How do I begin this story? Where to begin? How to begin? For the sake of trying to keep things as simple as possible let me try here. It was several months ago. I was in and out of the hospital, having kidney stents placed, having them removed, this test, that test. It had been over a year since my second open pyelplasty and my hopes of ever getting help and relief for this ongoing condition had just completely been drained through my soaked pillow case of quiet tears. “Where are You God!” I cried out in despair. No more monotonous, “God thank you for this day. Lord I pray that Your will be done in my life. Thank You for keeping me sober. I need you in my life, please guide my thoughts and my actions….blah, blah, blah.” I wasn’t sober. I was dry, and I had been dry and miserable for years. “BULLSHIT, enough! Where are You? You said You would never forsake me, never leave me…WHERE ARE YOU NOW? Furthermore where were You six years ago, when I cried out for you. I was praying, I was listening (or so I thought). I was doing everything I thought You wanted me to do to the best of my ability.” (Except overworking myself, not sleeping, and just not being capable of grasping the complexity and ultimately catastrophic consequences of an illness I refused to acknowledge and accept as my own). “You left me there! You knew what they did to me and You failed to protect me like You promised!” It was at that moment I realized I had left my faith in an amazing, all powerful God in that solitary confinement cell six years ago. After years of a painfully slow and confusing physical and mental recovery, I had never recovered spiritually, I never regained my faith. So that night several months ago I finally got real, got angry, and demanded answers.
The very next day as I was watching something I cannot recall at this time on television, a soft, gentle “thought” came into my mind out of nowhere. “I never left you. I was there and I will always be there.” I didn’t think much about it and continued to watch whatever I was watching. Suddenly the full series of a memory burst its way into the forefront of my thoughts as clearly as the incident occurred that spring of 1993. I had only thought of it a couple times in the following years and at that time dismissed it as coincidence or luck, (although deep in my heart I knew better), and never spoke of it to anyone as far as a I can recall, although I cannot be certain of this. I was a senior in high school at Riverdale Academy. I had plans to spend this particular Friday night with a friend of mine named Brandy. For some reason my mother did not want me to go, although she had let me stay with her several times before. Although I’m not sure of the reason, since staying overnight with this girlfriend would not include drinking, sneaking out, or anything of the sort, I did not have permission to go and was going to anyway. I was sitting outside on a bench during my last break of the day when a rushing “thought” disrupted me. “GO HOME.” Now these were the days before college and drug-induced hallucinations. I shook it off. “GO HOME AMY.” I had to fight off the instinct to look over my shoulder to see if someone was there. After last period I walked over to my friend and told her I couldn’t stay with her that night. I don’t recall anything of the conversation other than the fact that it happened, then I got on the bus and quietly made my way home. First thing Monday morning I heard about the accident. Shortly after Brandy left the school property she lost control of her car and was in a catastrophic accident. The car went off the road and from what I heard she was lucky to be alive. The next time I saw her, she had been through numerous surgeries and her beautiful face was covered with scars. She was on crutches and I remember seeing a huge surgical scar that seemed to go halfway up her leg and crossing her deformed knee. The memory subsided with that vision and then the words came again…. “I never left you. I was there and I will always be there.”