This I Believe

Justin - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

“God giveth and He taketh away.” Growing up in a Catholic school my entire life I don’t think I can even begin to count the number of times I have heard this particular Bible verse. It is largely because of this verse that I invest so much of myself in my relationship with God. It is because of this verse that I believe in a higher power in the first place. One person in my life has increased my faith and belief in a higher power exponentially. That one person, a walking miracle, is my little brother. As a little kid, it’s hard to imagine the prospect of death. It is definitely difficult for anyone to handle, but for a child it can be literally devastating. Fortunately, I never had to deal with that experience as a child, but I came harrowingly close. I was literally on the verge of dealing with God taking away my best friend at the age of five.

My mom tells me time and time again just how excited I was when we brought Luke home from the hospital. I had been waiting patiently for months for his arrival. Everything was going perfectly fine, I was ecstatic, until my mom started realizing that Luke’s skin was an odd bluish color, and his lips would turn almost dark blue. He was less than a year old. None of the doctors in my hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma could figure it out either. It wasn’t for a couple of months later until my brother’s pediatrician finally thought to check his oxygen levels. They were less than 30% of what they should have been. Luke was rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital where he had emergency open heart surgery performed. The doctor’s told my mom not to expect my brother to make it through the surgery. Not only did he make it through that one, he made it through three more by the time he was two. My brother’s survival and continued health is nothing less than a tribute to the fact that there is a God. Growing up my brother and I have developed many different interests, and on the surface might not even seem to have that much in common. But I know that we have a special bond that will last forever; I have immense respect for him because I know that I can only dream of what he has been through in his 17 years of existence. Every day I thank God for him, my best friend, and my brother. He literally stared death straight in the face, and fortunately God decided it was not his time. I knew that after seeing my brother struggle for his life that all I had been hearing about God in school was true. Every since I have never doubted His existence and have grown closer to Him than I ever thought possible. “God giveth and He taketh away.” He has certainly given me more than most, best of all my brother Luke, a living testament to Him.