My life has been blessed with the certainty of God’s existence. My brother was born multiply disabled with Rubella syndrome, (a warning to those who do not believe in immunizations.) He was almost deaf, blind, severely developmentally disabled and had a cleft palate, along with several other physical anomalies. My mom spent the first few months of his life sobbing on her bed. It was a confusing time for me as a child…my mom was not available to me, this new creature in my house mewed like a kitten for hours on end, and my dad did everything he could to not be home. Then, one sunny, warm day, my mom sat in the sun parlor on a rocking chair, rocking Curtis as he cried his kitten cry. Then a miracle happened…she was visited by the Holy Spirit. He/she came right on in, with a brightness that far surpassed the streaming sunlight, a brightness that would have been blinding were it not for the fact that it wasn’t. With a warmth of all encompassing love and joy. With a deep understanding that was somehow passed along to my mom. My mom stopped crying that day, and never again cried for my brother. Instead, he was raised with love; encouraged to do his best and accepted for what he could do, not what he couldn’t. My young life was so awesome after this experience! I have lived with that spirit in my heart; joyful and loving. Accepting and encouraging. Yet humble and in awe of all that life has to offer.
While that one experience changed my life, it was another experience that cemented my belief in the existence of a higher being. We traveled much during my childhood, and once we stayed atop a mountain, reveling in the views of the valley during the day and surrounded by pitch darkness at night. It was a time I valued having a campfire, sitting next to it with my poking stick, playing with the coals and listening to the gentle sounds of the night. Sleep came easily. I was awakened by an unbelievably loud noise and shaking of the earth, as though the whole mountain had exploded. The sound was so intense and unusual that my first thought was that it was the end of the world. In that instant, as I imagined “the end“ was near, an incredible sense of contentment and love immediately washed over me, with the joy of anticipation of a peaceful after-life. As silly as it sounds, I was actually disappointed to learn that the noise was just the sound of the thunder high in the mountains. What kind of person, especially a child, would have that thought????? I should have been frightened beyond belief, but I wasn’t. While my experience may lack scientific validity and meaning, it affected me deep in my soul and has deeply influenced the way I live my life.
Since that fateful night on the mountain, there have been a few more wisps of God in my life, the most notable being the unexplained healing of my daughter, Dinora’s deafness.
Many Christians heard the Gospel story of Thomas last Sunday. Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples who would not believe in Jesus’ resurrection until he put his hand in Jesus’ side to feel his wounds. Since has come the term “Doubting Thomas”. I am Certain Thomas because I have so fortunately been given a rare sight into God’s existence, an existence of which I am sure and without doubt. It has been natural to live my life the way I have, and to do it with love and joy and acceptance. I’m not doing anything extraordinary, only what is natural given my knowledge. It is so much more meaningful for those who life similar lives, helping others, raising children, being peacemakers, donating material and monetary possessions, and loving others without qualification. They do so out of faith without proof, an amazing accomplishment for sure!
How would YOU live your life differently if you knew, for sure, of God’s existence?
For more stories about my childhood, please, read my book. Here is a link:
The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane
Comments on: "I Am a Certain Thomas" (43)
That is a seriously amazing story, you are blessed for sure x
Your story is a treasure to my heart.
I too am a “certain thomas” through my own experience of severe illness and disability.
I feel blessed today.
As do I. Thanks for commenting!
Love this. A couple of summers ago, I was sucked beneath a raging river and thought I was going to drown two feet below the limey green light of the surface. I was fighting and fighting, breast stroking and breast stroking, but I just couldn’t get to the surface. So I gave up. I felt amazingly at peace, knowing I was going to die that day, right there and then. And then the river let me go and shot me to the surface. Your blog made me think about that and wonder, for the first time, why I felt so at peace.
Thank you for sharing your amazing story!
You’re welcome. I did blog about it at http://randeebergen.com/2013/11/21/daily-prompt-safety-first/, but like I said I didn’t think about that peace I felt in the same way, even back then. Maybe it was more of a near-death experience than I first thought it to be.
I think your heart knew something special!
Loved the story. As bad as it is for me to say, sometimes I feel I need to hear these kinds of things to keep my faith strong.
This is a beautiful expression and beautifully (and confidently) written. I understand it completely.
I have esperienced many genuine miracles in my life, but my most recent one has me completely stunned and in complete awe of G-d’s goodness.
For the past 8 years I have been chronically ill, after an experience with a yet unidentified virus that left me 85% disabled – on a good day. I have been exhausted beyond words, with memory problems, communication problems, and unrelenting pain that made Codeine my best friend.
3 weeks ago my family and I came to Israel to research the possiblility of moving here. Since I have been here, my exhaustion has vanished, my pain has receded to nothingness, and my cognitive abilities are 100% restored. I have woken up early, swam 3 hours straight with my daughter, run along the beach, hiked through the Old City of Jerusalem, climbed more stairs than I ever thought possible, and a million other things that I never thought I would ever do again.
On top of all that, I was told that it would be extremely hard for me to find a good school that would accept my daughter, because she is high functioning with Fragile X Syndrome. The very first school we interviewed with was completely positive and accepting, and my daughter loved it!
The Hand of G-d has been on all of us this trip, and I pray He continues to heal and guide us in wisdom and blessings. Baruch Hashem!
How AWESOME!!!! Thanks for sharing!
I am with you, I absolutely believe there is a GOD and He loves me and my family!! Thanks for sharing this amazing testimony!! I love your blog by the way! Blessings!
I had a very similar experience to your mother. When I was expecting my 4th baby, my husband left me to live with another woman. He had gambled away all our money and left me destitute with 3 children under 10 and a new baby on the way. For nights I could not sleep, I was desperate and in deep distress. On the eve of Pentecost I sat in my rocking chair at 3 in the morning worrying myself into a state of suicidal despair. It was then that my garden glowed with a light brighter than the sun, which flowed straight through my walls and windows and filled the room I was sitting in. The light then filled me and I felt warm and a deep peace the like of which I have never known before or since. I stood up from my chair and knew that everything was going to be alright. That was almost 34 years ago. I carried on with my pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful daughter. I treasured her and I knew we were blessed. She brought me nothing but love and joy and I managed to raise my children successfully by myself. I have had many ups and downs since then, but I know that God loves me and everything will be well.
What a heart warming experience! (I just got chills thinking about it!) Thank you so much for sharing!
Reblogged this on Curmudgeon In Training and commented:
I think this is a faith-building story, and one that reminds me that God goes where there is a heart ready for him, and not where people think they have made themselves worthy of him through religious observance.
Thank you for explaining why your mum did what she did, and why you do what you do. It is powerful what happened to your mum. The Comforter has come. It is a great encouragement for mothers. Can I share this with others? Angela
You can feel free to share it with anyone you want!
I would have a clear focus for activism. If God were omnipotent and all powerful. I would be picketing Him for changes to be made.
I know many people look to God to fix things. The way I understand it, God “made” us and it is up to us to fix things ourselves. I see Him/Her as nudging us along, but not wanting to make any major changes. Those changes need to come from us. Activism is a wonderful use of our talents and skills!
I don’t know. If you look at the OT you have a different picture. In the OT God is a gamechanger, an earthshattering, wrathful, vengeful deity.
In Quran and Hadith, you have this petty God, who meddles with the smallest details of personal life, making Divine Law to make Divine Exception, trying to trip you into Hell over technicalities.
I think the perception of God depends on what book you read, in what language.
But if He was sitting around, powerful, available and concrete, I for certain would be asking for help on behalf of our world’s suffering. The Mahdi/Messiah encouraged people to come to him for miracles, this is a Christian tradition, is it not?
I cannot change the facts or forces of nature. None of us can, except a god.
I am not familiar with the God which you describe. I have found God to be forgiving, all loving and joyful. I am convinced of His/Her goodness beyond any doubt.
That is a much better faith.
Excellent story! And for those of you who have not read her book – BUY THE BOOK! It is amazing!!!
I’ve cheated death a few times, and know God spared me. Now for what purpose, I don’t know yet, but I look forward to finding out. Thank you for mentioning immunizations. I’ve been on the fence about them, but I’ve heard as long as you space them apart (because of the mercury content), it’s fine. That saddens my heart that your dad did everything he could not to be home. Did he ever change? Anyway, thank you for sharing your story. It’s a wonderful reminder that God is not dead, and never has been.
My dad did change somewhat. We all accepted Curtis and his problems, but my dad, and thus our family, became vagabonds, criss crossing the country, staying here and there. It was an unusual childhood that I look back on, but at the time it was all I knew.
I, too, have been blessed with several such “interventions”. My first and probably most “major” one came at my moment of greatest doubt and put all my doubts to bed. It left me, however, with a little regret that I recognized Thomas in myself, that Christ physically embraced me, I was falling away. Nevertheless, I still find myself with those creeping doubts from time to time, about these moments . . . “Did they really happen like I remembered them? Could they have been attributable to something else?” Etc..
The call to “Be still and know that I am God,” is a lifelong lesson for me. Thank God for his patience, and thank you for your post!
Thank you thank you for sharing your story! At first I wanted to cry for your Mom and you. How very heartbreaking. But what an amazingly beautiful gift you both were given from that experience. We are embarking on our journey to be foster parents very soon. One more visit with the social worker and placement specialist next week and then…who knows? It is because of those whispers from God that my husband and I find ourselves in this place. I am anxious and things are so unknown. But I love hearing about your successes. It bolsters me knowing there are others that chose this path and are handling it well. Here I go…
I LOVED doing foster care! It was a lot of fun, as long as I reminded myself not to get too attached because the baby might leave us. We had 19 foster children and were able to adopt 3. It was a wonderful experience that I would have liked to continue, but hubby foolishly thinks that 5 kiddos are enough!! Good luck on your adventure! Enjoy!
Our hope is to eventually adopt.. A boy between ages 3-7. We have an 11, 9 and 22 month old now. Thongs are gonna get even more interesting!!
Reblogged this on Titanimom and commented:
So people have been asking what’s the latest news on our foster parent adventure. And with things wrapping up very soon I was bolstered to read this post from an amazing Mom and blogger I follow over at “Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane” blog.
I think (I hope!) our last visit with our social worker and a placement specialist is next week. We are waiting until things slow down with Ice and his travel schedule. So it looks like after June 1st will be our “go live” date! Then we wait for a placement.
I am re-blogging this post because it reminded me despite all the nerves and questions I have about how this whole journey may play out, there is a reason we were brought to this place and I can relate to it.
Wow! Amazing stories… I heard so many stories similar to yours and my heart just shines with joy knowing angels light our paths…
The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word … I believe with all my heart there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.
Faith is a beautiful thing!
Reblogged this on Laughter: Carbonated Grace and commented:
Read your book and loved it. But like having this witness to reblog and put on my facebook. Will plug your book also.
I like your term, “certain Thomas”. 🙂
Well, the opposite of doubt would be certainty.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful reminder of the God I’ve also known to be so good and a present help in time of need!
Reblogged this on Inclusive Journey and commented:
I really identify with this story because my conviction that God is real and good and a present help in time of need has mostly come through seeing the Holy Spirit at work in my sister in the midst of her struggles with a painful, degenerative illness.
thank you for sharing your story:)
Thnak you for reading!
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