The afternoon sunlight filled my soul with hope as the automatic doors opened. Following my grandpa outside, the smell of springtime quickly replaced the smell of the hospital. I had grown to hate the smell of hospitals. I had spent almost every afternoon in one for the last two months, never sure if each visit would be my last. It was a very difficult and dreary time for my family. My mother stared death in the face daily as she laid in an intensive care unit, now awaiting her third liver transplant. My family was a family of strong faith, but oh how our faith was being tested. We had just found out that her second liver transplant had failed to a blood clot and the doctors were doubtful she would live long enough for a third.
Everyone dealt with the pain differently. My grandfather found solace and peace in taking walks everyday. His daily ritual of walking and talking to his Heavenly Father was known only to him and to the God he was praying too. That is until he invited me to go with him one afternoon.
Leaving the hospital, I didn’t know where we were going, I was just grateful that I got to tag along as it kept my nine-year-old mind off the fact that my mother was dying. Along the way we talked. I remember how good he was at boosting my spirits and giving me something to smile about. It was here I learned he took a walk like this every day. We soon arrived at our destination, a quiet beautiful park that was secluded from the world. I followed him through the park to a grassy hill covered with shade, and continued following him all the way down to my knees. Just as my Grandfather had done so many times before, he offered up thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father that his daughter, my mother, had been spared another day. He acknowledged the hand of the Lord in the matter, and in a spirit of humility, offering his broken heart and will to the Almighty, he than asked for another day in her behalf.
My Grandpa always provided a ray of optimism for the family to feed off of. Every day when he returned from his walk he would say with a smile “Shelly, you’re going to make it.” He always seemed so sure, yet I didn’t understand how. I got my answer that afternoon. I knew that God had heard our prayer. It was answered as I felt strength, peace, and assurance that all would be well. I believe that God does hear and answer our prayers. He is in charge and stands ready to bless us with the things we need if we will have the faith to ask. My mother made it to a third liver transplant, and that transplant was a success. She is alive and well today, standing as a witness that prayers are answered, and miracles do happen.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.