I grew up loosely catholic. I guess I believed in God, but He was never very important to me. When I got married, I went to church on Sundays with my wife, but only to make her happy. I didn’t pay attention to the sermons or sing any of the worship songs. I just kind of went through the motions.
A few years into marriage we had a baby girl. That changed my life, but it didn’t turn my heart to God. I just felt more weight on my shoulders. I wanted to be the best father I could be. I wanted to make sure my daughter felt loved, safe and protected at all times, and I thought I was doing a pretty good job at accomplishing that until she got diagnosed with leukemia at age 4.
Leukemia. Hearing that word turned my world upside down. I think deep down, I knew keeping my daughter safe was now out of my control, but at first, I convinced myself otherwise. I made sure she followed her treatment and medicine regimens perfectly. I thought if I could do that, I could still protect her from this frightening disease. Then, one day she had a bad reaction to her medicine and I had to rush her to the hospital.
It was at that moment, watching the doctors take my daughter into a hospital room for treatment, that I finally realized I had been fooling myself. I couldn’t protect her from this. I wasn’t in control.
I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I felt sick. I felt like a failure. I felt broken.
Rushing outside, I sat down on a secluded bench and completely broke down. I don’t think I had ever cried like that in my entire life. I was so worried for my little girl. I still felt that weight on my shoulders, but I was out of answers, so I closed my eyes, and for the first time in my life, I cried out to God.
That was the first real conversation I ever had with God. I knew my daughter’s life was completely out of my control, I knew there was nothing I could do on my own, so I surrendered to Him, and as soon as I did, I felt that weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt a calmness like I had never experienced before. God was in control, He always had been, but I wasn’t going to fight it anymore. I committed my life to Him that day and never looked back.
God saved me that day, and then He saved my daughter too. The next five years of my life were spent growing closer to Him, closer to my family, and getting involved in our church. I didn’t go to church to please my wife anymore. I went to worship my King, but that’s just the beginning of my story…