They took me to Marbel Doctor’s Hospital one afternoon. I remember barely seeing anything except the blurry vision of my mama and papa as they held me tight. The high fever started a week ago, but the rashes only occurred in the morning. On our way, I vomited into a red bag in Uncle Renat’s van twice already and to a 10-year-old high spirited kid, it was horrible. I wanted to go back home and watch Voltes V on the TV with my siblings, play paper dolls – those sailormoon drawings made of paper which you can dress up using paper-made dresses, and make up stories in my head while I hold the two paper dolls together.
Arriving at the hospital was harder, I couldn’t move my head because a slight flip would make me dizzy again and vomit afterwards. Thankfully, none of that happened as they put me into the wheelchair and pulled me to the Emergency Room.
As I lay there, I noticed my mama crying. I remember her asking me what type of room I want to have, and what food I want to eat. None of that mattered. I knew something was wrong. I heard my papa leaving when I began to drift, and I recalled them talking they need Uncle Robert’s blood. I might not have understood the processes, but I was perfectly well aware I need blood. And needing blood transfusion, the way I usually see in telenovelas, mean my life is about to end.
To add to that, the nurses struggled finding my veins to start putting on the dextrose because my hands were flabby. It must took them an hour, or maybe I overestimated time because 5 minutes in that room felt like the quadruple of the reality. When they’re finished, I was rested in a suite room on the new building.
I did not know a hospital could be a happy place.
It had restroom, cabinet, fridge and tv (yaaay).
At that age though, I remembered praying for the first time on my own without my parents’ constant badgering. “I-save ko Kuya Jesus if you’re real. Maging buot ko nga bata, Promise. (Save me Jesus if you’re real. I’d be a good kid. Promise)”
Although my feeling did not get better the next day, my situation did. My platelet count became stable, so they wouldn’t need to transfuse blood.
The announcement made my mama cry again.
Only after two days that my feeling got better, it was then I knew God answered my prayer.
My sister once told me even if my eyes were closed off I would tell her, “Binli niyo ko pagkaon. (Leave me some food)” Even at such excruciating situation, I couldn’t get my mind off food. Dr. Feliprada, my physican, would often do her rounds daily and find me either sitting on my bed or on the chair watching TV while eating- always eating. They’re food that I couldn’t still consume, but my mama would often say I found my refuge in food, no matter what it was. I was certain I looked forward to mama coming to the hospital at 5:30 from work because she always brought chicken barbecue or Jollibee (now Jollibee becomes a food).
Aside from food, I found solace in TV. We did not have many channels yet at home, so we depended on GMA and ABS for fun. The stay in the hospital allowed me to watch animes from AXN and from other channels for long hours without mama or papa yelling at the background.
I never thought the hospital could be a happy place, or maybe it became one because of my first encounter with God.
I shared this because it was my first answered prayer and the beginning of my growing faith and our budding relationship. Whenever people ask me why I believe in God, I would often say it isn’t much about what the bible says, what the church teaches, what my parents preach but it has always been experiencing Him in my life.
Our relationship with God can be likened to our relationship with a restaurant.
Seeing a restaurant and hear people appreciate how great the customer service is, or how different and delicious their food is cannot make the restaurant a personal reality for a person. It’s for this reason that people want to try that new Japanese restaurant and check if their Teriyaki is really different, or visit a new Italian café to fully understand why people go crazy over their grilled chicken pasta. It’s only when you experience that you 100 percent believe and love it without having to explain it.
Did I end up being true to my promise? H*** no. I bragged, made my parents cry, insulted people, hurt (physically, verbally) people, yelled at God, cursed God, cursed people. I was a beast. With my bipolar personality, I struggled all my life. I got better eventually, but I still get up every day hoping I woudn’t be the same awful person.
But this story isn’t about me, it’s about God’s faithfulness amidst my unfaithfulness.
And based on my experience with Him, He isn’t like any other. He does not retaliate, does not curse, does not hate. He always stays true to His promise. I’m certain it’s only God that doesn’t change.
If God continued to love me amidst my imperfections, then you could be pretty certain he would embrace you totally.
Trust Him, not the people who constantly judge you.
Trust His heart, not the leaders and preachers whose priorities and personalities change.
Trust His care, not even your parents who will leave you someday.
*More Miracle Stories to Come*