Faith through the storm–to my Oma

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My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do for you…

Those words ring through my memories, off-key and accented, but beautiful nonetheless.

I was under five years old and almost, most definitely, terrified of lightning. It’s amusing now because as I’ve grown up, I have also grown to love thunder and lightning storms. Perhaps it’s because of that song and the memories of a child, scared in an attic room, that I am so comforted by the same sight and sounds now. The thunder and lightning fuel my faith rather than frighten me in my humanity.

I used to spend summers in Toronto with my grandparents. Being very humid and very hot and all that scientific stuff, Ontario is known for crazy summer storms. I would lay in bed, in my grandparents home, stricken with fright. Crying until, that is, my Oma would come find me and snuggle up in bed with me.

Oma is a powerhouse. She’s a petite fireball. There isn’t a memory that I have that doesn’t contain Oma talking about God or praying. Oh…and chocolate…Oma loves chocolate. Her home, as far as I can remember, always has a pantry FULL of chocolate and open to everyone.

My Oma is sick now. We’re not sure what’s happening, we know there’s no cancer in her blood or lungs, but we’re still not sure what’s happening with the mass in her stomach. Most people can’t imagine what someone else would feel like in her situation, but I can.

You see, for all our faults, my Oma and I are more alike than I sometimes care to admit. We feel so deeply that it hurts, we love more passionately and with more heart than sometimes I think people should. Her faith, my faith, are so important to us. We HATE when people don’t understand our point of view. We also have the worst tell. If we aren’t, let’s just say a fan of someone in our company, maybe that person makes us feel uncomfortable, it’s obvious. The chatterboxes we are disappear and our body language becomes stagnant. It’s like pulling teeth from a shark to make us talk. We live our lives fully for others, we enjoy our time away from everyone. She left her family for love, to move to a country far away, to have a better life, to live with her best friend. Sometimes I think that if Oma had been born closer to my age we would have gone on a lot of adventures together. Sometimes I think that if I had been born when she did, I would have left my family for love to. I think I still would.

The one thing that Oma has taught me and continues to teach me is about faith and conviction. Though we don’t always agree on some of the legalities of our beliefs (she definitely wishes I never got inked), Oma has taught me faith and courage of conviction. She stands up for what is right, what is the truth. She stands up for her family, for the ones who have less, the ones who can’t fight for themselves. She doesn’t stand for injustice and her grace, her grace is much more than I ever imagine I could give.

I’m far away and sometimes it’s hard to know that I may not see her again. I mean, even before this health scare that was a possibility. There are a lot of people I may never see again…I don’t know. However, I know that, knowing why I have walked my own path, that, even if she wants me near her, she allows me to do what God wants me to do and covers me in prayer.

So back to those nights, those loud, thunder-filled nights…Oma would crawl into my bed and sing me to sleep.

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.

And now…

That God, the God who is the same yesterday, today and forever…that God who is so strong and so mighty…we’re believing that He’s maybe not ready to have Oma preaching at Him in Heaven. We’re believing that whatever is attacking her body will be rid of and she will have many more years with her family. I mean, who’s going to make sure that the right guy marries me? Oma will have a say…

And if not, whatever happens…Oma’s legacy will live on in the faith that she has installed in all of the lives she touches and continues to touch.

This is to my Oma…Your God is so great, there’s nothing He won’t do for you.

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