CLASS ASSIGNMENT: Let Go, Let God

Sharyn White                                                                                         Crisis

4044 E. Aster Dr                                                                                1698 words

Phoenix, Az. 85032

February 28, 2013

JRN 234

                                                            Let Go, Let God

            It was the winter of 2002.  I woke up that morning with swollen eyes, a massive headache, and a general feeling of hopelessness.

            The day before, I had thrown out my fiancé of two years, after finding out he had been doing meth in my home. I was doing a load of laundry and felt something hard in his robe pocket. I pulled out the robe and in it was a hypodermic needle. I was shocked. I didn’t even know what it was. I had to call my brother and ask him what it was used for. I was so angry. I felt naïve: I  never suspected a thing. He was very good at hiding it.  He knew I had a “no tolerance” approach to drugs, but like most drug addicts, he ignored my feelings and did it anyway.  

         When he came home from work that day, I met him in the carport. I had his clothes in a large garbage bag in the carport. I handed him a money order for half of what was in our bank account.

          “What’s this?” he asked, confused.

            “Go buy some drugs with it!” I answered. “Just don’t even think about doing them here again. I’m done with you. I don’t ever want to see you again. Don’t try to sweet-talk your way out of this. Just GO.”

          I handed him my engagement ring  and walked away.  I watched from the front door as he loaded his belongings and simply drove off.  I cried myself to sleep that night.         

          In the light of a new day, I wondered if I had acted too hastily.  I couldn’t afford to keep living in my home on my meager income. My entire family was coming to visit in less than two weeks for a family reunion and Christmas gathering.  The get-together was to be at my house.  I could not bring myself to cancel it, nor could I afford to host such a party.  I was so depressed that all I could do was cry and feel sorry for myself.  I had no one to talk to, since both of my daughters had recently left the nest.  My middle daughter was away at college in Tucson.  My youngest moved in with her fiancé and was going to school as well.  I was alone in my misery.

            I spent the first day alone trying to find solutions. Ideas that might help me get back on my feet. Places I might go for help. Someone I might call to help. I made no progress. I was a physical and emotional wreck.  I couldn’t eat, couldn’t get rid of my headache or my heartache.  I cried myself to sleep that night as well.  

               Day two: I woke up with much the same depression and feeling of hopelessness.  hen I remembered something my father had always told me: “You are a survivor and a fighter, Honey.  Never give up. Never forget your strength.”

               Dad knew what he was talking about. When I was just 6 months old, I became very ill.  My parents took me to St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach, California . The doctors ran some tests. They told my parents I had meningitis and most likely would not make it through the night. My heartbroken parents called for a priest, who gave me the last rites of the Catholic Church.  All night long they sat by my crib and waited for me to die. But something in me fought the illness and I responded to the drugs. I grew stronger every day. Two weeks later, my parents, filled with joy and gratitude towards God, were able to take me home.  I was never sick after that. I had a healthy, normal childhood. “God has a plan for her,” my parents told everyone.

            On a cold Phoenix day, many years later, I searched for solutions to my dilemma.  I stared out my back door and remembered Dad’s words. “I can fight back,” I told myself.  If a helpless 6-month-old infant can fight a life threatening illness, a grown woman of 52 should be able to find the strength to survive this crisis. I left my pity party and began to make a list of ways to help myself.

            First order of the day: my house was a disaster. I had been sick for a couple of months, off and on, and no thorough cleaning had been done.  I remembered my friend, Debbie, had a housecleaning business. She and I had not seen or spoken to each other in a few years, but when we worked together years ago, we had had a great, close friendship. I decided to look up her number and give her a call.

             “Well, hello, Sherry. Girl, what you been up to?!” she said cheerily.  Her happy voice was a welcome sound, but I couldn’t respond the same way.  I burst into tears and told her the whole miserable scenario.

             “Now, Honey, you just calm down. I’m going to come over tomorrow, and we’ll get that house whipped into shape,” she promised.

            “But, Deb, I can’t afford to pay you much,” I protested.

            “Girl, you ain’t payin’ me nothing. This is my gift to my friend, OK?” she said.

            After thanking her , I hung up and sighed. One hurdle at a time I told myself, one at a time.

            The next morning, Debbie showed up at my front door; laden with broom, vacuum, cleaning supplies and a huge smile.

            “Sher-Sher, you brat! Why didn’t you call me sooner?” She set her gear down just inside the door and gave me a big hug. “You know, true friends don’t have to see each other every day or even every month to be real friends! I’ve missed you!”

            And with that, we began working together cleaning, gabbing, and bringing each other up to date on our lives since we had last talked.

            “Sher,” she said, “do you go to church much?” 

            “No, I don’t, Deb. I don’t think I’d be welcome back in the Catholic Church after a 40 year absence,”  I joked                                                                     

           “Well, Honey, let me tell you, God doesn’t care why you went down a bad road. He just wants you to come back His way.”  She talked as she dusted with the speed of a whirling dervish.

            “You think?”  I was right behind her, putting knick-knacks back in place as she whipped her dust cloth everywhere.  She sat down in a side chair in my living room and looked me right in the eye. The sun beaming through the window hit her light brown hair and lit up her face in an almost surreal way.

            “Girl, I KNOW so…I’ve been there, just like you. I’ve hit bottom. I’ve felt hopeless.  I’ve done some horrible things, things I wish I could take back. But I can’t and neither can you! You just need to take all those problems, all those doubts, and hand them over to God. Let Him help you figure it out.”

            “What if it doesn’t work?” I asked her.

            “Sherry, just remember: Let GO, let God. Pray, pray, pray! I promise you girlfriend, it’s gonna work! Now, let’s get this job DONE!”  Deb’s enthusiasm, her spirit, her eagerness encouraged me.

            That night, after she’d gone, I found a greeting card stuck in my mirror over my dresser. It had a Bible quote on the front, and inside she had handwritten:

            “Sher, my dear friend, you CAN do it! I know you can! LET GO, LET GOD!”  I smiled when I read it. Maybe, just maybe, this girl knew something I didn’t. What the heck, I thought, might as well give it a try.

              So that night, I prayed and asked God to forgive my extended absence and show me what I needed to do to get out of the pit I was in. I asked Him to guide me, not just GIVE me what I needed. I asked humbly, with hope and a smattering of doubt that I’d be heard.  But I meant every word I said that night and went to sleep without tears.

            The next day, I woke up feeling good. My pain had subsided; I had no headache and I actually had some energy. Not exactly renewed, but close to it.

            Then positive things started to happen. My aunt, one of the invitees to the reunion, called to say she was sending me $250 to help cover the cost of the huge party.  Later that week, both my sisters called with a list of the items they were going to bring.  A few days later, my brother and his wife showed up with a Christmas tree and proceeded to decorate it for me.  I was both elated and grateful at the turn of events.

            Was it coincidence? Was it inevitable that they would all help, knowing I had just gone through the heartbreak with my fiancé? Or could it have been God’s hand in it all, not just giving me an attitude that would help me cope, but guiding all these unexpected blessings my way? I pondered that for quite some time, weighing the probabilities and whether or not I even deserved God’s help.

            The reunion went very well, everyone had a good time, and I was able to smile throughout, grateful for all the help I had received from so many.

            But the most important result, the one thing that convinced me of God’s power in my life, happened two months after I decided to “Let Go, Let God”….

My fiancé showed up at my door one night, clean and sober. After kicking the demon drug, he was ready to ask me for another chance.  This had been my constant prayer since day one, but the one I doubted the most would be answered.  But it was. Today, that man is my husband of five years, a reformed man, thanks to God. I  remain a believer for life.

                                                            ###

1 Comment

One thought on “CLASS ASSIGNMENT: Let Go, Let God

  1. Wow Sherry! What an amazing story and awesome writing—very well written—it captured my interest from the beginning of the story. You are an awesome person as well—I know things haven’t always been easy for you, but you have been able to consistently overcome and keep a smile on your face. You are definitely a fighter and a survivor AND you are an inspiration! I love that you are writing and telling these stories.

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