Life is a lot like a relay race. We can’t get to the finish line on our own; we need a teammate. Even though our culture teaches us to be independent and self-sufficient…to rely only on ourselves…the truth of the matter is that we need God.
My need for God was never more evident than it was twenty-three years ago when I experienced heart failure. My kids were five and two. The damage to my heart was caused by the chemotherapy I had received years before during cancer treatment. Though I had put my cancer in the rearview mirror, here it was again rearing its ugly head. Facing death for the second time in my life was certainly unexpected and challenging. It’s in these dire circumstances that we have to admit to ourselves that we can’t go it alone; that we need to trust in and rely on God to get us through what life is throwing at us.
After my heart failed, I spent the summer wishing to get better and arrogantly expecting God to make it happen. After all, God had done this once before with my cancer. This strategy, however, wasn’t working. I’m sure it’s not news to you that telling God what to do is not the best plan of action. I needed a new approach. Admitting that I couldn’t care for myself (or my children) was the first step in moving forward. Acknowledging my lack of control wasn’t easy, but it enabled me to “pass the baton” to God; to say, Okay, God. It’s your leg in this relay now. The outcome is up to you.
Giving up control took tremendous faith and trust. I had to truly believe that God had my six. I had to trust that no matter what happened, I would be okay and so would my family. Not long after I relinquished control, an au pair who was already in the country showed up at my doorstep to help me take care of myself and my children. She was two years into her nursing degree and could handle being around serious illness. She was everything our family needed, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. To this day, I have no doubt that God put her in our lives. It’s like St. Paul tells us, “[God’s] grace is sufficient … for [His] power is made perfect in [our] weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Though my recovery was difficult and took many more years and even though I am still dealing with health issues, God allowed me to stick around long enough to raise my children. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to see my children grow up and become kind, caring adults. Never doubt that God is with you. As my aunt always tells me, “The more you need Him, the closer He’ll be.”
Deb Egan grew up in a Catholic family. Throughout her adult life, she has participated as a church volunteer in many capacities, including teaching Religious Education, being a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, Ministering to the elderly and homebound, and Facilitating Small Faith Groups. She has been trained by Evangelical Catholic and became a member of the Build the Faith Team in April of 2017.