I Can Still Breathe...
Posted on November 12 2019
I had many wonderful dreams as a child growing up in a big family. My mother had 27 siblings including her and my dad had 5. I always had someone around to play and talk with. So, my plans were to get married and have several children and grandchildren. I wanted a large family of my own and I fully believed God would grant all my desires and wishes as I was raised in the church all my life that if I trusted God and kept His commandments, nothing was out of reach for what “I” wanted.
Fast forward, this perfect life that I painted for myself wasn’t the picture of my future. I married a few weeks after graduating college and had my first son five years later. He was the joy of my life. And six years later I was pregnant with my second son. I soon learned that my life would take many twists and turns and make me question would I honestly go to hell if I took my own life? I didn’t want to live; I didn’t want to see or speak with anyone. I wanted to escape the pain that haunted me 24/7.... I hated myself and I wasn’t a big fan of God during this time of my life. But I have a testimony that a God is loving, patient, kind, merciful, gracious, and forgiving.
My life started to spiral when my second son was born prematurely at 32 weeks. He had a hydrocephalus bleed in his right ventricle and had a shiny placed outside his skull. He basically had 24-hour seizures. He was in the hospital for two months and came home with medications and home care equipment to monitor his progress. There were so many close calls every day that I can’t even begin to describe. He passed away in my arms on the evening of September 19 while I was trying to tube feed him. I noticed his feet were ash grey and I immediately grabbed a stethoscope and could not get a heartbeat. I started CPR and screamed for my mom and dad to call 911. I performed CPR until the paramedics arrived, but they couldn’t revive him. I hated everyone and everything at that moment. But God was gracious and merciful because He gave me a vision that I can still see in my mind today. As the paramedics were working to save my son, I look out the window and caught a glimpse of my son ascending into the sky with an angel on each side of him holding his hands. I literally saw him look back toward me smiling. You can call me crazy, but I know what I saw, and I know that was God assuring me my son was healed and would spend eternity with Him! You might think that should have been enough but the grief and pain I experienced in the nights, days and years to come were indescribable. I thought I was literally dying inside, and I did contemplate suicide. I had no desire to live. I couldn’t go outside in public because I hated seeing happy mothers were their babies and I hated the sound of a baby crying. It wasn’t fair!! And then my life got worse...
Two years later, my oldest son contracted a disease that ended his life at thirteen years of age. For five years I watched him suffer and questioned God what seemed like every day what had I done to deserve this life of pain and hardship. What did my children do to ever deserve the pain they suffered? I tried to make deals with God... I offered my health in exchange for my children’s infliction. I did everything a mother could possible think of to save their lives! When my oldest son took his last breath, my life ended as far as I was concerned. I didn’t care what happened to me or anyone else. I couldn’t say the words out loud but, in my heart, I hated everyone and anything that tried to encourage me or give me a word from God. I had enough of “church” and “well-meaning Christians” so I just went through the motions of pretending to be okay to keep people away from me. I felt nothing inside but anger, resentment, confusion, hatred... all the emotions that a Christian should not entertain. I wanted to die and go to Heaven to be with my children. I begged God every single day to please let this be my last day on earth. I begged Him to take me home to Heaven.
There’s so much more to this story that I don’t have time to include. But back to my testimony, over many more years of more trials and tribulations, God has remained faithful, kind, loving, merciful, gracious, and my provider through every moment and along every step. Had it not been for the love of God and the people He placed in my life at the right moment and right times, I would have perished. The love of God... how rich and pure, how measureless and strong!
Written by Wanda Murphy