I grew up going to church. Every Sunday, my parents got us four kids up and going, and we’d head to Sunday school followed by the church service. I remember when I was really young, I’d written a note of sorts to Jesus and put it in my window in hopes He would see it. I’m not sure if He saw it, but a friend did. They made fun of me, and I was so embarrassed. How silly of me to write a note to Jesus? What was I thinking?

As a young kid and soon as a young adult, I struggled making the connection of Jesus Christ to my life.

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Fast-forward quite a few years to when my grandma was diagnosed with uterine cancer. It didn’t look good. It wasn’t goodwithin six months she was gone. Man, did I have a lot of anger in me. How was it fair that someone as young and vibrant and healthy as she was to be ripped from this earth? I was mad at God. Did He even exist? If He did exist, why would He take my grandma? What had she done to deserve cancer? My grandma had the strongest faith of anyone I knew, and I didn’t understand why He chose her.

Oh, it hurt, and I felt betrayed. I’d very much made up my mind that religion wasn’t for me. It didn’t make sense.

And then a year later my grandpa passed, and it was just as hard; however, I lacked the questions I’d thrown at Jesus a year prior.

As I write this entry, the screen is beginning to blur, not only with the reflection of missing my grandparents but also the regret at the anger I felt toward God. I get itpeople have to leave this earth at one point or another but that doesn’t make it easy to understand.

It has taken me quite a few years to come back to trusting God. In fact, I think the pieces slowly started to fall back into place after my husband and I met in 2014.  

Despite the journey to letting God back into my life, I still didn’t pray. It wasn’t necessarily something I knew how to do or what to say.

And then last year my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. Are you kidding me? It had to be a joke. Well, it wasn’t, and we didn’t know the stage yet, but it was indeed cancer.

My mom having cancer was never in the realm of possibilities. She may not know it, but something happening to my mom has always been my biggest fear. Between the ages of 8 and 10 years old, I would have meltdowns in the privacy of my bedroom at the realization that my parents weren’t immortal. Kind of a heavy thought for a young kid, right?

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My mom is my best friend. She was when I was a young girl, throughout high school, and she still is now. Before marrying my husband, my mom and I did everything together. Wine nights, trips to NYC, Los Angeles, Colorado, and Minneapolis. I could convince her to go anywhere with me. And we always had a blast. When I lived out of state, she never hesitated to visit me if I needed her close.

And now she needed me.

I prayed. I prayed hard, hoping Jesus would hear me and that He would please just give us grace and give my mom a fighting chance.

Turns out, He heard my prayers along with everyone else’s. I believe so anyway. My mom has been given some of the most fortunate circumstances that could come from lung cancer, of all cancers, and I give my thanks to Jesus.

Since late last year, I’ve prayed more times than I can count, and as it turns out, you don’t need to know what to say and you don’t need to say it right. I don’t necessarily think it’s silly that I wrote a note to Jesus all those years ago, but I know now He doesn’t need a note. You can talk to Him whenever you want, and it doesn’t need to be formal at all. And sure, it may seem like Jesus is ignoring your prayers at times. But that’s where faith comes into play. Faith that He knows what’s best for you or who you’re praying for. And with that faith comes comfort.

Ashley Daniels

Ashley is a stay-at-home mommy to three little boys, ages 3, 2, and 4 months. She enjoys coffee by the potful, preferably lukewarm, using the bathroom on her own, and moments of silence in quick, 5-minute increments. Ashley enjoys writing in her free time, allowing her the ability to reflect and to be grateful for the life she's been given.