A testimony of faith

A lot of you may recall the events of last summer, since I talked about most of it constantly on Facebook and on R-O.  I've talked about this before, but not like this.  It should've been a happy time.  But it turned into a nightmare.  But afterwards, I had a renewed faith in God.

Saturday May 29, 2010, was literally the best day of my life.  My wife Danielle gave birth to our beautiful daughter Shyanna.  Two seconds after I cut the cord, I called my dad to share the experience with him.  He was the proudest person in the world that day; he had lived long enough to become a grandfather.  But, our daughter had to go to the NICU due to a Group B Strep infection.  It was stressful, but we knew she was in good hands.

That Tuesday, I got called upstairs at my job and was told I'd finally been promoted.  Life couldn't get better:  we had a new family, and I had a new position that could pay the bills comfortably.

But then the roof caved in.  First, I called my grandma, since I couldn't get my dad on his cell, since I wanted to tell him the news about my promotion.  She told me he was in St. Vincent's Hospital in Jacksonville.  I called my dad, and though he had been sick for over ten years, it was the worst I'd ever heard him sound.  He said to call him back later.  It was the last time we'd ever speak again.

That Saturday, my mom and brother went to see him.  I wanted to go, but they said there really much I could do, and to stay with my family up in PA.  All was still fine.

Just mere hours before I was to start my new job running the front-end, my wife started acting very strange.  She kept hearing things.  She started looking under impossible places for people hiding.  I'm not quite sure what triggered it, but my wife was having a mental breakdown.  I thought if she just got some sleep she'd be better,  But she wouldn't go to sleep.  I took her to the ER, and she became suspicious of everyone and everything.  Finally, I took her to the psych ward.  I went to work on no sleep, and went to see her.  It was very heartbreaking.  This beautiful woman who was so full of life just the day before barely recognized me now.

That whole week was tough.  I was learning my new job responsibilities, I was running back and forth between two hospitals, I was burning the candle at both ends.  My wife seemed better, so she came home that Tuesday.  By that Friday, she was slipping again.  CYS was called due to her mental state.  So now I had five really big things on my plate.

That Sunday, my wife went back to the ER, and back to the psych ward.  I had to deal with CYS pretty much restricting my freedom with Shyanna, for the mere fact that on Friday morning she had been fine, but Sunday she was not, and I changed my opinion on what she needed to have done.

It became obvious that something had to give, and both work and I (moreso work than myself) came to the conclusion that the timing of my promotion was very bad, so I went back to part-time.

Father's Day came.  I should've been happy to celebrate it for the first time as a father, but I wasn't.  CYS was involved in my life, my wife was not getting any better (and I thought worse), and I got the call that they were pulling the plug on my dad on Monday.  I called and, even though he was semi-comatose, I wished him a Happy Father's Day one last time, and his nearly one-month-old granddaughter made sounds to try and do the same.  I heard that he opened his eyes.  He never would again.  That night, my aunt called me and told me the news that my father passed away.  My whole world collapsed.

I went to work the next morning and told everybody the news.  Everybody wondered how I could go through so much and still come to work.  I wondered that myself.  Just the tiniest things at Winn-Dixie usually stressed me out to the point of insanity, but I was just so calm about everything.  But deep down, I knew why.

Ever since I left GA in 2007 (for an ever-growing list of reasons that I won't get into), I pretty much said, "OK God, guide me through all of this.  Point me in the right direction and I'll leave everything up to you."  I also know that God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  Even with CYS, my wife, my dad, and my job, all this stress just went right over me.  I knew I had to be strong, but I knew I couldn't be this strong on my own.  I knew right then that God was watching over me.

I remember the story of Job, and how everything was taken away from him, yet he never gave up his faith in God.  I've always talked about it over and over, but now I was living it.  I also know that, in my life, I've always been a Christian, but I've rarely gone to church.  I grew up not going to church, but being taught the stories of the Bible by my mom.  The story of Job always stood out to me.

Of course things got better.  My wife came home well, and CYS really didn't bother us as much as everybody said they would.  And I started a new job that has been remarkably easy.  But again, I left it up to God to guide me where I needed to be, and I knew He wouldn't put me doing something I couldn't do.

My faith grows stronger every day.  I just leave it up to God to show me the way, and to guide me through all the troubles that might arise.

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