The first night in the ICU I met a very nice woman with 3 children. I don’t know her name, but I’ll call her Sam. Her husband was in the ICU with multiple organ failure. She was told his chances of survival were less than 5%, and yet she was holding onto that 5%. She talked of God being good and of faith.
Something woke up inside of me hearing this woman, who had no reason to have hope, talk of God being good and having faith. Her husband sadly passed away a few days later, but she left a lasting impression on me. One morning another family, I’ll call them the Jone’s family, offered a prayer for Ricardo. I was still asleep on the floor, but my mother in law told me about the prayer. Sam, whose husband ended up dying, the Jones family, and us were all in the family waiting room this morning and we started a conversation. The faith of all these people impressed me so much. Sam said, “I know the doctors say my husband only has a 5% chance of surviving, but they aren’t God, and I just need to turn this over to God and if God needs him more than me, then he’ll go, and if not, then it doesn’t matter what the doctors say, he’ll live.”
It’s not that I’m not familiar with thinking like this, I used to think this way quite frequently. But I suppose that desperate situations change people, and in that moment I definitely felt an awakening of faith. Afterall, Ricardo was alive and responsive, when statistics would say he shouldn’t have been. Maybe miracles really do exist.
One late night after returning home from the hospital, a Spanish speaking ward member came over to offer some support to my inlaws. He also talked of faith and it struck a chord in my heart. Afterward we knelt in a circle, held hands, and took turns each saying a prayer.
It’s hard to explain exactly, but it really was something very special. There was an energy to it. It was enlivening. It brought large amounts of peace and hope. It unified all of us in the circle praying. And somehow, I wonder if it affected Ricardo. I hope it did.
A few days later Ricardo’s family said they would like for Ricardo to have a blessing. I explained to them that the night of the hemorrhage my bishop had driven up with another member of the bishopric to the hospital to give support. My MIL and I both requested and received priesthood blessings, but I said Ricardo would rather not have one. But after the powerful experience with prayer that I had, I decided it would be good, at least for Ricardo’s family to have him get a priesthood blessing. It was a good experience for everyone I think. I know it brought me a lot of peace.
One night we went to a cathedral. Wow! I’m about ready to join the catholic church after that experience (not really, but I may have to attend a mass there sometime). I think I found my dream job–singing for mass in that cathedral. It honestly sent shivers up and down my spine seeing the beautiful carvings and statues and listening to the chant-like music and carols echoing off of the arched gothic structures. The acoustics were exceptional! It was very sacred and truly a wonderful place to pray.
The point is, I suppose my tiny seed of faith is blossoming a bit in my dire circumstances. But it feels good. I may just have to embrace it 🙂 Praying feels good. It feels right. And I think it just might help.