I’ve talked before about my grandmother and the way she molded my life for the better. She had a cameo as my angel in my Letter to Black Women and frankly, I can talk about her until I’m blue in the face. But, the story I want to share today is how a simple prayer changed my life.
It was the fall of 2010 and I spent the last two years out of school. I’d fell out of love with my program and left before I got my degree. I was going from house to house, and job to job to survive. I was wandering around without a place or direction on what to do next.
I was staying with one of the guys at my church while I looked for work. I was able to get rent paid by the local township and aid from the church. It was humbling and I was just holding on. Around the same time, I went over a month without hearing from my grandmother.
I’m not the best one with communication. When I am struggling, I tend to put my head down and work until I have something to talk about. For many years, no news was good news but not from my grandmother. She would always call me after a week or two and say she wanted to hear my voice. I would apologize profusely and when things went south, do it all over again. I was young and stupid, but this time something was off.
I called the house a couple of times in a week because I really just was missing her. I waited and called at different times of the day to try again. Nothing. I went about a month and a half without hearing from her or the rest of my family at home until she finally called me.
Her voice was rough and weak, but I was just happy to hear it. She called to tell me that she was in the hospital and to not get upset. She told everyone not to call me but I needed to focus on getting my life back into check. She had a death scare where she had severe internal bleeding and none of the doctors could find its source. I froze. I started crying and Granny made jokes. She said she was mad that she “forgot to get the lotto numbers before she came back.” I laughed but she said that God must have thought she still had something to do on earth. I wept.
After I pulled myself together enough to hang up on the phone, I went straight home, crying and praying the entire time. I was just getting back into religion around that time and used every scripture I could think of to beg the Lord to let her get well and give her more time. I spoke about life and death being in the power of the tongue and going boldly before the throne of the Lord. I begged God and said, “I know she can’t live forever but give her enough time to know I’d be okay. Please, I want her to see me at least walk across that stage and know I’ll be fine.”
My quest for getting back into college was an extremely long one for another time, but Spring of 2015, I walked across the stage and my grandmother was there to see me. I turned my life around from feeling like a bum to making some of the best allies and friends imaginable. But, what made it even better was the fact that my Grandmother was there. She was the only one that mattered. I saw me graduate with one good eye, chest full of pneumonia, and a wheelchair, but you couldn’t tell. She cheered, danced, and called me out in the crowd.
Two months later she passed away after battling lung cancer for almost a year. She has and will always be my angel. The amazing thing about it is that God gave me a chance to make her proud. Someone might say it was a coincidence, but I think it was God answering my prayers. She went into the hospital many times after then but always amazed people at her recovery. By July, she couldn’t speak but was so happy to hear my voice that she was finally comforted enough to move on. The next morning she passed and I was the last person she tried to talk to.
Deep down inside I knew I would have to be prepared for that day. I cried, I moaned, but I knew it was God’s plan. She was blind in one eye but somehow saw me come out to walk across the stadium. She had comfort seeing me walk across that stage and knew I would be alright. I knew she was alright and I thank God for the chance. God gave me a chance to make her proud and it was all because I asked. Thank you for listening.
Has prayer changed your life in any way? Have you struggled or learned something from prayer that you would like to share? Any questions about what I do? Let me know in the comments below.