*Alert- Long blog post, but please read to the end.*
I lay in bed late last night suffering from a severe bout of insomnia. I didn’t have work during the day so I woke up late, ate three slices of wheat bread with nutella, a piece of chicken, and went for an over three mile run around 5pm. I came back home, took a shower, washed my running clothes, and had some dinner.
Around 9pm, a friend visited and I helped my fix her hair. Actually, she’s going natural so I helped her cut off the relaxed ends of her hair (black woman speak).
I listened to an empowering sermon about operating in the realms of the spirit, and with the joy in my heart, I was in bed around midnight and ready to sleep.
I woke up about two hours later for a bathroom break, and I couldn’t sleep anymore. I did all I knew how to- tried praying my rosary, praying in tongues till I fell asleep, changing the room temperature, drinking some water (perhaps I was thirsty or dehydrated?), but nothing worked.
There was I, the darkness caving in on me, and fear overcoming my heart.
Okay, I thought, the Lord wants me awake to pray. But I did not want to open any device. A friend once mentioned that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to slow down and fall asleep after we look at screens of our mobile devices.
I couldn’t take the insomnia anymore so I stood up, turned on my laptop as I played some music and tried to catch up on my bible reading on my iPad.
I soon realized that the insomnia wasn’t the problem. I was refusing to let myself mourn a few recent deaths I have heard about.
A few days ago, a friend posted a tribute to a friend that he had lost. As usual, I went some cyber stalked and I found out the details of her death. She had just concluded her 6-year medical studies in Nigeria, and went on a trip with fellow graduands to obtain something that was required for graduation. On their way back to school, they had an accident. She died on the spot and another person was badly injured. Everyone else survived.
This was only a few days to her graduation as a medical doctor.
I was incredibly saddened by this news, but I don’t personally know the deceased so I felt like I had no right to mourn.
Then last night, I heard another story about a friend’s sibling who had just completed his PhD at one of the best universities in the world. He moved to a new city to begin work, and a few days ago, he attended a pool party. A dive went wrong, he hit his head, became unconscious, went into a coma. And died. His parents have come over to the U.S. and have been informed that their first son is now deceased.
Decades of investments, money, time, love, dreams and hopes all dashed.
Last night as I lay in bed reading my bible, I wasn’t okay. But I did not know why I was not okay. I thought perhaps, I was back to the little girl that was scared at the slightest mention of death. I felt like the room was swallowing me, and no matter how many times I anointed my head with oil and tried to pray in tongues, the burden on my heart was growing.
Then I finally sat on my bed and cried. I just cried and cried and cried, until I realized that I was weeping for these people I do not personally know, and for their parents whose dreams and hopes have been dashed.
You see, there’s more to you than just you. If you come from a family like mine, you are a prayer answered and the culmination of dreams and hopes. Your life is a testament to the prevailing power of selfless love and sacrifice. You are the embodiment of years of toil and hardship.
I decided to call my mother. Because she is one person who knows how to comfort me no matter how deep the sorrow. When she tells me that all will be well, I do not doubt her because she knows God. She knows the one who makes all things well, so why worry?
I told her that I did not understand why I was so sad at this news because I did not know the families of the deceased, but that I felt so sad for their parents. I couldn’t stand the thought of the hurt and pain.
She spoke very lovely words of comfort to me, and soon after, I indeed felt better. She mentioned that my friend, who I wrote about here, also was an answer to her parents’ prayers and her life was cut short much too early. My friend was one of the very lucky young Nigerians to land a good job right after completing the mandatory year of national service. She was going to be earning over 100,000 naira per month. It’s very small when compared with the U.S. earning, but that’s a lot of money in Nigeria.
Worse, she told me that my friend’s parents are not doing well financially, and they still face a lot of the struggles that would have been history, had my friend become a viable financial contributor to the family.
I was going to end this post on a happy note about how God knows all things and He sees all things and His mercy endures forever.
That’s true. But at times like this when I cannot explain how or why my heart is hurting, I wish someone would explain why some dreams have to be cut short right at their onset.
What is life? What is our time on earth? What is man? One moment here, gone the next. Our lives are nothing but a whiff of smoke.
One thing I ask the Lord is for long life for my parents and for my siblings and for me. My parents must enjoy the rewards of their labor of love in my life. They must live to enjoy the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. They must enjoy the fruits of MY labor as well.
My heart goes out to parents who have buried their young children. I am incredibly sorry for your loss. I know that I cannot help you, but the little (and the most) that I can do is to offer prayers for the repose of the souls of your children, and for God’s comfort for your family.
My heart hurts for you. But please rest assured that all will be well. Because I too, know the one who makes all things well. And He is near to the brokenhearted.
Featured image from here.