Through Trials to Victory – Majka

Once I read that depression is a result of a certain way of thinking.

I’m sure it’s true. Some people suffer from a deep depression in circumstances that others perceive as a stimulus to get a grip of themselves and to work on overcoming those difficulties – on managing situations that other people might find unmanageable.

I’m a melancholic. My husband thinks a melancholic is the worst of all four temperaments. I guess he may be right. As a matter of fact, it’s called the black temperament or even the black character. So I am the black character.

Melancholic people see the world in black. They can be anxious or worry about everything. They are pessimistic and almost always expect the worst and assume the worst. A melancholic often feels alienated. And because he or she is also a perfectionist, nothing satisfies or pleases him.

None of these characteristics is unknown to me.

I really don’t know how my life would look like without God and where my temperament or my nature would lead me to if it wasn’t for God.

Over 20 years ago I gave my life to God. In prayer I invited Him into my life as a result of a consciously made decision.

I accepted God’s gift – His Son, Jesus Christ – and asked Him to be my Lord and Savior. I accepted Him as someone who would guide me, who would be my helm and ship.

At first I didn’t understand what it really meant to live your daily life with God. I imagined various things. All I knew was that God was supposed to be most important in my life. And I wanted it. But I thought I would have to leave everything that gave me joy and happiness and what I liked in life. The world attracted me; it offered so many wonderful things. I really didn’t want to part with them forever. I didn’t understand that God didn’t want to take it all from us. He only doesn’t want us to be enslaved by anything. He wants us to be free. When you have a firm grip on something, when there is something you cannot imagine your life without – whatever it would be: material goods, some passion or hobby, or other man – you become a slave to it. And God wants you to be free.

When you loosen the grip and say “I can live without it,” you become a free person. You can still enjoy the thing but now as a free man.

God teaches us to trust Him. He shows us in His word what He is like and gives us many different promises. He says “I love you, I will never abandon you, I will always be with you. Even if your father and your mother had left you, I (the Lord) would give you shelter.”

The hardest thing for me to believe was the fact that God loved me unconditionally. Of course I knew it in my mind, I accepted it intellectually. But I couldn’t do it emotionally. Maybe it was because my mother had very high requirements and expectations, both of herself and of other people. She was always very critical. As a result, when I grew up, I could never be satisfied with myself. Whatever I did, I was sure it could have been done better.

Today I know God’s love for me is unconditional. God doesn’t set any conditions; He opens His arms and says: I love you the way you are, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done.

There is someone who loves us most in the world, who loves us like no other and who fully accepts us the way we are. There is nothing that can make Him stop loving us. He knows us better than we do and He understands us. The person is God himself. He sacrificed His Son to let us become reconciled with Him. How would we respond to it? Do we hesitate? Do we really want Him to be the most important person in our lives? Are we willing to let Him guide us, to let Him lead the way?

We are created and called to live in friendship with God. He wants to be our friend. Jesus Christ died to reconcile us with God.

When I surrendered my life to God, He gently and patiently taught me to trust Him. This kind of trust requires giving in to His will. For me it was a very long process. Today I trust God not because I’ve heard or read something about Him. My trust to God is based on my own, personal experience. I personally saw and experienced His work in various situations in my life.

People will let us down and disappoint us but not God. During all those 20 years I’ve never been disappointed with Him. Were it not for some difficult experiences, I would never get to know God’s nature, I would never get a chance to put His promises to the test and I would never see how much I needed Him. He’s the God of every possible comfort and He really comforts us in every trouble and affliction.

When my third daughter was born in the 8th month of pregnancy, she soon stopped breathing. Her lungs were undeveloped. She was taken to another hospital because the one she was born in didn’t have an appropriate medical equipment necessary to save premature babies. The doctor told me to prepare for the worst. He said that even if my daughter survived, she would probably never be a “normal” child. Her lungs would never work normally. She spent one week at the intensive care unit fighting for life. And that was probably the worst week in my life. What were my thoughts during those hard days? I cried, I felt helpless; I couldn’t do anything to save my baby. Or could I? I could pray.

We often say or hear: “I can only pray.” Only? I think that’s the most important thing we can do. For the first time in my life I realized that everything was in God’s hands, everything depended only on Him. He was my only hope. We asked all our Christian friends to pray. They all prayed, even those whom we didn’t know personally. But I had to ask myself one question “Is it God’s will to keep my daughter alive? What if it isn’t?”

Finally I had to admit that although there was nothing God couldn’t do, it was Him who made all the decisions. It wasn’t easy. Nevertheless, God did something wonderful. Not only He let her live, but He totally healed her. Such children spend whole months in a hospital but my daughter could go home after 10 days! The doctor said: “I don’t understand it. It happens for the first time. These children never get well so fast!”.

Today my daughter is 11 years old. She’s a joyful child, she develops very well and she’s very skillful.

If it wasn’t for God, I don’t know how I would go through all this. He showed me He really cared for us and that I could depend on Him.

I experienced it also two years later when I had a heart surgery. All the time I felt God’s presence. It was Him who directed me to the best doctor and the best hospital.

In the following two years I developed breast cancer. Nowadays there’s been a lot of publicity around the subject. But then, in 1996, I knew nothing about this disease. I didn’t even know a word “oncologist.” My older sister told me she had a diagnosed breast cancer. One week later I found a tumor in my breast. But the tests didn’t give a clear answer. For several months I blindly looked for the right doctor. Four of them said it was nothing to worry about. I still can’t forget the words of a histopathologist who made the biopsy; he said I didn’t have to worry. But I had no peace about it. What if I believed him? I chose to believe God; I knew that lack of peace came from Him. I can’t explain it; I just knew it.

I was operated two months after my sister’s operation. When we were already 100 percent sure of my disease – that it really was a breast cancer – my husband couldn’t accept that. But for me the worst time was that first phase of uncertainty when I was blindly running from one doctor to another, making one test after another. I’m grateful to God that He didn’t let me “not to worry,” but He gave me an urge to search deeper. I’m sure I did all I could. The rest didn’t depend on me.

Suddenly many things lost their importance. As a matter of fact, all I was thinking about were my children, that they needed me. I asked God to let me live because of them.

My sister died a year ago; cancer attacked her bones and the liver. As for today, my results are good. I reflect on how fragile our life is, and I wonder if we really focus on the most important.

All those experiences were not easy but they brought me closer to God because I went through them with Him. I didn’t have to do it alone, scared and helpless. God has been changing my thinking, the way I view the world and other people, but first of all, the way I view myself.

I’d like to quote the words of Pascal who said: “Happiness is neither within us nor outside of us; it’s in our unity with God.” You can’t concentrate only on the earthly existence, building your life around every small (or even big) fleeting thing. You have to focus on great, lasting things, on Christ who laid a bridge over the precipice that separated us form our Father. He died so we could be reconciled with God.