This I Believe

Jennifer - S. Elgin, Illinois
Entered on November 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Paradise is Just a Petition Away

Most people believe that life doesn’t completely terminate along with the body. I believe that humans tend to rest on the fact of an afterlife to instill comfort in their hearts that their loved ones, and eventually their own selves, will end up in a celestial paradise of zero worries. There is no harm in this theory that humans have created. I even have strong faith in the fact that this world will seem incredibly scant compared to the unimaginable heaven that awaits me on the day I leave this Earth. However there is one aspect of this consoling assumption that I do not agree with. Paradise is not something that you have to die to attain.

My life was radically changed in 2004 when the female counselor of my life was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. My mom was so weak when she found out, both physically and spiritually. I now realize that it was her lack of hope and faith that caused this fragility. If it wasn’t for the one simple petition that my mom prayed, she would have never found the amazing source of joy and hope that filled her life and neither would I.

I always looked up to my mom while she was here on Earth. While I was sitting doing homework or watching T.V., my mom was always on her feet, constantly moving from work, to home, to the kitchen and then to the laundry room. This is why it seemed so abnormal when her time on the recliner in the living room became more frequent as did her time in bed. However, this decrease in energy didn’t result in a decrease of delight. Luckily my mom wasn’t secretive about her perpetual joy. She told me that she had Jesus on her side providing her with encouragement thought the bible and through other cheerful people that God had placed in her life.

After a year had gone by of countless trials with my mom’s health, I knew I had to make the same petition to God that my mom had made some time before. I needed to accept Jesus as my Lord and savior because I wasn’t strong enough to handle all the life changes that were happening. Becoming a Christian opened my heart to receive a contentment that I can barely explain. I know I discovered paradise when I let God into my life because I can find happiness at any point in my life. Whether I’ve been faced with a stressful time in school or a painful memory of my mom, I’ve always been able to retrieve my joy by turning to God.

My mom passed away in the summer of 2007 and I am certain that she is in the ultimate paradise at this very moment. I can’t wait to join her, but since I have a fraction of that heavenly joy with me every day, I’m able to make the best of my time on Earth.