Faith and Him

December 18, 2007
What do a Christian Youth Conference and having surgery have to do with faith? It's simple, everything! It is the morning of Friday October 6th and I cannot stop contemplating on whether or not to go on this adventure which will bring me closer to friends I never knew I could have and the love God will present to me. This adventure takes place in Yakima, Washington where we will be staying. The morning did not start out well. First I had to get up at around 6:00 A.M., next came the packing during which I could not figure out what I wanted to take to wear. Knowing that girls pack a lot of clothes, I tried to figure out what I could and could not take, because temporarily our youth leader bring only a small bag of clothes, pillow, sleeping bag, and activities to do on the way down. Her reason for this is that there is not much room.

Well okay, that wasn't so bad. Then we arrived at the church, another disaster waiting to happen. As we shoved all of our belongings into the car I realized that this six or so hour trip was as I thought going to be a waste of my time. If only I knew that it was going to be the best time of my life, I never would have thought that it would be a waste of time. We had just turned onto the highway which would take us to our destination, three hours away, when we (Michael, Alicia, Cara, Patricia, and I) started thinking of ideas to pass the time away. We knew we would look like complete idiots, but who cared, not us nor those passing us by. After making faces at those people who passed us, they within seconds realized it was funny, and then they started to laugh right along with us even though they did not know who we were.

By the time we reached the Sun Dome, we saw many faces of whom we did not know and those of people we had never seen before. Sometimes, what seems like a boring of mundane situation at the outset turns into a richly rewarding and humorous memory. The time ended up flying by and we became disappointed when we knew this journey would soon come to an end.

Next, came the unsurpassed part of this whole entire trip, when we start screaming because we have just undergone the most awesome part of our lives, the acoustics and bass that rumbled our hearts, where we found ourselves before the crowd of strangers standing before us. As we walked around the dome, we found our seats, and as soon as we sat down, the speakers around us to us teens and youth leaders to get up and cheer as loud as we possibly could for the Lord, that stood before us. Not physically but spiritually, and He who touches our hearts everyday and every night. I believe that for those four and a half hours we stood on our feet screaming, yelling, and singing with the Adam Isaac Band, the Lord has the Faith in us to make us believe in Him. The tears streaming down the faces of those who came there to find Him were so real. The way we raised our hands in the air for Him to see that we were having Faith in Him, became so unreal, like something a person would like me would read in a book. Yet so much part of a reality. With every reach out towards Him, it was as though I could feel Him touching my hands and pulling them closer and closer until finally I knew that I was home once again. Here in this place and time there is no other place I would want to be, everything around me disappears and it is just me and my loving God. This experience of a lifetime changed everything for me, it became powerful and trans-formative. $55 isn't enough money to compare to the love of God.

In the summer of eighth grade I became diagnosed with Scoliosis, an abnormal lateral curve of the spine. Every six months I had been seen at the Shriner's Hospitals for Children in Spokane. In the winter of 2005, I was told that my curve had progressed and was now 60°, in which I would be able to receive spinal fusion. In simpler terms, a surgery which would last five to six hours and inserting titanium rods. I had been debating on the long-term effects of it done or not. Was it safe? Or, Would I be able to return to normal activities. After debating for about three months, I chose to be put on the waiting list. This became something I never expected I would experience. I did not know what the outcome would be and whether or not I would hurt for the next six months and if I would ever look the same again.

Thursday April 6th came in a breeze. We headed for the hospital to check in and take a few tests and learn a little about what would be going on during surgery. These tests consisted of measuring my height, blood sample, and the most dreaded, a urine sample. I became considered an “inpatient,” not that I wanted to be. As soon as I met all of the hospital nurses and doctors of whom would be working with me for the next week, I hoped that I would be safe and have another home of my own. Could life get any harder? Yeah, no kidding!

Sunday night I had to prep for Monday morning, in order to do this I was to take a shower with special antibacterial soap. Not something I would use on a daily basis. And then I was told not to eat for 12 whole hours, but every two or so hours I could drink clear fluids. Monday morning came early as ever, at 5 A.M. I had to wake up to take yet another shower, and at around 8 A.M. They gave me these pills that made me relax, then they gave me something I hate the most----a shot. This shot helped me relax even more until finally I fell into a daydream.. Then I was transferred onto another rolling bed where I would be taken up to the 5th floor where I would be in pre-op for around 45 minutes. There my parents had to say “bye.” The next five or so hours were mentally treacherous for my family waiting in the waiting room. Every two or so hours a nurse came in telling them how I was doing. My surgeon told me before anything began that they would have to go in and behind my stomach. (Yes, I did say stomach) Doing this my surgery would take up to eight hours to complete successfully. Halfway through surgery my two surgeons decided that would not be necessary. After I was told that I felt relieved because I was lucky that it would not be as painful and I would not be in the hospital for more than a week.

The first day after surgery, I had to get up and walk. I did and didn't at the same time want to. This was because I knew that if I didn't I would be in even more pain and I didn't want to because I knew it would be a struggle to even walk five steps. But it was even more of an accomplishment to get out of my room where people could see me and I could finally be what seemed like free. The first week I spent in the hospital was horrible, every two hours I had to be turned; either to my left, right, or onto my back. The best part of being here was that I only ate milkshakes everyday and that during my hospital stay, me and two other inpatients were visited by the Easter Bunny and were given three or so baskets of goodies. The next three weeks I spent at home being lazy and doing homework, which I hated. My goal was just to pass my sophomore year, knowing that my grades were really low.

The summer was a bore. I couldn't physically lift more than 10 pounds and couldn't do everything I had hoped for. I wasn't able to get a job or anything. But, instead of moping over the negative things, I concentrated on the activities I could do. The summer passed like a breeze. Next came my junior year in which I was anticipating; I was able to see my friends and become volleyball manager. My six month checkup was awesome because my doctor/surgeon told me to be careful but that I could start lifting more than 10 pounds, which meant I could start doing my normal activities. Everything looked great and my bones were starting to graph, a great sign of healing. After seven months after surgery I was happy to say that I was doing great with few minor aches.

Through all of this I have learned that Faith is priceless. Things don't just happen to be good for no reason. In that respect there is always a reason behind everything in life and having Faith just happens to be one of them!

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