Our fifteen-year-old daughter, Alisha, was recently asked to write a bit of her story for an inspirational magazine for teen girls. I thought she did a great job and decided to share it with you all. I hope it will be a blessing to you… ~Cindy
“Does God give us strength during our trials? Is He really there for us, and does He care about His children
when they are going through hard times or asking, “Why, God?” Does He care what I am personally going through?”
These are some of the very questions that I have asked myself quite a few times…
When I was just three months old, I had a heart transplant and, though I don’t remember it, I still struggle with the side affects every day, whether it’s by taking medicine or going to the hospital for lab work or heart catherizations. I also have severe food and environmental allergies, and I have been rushed to the emergency room multiple times because of anaphylactic shock.
When I was around seven years old, I had a severe reaction to some of the topical medications that I was using during that time. I was completely unrecognizable and I looked like a burn victim. My face was covered in scabs and would constantly bleed and ooze. The day when my mom kindly took down all the mirrors, is sketched in my mind; I was horrified to even look at myself, and, sometimes, I even wanted to die because I was afraid of getting worse. I also remember when my skin DID continue to get worse, and I couldn’t see or eat anything. I worked to just get my mouth open enough to drink fluids, and I was proud of myself when I was able to. It was during those times that I FELT like God wasn’t there for me. My days were long and my nights were miserable! Sometimes, I would hardly sleep at all, but when that happened my mom would rock me (with my stuffed animal, Scottie!) and turn on my favorite CD. God spoke to me through the music and the words. He would whisper, “I love you, Daughter. I died for you because of My love for you, and I will help you through this valley.” Then I would picture Jesus taking my hand and walking through the darkness of the night with me. I would drift off to sleep and wake up with a renewed joy and the warm sun shining on my face and I knew it was finally another morning.
I know that God IS always there with us during our tough trials, but I think sometimes we expect Him to take away the trials instead of helping us through them. Sometimes, we think that since God loves us, He will make life easy for His children–but that’s not true! God allows the trials in our lives so that we can grow. I love Laura Story’s song “Blessings”. This is the chorus: “What if Your blessings come through rain drops, what if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
Over the next few years of my life, I got much better. My skin healed and, surprisingly, didn’t leave any scars. Surrounded by the love of my two wonderful parents, siblings and friends, I couldn’t ask for a more blessed life. Some wonderful people got together and built a special house that I could live in and not react to all the things I was allergic to. Three weeks after we moved in, I could take a bath and actually enjoy it! Before this time, I would scream or cry because of the way that plain water would burn my skin! It was such a miracle!
During those horrible times, my mom remembers me praying a prayer something like this, “Dear God, You and I are like two frozen peas stuck together and NOTHING is EVER going to separate us! Satan, you need to leave us ALONE!
As I grew older, I started taking violin and piano lessons and our family was able to travel and sing at churches and prisons. Life was going good. Then all of a sudden, our lives got shaken again…
To make a long story short, my only brother, Austin, had a heart transplant when he was eight months old. He had his first kind of cancer when he was five, his second cancer when he was six, and then another heart transplant when he was sixteen. Since both of us had heart transplants, we did about everything together. I always struggled with fear, especially when it came to all the medical things. Austin knew about my fear and would always say, “Alisha, I’ll go first, and then you can see that there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Around the end of October, in 2010, the CMV virus became extremely active in Austin’s body, and then he also contracted a bacterial infection. His white blood cell count was knocked all the way down to zero. When he picked up a common cold, it took his life very suddenly. Our family now faced the most difficult part of our journey so far.
Only the people who have lost a loved one can fully understand the feelings of pain, suffering, and the grieving that we, as a family, have went through. I had always struggled with lots of fear regarding the future, and the fear of dying. But about two weeks after Austin’s funeral, I realized that rather than God taking Austin away from me and just letting me “fend for myself” without Austin to help me, He was actually letting Austin go ahead of me one last time to show me that there is no need to be afraid of death. Even during that extremely difficult time in my life, God was there. He was carrying me and crying right along with me. Just like in the poem, “Footprints in the Sand,” I only saw one set of footprints, and I blamed God for taking my one and only brother and my best friend.
However, God has shown me that He still loves me regardless of my loss. God is not a “super hero” who comes to scare all
your giants away, but He’s your Father and Friend. One who wants to help you through those dark nights. When you look back on these hard times, and you see only one set of foot prints, you will know that God was there for you also.
Since all of this has happened, my mom has written two books. We have continued to sing about giving the pain we have, whether it is emotional or physical, to Jesus. He is the one and only “Heart Healer”. We sing another song, by Laura Story, that I really like: “When I’m at the point of breaking, at the place where I resign, when I’m at the stage of shaking my head as I look back on my life, when I’m half way through the grieving, but not quite through the ache, when I cannot see the ending, or which road I’m supposed to take… All I know to do is lift my hands to You. Take all of my life, all of my life, and make something beautiful. I open my hand, trusting Your plan to make something beautiful, so all will see Your work in me as You make something beautiful.” This truly is my prayer for the rest of my life!
Let God make something beautiful out of your life as you trust Him during your trials.
Alisha Mullett (For The Mullett Family)