A Christmas Story of Hope,Faith and Perseverance
As sudden as if I had been sleeping my eyes flutter open. It is so dark and cold. Everything is fuzzy and I can't make out much of anything. I have an overwhelming sense that I am in a car but I cant see anything at first. I start to come to and look out what seems to be a window to see nothing but snow and darkness. My entire body is numb except for an extreme coldness that is wrapping my whole body. The silence is defining at first and I am utterly confused. Slowly I am hearing noises but I can't make them out. I'm looking around but my head is not moving. I am sure now that I am in a car but I have no memories of where I am and how I got here. I begin to hear the sound of my children crying and my husband yelling but is is so faint that I can barely hear it. I can't make out the words and I feel panic rising in my heart.How did I get here? Where am I? Then all of a sudden I can hear my grandchildren crying from behind me "grandma help us". Oh my God, Are my grand-kids with me!? What is happening and what can I do? I close my eyes for what seemed like a second and silence fell upon my soul.
Once again I am awake I still can't move and I can only see darkness. I am cold and scared and dazed. I can see the snow again and it is coming down but I am unable to see anything else. No trees or building, nothing but the black cold night.Then it dawns on me I can't hear anything either. I begin to pray "please Lord protect my grandchildren, I can't move and I can no longer hear them. I don't ow what happened but I have a sense that you are protecting us. I have faith that you will send someone to save us. pleas lord let them be ok. I need your strength and love Amen."
With no more strength I close my eyes and when I open them again sometime later I am shocked to realize I am no longer in the drivers seat.Oh I am so confused. How did I get over here? Did I move or did someone come here? Was I able to get to my grandchildren? What is happening? I have so many questions but I don't seem to be in a state of panic anymore. I have a strange sense of peace. I wonder am I dying now and that is why I am no longer panicking. Again I close my eyes.
This time as I drift off I find myself transported pack in time remembering several years earlier. I am remember that fateful day that I walked in to the house and revealed to my family that I had a drug problem. I remember the look of disbelief as I tried to explain that I was addicted to prescription pain pills and that I had been misusing them for sometime. I felt like I was reliving that moment all over again. The hurt and the pain on their faces burning a hole right through me. I could feel the guilt all over again. I remember the exact thought that I was having "I have just lost everything that I love in this life"
I wake to nothing but coldness in my body and in my heart. I can see nothing but the images of my family and the disgust on their faces. Nothing beyond the darkness seems to exist at this moment. I can't seem to keep my eyes open for very long, slipping in and out of conciseness reliving memories from those times.
I can see myself in complete physical and mental pain, trying to put down the pills and trying to figure out how to go on living without the drugs suppressing all my childhood pain and memories.I could hardly breath recalling all the pain I had caused my family. Reliving so many mistakes I had made over the years. I watched again as my husband and my children lost all faith and trust in me and spiraled into destructive and hurtful decisions of their own.I could hear all the painful words that I believed I deserved. I could feel the tears that where shed by them and myself. I was lost and did not know where to turn.
Now my eyes are open again. How long have I been here? It seems like forever. Why has no one come? Where could I possibly be? How did I get here? These questions raced through my mind as I started to wonder what was happening to me. It is still dark and I can't fathom why it is not getting light out yet. As panic starts to set in again wondering why I can't hear my children or grandchildren anymore I once again find myself drifting off to those days in my past that where just as dark as this night was.
I could see myself crying all by myself as everyone else went on with life. I could remember all the meeting and counselors helping me.I could see faceless people with comforting smiles and light that was surrounding them. I felt love again. Then out of the blue I saw myself on one Sunday many years ago rising from my sleep and muttering "I have to go to church today" An overwhelming feeling made me get up, get dressed and go to a church I had never stepped foot in before. I remembered this day all so well, the day my life began to change.
Now once again I was back in the driver seat of this car I was stuck in. I could feel something , a sense of hope. A sense that someone was coming soon. I could see my grandchildren faces and they where smiling. They looked warm and comfortable. I dozed off with a peace in my heart that everything was going to be o.k.
I began to think of the destruction to my family. The losses and the heartaches that kept coming. The struggles to forgive and the guilt that I wouldn't let go of. I could hear the prayers that total strangers where saying and the confusion in my heart. How could God be letting my family fall apart when I am trying so hard to change and make things right again? I felt no hope and lost all faith. I was loosing this battle and couldn't figure out Why? I could see me sitting in the church alone and scared unable to stand and tears streaming down my face. I couldn't even feel the people surrounding me and praying. I just remember saying to God these words,
I can't do this without you, I am alone down hear and I have caused my family so much pain, I cant blame them for giving up on me but I am so tired and weak, i need you to carry me?
All of a sudden i heard a loud noise and my eyes flew open. I could hear voices coming from the distance. I could hear laughter and I could smell food , but as I looked around I was still in this car, it was still dark and cold. Now once again I was in the passenger seat. Why could I here people laughing? Why weren't they helping us? Still unable to move or speak I could feel myself screaming "Help my grand-kids, get them out of here, make sure they are safe, Please don't just laugh!"Help me protect them!
Out again remembering the images of the past. I could see myself sitting in a room with my girls and husband afraid to tell them I was suffering inside, afraid to tell them that I had a mental disease that was making me have horrible flashback and I couldn't stop it or control it.I could hear the jokes and the comments like "oh she's just crazy." I remember wondering if they where right. I often would wonder if a padded room was going to be my future. Then with a new sense of life I declared "No, I am going to beat this thing one way or another." I now have God to lean on and I was going to lean on him every step of the way. Even when I couldn't talk to my family I could talk to him. This is not how my story is going to end. I would except loosing my family "if I had to" but I was not going down without a fight. I would spend the rest of my life fighting or them even if they gave up on me!
I still couldn't open my eyes but I could feel warmth in my body. I could hear my grandchildren "grandma you ok?" I could hear my children "mom wake up, mom look at me" I could hear my husband "Honey your o.k. , where right here." I could see light and I could feel something hard under my head. I was laying down now. Did they come get me out of the car? Was I in a hospital? What was going on? Then drowning out all the clutter and background noise I heard a loud strong voice full of love and peace. It was thunderous but calming. "Wake up child everything is going to be o.k. I have carried you and now you can walk."
My eyes flew open and I was in my church. I began to remember. This year I had gotten my one single Christmas wish, As I looked up into the faces of my husband, my children, my grandchildren and my mother I began to sob. I had waited for many years to see all of them sitting in this place with me. overwhelmed and happy I could only think this one thought,
"sometimes its OK to be the passenger in the ride of our life, letting God steer the car for a while and learning to have faith, and patience gave me the best Christmas present ever." My Family!