How can you believe in God after everything you have been threw?
I was asked this question by many people. And there were times that I would think, “why should I, believe in Him if all I do is suffer”. Then I realize that I believe in my Father above I am just angry at Him.
I grew up in a very abusive home, and was taken away from my parents a number of times from 8-10. The last time was when I ended up in ICU at age 10. At that time I was place in care and from the age of 10 to 15 went through 42 different placements; group homes, Hospitals, Orphanage’s, shelters and foster care. This was a nightmare. I never felted loved or wanted but somehow always knew there was a God above.
At age 15 I went to a home where I was cared for and treated somewhat wanted. I still felt unloved and an outsider but I knew this was the only place for me at this point. This family cared about me and helped me grow in the Lord. They also should me that a family can have two parents that don’t try to kill each other and do drugs on a daily basis. I did and still do love this last home but at the same time they made it clear that I was not there child. I lasted in this home till age 17 when I got in a fight with a peer in school my foster parents kicked me out because they thought I started the fight. I week later the school called and told my foster parents that they had a video that’s showed the truth that the other girl started the fight. However hurtful words were exchanged back and forth and I moved out on my own for my senior year of high school. My foster parent did apologized and continued to be part of my life but once again I felt unwanted and alone in the world.
In my senior year of high school I work 40 hours a week and went to school. This was a very hard year for me. One day in psych class I felt very suicidal and out of nowhere another student started talking to me and asking me where I lived and how was I doing. I broke down and cried. That night she took me to her church and I talked to a teen leader. We talked for hours and I knew I found a place just for me. I would go to this church whenever I had a chance. I became good friends with many kids there. Then I decided I was going to College.
After graduating high school I went to Eastern College. No one thought I would make it. I paid my way with no help from family or anyone. I graduated with a 3.6 and top off my class. I grew in the Lord more and more each day. While in college I did mission trip to Europe. I loved it. I was in the school gospel chore and traveled around singing in different churches around the USA.
In 1999 I went to The Czech Republic and when I first arrived, the home I was to stay in refused to let me go into their home because of the color of my skin. I was placed in a home were the people loved me. They found out that I was Puerto Rican and then everyone wanted to talk to me, even the family I was to go to. They said sorry we thought you were black and she then said black people steal. I looked at him and said I AM BLACK AND PROUD OF IT, and walked away. In the home I stayed in, the girl asked me “Do you believe in God”. I told her yes. She then said why, even after what just happened and how you grew up. I thought for a long time and told her. Without God I believe I would not be alive today and my past made me into who I am today. I told her that somehow I always knew God loved me and would help me in my life.
This was the first time I was asked this question but not the last time. A year later I struggled with health issues, finding ways to pay off my tuition. Trying to find a place to stay during holiday breaks and trying to stay healthy mentally and not feel pity for myself. This is also when I met my best friend and future husband David. We started dating and it was not always easy, not even till this day. We had people stare at us. Make comments about “Jungle fever”. This happened more on campus than anywhere else.
A year later I became pregnant and this did not look good in a small Christian school. I had people ask me what was I going to do about it and am I dropping out of College. A professor told me “Kathy if more people ask you that question tell them, Well If you want to pay for an abortion and kill this child of God then go ahead.
Well let’s just say I did this 2 or 3 times and people stopped but comments were always made. David and I had Elijah very early. He came at 30 weeks and was 4 pounds. He was in NICU for 9 days and it hurt to leave the hospital without holding a baby. I had Elijah in February and graduated that June with a degree in Education and somehow we got married too.
A few years later we had another son William and we sadly lost him 2 days after he was born. We tried years to have him and at 19 weeks we were told that he had half a heart and would need surgery soon after birth. They told me that many babies have a 75% survival rate. Well around 25 weeks I became very ill. I had developed HELLP syndrome class 1, due to severe stress. What this ment is my body had started to shut down one organ at a time. My poor but wonderful husband had to make the hard choice of telling the doctors to remove the baby. This would save my life but we knew William had less than a 10% survival rate. We had made the choice if he suffered on the machine we would not fight to keep him alive and he did struggle and my husband once again told them to remove him from life support. William staid with us for a short time after that, David and I held him till he went back to be with our father above. We sang to him and My husband looked down at him, kissed him on the head and said, "My angle it is ok to go home, I am hear with mommy now".
I tell people that William was an Angels that snuck out of God garden playing hide and seek. Then God found him and said its time to come back home. William touched so many people in his short life. From his doctors to people in my life that I did not know had and lost children and never had closer. I was told by many people that when we buried William that it was as if they were burring their own baby and finally had closer. William’s doctor told us that he had never felt so much love in all his years of practice. He sat and cried with us as we sang and prayed with William. Later that day everyone left the room and David and I held him and told him he could go now. Within a few minutes William took his last breath with Daddy singing to him and mommy holding him. It was the hardest thing I ever till this day had to do, let my baby go and know I would never see him on earth again.
A few years later we had another son Noah and he also was born early and I was on bed rest for this. Noah came later then the other two boys. He came at 33 weeks at a big 6.2 pounds. He had more issues with preemie issues then Elijah ever did. He could not keep his temp up and had issues with eating. We now found out that Noah is hard of hearing and was just diagnosed with CHD’s. We are not surprise with this since all of our boys have this.
We now adopted a baby boy Gabriel and a girl Maria. And this is when I learned that God has a sense of humor. I told everyone I would never adopt a teen from foster care because they just have to many issue’s and if I adopted a baby it would be a girl, because I have all boys already. LOL. What I did both I said I would not do and I am very happy. Gabriel was diagnosed with a form of autism but they are still not sure what type yet. He is all over the place so they say he is a confusing case. Well what else is new? He is a May and I have learned May children do things the hard way.
So this brings us to the last few months. I have been struggling with being more assertive in my life and not being a door mat. Saying NO and confronting when I know things are not true. I have to admit at one point I was going to leave the church because I saw more gossiping and lying in the church then my non church friends. Then one day, like always God showed me different. I had two church members come up to me on the same day and ask how was I doing and that they were thinking of my family. Tracie and his wife came up to me and started talking to me. And asking how we felt without walking away, which I have learned is very calming in the American culture. This made me want to give church another round. And this time it was different. It’s almost as the Lord knew what was on my heart.
Well this month was hard for us as a family. I have been sick for two months or longer and stopped telling people in fear that I would be labeled “Oh she is always sick”. Well this was not the smartest thing to do. On May 26st I was getting an award from the state of Pa for outstanding work in the mental health field I was so happy. I walked in and my foster mother that I have not seen in years was there. My uncle was there and my wonderful husband took off work to be there with me. Well as I walked in I fell to the ground in pain. I tried to walk it off (like always) but it did not work this time. It went from bad to worse. All I remember is a pain that seemed to never end. I was rushed to the hospital and was admitted. At first they could not see what was really wrong with me. The first day I was told by a nurse there was nothing wrong with me and that I was just drug seeking. (Well if you know me good you would laugh, I don’t even take Tylenol that much). The next day was different. I had a temp of 104 and nothing could bring it down. They placed ice around me and still it stayed up. We were told that they think my bowls were tied up and I needed to be transferred to another hospital for surgery. We waited for another day to be transferred to Einstein hospital. When we got there I was rushed into surgery with a high fever and heart rate at 180 and climbing. During surgery they were shocked at what they found. My abdomen was filled with stomach acid that had been leaking at least 2 months or longer. The doctors told us he did not know how I survived. My response was fast without thinking and I said GOD. He looked at me and walked away. I was in ICU for a few days and in the regular part for a week. It was hard being away from my kids and not being about to do my normal daily stuff. Later that week I had a nurse and the same doctor ask me do I still believe in God and why. I looked at them and said without Him I would be lost. I would not have the life I have today. Then later that same day my mother said that it makes her angry that I suffer so much in my life and I don’t do drugs, I try to raise my kids good and can’t have more kids. She said that my sister is healthy and has four kids and the grandparents raise them. I responded to her. I am a Christian so the devil is after me more because of that. Why would he go after someone that is not saved if they already belong to him (devil). I told my mother that the Devil wants to make me turn away from God but it won’t work. I may suffer now but one day I will be up in heaven and have nothing but joy. My mom looked at me and said “you’re so crazy sometimes” in a joking manner. She said God takes everyone to heaven even the non-believers. I told her what I have learned and believe and she just smile at me.
So why do I believe in God after being abused, not wanted, not loved as a child, after losing a beautiful baby trying years to conceive, dealing with gossiping and lying from family, all my children dealing with some type of physical illness, and the latest almost losing my life at a time should have been a joyous time. There is only one answer. I just know He is around me all the time. He tells me about what is going to happen and I know that He will handle things His way. It may not be what we think is right but it is in God’s plan.