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May 31, 2024 323 Emilin Mathew
Encounter

He is Writing My Story

I was three when my life turned upside down. Nothing was ever the same again, until I met Him!

At three years of age, I had a heavy fever followed by a sudden seizure, after which I started showing signs of facial palsy. By the time I was five, my face became visibly asymmetric. Life ceased to be smooth. 

As my parents kept reaching out to new hospitals, the pain and mental damage I went through became too much to bear—the repeated questions, the weird looks, the effects and aftereffects of new medications every once in a while…

Crawling into a Cocoon

I was comfortable alone because, ironically, groups made me feel lonely. I was so scared that the kids next door might cry out loud if I smiled at them. I remember the sweets my dad brought home every night to help me drink the unpleasant medicine, which was overloaded with bitterness. The weekly walks with my mother along the hospital corridors for the physiotherapy sessions were never a weekend trip—every time the vibrations from the stimulator hit my face, tears would start to roll down.

There were some beautiful souls who soothed my fears and pain, like my parents, who never gave up on me. They took me to every hospital they possibly could, and we tried a variety of treatments. Later, I would also see them devastated when neurosurgery was suggested.

For the first time in my life, I felt that I was being lived out somewhere else. I had to do something. So, in the first semester of college, unable to bear it any longer, I decided to discontinue the medicines. 

Discovering Beauty

After I stopped the meds, I had an adrenaline rush to create something on my own. I welcomed a new life, but I was totally clueless about how I should live it. I started writing more, dreaming more, painting more, and searching for colors in all the grey areas of life. Those were the days I started actively participating in the Jesus Youth Movement (an international Catholic movement approved by the Holy See); I started to slowly learn how to open myself to God’s love and feel loved again…

The realization of the importance of the Catholic lifestyle helped me understand my purpose. I started to believe again that I am so much more than everything that has happened to me. Now, when I look back at those moments marked by the closed doors, I can clearly see that within each rejection, the ever-compassionate presence of Jesus accompanied me, enveloping me with His boundless love and understanding. I recognize who I’ve become and the wounds I’ve healed from. 

Reason to Hold on

Our Lord says: “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 43:4-5)

Finding Him in my insecurities was never an easy task. While having plenty of reasons to move farther, it was all about finding that one reason to stay. And it gave me strength and confidence to live through my vulnerabilities. The journey of finding my worth, dignity, and joy in Christ was simply wonderful. We often complain about not finding grace even after the struggles we go through. I think it’s all about seeing through the struggles. Expressing honesty in the slightest adjustment in life without any sort of wrath brings light to your life. 

It was quite a journey. And while He is still writing my story, I’m learning each day to embrace more, reach out without inhibitions, and make room for little joys in life. My prayers no longer hold the constant need for things I desire. Instead, I’m asking Him to strengthen me to say ‘Amen’ to the changes that keep happening along the way. 

I’m praying that He heals and transforms me from all the negative influences within and around me. 

I’m asking Him to revive the parts of me that were lost.

I’m thanking Him for everything I’ve been through, all the blessings I receive every minute of the day, and for the person I’ve become. 

And I’m trying my best to love Him with all my heart and soul. 

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Emilin Mathew

Emilin Mathew is a civil servant in the UK. She lives in Sunderland and loves to read, paint, and scribble her thoughts at sanguinitydesign.wordpress.com.

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