same. Not today. Not today."