Drawn to the Light

Written in a Group Writing Workshop: Stories of Light

I grew up on a farm 4 miles west of McCool Junction, Nebraska. From a young age, I was aware of God’s creation in the beautiful land that surrounded me. One day, I was riding my bike on the blacktop a mile from our house, enjoying my surroundings and feeling free, connected to the earth, and full of imagination. I remember thinking I could be whatever I wanted to be. The sky was filled with large, fluffy cumulus clouds when out of nowhere a ray of light burst through and exposed itself to the land. I froze and felt chills run through my body. It was as if God opened the pearly gates of Heaven and allowed it to touch the ground. The light was calling me. I was given a mission and felt God’s presence and love.

I have been drawn to the light since that day. Whenever I see a light from the sky or light shines through a window, I feel God shining down upon me. The first scripture I memorized as a child was Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge of whom shall I be afraid.” This scripture continues to bring me comfort and peace. I want this to be read at my funeral.

I have had many moments of light in my life. My wedding day started as a cloudy June morning which transformed into a day of sunshine; God was showing us His approval. It was a beautiful moment in my life.

I also remember the day each of my sons were born and how I held them in my arms for the very first time. Oh, what a gift God gave me in Adam, Nathan, Ben, Sam and Joe. What a miracle! I am so grateful to each one of them because they have been a radiant light to me.

There was a time when darkness entered my life. My second son, Nathan, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 12. As you can imagine, it was a terrible shock to our family as Nathan was always a healthy boy. It was a 10-month journey of surgery, chemotherapy, and brain radiation. It was a time when I watched my son give up the gifts that God had given to him. He lost his hair, his ability to play sports, hearing loss, and eyesight until he was almost blind. He lost all strength and his ability to walk. But he never lost his faith or his sense of humor. Those became the most important to him. He never complained. He had accepted what was given to him with courage and strength. He had great hope and believed God could do anything, anytime because He could. Nathan’s light faded away on November 25, 1998. His Heavenly light was ignited that day and now burns brighter as time goes on.

I learned something through this trial. When Nate was first diagnosed, I prayed for a miracle. I wanted God to heal Nate and take it all away. During the middle of his stay in the hospital, after making it through his brain surgery (which was a miracle), my husband and I were sharing stories about Nate. As we were talking, I came to realize that I had already experienced the miracle. It was the gift of a son so full of God’s love for 13 wonderful years. He brought us so much joy and laughter. God did not have to give me Nate, but He chose to. I am so grateful for having such a wonderful son, even for such a short time. God sent me a teacher who would bring me and others closer to Himself. That was His plan. Nate worked together with God to fulfill this plan.

From the day I experienced the light on my bike, I have come to understand that God has always been the light in my darkness. In scripture, it is written, “The light came in the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (John 3:19-21)

It has been almost 25 years since Nathan left this earth and entered the ultimate life of Heaven, the place where there is constant light and beauty. It is a place of hope and love. It is a light that is calling me, inviting me, desiring me…to be with Him forever.