“‘You have to learn to LET GO AND LET GOD, Jaci. You will know that you fully and completely trust in him when you realize the only way you and your family will ever be protected is with God,’ my mom said to me over the phone. I was 29 and panicking over the fact that my infant son was going in for a CAT scan. Although the results were great and he faced no terrible fate that day, I’ve reflected upon this conversation often in the near-decade that has passed since that scare.
In the 9 and a half years since that frightening day, I’ve been in this situation a lot. Probably more times than I care to count, even. One where I am trying, desperately, to be braver than I feel. One where I am reminding myself to pray fear away so I can focus on tackling and then kicking the crap out of whatever task is at hand. Thankfully, I was blessed with a valiant life partner who has weathered every storm, hand in hand, right alongside me. He’s my biggest blessing, my husband. My life-lottery jackpot. Sure, there are times I want to throw things at him (like plates, in Frisbee form, right at his head), but most of the time I’m ridiculously grateful he was chosen for me and I was chosen for him. We are a team.
Just two weeks after my little foursome family survived a Category 5 hurricane that brushed our new tropical home, another one is headed our way. Except this time, I am down my teammate and point guard. For the very first time in the 13 years we have been together, I must face this storm alone.
And the truth is, I am terrified.
The things that motivated me to make the decision to move here in the first place – foreign languages, development work, a warm environment, the beach – have now become the Boogieman relentlessly hunting me down. I feel far away from home, in a land that feels very very foreign. I don’t know anyone well, I can only communicate in baby level Spanish, I don’t have a car and to make everything worse – I have two sets of little eyes who are taking all of their cues from me. Last night, we all huddled in my bed, together, under the cool breeze of the air-conditioner, missing Papa and longing for the familiar mountains of Colorado.
All of a sudden, as I laid there softly singing my children to sleep, our family’s adventure to this developing country, for personal and professional growth, seemed foolish. Stupid, even. What was I thinking? Why did I do this? Why did I bring my babies here? As these terrible thoughts crept in and stole my peace, I started downward spiraling deeper and deeper into the depths of darkness, negativity, and fear.
‘Are we going to die?’ I wondered. Is the roof over our heads going to be ripped off? Is the storm surge going to drag us out to sea? Will I have to watch my children drown? If we survive the hurricane, will looters with black eyes and machetes come for us?
‘Who will come and save us?’ I asked, out loud, to the dark room. The hum of the air-conditioner was my only reply. No one, I reminded myself. No one. Not your husband. Not your mom. Not your dad. You are alone. You are utterly and completely alone.
And then, like a much-needed bucket of ice water dumped over my head, I felt it – an awakening. A spiritual awakening. I wasn’t alone at all. God was with me. I remembered to bow my head and pray. I prayed with everything I am and everything I have to give. I called upon God to help me through this. To guide me. To show me where to go and what to do. I called angels from another dimension to surround me and my children. To protect us, provide for us and keep us safe.
This is new to me, this belief in the power of prayer. This oneness with God. Six months ago, I was the one questioning what the point of prayer was. Although I had no trouble believing that a spiritual battle between good and evil was constantly being fought, I didn’t understand why we had to appease God’s ego in order to get what we needed — what our families needed. But then I read a book that changed everything. It explained the point of prayer wasn’t to appease God’s ego but to provide a cover for holy works to be done in our lives. Prayers provide a shield against the darkness in order for the light to enter in and expand. Faith isn’t believing God will give you what you think you need but will give you peace in whatever outcome you get.
As I prayed, ever so slowly, my toes uncurled. My fists unclenched. My breath came easily, in slow drawn-out steady waves. After hours of battling demons of darkness and fear, I reclaimed my faith and found sleep.
When I woke this morning, my peace in our decision to move here had been restored. I remembered we prayed fervently before relocating here and now I must trust I am exactly where I am meant to be. I remembered just two weeks ago, I watched Hurricane Irma unexpectedly move north away from our new home. Although the weathermen on television seemed baffled, I wasn’t. That was the power of prayer. While so much about this experience is frightening, that overcoming that fear is creating extreme growth in me.
When I find myself encased in darkness, I must remember to pray and BE THE LIGHT.
This feeling was only magnified when I walked outside this morning and was greeted by a beautiful double rainbow.
So, today, I ask for your prayers as I gather my wits about me and form plans A – Z so I feel prepared for the storm I am about to face. I will go to the store and buy more water and canned goods. I will break out my evacuation bag and fill it with candles, flashlights, and batteries. I will remember to bring running shoes, goggles, helmets, life jackets, and rope so I can tie my children to me if the storm surge comes for us.
But most importantly, I will pack my faith. Because faith, along with hope and love, are the most important weapons I have in my arsenal.
It’s taken me nearly a decade, but I’ve finally learned what my mother said I must.
No matter what comes at me, I will LET GO AND LET GOD.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jaci Ohayon of Colorado. Follow her on Instagram here. and visit her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Jaci here:
‘You can offer him a better life than I can. Please. Take him,’ she begged. How can I fall in love with a child and then leave him behind?’: Woman takes in Haitian shoeshine boy, ‘I didn’t birth him, but he is mine’
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