I come from a praying family. Most of my kin stand firmly grounded on a foundation of faith, unyielding in their belief in a higher power. For a very long time I struggled with my own faith, unsure of what I believed in, determined to find contradiction in everything I’d been taught and was being told. When I finally opened myself to what I could not see and began to trust in the power of prayer, life changed drastically for me. I suddenly found solace when I let go and let God.
Recently, I’ve been challenged and my spirit has been in crisis. With things I’d been most confident of, I’ve not trusted my intuition. I have felt my faith wavering and I have not been able to pray. A few years back, I bumped heads with a woman I admired, respected, and thought of as a dear friend. With my feelings hurt, believing that no true friend would have done to me as I felt she had done to me, I’d closed that door of friendship, deeming her toxic to my spirit and a detriment to my growth. We had not spoken since, our only knowledge of each other’s lives coming only from mutual friends.
Two weeks ago I received news that this woman was not well, diagnosed with an exceptionally aggressive carcinoma. My first instinct was to rush to her bedside to apologize. I wanted her to know how much I regretted my own actions and that I have thought of her often and with much fondness. I had hoped to make amends, to be a friend as she endured what she was going through. And then for no discernible reason, I second guessed myself, deciding that I needed to “think” about my decision before I acted. And through it all what I could not do, what I did not do, was pray for guidance.
I took two weeks to “think”, where I mostly did nothing at all, and then this past Friday, the option was taken from me, my friend losing her battle with cancer. After learning of her death, I found my spirit completely battered, crushed beyond recognition. I will live with many regrets, but this one was of my own making. Then suddenly all I could do, all I wanted to do, was pray.
To get there though I had to seek out my praying family for support, retreating to my mother, and her church, and a host of friends and family who stand firmly grounded on that foundation of faith. As I struggled to pray, they all prayed with me, and they prayed for me.
My spiritual journey seems to be unending but I’m determined to make the trek. I know without any doubt that I need prayer in my life. I need my faith. Mostly, I need to let go and let God.
I’m so sorry, my dear sweet friend. I will miss you dearly. Rest in peace, Janet Knight Ledbetter (7/23/1945 - 11/4/2011)